Is the 2100 widescreen just letterbox? at DVinfo.net

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Old April 20th, 2007, 07:48 AM   #1
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Is the 2100 widescreen just letterbox?

Which premiere project settings would i use for video shot in Widescreen? Standard or widescreen? is it just letterbox footage that would be pillarboxed?
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Old April 20th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #2
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If you set the VX for widescreen 16:9 it squeezes the image into the proper anamophic format. The resolution isn't so great because it is only sampling the center 720x360 pixels on the 4:3 native CCD's, but the format is anamorphic 16:9.

I'm moving your thread to our Premiere forum since this is really a software issue.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 08:08 AM   #3
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If you are shooting 16:9 you may wish to edit 16:9 in a widescreen preset. You could capture 16:9 and then put it into a 4:3 preset in order to scale it down to letterbox it.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 10:09 AM   #4
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Aha, so it is true 16:9?

Is the resolution loss worth the aesthetic advantage, though, or should the VX2100 really be used for 4:3 shooting?

If I imported widescreen footage into a widescreen Premiere project, I take it the preview monitor wont be letterboxed? (Unless it were a standard project)?

I've noticed an "interpret footage as" option in the project browser, is this to tell the software to read widescreen footage as 16:9, if it hasn't already been tagged in this regard?
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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:36 AM   #5
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The VX2100 is not a true 16x9 camcorder, as Boyd pointed out. It simply throws away lines at the top and bottom of the picture. True wide screen camcorders use an anamorphic lens to spread out the image over the entire capture chip (and you can buy an adaptor for your 2100 if you need to go true 16x9).

In my personal opinion it's not worth filming in a 16x9 setting unless your camcorder is a true wide screen camcorder. You will have a lot more pixels to work with if you just leave it at 4x3. Work with the footage in it's original format, and let the end user decide what format they want to watch it in; TVs nowadays can switch between different formats. Personally I find myself not caring anymore if the original 4x3 is spread out over the entire 16x9 display, I simply got used to it.

But again, it's a matter of personal preference - if you care about quality, than keep it in the original format.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:37 AM   #6
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Yes, interpreting it as widescreen may be necessary, I don't know how that camera works. The resolution loss from shooting that way should be acceptable. But the word "acceptable" means different things to different people.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 12:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
True wide screen camcorders use an anamorphic lens to spread out the image over the entire capture chip
Actually that isn't true. "True widescreen" cameras don't need anamorphic lenses. The anamorphic lens is needed if you want "true widescreen" with a 4:3 native camcorder. But there are a number of standard definition cameras which shoot real widescreen by just sampling the 16:9 center area of their 4:3 chips. As long as the chips have enough pixels this will give you "real" widescreen. The Sony PDX-10 is a good example of this. The CCD's are 1152x864, so that leaves plenty of pixels to play with when you chop off the top and bottom of the image. The Canon XL-2 is another example of this same kind of approach. And all of the HDV cameras are "true widescreen." They generally have 16:9 shaped chips in them.

None of these cameras use anamorphic lenses. The anamorphic "squishing" is done digitally to the data before it's written to tape.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #8
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Thank you for clarifying that, Boyd. I had the impression that the "squishing" is done at the optical level.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 05:11 PM   #9
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Last year at film school, we were shooting on Panasonic DV15, oldish 3CCD cameras. They had a "Cinema mode" which just added a widescreen band to the picture, no stretching, just bands at the top and the bottom.

We were told to edit this footage in a standard Premiere preset, not widescreen, because it wasn't true widescreen. If this footage were imported into a widescreen project, would there be the letterboxing plus pillarboxing?

I've gathered that the VX2100 widescreen mode is more accurate than that one, so can it be safely edited in a Widescreen project without causing any stretching or dysmorphic problems? Obviously when editing 16:9 footage in a widescreen project, you wont have a letterbox in the program monitor as it switches to a 16:9 view?

If I were to import the VX2100 widescreen video into a standard project, would it just be letterboxed?
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