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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old July 10th, 2008, 03:37 PM   #1
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Shooting SD 4:3 with the A1

Hello.
I have a client that wants SD 4:3 as the output for a SD DVD. I have used the A1 in SD 4:3 mode and while it looks ok, there is a bit of fringing on the edges. I'm not sure if it was the presets I was using as they all exhibited the fringing.

Is there a way to shoot in HDV 16:9 and then convert to SD 4:3? I would think the image would get squished (for lack of a better word) in order to fit.

For reference: I will be using an A1 and a Sony VX2100 for this shoot. I will keep the VX in 4:3 since it has better resolution in that mode. I would also use the A1 in 4:3 SD mode.

Thanks
Jim
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Old July 10th, 2008, 03:46 PM   #2
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I've shot two different times 4:3 and never noticed anything strange.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 04:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bucciferro View Post
Hello.
I have a client that wants SD 4:3 as the output for a SD DVD. I have used the A1 in SD 4:3 mode and while it looks ok, there is a bit of fringing on the edges. I'm not sure if it was the presets I was using as they all exhibited the fringing.

Is there a way to shoot in HDV 16:9 and then convert to SD 4:3? I would think the image would get squished (for lack of a better word) in order to fit.

For reference: I will be using an A1 and a Sony VX2100 for this shoot. I will keep the VX in 4:3 since it has better resolution in that mode. I would also use the A1 in 4:3 SD mode.

Thanks
Jim
You can shoot HDV and use Compressor to take a center-cut 4:3 from the HD footage. Make sure you have the 4:3 guides up when you shoot, for protection.

That said, I've never had a problem shooting in 4:3 mode.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 09:56 PM   #4
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I shoot SD all the time and it looks fine to me.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #5
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I agree with the others, I have shot SD a handful of times and it looks normal.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 01:40 AM   #6
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I frequently shoot 4:3 with the A1 for a cable TV show that I work on. Never had anything from the client but high praise for the "look" and color. Never anything undesireable from cam, although sometimes my lighting skills were shown to be...lacking.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 04:15 AM   #7
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Thanks.
I'll try it again with the basic settings to see if the fringing disappears.

Jim
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Old July 11th, 2008, 02:15 PM   #8
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Shoot 16x9 HD and scale it

If you have the system to handle HD, shoot that way and scale it down to fit vertically in a 4:3 frame in post. You can adjust the viewfinder on the A1 to give you 4:3 guides on a 16x9 image: works really well. I personally use Premiere Pro CS3 and I just import my HD footage into a 4:3 SD project, put the footage onto a timeline sequence, scale it so that it fits vertically and the sides are cropped and then use pieces of that sequence as though they were my raw footage. The end result is MUCH sharper than if I'd shot in SD. I posted some pics on a thread a while back. Have a look here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...=114549&page=2

Be sure to open all the images in their own browser tabs so that you can switch between them at full size. The difference is amazing. I really think the DV Codec "softens" too much. For your question, you should look at pictures 3 and 4. The last time I shot SD from my HD camera I swore I'd never do it again if only for this one reason. It's just too easy to get better results from HD footage.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 09:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Chamberlain View Post
If you have the system to handle HD, shoot that way and scale it down to fit vertically in a 4:3 frame in post. You can adjust the viewfinder on the A1 to give you 4:3 guides on a 16x9 image: works really well. I personally use Premiere Pro CS3 and I just import my HD footage into a 4:3 SD project, put the footage onto a timeline sequence, scale it so that it fits vertically and the sides are cropped and then use pieces of that sequence as though they were my raw footage. The end result is MUCH sharper than if I'd shot in SD. I posted some pics on a thread a while back. Have a look here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...=114549&page=2

Be sure to open all the images in their own browser tabs so that you can switch between them at full size. The difference is amazing. I really think the DV Codec "softens" too much. For your question, you should look at pictures 3 and 4. The last time I shot SD from my HD camera I swore I'd never do it again if only for this one reason. It's just too easy to get better results from HD footage.
That HDV-makes-better-SD argument would have more force if you did an actual apples-to-apples comparison, shooting an identical image in both DV and HDV, even something like a focus chart.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 10:46 AM   #10
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True enough. I don't own or have access to any focus charts, alas. I basically developed this opinion through the course of two jobs during which I shot about 1/3 SD and 2/3 HD. Without fail, the HD stuff came out perceptibly "sharper" to both myself and the client, which was more than enough evidence for my personal satisfaction. I'd have to find some free time to try to quantify the difference with charts, etc. and that doesn't look promising at the moment (just had a new baby). I wonder if anyone else has tried anything like you're describing? If anyone has, this would be an excellent time to chime in on this discussion.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 05:13 AM   #11
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HDV to 4:3 in Vegas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Chamberlain View Post
If you have the system to handle HD, shoot that way and scale it down to fit vertically in a 4:3 frame in post. You can adjust the viewfinder on the A1 to give you 4:3 guides on a 16x9 image: works really well. I personally use Premiere Pro CS3 and I just import my HD footage into a 4:3 SD project, put the footage onto a timeline sequence, scale it so that it fits vertically and the sides are cropped and then use pieces of that sequence as though they were my raw footage.
Alex,
I tried what you suggested with Vegas and it works great. I just import the image, select Event Crop / Pan, select the 4:3 preset and uncheck maintain aspect ratio. I then output to an SD DV 4:3 AVI file. The image looks much better than the 4:3 in camera image, plus I have the HD footage.

I will try this tonite.
Thanks again.

Jim Bucciferro
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Old July 15th, 2008, 06:33 AM   #12
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Nasty banding

After reviewing the SD converted footage I am now noticing some nasty banding whenever a subject moves - like bad interlacing or something like that.

I am using Vegas Pro 8.0b.
Since I am recording 60i HDV and converting to SD, is there a reason why I would get that banding after conversion?


Thanks
Jim
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