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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old November 28th, 2004, 05:07 PM   #1
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Greater zoom at 16:9 or 4:3?

I was looking at Chris' field-of-view photographs. In his pictures the tractor in the 16:9 zoomed shot sure looks larger than the 4:3. I have also read conflicting information as to whether the 16:9 or the 4:3 has the greatest 35mm equivelent. Now I'm just totally confused.....which is it?

Also, the photos taken with the Sigma 300 on the XL-1 seemed really soft. Is this the lens or a problem with the EOS adaptor?

Thanks.
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Old November 28th, 2004, 05:21 PM   #2
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The vertical height of the image will be the same whether the XL2 is in 16:9 or 4:3. Only the width changes.

How you display it makes the difference in whether it's larger or not.

So if viewing on a 16:9 TV, if viewing the 4:3 footage in "pillarbox" mode, you'd see basically the same exact image in the center of the screen, and black bars on the side. When viewing the 16:9 image, you'd see the same image in the center of the screen, but more image on the left and right.

If viewing on a 4:3 TV, the 4:3 image will look a lot larger. The 16:9 image will be shrunk down (on the height) to accomodate the wider picture.
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Old November 28th, 2004, 09:47 PM   #3
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Jeff

What you said about the images on my page was so strange that I had to take a close look myself. It appears that I have two or three images that are not in the proper sequence. Thanks for pointing this out; I'm looking into the error right now.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 06:01 AM   #4
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Okay Jeff, you were right, I had a couple mixed-up images on that page which have now been corrected.

The page we're talking about is http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article10.php.

As you can see, now that I've corrected it, what Barry says is quite true: at identical focal lengths, the image size is the same between 16:9 and 4:3. The only thing that changes is the width of the field of view. The comparisons on my page now show this correctly.

Regarding the Sigma 70-300mm lens, that's not "softness" you see, but chromatic abberation. That particular lens is not of very high quality (I can't afford the good Canon glass). You wouldn't see that problem if I had better glass, such as a Canon L-series flourite lens. On that Sigma 70-300mm, the camcorder is using only the center portion of the lens (where chromatic abberation is at its least!) but you can still see some serious color fringing going on there. I had this lens laying around so I decided to include it for the comparison. If anybody wanted to use such a high focal length as 300mm, I'd seriously recommend the highest quality lens you can afford. That Sigma 70-300mm is just barely adequate for amateur 35mm photgraphy and as you can see it really falls apart for video (where poor optical quality is greatly magnified).

Thanks again Jeff for directing me to the errors in the layout of those images; otherwise they might have gone uncorrected for who knows how long. Also, thanks as always to Barry Green for spelling things out so clearly (a quality which is the hallmark of a great filmmaker and storyteller).
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Old November 29th, 2004, 11:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for checking into that. If I get the XL2 I wasn't sure whether to shoot 4:3 or 16:9 right now (it IS nice to have a choice). As a wildlife photographer I always opt for greater magnification (though I'm still not sure whether the 35mm comparison may not start to breakdown when you add mixed frame sizes into the mix).

Why is the 35mm equivalent bigger for the XL2 than the GL2? That would seem to indicate a larger crop factor, is that a function of the chip size betweent the two?
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