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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old September 25th, 2005, 10:31 PM   #1
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Quick question about XL2 video output

Sorry if this has been discussed...

I have only been able to use the RCA outputs on the XL2 thus far to view raw footage (still working on the computer and no other monitors with BNC or SVideo input). My question is this: I have been shooting in 16:9 but it always shows up as a stretched 4:3 image. Is this a product of the camera or just normal TV monitors that don't recognize 16:9 through their AV inputs? I have a TV that you can change the view from normal to zoom to wide. I have to manually switch it to wide but the footage looks like it should then. I'm guessing that it's only the monitors I've tried to use but I wanted to check to make sure there wasn't anything wrong with the camera.

Thanks
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Old September 25th, 2005, 11:06 PM   #2
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I'm going to take a stab at this and hopefully someone who knows more will come and either confirm or correct it.

I believe that when you select 16:9 on the camera, it only applies a flag that says the video is widescreen and then it will squeeze the image you are recording into a standard 4:3 NTSC signal...much like DVDs do it. When you play back the video, if your TV doesn't automatically recognize this flag, your playback with be squeezed, just like it would be with a widescreen DVD. Therefore, you have to select the appropriate aspect on your monitor to view the footage correctly.

Thanks,

Kelly
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Old September 25th, 2005, 11:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew C. Stewart
Sorry if this has been discussed...

I have only been able to use the RCA outputs on the XL2 thus far to view raw footage (still working on the computer and no other monitors with BNC or SVideo input). My question is this: I have been shooting in 16:9 but it always shows up as a stretched 4:3 image. Is this a product of the camera or just normal TV monitors that don't recognize 16:9 through their AV inputs? I have a TV that you can change the view from normal to zoom to wide. I have to manually switch it to wide but the footage looks like it should then. I'm guessing that it's only the monitors I've tried to use but I wanted to check to make sure there wasn't anything wrong with the camera.

Thanks

That's correct. Your tv is depending on you to tell it what your camera is outputting. There are supposedly some sets that can detect image aspect ratio via the s-video input although my Mitsubishi HDTV (circa 2002) does not. I have to switch it as you do. When you shoot in 16:9 mode, the camera is still putting down a 720X480 image. It stretches those 720 horizontal pixels out to form a widescreen image. But, you have to tell the device on the other end be it your tv, or your NLE that this is what you have done.

The only intelligent switching that can be done is via your dvd player. You tell it in the video setup menu what type of tv is attached, and it will read an anamorphic flag bit off the dvd which you must set when you author the dvd with widescreen material. The player will then letterbox widescreen material if your display is 4:3, or leave it as is if your have a widescreen tv. Problem is, most people don't realize the importance of setting up their dvd player correctly and they end of with widescreen stuff being squished on their 4:3 sets. Apparently, some players default to a 16:9 attached display setting in their set up menu.

Hope I didn't lose or confuse you there!

-gb-
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Old October 1st, 2005, 11:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
When you shoot in 16:9 mode, the camera is still putting down a 720X480 image. It stretches those 720 horizontal pixels out to form a widescreen image.
I don't think that's correct. In 16:9 it's using 960 x 576 pixels natively, not stretching anything.

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Old October 1st, 2005, 01:21 PM   #5
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Sorry but Greg is quite correct. Yes the camera head produces a 960 wide image at the CCDs, but when it goes to tape it *must* be 720 wide or else it wouldn't be DV.
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