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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 08:06 AM   #1
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Capture, Edit and Export at the 962x480 aspect ratio?

I've read as much as I can possibly find on the xl2 to find the answer to this but I can't. In 16:9 mode, xl2's actually capture a true widescreen resolution of 962x480. What pro editing software packages give one the ability to capture, edit and export at the 962x480 resolution? Would I have to export in a certain format to do it? I have Avid and Premiere easlily accessible to me. Can they deal with these aspect ratios?

Basically, I'm not really sure what the point of having the ability to film at 962x480 would be if you couldn't capture at that or particularly if you couldn't export at that.

Any help or ideas on this stuff would be MUCH appreciated, as I am making my final decision on purchasing the camera.

THANKS!!
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 08:16 AM   #2
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Unfortunately that cannot be done because the XL2 is a DV camera, and all DV is 720x480 (NTSC). Widescreen DV is still 720x480 however the pixels are stretched on playback.

So the 960x480 resolution is used on the CCD's to provide an area in the 16:9 proportion. It is then "squashed" horizontally to 720 pixels wide such that everything will look too tall and skinny. This is what's written to tape - the XL2 doesn't support a format that retains the original 960x480 data. It isn't a question of editing software; the 960x480 resolution is only used internally by the camera - it can't be put on tape.

If you aren't satisfied with the 720x480 anamorphic widescreen DV format in terms of resolution, then you should look at one of the many high definition cameras that are now on the market.
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 07:11 PM   #3
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Thanks! One more question...

That's what I was starting to gather after looking at numerous websites. Thanks for clearing that up for me! Now that I'm aware that it squishes it to 720x480 onto the tape and everything, I have one more question: After stretching it back out in post, would it then stretch to look correct at 962x480 (with the actual resolution of 720x480)? If so, this still appeals to me because I don't believe that other cameras I've used, when stretched to widescreen in the same way, come out correctly as that wide of a composition.

Thanks for all of your help!
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 08:43 PM   #4
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If you are viewing on a device with square pixels (like a computer monitor, LCD or plasma screen) then the correct pixel dimensions are 854x480 do the math: (16 / 9) x 480 = 853.33.

However the only time you would want to render in that size would be for Quicktime or similar output on a computer monitor. On a widescreen TV the hardware will scale the image properly to fill the screen. As I said, all DV is 720 x 480. But in the case of 16:9 the pixels are just wider than 4:3. This is known as "anamorphic" video which comes from the Greek words meaning "changed size."

The bottom line is that you don't need to do anything special when using the XL2 or any other native widescreen DV camcorder. Just use the correct setting in your editing software for anamorphic 16:9. It will then playback at the maximum quality on a widescreen TV.
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