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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old March 18th, 2002, 09:43 AM   #1
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best widescreen

What is the deal today with achieveing the best widescreen picture when shooting a feature with an XL1 and a GL1 simultaneously?

anamorphic lens?
just a crop from the 4/3?
in-camera electronic anamorphic?
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Old March 18th, 2002, 11:33 AM   #2
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I choose to crop the image in post. That way you have the ability to move the frame up or down in the case of bad camera framing.

-Nori Wentworth
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Old March 18th, 2002, 12:54 PM   #3
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I agree with Nori. It gives you the least headaches with the
most options. The only thing better would be true anamorphic
(either via a 16x9 CCD chip or an anamorphic lense attachment).
The downside to shooting 16x9 is that you do not have any
choices lateron in editing. There is no space left to frame your
picture. I have found it very handy to be able to frame my
picture vertically. This is much more handier in post for me. I
usually do enable the 16:9 guidelines on my XL1S so that I
know roughly what will be in the picture.

Afterwarts in post I can move the picture up and down till
it fits, or gives me an interesting framing (not everything should
be framed "correctly" I think)....
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Old March 18th, 2002, 01:22 PM   #4
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OK.
Now, if thinking about transfering to 35mm, the framing, croping or any digital handling (in say FCP) would degrade the image a bit, wouldn't it?

On the other hand I tend to think a true anamorphic lens attachment (Optex) is the most quality-preserving of the options. But I still haven't heard any strong opinions about it (the one for the XL1) and it's been out for a while now.
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Old March 18th, 2002, 06:47 PM   #5
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If you want the most resolution a true 16x9 image (thus the
optex attachment on the XL1) will only do. This is the best
to blow up. But it has two downsides as mentioned. Cost and
the lack of choice in editing. It all depends on what you find
more important.
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Old March 18th, 2002, 08:32 PM   #6
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The Optex 16x9 anamorphic attachment costs around $1,000 right?

The thing is that it has some focus and exposure limitations and I would like to get some feedback from real usage of it. I don't mind the lack of reframing in editing.
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Old March 19th, 2002, 02:20 AM   #7
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I cannot help you further. I do not know the price of this
attachment, but I guess it will not be cheap (what ever
is in this business... especially lense stuff... sigh), nor have
I ever used on.

Perhaps someon else has?
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Old March 19th, 2002, 08:01 AM   #8
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Thank you very much, anyway, Rob. It's strange I haven't found anyone who has used it searching this forum. I wonder if Chris has.
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Old March 19th, 2002, 09:44 AM   #9
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I looked at trying one out, but when I found out it is designed for a camera with a 58mm lens and requires the use of step up rings to be compatable with the 72mm XL1 lens, I decided to give it a miss until a 72mm version arrives.
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Old March 19th, 2002, 10:32 AM   #10
 
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The optical distortion, color fringing and coma, with any anamorphic lens is quite unacceptably worse than the loss you suffer by losing vertical rez with on-camera choices.
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Old March 20th, 2002, 09:41 PM   #11
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I have a Century Optics 16:9 which works really well. Produces superb images and of course you must view your movie on a 16:9 TV screen or projector. 16:9 is the future - no doubt. I don't use mine much - I use it mainly for documentaries that are going aimed toward broadcast.

It easily attached to my GL1 and you can manipulate the effect somewhat. You are limited to the zoom range but that is usually not a problem. I don't trombone much. If I have to then I set up the shot angle before so I know where the lmit is.

They sell for $899 retail. I will sell mine for $750 - I just don't use it enough.
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Old March 22nd, 2002, 10:33 AM   #12
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I shoot exclusively in 16:9. This is probably due to my preference for the dramatic framing possible. I find Canon's decision to just squash the image in the viewfinder perplexing. Why they couldnt give you a true view is beyond me.

If you shoot in 4:3 then crop it, you really set yourself up for many hours of processing and tons of wasted disk space. Plus you are adding another layer of compression to your original image. This can cause some image loss.

I edit in premier, keeping the settings to widescreen. This works great if your end product will beplayed exclusively on a 16;9 television. But most people are still stuck in the dark ages of 4:3. This poses a big problem. My solution - TMPGENc! This freeware program (now available in a pro version) is a lifesaver.

You can get it at www.tmpgenc.com.

You will be limited to exporting MPG1 and/or MPG2. But since I distribute my work on VCDs, this works well for me. A great resource for learning about this is at www.vcdhelp.com.

I am thinking about setting up a tutorial to cover my solutions. Anybody interested?

So, in a nutshell I feel you should learn to work within the 16:9 framing when you compose your shots. Since the XL1s makes it hard to see the tru image, play around with framing shots in the 4:3 mode with the 16:9 guides.

Hope this helps.
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Old September 22nd, 2002, 01:06 AM   #13
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Yeah,
I'd be interested.
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Old September 22nd, 2002, 01:10 AM   #14
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If you write a tutorial, I'd like to add it to the DV Info Net website. Please let me know if you proceed with this.

I think the best widescreen solution for the XL1 is yet to come, in the form of a 72mm anamorphic adapter. Hopefully that'll happen soon,
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Old September 22nd, 2002, 01:19 AM   #15
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darinaho

Then email me and let's do the deal
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