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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old September 27th, 2003, 02:41 AM   #31
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"Oh man! That sucks! I just started shotting my movie in 4 x 3 with the electronic guides and I cropped in post. I'd HATE to have to re-shoot everything in electronic widescreen. Rats!"

Yeah I told you last week that was the case! :)

But no I wouldn't reshoot anything either. However, given the choice between a simple 16x9 matte and an anamorphic stretch using Vegas, I'd choose the latter. Why? A 16x9 matte is perfect if you'll always be showing on 4x3 screens, but that will no longer be the case.

16x9 Matte:
On a 4x3 TV, it will look perfect. All the lines will be precisely where they should be.
On a 16x9 TV, you will literally only see 360 lines instead of 480 (assuming you're using a Theater Wide crop). Those 360 lines will be used to form the entire image. And let me tell you, with DV video and less than professional-grade MPEG encoding, you can see lots of flaws in the video in this mode on a large TV.

Anamorphic Stretch:
On a 4x3 TV, it will look virtually identical to a 4x3 mask. The anamorphic stretch adds additional lines through interpolation and slight softening. Those lines are just taken out by the DVD player when showing anamorphic material in letterboxed format, so you basically end up with the same 360 viewable lines you would have had had you used the matte.

On a 16x9 TV, you'll fill up the entire TV screen's 480 lines. The image will have been upconverted by the software and thus will look better than just watching 360 lines forming the same image, and any DV or MPEG compression artifacts you might have will be much less apparent.


So in the end, I think you're better off doing the stretch. A final note, you can easily combine footage that you used 16x9 mode for and that which you artificially made anamorphic.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 02:53 AM   #32
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I have heard people put forward the argument to use 4:3 letterboxed to 16:9 rather than an anamorphic stretch. The reason for this is that the encoding will concentrate it's work on the areas that are not black and hence the bitrate will be better in that area. Using anamorphic the bitrate specified for encoding is spread out over the whole image and so as a whole, any one part will get less than the letterbox version.

Aint done any tests myself, just something I've heard.

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Old September 27th, 2003, 01:23 PM   #33
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That's right, anamorphic DVDs require about 30% more bandwidth than letterboxed ones.

Also, you should use a higher bitrate for 16x9 material versus 4x3 material anyway, letterboxed or not, because in 16x9 mode those same 720 pixels are being stretched wider than they are in 4x3 mode. So those pixels had better be more accurate because they need to fill up a wider area of the screen.

Bottom line, of course, is that you should use the highest bitrate you can possibly afford on the disk, and the best, 2-pass encoder you can afford. In general, though, 4 mbps is acceptable for 4x3 letterboxed material, whereas you need 5 or more mbps for anamorphic 16x9.
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Old September 27th, 2003, 05:17 PM   #34
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You get the added option to reframe if you shoot in 4:3 . . .
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Old September 29th, 2003, 09:56 AM   #35
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Thanks for all of your help, guys.
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Old September 29th, 2003, 01:00 PM   #36
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wow. good thread guys. i was just wondering about this th other day and in other threads i posted but i guess ya'll just answered my question =D... now is the issue of cost. how much is mini35, century lenses?
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Old September 29th, 2003, 02:56 PM   #37
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Mini35 is around $8,000.00, lenses are additional. You can find all the info you want about it right here on dvinfo.net, in the P+S Technik forum.
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Old September 29th, 2003, 11:32 PM   #38
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whoa... that is wicked expensive. you can get nearly 2 XL1s for that. worth it?
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Old October 1st, 2003, 02:32 PM   #39
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There's nothing wrong with the stock or manual lens, follow focus and matte box. With good lighting the XL1s makes superb pictures.
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Old October 1st, 2003, 11:04 PM   #40
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you mean if i use stock lens and crop top+bottom to make 'widescreen' it'll still be OK>?
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Old October 3rd, 2003, 01:11 PM   #41
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That's exactly what I do.
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Old December 26th, 2003, 01:10 AM   #42
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There is an alternative to a CCD that is literally shaped 16:9 and that is a high pixels count CCD like the Canon Xi (2MP) which can remap the CCD as it needs and still have full resolution.
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