16:9 Mode vs. 16:9 Guidlines at DVinfo.net

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Old October 15th, 2003, 08:28 AM   #1
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16:9 Mode vs. 16:9 Guidlines

Hello there. I am about to shoot for a 16:9 Aspect Ratio on the XL1S. I am curious about the difference between shooting in 16:9 mode vs. using the 16:9 guidlines. Of course, it is much more pleasant to work with the guidlines than a squished image.

So I wonder, is 16:9 mode actually using more of the CCD chip thereby getting a better image? Or is there no difference between the two at all.

Thanks ahead of time for any info...
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Old October 15th, 2003, 01:27 PM   #2
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There's a huge difference. A guideline is exactly that, a guideline.
It is there so that you can see what WOULD fall in between the
16:9 mask if you were to shoot it that way. Why would you need
it, well, for if you are going to do 16:9 in post or are going to add
letterboxing (the black bars).

If you are shooting in 16:9 the image gets stretched electronically
to a 16:9 aspect ratio (you loose some of the top and bottom)
and stored on tape/harddisk/computer like that. So you won't
ever be able to get those lost bits back, but it is already all in
16:9 (anamorphic) for you.
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Old October 15th, 2003, 04:33 PM   #3
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If you shoot in the 16:9 mode, would you get a higher quality image than if you did it in post? Or would it be the same?
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Old October 15th, 2003, 05:22 PM   #4
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Bryan,
You may get differing opinions on this question. My opinion is that it's best to shoot in 4:3 and crop to 16:9 in post.

Since the XL1s has 4:3 CCD's such crops are really matters of look-like-Hollywood style, anyway.
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Old October 15th, 2003, 06:06 PM   #5
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I've written it down before and as Ken points it out, it mainly is
a personal matter.

Quality wise before the compression kicks in it doesn't differ at
all. The camera just does a stretch. However, when the compression
takes place it in effect has less different pixels to encode. The
bandwidth being used is used for the full picture you are going
to use lateron. Thus in theory this would yield a better quality/
compression ratio.

But, for me personally I'm very keen on having the ability to move
the footage "behind" the black bars. In other words, I can move
the screen up and down and choose a different framing. Even
with the most careful planning not everything is ending up exactly
inside the frame on my shoots (on handheld shoots or when
someone isn't standing behind the camera and it is just rolling).

So that's a big thing for me. Also I always have the ability to still
do a 4:3 version if I want to.

I don't believe there is much difference quality wise, there is a
huge difference in what you (can) do with the footage and how
you work with it.

Best to do some test runs yourself and see what works for you.
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Old October 16th, 2003, 07:32 AM   #6
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I recently did some tests with the VX2000 16:9 mode and 4:3 cropped, I filmed the same thing in each mode, put both clips in a 4:3 project and maintained the aspect of the 16:9 clip. The 4:3 clip that was cropped looked significantly better, the 16:9 mode clip was fairly soft in comparison. I never use the 16:9 mode now, it's always cropped in post.

John.
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Old October 16th, 2003, 12:56 PM   #7
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But there's a huge quality difference between the VX2000's in-camera 16:9 and the XL1's in-camera 16:9. With the VX2000 you are definitely better off doing it in post.

With the XL1, it's your choice. The in-camera 16:9 mode is quite good, one of the best in-camera 16:9 algorithms available. DVFilm recommends using the 16:9 mode on the Canon, saying they get better film blowups doing it in-camera than they do when doing it in post. But for television work, I'm sure the differences will be minimal, so it's really your choice.
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Old October 18th, 2003, 10:10 PM   #8
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My Canon technician here in Australia said: Don't shoot in 16x9 mode if you want the best quality. Use 4:3 and crop in Post.

I find this way works great. You can see without distortion thru the view finder too when shooting 4:3 with guides on.

This has been discussed in detail in this community before, Try a Search.
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