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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old December 4th, 2002, 04:43 PM   #31
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The XL-1 does not have the guidelines. It's available only on the XL-1s.
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Old December 4th, 2002, 06:38 PM   #32
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<<It's available only on the XL-1s.>>

I thought I'd overlooked something pretty basic here. Dang. Actually, Adrian had pointed this fact out to me yesterday. Anyone know the exact measurements on a Varizoom TFT monitor that I should mask out to shoot at 16:9? (In order to take into account how much cropping is already being done on the monitor itself as opposed as what's being shot?)
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Old December 4th, 2002, 09:49 PM   #33
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John...

If you're shooting with an XL1s then turn on the 16:9 guides and mask off your monitor where the lines fall.

If you're using an older XL1, then measure your monitor's width and divide that measurement by 16. Take that result, multiply it by 9 and that will be the "depth" of the area you'll have to mask off to get a 16:9 ratio on your monitor. Just have to center the masked area to make sure

"Shooting to protect" 16:9 has the advantage of allowing one to easily re-purpose a program for either viewing environment. However it's a half-measure in that it doesn't allow a director to compose specifically for either aspect ratio. Personally, I really prefer the artistic aspect of 16:9 over the nearly square 4:3.

Hope this helps.
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Old April 6th, 2003, 03:56 PM   #34
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I was just about to ask this question and searched and found the exact question and answers I needed.

We're shooting for direct-to-video/DVD and widescreen and our feeling was that we go 4:3 (we can't afford the anamorphic adapter right now) and post widescreen it.

One advantage to this is that a number of European markets ask for full screen versions and although it's a major pain framing for both widescreen and full at least it's no extra work.

Thanks for reconfirming my feeling.
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Old April 7th, 2003, 12:37 PM   #35
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There are also a pile of posts on this subject here on the Watchdog. Just use the search feature and then sit down and read the posts.
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Old April 8th, 2003, 10:36 AM   #36
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Definately experiment with both...

I like shooting in 16.9. I agree that framing should be dead on. I like shooting in this mode because of that disciplined restriction. Besides, I never use the whole image anyways. With exception to outdoor vista/panorama shots, then I like the whole thang.

I can't wait for the board to see my short. Soon. Real soon.

Cheers!

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Old April 8th, 2003, 04:53 PM   #37
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I have heard that:

Version 1) if you use the camera built-in function of widescreen in camcorder then u are not using full range of CCDs.

Version 2) But recording in normal and then adding bars in post produces loss of detail.

I am not a technician on these matters, but I would have thought that using version two one resulting in loss of detail would be just the same as the loss of full range of CCDs in version 1 and so producing loss of detail as well in that version.

So my question is....which is the lesser of the two evils????And so the best one to use?
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Old April 8th, 2003, 05:04 PM   #38
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sorry it should have said a bit more clearer (sorry my mind is speaking in spanish and trying to write in english)

"I am not a technician on these matters, but I would have thought that using VERSION TWO, resulting in loss of detail, would be just the same as the loss gained due to the lack of full range of CCDs in VERSION ONE and so producing loss of detail as well in that version.

which is the lesser of the two evils????And so the best one to use? Or is this just one continous argument?
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Old April 15th, 2003, 03:40 PM   #39
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Quote:
"I am not a technician on these matters, but I would have thought that using VERSION TWO, resulting in loss of detail, would be just the same as the loss gained due to the lack of full range of CCDs in VERSION ONE and so producing loss of detail as well in that version.
A question I asked myself and decided that for the reason of using the full CCD footprint and if I need a full screen version I'd shoot 4:3 and have been happy with it.

We got hired to shoot part of a documentary and the producer requested we shoot 16:9. (he's paying the bill so we do what he wants.)

On top of being extremely pleased with the final result, footage-wise, I didn't notice any detail loss in the video.

Does that mean it wasn't there? I don't know.

Is there some techno-reason why it's not different. Again-- don't know.

I liked the way it looked and was happy with the end result but I'm going to continue shooting my projects in 4:3 and matting for 16:9 for now.

BUT... I will say that if I could affort an Anamorphic Lens set up--- I'd shoot 16:9 in a heartbeat.
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Old April 15th, 2003, 09:04 PM   #40
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Hey Kevin, I'm right around the corner from ya! Fancy that.

OK, correct me if I'm wrong. If you shoot 16:9 electronic on a XL1s, the camera simply removes the top and bottom pixels from the image. If viewed on a 4:3 TV, black bars are added to fill the voids. There is NO LOSS in image quality what so ever. The image on the screen is still the wonderful Canon image, just less of it. Think covering your screen with cardboard at top and bottom. Now if you view the same footage on a 16:9 monitor, the image fills the screen. If the viewing area is larger on the 16:9 TV, then the image is degraded (like blowing up a photo). If you've shot with an anamorphic adapter, the camera has used all its availible pixels to record the image ( nothing removed to get the 16:9 aspect) , and when expanded to 16:9 the image looks better. It should, you used more pixels on the chip. End of story.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 08:17 AM   #41
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Hopewell. The BEST Saab and Volvo mechanic in the US is there. Know it pretty well.


Actually, what I understand (and I admit I might be wrong) is that when you set to 16:9 mode you are not "exposing" the full CCD but that lines of the CCD are turned off (or "cropped" as is refered to above) during recording.

And during playback on a 4:3 TV you actually get a full screen image but it looks slightly "stretched". This is the same way you see it in the viewfinder.

Not until you process the footage (I did it in Final Cut Pro) that the bands are added so you get the 'widescreen' look.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 09:20 AM   #42
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This whole topic interests me since I've decided to switch to 16:9 for an upcoming project that will be digitally projected on a large screen. Actually I'm working with Sony equipment instead of Canon but the principles are the same. Have been thinking about getting an anamorphic adaptor for awhile, but they're so expensive considering what you get. You can't zoom through the whole range and maintain focus and you may get vignetting at full wide settings. Plus you can't use wide angle or telephoto adaptors with them, and filters and lens hoods that work with them are also expensive.

I had been considering ZGC's "DV Filmmaker Kit" http://www.zgc.com/html/dv_filmmaker_kit.htm but at $1,200 it's pretty pricey. So after much consideration, I just bought a Sony PDX-10 camcorder. This (to the best of my knowledge) is the only lower priced real 16:9 camera on the market. It has 3 - megapixel CCD's and when you switch to widescreen mode actually uses an expanded area to give you a wider field of view with more image data. I've only had this camera for two days, but have been performing a bunch of test and am very pleased with the results. Soon I'll put some of this stuff on the web if anybody is interested. Specifically, I shot a focus chart in both 4:3 and 16:9 using my VX-2000 and the PDX-10. You can clearly see the improved vertical resolution when you compare them. In "real world" shots you can also see the improvement, specifically in any fine lines (like tree branches for example) and also less "stair stepping" in diagonal edges.

Now I suppose it really depends on what you're shooting and its intended use as to whether the built-in 16:9 on the XL-1s, GL-2, PD-150, etc. is good enough. If you're shooting lots of close ups with faces it may not matter. Also if you're just letterboxing for 4:3 it won't make much difference. But I'm going to be projecting this footage on a 40 foot screen as part of a multimedia production. DV is already pretty "soft" for that sort of application and I want as much resolution as possible.

The PDX-10 costs a little over $2,000 which isn't that much more than the anamorphic lens and a few accessories. The images look very nice, although there are some ergonomic issues with the camera that I'm not completely happy with. I don't know if I'd want it as my only camera; it's very small. Hopefully Canon and Sony with soon introduce new versions that also offer true 16:9 capabilities. But for now if you really need 16:9 and are working on a budget you might want to take a closer look at this camera.

Oh yeah guys... I'm located in Medford, NJ so I guess we're all neighbors :-)
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 06:54 AM   #43
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I've read as much as I can about this, and one thing perplexes me.

From most of what I read, people have said that when you shoot 4:3 and then crop in post, you lost 25% image resolution. That info was found here. http://members.macconnect.com/users/...een/index.html

However, Adam Wilt says this about the 16:9 mode in camera:

"The "wrong way" is wrong because the resultant image only uses 360 lines (525/59.94) or 432 lines (625/50) of the CCD instead of the entire 480 or 576. When this is displayed anamorphically on your monitor, the camera has digitally rescaled the lines to fit the entire raster, but 1/4 of the vertical resolution has been irretrievably lost, and the in-camera algorithms used to stretch the image often create ugly sampling artifacts."

The XL1s, VX2000 etc. do it the wrong way.

http://www.adamwilt.com/DV-FAQ-etc.html#widescreen



SO, it appears that both methods do exactly the same in that both end up losing 1/4 verticle resolution? Seems to me the only way to go is to use the adapter.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 07:35 AM   #44
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<<<-- Originally posted by Brad Simmons : SO, it appears that both methods do exactly the same in that both end up losing 1/4 verticle resolution? Seems to me the only way to go is to use the adapter. -->>>

I agree, and you really can't argue with the math; 480 is more than 360. There may be some room for different opinions as to whether one will really notice this in the sort of images that you're shooting however. And that has a lot to do with the composition of the picture and how it's being presented. I'm working on a show where we'll project DV on a 40' wide screen with a 12,000 lumen DLP projector so I don't want to waste a single pixel ;-)

But anamorphic adaptors have their own set of problems. You can't zoom through the full range and maintain focus. You get some vignetting at full wide. According to the reviews, both the Optex and Century have their own form of blurring that occurs under certain conditions. And of course you're stuck with the native field of view that the adaptor offers; you can't add a wide or telephoto adaptor to the anamorphic lens. Then there are also issues of sunshades and filter holders which pretty much force you into another expensive accessory.

I have a VX-2000 but think these issues are pretty similar on most of the prosumer camcorders. Well, actually I was just looking on Century's website and they don't even list an anamorphic adaptor for the XL-1s. They make one for the GL1/GL2. I guess the issue is the 72mm filter size; ZGC will sell you the Optex with a 52mm step down ring but they say it will vignette if you zoom wider than 10mm.

After pondering these limitations, plus the cost of buying the adaptor and lens shade ($1,240 for ZGC's DV filmmaker kit) I decided against it. Seems like too much of a "kludge" to spend that kind of money on. Instead I spent a bit more and bought a Sony PDX-10 which uses a larger CCD to do 16:9 the "right way". This camera has some compromises of its own, but I'm very happy with the widescreen results I'm getting. And with a 37mm filter size I was able to add a .45x wide adaptor for a bit over $100 which works with the supplied oversized lens hood and accepts inexpensive 49mm filters.

From all that I've read, the XL-1s is a fine camera with lots of strong points. But it sure sounds like the wrong tool to use if widescreen is important to you. Or maybe there's an actual anamorphic lens (not an adaptor) that works with the XL-1s? Bet that would be expensive though ;-)
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 08:16 AM   #45
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Posted by Boyd

"There may be some room for different opinions as to whether one will really notice this in the sort of images that you're shooting however. And that has a lot to do with the composition of the picture and how it's being presented."


You make a really good point about composition Boyd.
Regarding those adapters, I believe they do make one for the XL1s which is 72mm.

http://www.zgc.com/html/optex_xlanamorphic_adapter.html

But the cost is $2600. Way out of my budget just to get widescreen. That is different from what you were talking about right? I think I read somewhere else that Century was coming out with one for the xl1s that has full zoom through? Am I wrong about that, or anyone know if that already come out?
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