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Old May 26th, 2006, 11:44 AM   #1
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4:3

Shooting a TV commercial with Sony Z1, and it will be my first time with HD technology. Is there a way to shoot in a 4:3 mode on HD cams or do I have to down convert in post? If I can set-up the cam for 4:3, what is the max resolution I can shoot?
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Old May 26th, 2006, 12:07 PM   #2
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Well 4:3 is a standard definition aspect ratio, so 720x480 is the resolution for NTSC (or you could switch the Z1 to 50i and get 720x576 but that doesn't make sense your your application).

You could shoot in DV mode and select 4:3 if you like, or shoot regular HDV, then when capturing the video turn on i.Link conversion and choose edge crop from the menu which will chop off the outer edges and give you standard definition 4:3. If you go this route then you will probably want to turn on the 4:3 markers in the viewfinder while shooting to help with framing.

I haven't done any 4:3 work with my Z1, but I sort of wonder whether it's the right tool for your job. If you just want 4:3 you might consider a VX or PD camera. I don't know for sure, but I'm *guessing* my VX-2000 will deliver a slightly nicer 4:3 image than my Z1...
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Old May 26th, 2006, 12:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Well 4:3 is a standard definition aspect ratio, so 720x480 is the resolution for NTSC (or you could switch the Z1 to 50i and get 720x576 but that doesn't make sense your your application).

You could shoot in DV mode and select 4:3 if you like, or shoot regular HDV, then when capturing the video turn on i.Link conversion and choose edge crop from the menu which will chop off the outer edges and give you standard definition 4:3. If you go this route then you will probably want to turn on the 4:3 markers in the viewfinder while shooting to help with framing.

I haven't done any 4:3 work with my Z1, but I sort of wonder whether it's the right tool for your job. If you just want 4:3 you might consider a VX or PD camera. I don't know for sure, but I'm *guessing* my VX-2000 will deliver a slightly nicer 4:3 image than my Z1...
Hmmmm. I was originally going to borrow a GL2 for the job, but I need to rent a shotgun mic and I don't have an XLR adapter for that cam. So, I thought just renting a Z1 with the mic would be the best route since it wasn't too too expensive. Is there a quality difference between shooting regular HD and then capturing with the edge crop vs. shooting on the Z1 in DV mode? If not, I guess I should just shoot in DV mode to be as safe as possible with the shots. I mean, this will probably be showing on more SD sets than HD, so I think I should be concentrating on making the best image possible for that medium.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #4
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Like I said, I don't work in 4:3. But I do shoot HDV and downconvert to 16:9 DV. I feel this gives results which are a bit better than shooting in DV mode on the Z1.

If you have to rent the camera anyway, why not just get a PD-170?
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Old May 26th, 2006, 12:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
If you have to rent the camera anyway, why not just get a PD-170?
I guess because I assumed that even if I downcoverted from HD I would end up with a better quality image than if I shot on a DV cam. I'm new to the technology and am only now doing the research needed to buy my next cam. This job came very unexpectedly, and unfortunately, I don't have all my ducks in a row yet. I wanted to use the best cam possible for the job, and all I have been hearing is "HD, HD, HD!!!".

I'm going to see if the broadcaster will accept a 16:9 spot. They didn't request 4:3, specifically. I just thought that since most people still have SD TVs that delivering a 4:3 spot would be the best. However, I should find out what they are willing to accept first.

If they need it to be SD, I will quote out the PD-170.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 02:00 PM   #6
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the only reason you would shoot in HDV to get SD, would be your ability to downconvert on the editing station, because the the HDV will give you something close to 4:2:2.
downconverting into the camera is useless, since you will get a plain DV signal and i am not sure you would really see a big difference from a VX2000 (for example).
You then better had to rent a DSR300/PDX100/XL1 with better optics if you really look for 4/3 quality.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 02:13 PM   #7
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I confirmed that SD would be preferable. Just switcched my order to a PD-170. Thanks for the advice.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 05:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Shane Coburn
I confirmed that SD would be preferable. Just switcched my order to a PD-170. Thanks for the advice.
It's not possible to crop the 16/9 image in your nle? One would think the increased color info would give the downconverted a better image than a pd170 anemic 4.1.1 color sampling.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 09:25 AM   #9
 
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The increased color info from an HDV cam would be significantly better than DV, no doubt, and same with cropping from wide to standard. However, the "anemic" 4:1:1 when managed right (and especially from PD 170's) is very much being used in broadcast.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 11:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
The increased color info from an HDV cam would be significantly better than DV, no doubt, and same with cropping from wide to standard. However, the "anemic" 4:1:1 when managed right (and especially from PD 170's) is very much being used in broadcast.
Hello Mr. Spotted Eagle (love that name by the way...) just wanna say I learn a lot from your posts here.

Anyway, you're right, it's unfair to call the 170 anemic. But here's why I say it, we've tried unsuccessefully to use a pd170 (and a dvx100) as a B-camera for a full size betacam. If you'd seen the attempt to use the two together you'd understand why I say it's anemic--in comparison to a $30,000 betacam with 2/3" ccd's, the image DOES look anemic--just as the betacam, if used as a B camera for a Viper would also look lousy. It's all relative I suppose.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 11:46 AM   #11
 
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Agreed, Brian. But rather than comparing apples to oranges, take a 2/3 cam shooting 4:1:1 and a 2/3 cam shooting 4:2:2. The eye will see little difference, although the NLE/color processing will see a pretty significant difference.
More to reality, take a 1/3 cam shooting 4:2:2 and a 1/3 chip cam shooting 4:1:1, and you'll find the same. But comparing say....a PD 170 to a GrassValley LDK700....isn't a fair comparison, even though they're both shooting DV.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 12:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
Agreed, Brian. But rather than comparing apples to oranges, take a 2/3 cam shooting 4:1:1 and a 2/3 cam shooting 4:2:2. The eye will see little difference, although the NLE/color processing will see a pretty significant difference.
More to reality, take a 1/3 cam shooting 4:2:2 and a 1/3 chip cam shooting 4:1:1, and you'll find the same. But comparing say....a PD 170 to a GrassValley LDK700....isn't a fair comparison, even though they're both shooting DV.
That's interesting. I suppose by that example it'd be safe to say an hvx200 shooting in dvcpro50 mode and then in mini dv mode, there'd be little difference visually between the two images--as that'd be an example of a 1/3" camera shooting in 4.1.1 and 4.2.2. However the dvcpro50 image would probably work much better for chromakeying. Do I have that right?
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Old May 30th, 2006, 09:36 PM   #13
 
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Yeah, I'd say you've got that exactly right.
that would be a good comparison, actually, and is one of the places the HVX could really shine.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 10:20 PM   #14
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This discussion has completely gone over my head...but I do look forward to deciphering it at a later date.

I ended up renting the PD-170 for our shoot last Saturday, and though I'm not at all happy with my ability to light indoors (I'm a much better writer than cinematographer), I would say the shoot went pretty well. I'm going to post the project up in the "Show Your Work" thread later this week. Thanks to everyone for your help.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 11:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
Yeah, I'd say you've got that exactly right.
that would be a good comparison, actually, and is one of the places the HVX could really shine.

Hi DSE, but why would the HVX200 "shine"? Aren't you saying the dvcpro50 and mini dv would look the same? Or did you mean it would shine in chromakeying in dvcpro50 mode?

Shane, sorry to have diverted your thread slightly, but one thing you might take from it is the idea of staying with HD and downconverting then cropping the image from 16/9 (widescreen) to 4/3 (regular TV).
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