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Old March 19th, 2002, 04:48 PM   #1
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Alright, I've read the articles (on the watchdog), done some test shots, now I want some of your opinions. I'm shooting a feature with the XL1 and am curious of problems anyone has run into if they went the 16:9 route. I discussed the look of 16:9 with my DP, which both of us like, but I was considering shooting 4:3 and then letterboxing after possibly. As the XL1 does not have an LCD (although I will have a field moniter for some of the locations) I am concerned my DP who is operating the camera as well, will have difficulty with this. Any opinions? Any suggestions?
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Old March 20th, 2002, 09:11 AM   #2
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I don't have an XL1 so not sure. Seems tougher if you dont have the LCD. I know the XL1 has the letterbox guide lines.

I don't think it's any harder or easier which way you go. It'll depend on how you want to play the footage later. Do you want to play the finished footage on a widescreen TV and don't have an anamorphic lens? If so, I would go with 16x9 mode. It's not as good as having an anamorphic lens but you get a slightly better resolution then cropping in post.

If you are going to play on a regular TV but just want that widescreen look, I would just go with 4:3 mode with guidelines. Then crop in post later.
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Old March 20th, 2002, 03:32 PM   #3
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Mdreyes your thinking of the XL1's' (thats the camera with the guide lines). As much as I look for them on the XL1 they don't appear.
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Old March 20th, 2002, 03:38 PM   #4
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That's right. I have the XL1. No guidelines.
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Old March 21st, 2002, 03:15 AM   #5
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Only the new XL1S model has guidelines. There pretty handy!

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Old March 21st, 2002, 08:19 AM   #6
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fact or fiction?

-The problem with shooting this way is that the camera only uses a 1.77:1 portion of the chip to record video. You loose about 25% of your resolution.-

-The CCD chips in the camera are square, and so widescreen images are compressed when they are recorded. This will result in the loss of some pixels and a slightly grainier image-

It sounds like I should shoot 4:3 with 16:9 guidelines, but how does one do that while operating the camera, other than composing for the middle third.
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Old March 21st, 2002, 09:30 AM   #7
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not exactly sure what that refers to. It still really depends on how you plan to view the finished footage.

If you use guidelines and just chop off the top and bottom, you don't lose any resolution when you play on a 4:3 TV. You'll be viewing a letterbox footage with no loss of resolution. If you play on a widescreen TV you will have to blow up the image and so of course you will lose resolution.

if you use the 16x9 stretch mode...you can unstretch it in post and create a letterbox footage to play on a 4:3 TV. I believe you don't lose resolution here as well but I may be wrong. somebody correct me if i'm wrong. Now if you want to play that footage on a 16x9 tv you don't have to do anything. You just play the footage in regular widescreen mode. You will lose some resolution but not as much as the above paragraph when you blow up the image with your widescreen TV.

So, unless I'm wrong, you won't really lose if you go with the 16x9 stretch mode which I think the XL1 has? faking guidelines would be too tough. You would have to make sure the important stuff is in the middle third. OR I think there are addons that you can add to the front of the camera that forms like a box so that it hides the top and bottom portions. you can even build this yourself.

I would go with 16x9 stretch mode. BUT if you want a true widescreen image with exactly no loss of resolution and you want to view on a widescreen TV then you must use an anamorphic lens attachment.
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Old March 21st, 2002, 10:27 AM   #8
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I once read something saying you can use a maker a draw a 16:9 box

on the your field monitor screen, thus gives you some guidelines for

wide screen. thats if your going to crop the image in post to make it

appear widescreen on a 4:3 monitor...

though that might be helpful for doing so.
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Old March 21st, 2002, 11:06 AM   #9
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You want to shoot exactly how I shoot everything. It takes a while to get used to, but you can use the light meter bar as a close to the top cut off reference point. Also I use a field monitor which is taped off to be 16:9 which I am always checking.

Man I wish I had held off and got the XL1S!
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