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Old October 28th, 2006, 11:21 PM   #1
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Difference between 16:9 and full screen

Newbie here sort of to HD

Mainly what is the difference in area of a scene that is captured.

I have seen the wilkpedia examples but that still does not answer my question.

It seems to get the same amount of vertical area in the 16:9 shot as you would in a full screen shot, you would have to move back further from where you shot the full frame mode or use wider angle lens, since 16:9 is wider than it is tall. If I were to take a shot of a tree at the 4:3 mode and get it's full height in frame, would I need to move back away from it to get the full height in the frame at the 16:9? I read a little about this at another site, but no clear answer or one I understood.
I just seems that standing in the same spot, with the same zoom set you would get more horizontal area of a scene in the 16:9 mode but more vertical in the 4:3 mode.

Also, how much difference is there between widescreen and 16:9?

Is 16:9 the future of video or will 4:3 hang around for a good while as well(opinions please)?

thank you
Jerry.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 01:38 AM   #2
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Widescreen and 16:9 are synonomous terms... there is no difference.

There is no difference in image height between widescreen and standard aspect ratios... the difference is in image width. Therefore no need to "move back" to get the full height of a tree in the example you're describing. Switching from 4:3 to 16:9 changes the image width, not the image height. For examples, compare the 4:3 and 16:9 images in my article here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/canonxl2/articles/article10.php

Hope this helps,
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Old October 29th, 2006, 02:08 AM   #3
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If you shoot a scene in 4:3 and then switch to 16:9 you've added a mild wide-angle converter in the horizontal plane only.

Jerry - here in Europe 16:9 rules, ok? 4:3 sets are only available in very small sizes and anything over about 21" is 16:9 and has been for many years.

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Old October 29th, 2006, 04:41 AM   #4
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Wikkepedia shows you celluloid as examples on this. Celluloid vs Digital in this case are different. A 35mm piece of celluloid is dimensionally 4X3 then they extract the middle area to create the 16X9 image you see in the movie theaters (unless they use super 35 or shoot in 2.35 but thatís another topic). A digital mini DV camera can get a 16X9 image different ways. Some have a 4X3 chip and they extract the 16X9 image from that, giving you less vertical resolution but the same horizontal. Other cameras (like my camera, the XL2) have chips shaped in 16X9, and to get a 4X3 image they extract the middle of the 16X9 image. By doing this you get less horizontal resolution but the same vertical. On native 16X9 cameras itís best to shoot in 16X9. On native 4X3 cameras itís best to shoot 4X3. You can always, in editing, extract the area you want, that way without to many problems (but to explain the problems I would have to get into codecs and that not really ur question, and there arenít to many anyways). Anyways, shoot whateverís native for the camera.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 05:50 AM   #5
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The newer HDV cameras have large enough photo site counts on their sensors that this isn't much of a practical concern for them. I'd be quite surprised if any HD camera's 4:3 SD output is not at least on par with the best miniDV cameras. Really not something to worry about.

Will 4:3 be around? Yes, in the sense that people aren't going to quit watching good stuff just because it was done in 4:3. It'll always be with us to some extent. But my opinion is that 16:9 and HD are the new standard. We are alllllllllmost "over the hump" as more and more of the public (at least in Europe and North America; don't know about elsewhere) buy widescreen sets and more programming is broadcast that way. When there are $1200 consumer cameras at Best Buy that do HD, there's no denying that society is making the change. Best Buy has 'em now.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 07:42 AM   #6
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I would respectfully suggest that most of the responses you've got to your query are wrong, at least wrong in that typical hardware does NOT respond they way respondents have suggested, and instead do behave exactly as you posit in your original post.

There are two ways 16:9 can be represented on tape -- the right way and the wrong way. The right way uses the full DV pixel array (720x480 for NTSC) for image, and flags the file to tell the player to use a PAR of 1.2 to correct the aspect ratio so that a 720x480 file (16:12, when the normal PAR of .9 is considered) -- if you view such a file with a 'dumb' player that doesn't know what to do with it, everyone looks tall and skinny. The wrong way is to record a masked letterbox image to tape -- the file is again 720x480, but the pixels at image top and bottom are simply black, and the player doesn't need to change anything at all; presented with a PAR of .9 as would normally take place, the image will fill a 16:9 area within an SD (16:12) display.

Now the question of how the camcorder 'gets' this image: respondents here have proposed the camcorder switches to a 'wider' view; there is no reason why it couldn't, but I have not personally worked with one that does. Perhaps camcorders designed primarily to shoot 16:9 (HDV camcorders) do the reverse -- switch to a less wide view when called upon to record 4:3 SD ... but if so, they likely do exactly what SD camcorders have been doing when asked to record 16:9.

As you posit, the SD camcorders I've used (example PD150) apply an internal 'mask' to the normal 16:12 image area and record only the 16:9 'middle' of the sensor, apply a 1.2 PAR flag and record as a DV 720x480 file. There is no optical 'wide' applied -- in fact the lens would be quite incapable of doing this -- and if you were trying to get a full height tree in the shot, you would, as you suggest, have to back up.

So unfortunately, I find myself suggesting to Chris that he is quite wrong in characterizing the 16:9 as 'wider' than 4:3. 16:9 is a vertically less tall version of the 16:12 (4:3) standard, in any DV camcorder I have examined.

Cheers,
GB
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Old October 29th, 2006, 08:14 AM   #7
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I can switch my Z1 between 16:9 and 4:3, and the height of the image stays the same - only the width varies. If I do the same with my VX2000, the 16:9 is the same width as the 4:3 immage but has less height (ie it crops the image). The PDX10 crops the image vertically somewhat but gives a wider angle of view in the 16:9 mode.

So there's three different solutions to start with.


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Old October 29th, 2006, 08:21 AM   #8
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GB, that's because you're using "older" cameras. The XL2 and newer all do exactly as Chris said. Jerry is looking to buy a new camera.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 08:41 AM   #9
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It would stand to reason that an HDV camcorder -- which shoots native 16:9 -- would do the reverse of what a DV camcorder would do: a 16:9 camcorder called upon to record 12:9 (4:3) masks the sides, a 4:3 (16:12) camcorder called upon to record 16:9 masks the top/bottom.

So the answer is, as I tried to suggest, hardware specific. I don't know of any HDV camcorder that does other than what is described above (though never does the 'lens' do anything, IMHO) -- but in the mature world of DV, there is right way and wrong way, and even those devices that do it the right way generally do it by applying a mask. If the XL2 does it the way HDV camcorders do, mores the better for users of that device.

Cheers,
GB
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Old October 29th, 2006, 09:06 AM   #10
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The XL2 is natively 16:9.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 09:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Geoff Baker
Perhaps camcorders designed primarily to shoot 16:9 (HDV camcorders) do the reverse -- switch to a less wide view when called upon to record 4:3 SD
This is indeed the case with all of the current crop of HDV, HDCAM, XDCAM HD etc. camcorders that are available today... all of them have a target area pixel matrix that is native 16:9. The better standard definition camcorders do as well, such as the XL2 mentioned above. The landscape has been steadily improving, Geoff!
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Old October 30th, 2006, 05:29 PM   #12
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Wow a lot to digest...I had forgotten to subscribe to the thread, thus the delay in getting back here....I did not know so much had been posted to it.

Thanks to all for the input and help...Now i need to read it all over a few times to ingest and digest it.

Thanks to all
Jerry.

Last edited by Jerry Gordon; October 30th, 2006 at 10:25 PM.
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