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Old February 14th, 2002, 08:57 AM   #1
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16x9 Edit Help for Newbie

Hi all. I'm brand new to this world but have been doing extensive research for weeks. I'm dying to get my hands dirty but have yet to decide on a DV Camcorder to buy.

I'm leaning towards Canon's GL1 right now since it's high end but cheaper than the XL1S and Sony VX2000.

Anyway, on to my question. I have a widescreen TV and I know the GL1 has the 16x9 squeeze mode which is perfect so that I can playback on my widescreen TV without any loss of resolution. However, my question is regarding video editing. I'm not as familiar with most of the popular video editing software out there but am just now starting to learn. Eventually, what I want to be able to do is transfer the 16x9 footage I've recorded on to my computer to edit. To edit on my pc the software would have to unsqueeze the footage of course. Once I've edited, i'd want to squeeze the footage back (or 'anamorphically encode it' is the other terminology) and either transfer back to my miniDV tape or onto DVD.

So, I'm wondering if that's possible with the current video editing software out there? If so, which video editing software would you recommend?

Thanks for the help!
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Old February 14th, 2002, 10:36 AM   #2
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wide screen

I have an XL1 and i shoot 16:9 all the time.

i use Adobe Premiere to capture 4:3 "squeezed"
though i dont have a wide screen TV i scale the 16:9 down
to fit 4:3 in Adobe After Effects,,to achive the "letterbox look" (though you can do this in premiere too.)

but for a wide screen TV i would capture the footage in DV widescreen format
which is 840x...something...and edit in that aspect ration then output it.

Premiere is good for this..
you can score a copy of the Demo version of Premiere on the Adobe website,
just so you can go through and get a feel for it..

good luck
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Old February 14th, 2002, 11:03 AM   #3
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widescreen

Thanks. I actually have Adobe Premiere and installed it last night. So you are saying I can capture my 4:3 squeezed video from camcorder into Premiere... DV widescreen format to edit it.

Then to get that squeezed effect back when I output, I can just output back in 4:3 squeeze mode? Seems like Premiere will do this.

I don't have a GL1 camcorder yet so haven't been able to test this.

Reason I ask is that the GL1 camcorder has either full frame recording or 4:3 squeeze mode recording. It doesn't do 4:3 mode with black bars on top and bottom.

I'm new to this, and trying to figure out which is easier to edit or if it's possible to do either way. Because maybe it's easier to have a camcorder that can capture 4:3 mode but have guides for widescreen bars on top and bottom like the XL1S. It may be easier to transfer that into a program to edit the footage then outputting it in an anamorphic widescreen format later.

Reason this is bugging me is that's one of the main features I'm looking for. I'll buy the GL1 camcorder now if it'll do the first way I wrote. If not, i'll probably wait.

I'm guessing that Canon is going to be releasing something new soon anyway. Maybe an updated GL1 version. Since it's been out for some time now and they seem to be trying to get rid of them.
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Old February 14th, 2002, 12:12 PM   #4
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sure if thats what you want to do...

Im not sure...do you want to edit it so it fits 16:9 on you HDTV?

or do you want to view this as a letterbox on a standard TV?

or do you want to not change anything and leave it as a compressed width?

any of these you can do...
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Old February 14th, 2002, 02:23 PM   #5
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dv

thanks again.

The 16x9 squeeze effect is what I want to keep.

But don't you have to unsqueeze it to do any editing with the video?

Damn, this is frustrating. Not many people have widescreen TVs yet so a lot of people don't know the 'anamorphic' terminology. For example, if you have a regular 4:3 video with black bars on top and bottom you can play this on a widescreen tv and use the full screen but you will lose some resolution in the video...because you have to blow it up horizontally and vertically. Whereas if you have a 4:3 anamorphically encoded video you do not need to blow it up on your widescreen tv. you just play it in regular widescreen mode and it unsqueezes the image. You loose no resolution.

It seems like I can do this with software.
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Old February 14th, 2002, 04:32 PM   #6
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BEWARE!

The XL1 and GL1 are NOT true 16:9. Why not? It STRETCHES vertically to achieve the anamorphic look, so there is a loss of resolution. If you watch it on a 16:9 TV it will look the same as blowing up a letterboxed 4:3 image. So basically you could shoot in 4:3 mode and just put black bars over the top and bottom and get the same exact resolution.
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Old February 14th, 2002, 04:41 PM   #7
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ahhh..

ok..i see

well im not too hype on the HDTV fromatting..but i do
know you can edit and do what ever with leaving the video at
a squeezed width. Im sure you can anamorphically fromatt it for HDTV
in premiere for sure...

about xl1 being not true 16:9..

Im not sure if thats exactly true..
854 x 480 is the true resolution of widescreen and im postive
that when i capture 16:9 on teh XL1 it retains the 480 heigth
and 720 width squeezed to scale ununiformally to 854...

so when you un compress it it comes out to 854x480..

correct me if im wrong but these are the specs.
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Old February 14th, 2002, 05:26 PM   #8
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You are not getting the full resolution your program indicates. It may stretch it out to that resolution, but it does not have that many individual pixels during the shoot. I recently shot something in 16:9 mode on the XL1. Upon playback before editing, it seemed a little blocky around some edges, as if it had been stretched. I was watching this out of the S-Video jack on the XL1 while it was still in anamorphic mode. When it was crunched down to letterboxed mode, the blockiness went away.

Canon needs a true anamorphic lens that's not just an in-camera effect. I'd like to see the image optically squeezed BEFORE it hits the CCDs. That's the way they do it for motion picture films. We'd get much better looking 16:9 video I guarantee it (that is if you are watching on a 16:9 monitor).
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Old February 14th, 2002, 05:40 PM   #9
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16:9

ahh...

i see..

that makes sense..

works for what i do i guess...
im just knockin down to 4:3 anyway

i heard that it will still transfer to film in 16:9 XL1
normaly even in NTSC. eventhoug it isnt full 840x480..

good to know though
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Old February 14th, 2002, 05:53 PM   #10
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Damn, that sucks. Why even have that feature then?

I think in the movie world everything is shot in that 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Then they do the film to digital conversion. Then they anamorphically encode the digital video and put it on DVD.

There probably is a way to do this at the consumer level? Guess it was too much to hope that a DV Camera can encode in anamorphic on the fly...I don't think that is possible then.

There must be a way to do this at the software level. PC's are fast enough by now.
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Old February 14th, 2002, 07:09 PM   #11
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I wish there was a mount so I could use a real 2.35:1 anamorphic lens. It is possible to jury-rig this setup by putting a theatrical anamorphic lens in front of the standard lens (which I have done). You then focus with the standard lens and also have a bit of zoom control. This method is VERY difficult to work with, though. You end up with a 2.35:1 anamorpic image, which is great for stretching out into wide Quicktimes for the internet.
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Old February 15th, 2002, 10:07 AM   #12
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True 16x9

I have to be honest, I'm still a little confused on how a 16:9 Widescreen Adapter actually works.

I'm really pissed that the cameras don't really have an in-camera anamorphic effect like I thought they did.

I found the 16x9 Widescreen Adapter off of centuryoptics.com but am still a little confused on how it works...and why so expensive? Anybody know a cheaper price for this adapter? This is the DS-1609-GL Lens specfic 16:9 widescreen adapter for the GL1
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Old February 15th, 2002, 12:35 PM   #13
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Those anamorphic adapters are not all that expensive when you consider that you have to spend around $10,000 for a DV camcorder that has native 16x9 chips, such as the Sony DSR500, JVC GY-DV700 and Panasonic AJ-D610. And that price doesn't include the 2/3rd-inch lens. "Expensive" is very much a relative term.
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Old February 15th, 2002, 01:07 PM   #14
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I asked Canon about this issue and their opinion is to shoot 16:9 if you plan to show it on 16:9 screens and not shoot in 4:3 and letterbox it on you PC.

There is a neat explanation about 16:9 on this site:

http://members.macconnect.com/users/b/ben/widescreen/index.html

I didnīt quite get what he really meant technically, but it seems to make sense.

Peter
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Old February 15th, 2002, 01:20 PM   #15
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thanks for the replies and that website did help. I was wondering if the in-camera 16x9 mode was better than post-cropping and this site says it is. Although, 16x9 anamorphic adapters are still better in that you don't lose any resolution.

Chris, guess u are right in that it isn't expensive compared to professional end.

Well, guess I can dish out the $800 for the adapter. I think it's well worth it. Ive had my widescreen TV for about a year now and there's just no other way I'd rather go.

Anybody have the adapter and have actually used it...any opinions? Do you lose any functionality with, for example, the GL-1 base features if you are using the adapter.
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