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Old December 2nd, 2003, 04:43 PM   #1
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Cinema, wide function resolutions on DV-953?

I am extremely happy with the initial impressions of the DV-953 I received this morning. I have done a lot of research on this cam and the other usual suspects before deciding on the Pana, but the one question I can't get fully answered is the differences between the cinema and wide (16:9) modes (the manual is vague at best). Videos from this cam will be primarily displayed on 16:9 monitors. What are the pros/cons of wide vs. cinema modes, and does anyone have actual output resolution specs?

Also, thanks to all for the tons of great info I reviewed on this forum prior to making my buying decision.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 04:48 PM   #2
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Have a look here:

www.dvfreak.com/pana_mx5.htm
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 05:02 PM   #3
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What is meant by 720 X 576 in wide mode? Is 576 the lines of resolution? I find that hard to believe, especially since it would seem this is reduced from a full frame 934 X 768 (according to the stated specs)!
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 05:08 PM   #4
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Those are the CCD pixels used. See "slide show" link on the link I posted.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 08:34 PM   #5
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I've included a photocopy of the page in question below.

The 16:9 mode is what you want to use if your footage is to only be shown a 16:9 monitor. Widescreen footage is stored to tape squished horizontally to 720x480 in 4:3 and when your 16:9 TV is in FULL mode it unstretches the footage back out to 720x480 16:9. If you were to playback 16:9 recorded footage on a 4:3 monitor it would appear vertically stretched just as it did on your LCD or VF when originally recording. Unlike most cameras there is no resolution loss due to zooming to achieve this anamorphic widescreen picture. The DV953 does not offer a wider angle of view like some JVC and Sony 16:9 modes.

The cinema mode is what most cams have for a widescreen mode. It is simply black bars added to the top and bottom. This will allow you to watch widescreen material on your 4:3 TV with the same black bars top and bottom as they were on your LCD or VF when recording. If you were to watch this mode on your widescreen with the TV set to 4:3 mode you would have the TVs black or gray vertical bars along with the black horizonta bars provided by the cinema mode (not a pleasant site).

Also, you can ignore the 720x576 mentioned for the MX500 as its the PAL version of the DV953 and Japanese MX5000. PAL has higher vertical resolution than NTSC (576 vs 480 for a 20% difference). The NTSC DV953 and MX5000 are both probably 720x480 in both 4:3 and 16:9 mode with the 16:9 mode being vertically stretched.


DV953 16:9 page from manual

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-...Widescreen.JPG

PDX10 16:9 mode with wider angle of view

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-5/74415/PDX10.jpg
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 08:39 PM   #6
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This link may also be of some help understanging the 16:9 mode.

http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage...ding_16_9.html


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Old December 2nd, 2003, 08:48 PM   #7
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Here is what the Cinema mode would look like played back on a 4:3 TV.

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...3tvlbx16x9.jpg

Here is what 16:9 mode would look like played back on a 4:3 TV (notice its squished horiztionally)

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...ondisc16x9.jpg

Same 16:9 mode as above but stretched out by a 16:9 TV in FULL mode

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...16x9tv16x9.jpg

Cinema Mode played back on a 16:9 TV set to 4:3 mode

http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...516x9tvlbx.jpg

The last picture can be corrected by some DVD players to look just like the first picture by a downconversion process.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 10:56 PM   #8
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Excellent, Tommy!! (A picture is worth etc.)
Now, I am an expert! (An expert newbie!)
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Old December 4th, 2003, 08:13 AM   #9
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Tommy,

Thanks much for the clear explanations. If only the Panasonic manual were so helpful...
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Old December 4th, 2003, 11:13 PM   #10
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So basically, if you shoot in Cinema mode and you try to play the video on a 16:9 TV, its going to have two sets of bars? Can 16:9 TV's be set to display this image in a full screen view? Is this image of any lower resolution than the image shot in 16:9 mode?
I wish the 16:9 mode actually displayed bars in the camcorder's screen so you can see what you are shooting is actually going to look like. I guess, basically if you want to shoot for 16:9 TV's, your only choice is 16:9 mode right? The purpose of Cinema is just to give a movie like look to video that is indend for old style TV's?
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Old December 5th, 2003, 01:50 AM   #11
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I recently had a very inexpensive Sharp camcorder and I couldn't get it's 16:9 mode to look right on my widescreen TV unless I had the double set of black bars regardless of what stretch or zoom mode I used.

Quote:
Is this image of any lower resolution than the image shot in 16:9 mode?
Yes, cinema mode takes a 25% resolution loss as black bars are just placed over what you would normally see on a 4:3 screen. The 16:9 mode is of high resolution resulting in no zooming which equals no resolution loss and takes advantage of all the pixels in the CCD.

Quote:
wish the 16:9 mode actually displayed bars in the camcorder's screen so you can see what you are shooting..
Yes, that was one feature of the Sony PDX10 I really liked. I wish more cams with high resolution 16:9 modes would do this.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 02:41 PM   #12
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Just remember, if you are planning to encode to a DVD instead of a VHS tape, the wide angle would be a better choice than the cinema one. DVD players compensate for 4:3 TVs by squeezing the picture into what appears as letterbox. When you upgrade to a widescreen TV, the DVD player will unsqueeze it.

letterbox is old school for VHS and VCD. You might want to consider widescreen then squeezing and letterboxing in your favortie NLE for vhs output.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 02:56 PM   #13
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This info is great for an amateur like myself.

Let me make sure I understand this correctly. If I shoot in widescreen on the 953, playback from the camera or my computer through the dv bridge will "stretch" the image to fit on my 4:3 TV (which looks horrible). But when playing back the same piece from a DVD, the DVD player will automatically give the black-bar letterbox effect? If yes, do all DVD players do this?

If that is indeed the case, I will probably start shooting more using the wide-screen setting. I just haven't been using it because I don't currently have a widescreen TV and neither do most of the people who view my work.

Thanks for the great info!
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Old December 9th, 2003, 04:21 PM   #14
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AS far as I know, all modern DVD players squeeze widescreen into what looks like letterbox on a 4:3 tv. It's usually done when you setup the DVDs playback options. Sony calls it vertical squeeze since some of their 4:3 HDTVs will do it also.

And watch out for the whiners. The ones who say you are robbing them of part of their screen for playback. When they finally upgrade to a WSTV, they will be the first to complain about their old 4:3 video not looking right. Explain to them, DVD is not the same as letterbox VHS.
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