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Old August 5th, 2004, 12:29 PM   #1
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GS400 Widescreen Viewer Image Wrong

It would appear that this 1000+ camcorder doesn't show the correctly formatted picture when recording in 16:9. This is a real shame as the Sony 950 apparantly does. I wanted to buy this camera ,but will wait for the GS500!
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Old August 5th, 2004, 01:17 PM   #2
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This is a real shame as the Sony 950 apparantly does.
It would probably be better to compare the Sony PDX10 to the GS400 as the TRV950 has a much lower resolution 16:9 mode. Of course the PDX10 does correctly letterbox the anamorphically squeezed 16:9 footage but some have commented that due to the LCD's low resolution to begin with that this can make manual focus even more difficult than it already is. So that anamorphically squeezed LCD/VF image on the GS400 might be useful afterall although I much prefer the look of letterbox on the LCD/VF.
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Old August 5th, 2004, 01:42 PM   #3
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centuryoptics has an unsqueezer viewer but I think it will only fit lcds up to 3"- a shame because this is the biggest sticker for me also. However, Tommy , that is a good point of higher resolution to allow for better focusing ability
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Old August 5th, 2004, 01:46 PM   #4
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Last week I have buy my GS400; I'm really satisfied with the picture quality in the 16:9 mode, but I agree with Dom: the squeezed LCD/VF image is a disfigurement of this camera and a awful flop of Panasonic; I didn't realize that before buying and now I hope on a update of the embedded software.
Has Panasonic give some updates in the past?
Another flop (but not so awful) is that I can't use the photoshot in the 16:9 mode; this is my standaard-mode, so I can't use never that nice feature and I always see a distorted image!
Potential buyers have to realize that in there determination.
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Old August 5th, 2004, 01:51 PM   #5
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Anton,
Can you take a snapshot to tape in 16:9? I can do this with the DV953; however, cannot take a 16:9 to SD card. I believe this is due to the change in pixel size for video (1.2121 width to height for DV widescreen) versus square pixels to SD card.
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Old August 5th, 2004, 02:02 PM   #6
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FWIW, photo mode is not available on the PDX-10 or TRV-950 either when using 16:9 video.
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Old August 5th, 2004, 03:23 PM   #7
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I wanted to buy this camera ,but will wait for the GS500!
If you're lucky, it'll be a MPEG2 HD cam, with super-compressed 480 lines of horizontal playback...or maybe that'll come with the GS600? :-))
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Old August 5th, 2004, 04:15 PM   #8
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Re: GS400 Widescreen Viewer Image Wrong

<<<-- Originally posted by Dom Blake : It would appear that this 1000+ camcorder doesn't show the correctly formatted picture when recording in 16:9. This is a real shame as the Sony 950 apparantly does. I wanted to buy this camera ,but will wait for the GS500! -->>>

It is ironic that the LCD is actually showing EXACTLY what is being recorded to tape--a 16:9 squeezed image---just as if you slapped an anamorphic lens in front of any camera. (the 953 does the same thing)

It really isn't *that* bad though--you'll get used to it.

The thing is only narrower about 33% right?

Try framing the image with a 2x anamorphic adapter....now that is a challenge!
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Old August 5th, 2004, 04:40 PM   #9
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i dont understand at all... is 16:9 not view on the lcd correctly... how about getting the footage with firewire... it should be okay no?

it is only problem when viewing in lcd... so not big deal right?

please confirm.
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Old August 5th, 2004, 05:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
it is only problem when viewing in lcd... so not big deal right?
Yes, that is correct. When the video is transferred to an editing package and the software is set for DV widescreen, it displays correctly and will encode to DVD in the correct aspect.
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Old August 9th, 2004, 11:12 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Guy Bruner : Yes, that is correct. When the video is transferred to an editing package and the software is set for DV widescreen, it displays correctly and will encode to DVD in the correct aspect. -->>>

it's no big deal for me if the error is in the LCD only and viewed correctly in a widescreen monitor. thanks for clarifying GUY.
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Old August 16th, 2004, 08:58 AM   #12
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Played with a GS400 this evening and I thought this was cool.

Using the GS400 under HQ widescreen mode/ procinema and viewing on a 4:3 TV, the GS400 DOES correctly letterbox the anamorphically squeezed 16:9 footage. At the moment you press the widescreen button, the image that appears on TV takes a fraction of a second to convert from squeezed view to correct 16:9 aspect ratio (that is, from full screen to widescreen), and user can actually see the changeover from one mode to the other, while the image that appears on the LCD remains squeezed.

What I'm not sure of is whether this function is TV-dependent or not. The GS400 I played with is connected to a 21 inch CRT flat TV through composite AV.

Using the same 21 inch 4:3 and trying the cinema mode also, I noticed the black bars on the top and bottom portions of the screen appear wider than that of HQ widescreen. As expected, the horizontal angle of view is clearly wider under HQ widescreen compared to normal mode or cinema mode.

Does the 953 under widescreen mode perform in the same way when viewed on a 4:3?

I have a black mamba but have no 4:3 TV in my house to verify. But as far as I can recall, GS100 HQ widecreen and procinema modes appear anamorphically squeezed when viewed on a 4:3 TV. Can anybody please verify this?
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Old August 16th, 2004, 09:37 AM   #13
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Based on what you say, that letterbox is being generated by the TV itself. Assuming a proper, anamorphic 16:9 image, the vast majority of 4:3 NTSC TV's available in the US would not provide a letterbox; the image would appear "squashed."

Or perhaps the camera has a mode for outputting in letterbox format? Is that what happens when you press the widescreen button during playback?
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Old August 16th, 2004, 10:03 AM   #14
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I know most Sony 4:3 TVs (CRT tubes) have a 16:9 mode that will properly display an anamorphic signal as letterboxed with as much resolution (from their V. Compression) as the CRT can afford.

I'm just curious if this is something new with the GS400 as Boyd touched on.
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Old August 16th, 2004, 10:07 AM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : Based on what you say, that letterbox is being generated by the TV itself. Assuming a proper, anamorphic 16:9 image, the vast majority of 4:3 NTSC TV's available in the US would not provide a letterbox; the image would appear "squashed."


That's what I initially suspected Boyd so I inspected the TV very closely. It's just an ordinary Sony flat screen 21-inch CRT for the Jap domestic market (NTSC color system but different channel frequency), probably no more than 2 years old based on the round shaped design of the back portion.

BTW, the Sony HC1000 exhibited exactly the same correct letterboxed format on the same TV when I switched to widescreen mode through the menu.


Or perhaps the camera has a mode for outputting in letterbox format? Is that what happens when you press the widescreen button during playback? -->>>

I was playing under cam mode only, and outputting raw video directly from the cam to the TV through composite AV.
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