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Old March 1st, 2008, 11:17 AM   #1
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DVX100A 16:9 switching

I've been asked to set up a friend's DVX100A (PAL) camera when I go see him next week, with a view to him filming from now on in the 16:9 mode.

I've just been through his entire instruction book and can find no mention of an in-built 16:9 switching, though they do point out there's a Panasonic 1.33x anamorphic that's available. He's not keen on that anamorphic idea.

I'm pretty sure there is a simply 'mask it down and be done with it' mode, but I do know my VX2k did go noticeably softer if I did this. What do you guys think?

tom.
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 10:17 AM   #2
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The DVX100a is not a native 16x9 camera, so in the menu you would need to change it to the anamorphic 16x9. You can also do a 4x3 letterboxed. It's my understanding to get the best 16x9 you need to get a lense adapter which allows for no loss in resolution.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 01:25 PM   #3
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Without an anamorphic lens adapter, a 16x9 image from the DVX will be similarly soft, to what you've seen with your VX. Essentially, you are getting 360 lines of resolution (regardless of how it is recorded).
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Old March 4th, 2008, 02:34 PM   #4
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Ah, I've found it in the instruction book now. There's a simple 'letterbox' mode that blacks top and bottom of the screen, but there's also a 'squeeze' mode that distorts the v'finders, but is it technically better I wonder?
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Old March 4th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
Ah, I've found it in the instruction book now. There's a simple 'letterbox' mode that blacks top and bottom of the screen, but there's also a 'squeeze' mode that distorts the v'finders, but is it technically better I wonder?
It's not. The DVX Book (by Barry Green) discusses this in some length and compares resolution charts between the Normal, Letterbox and Squeeze mode (with and without the anamorphic adapter). With the adapter you get resolution very near 540 lines, the theoretical limit of DV (I'm paraphrasing from the book). Using Squeeze and playing back on a widescreen TV gives you at most about 360 lines.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #6
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Can I read Barry Green's words on line David?
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Old March 4th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #7
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Essentially, the CCD sensors in a DVX100 (or PD170, as well as most camcorders in that class) physically have a width to height ratio of 4:3, with effective pixel elements laid out in 480 rows of 720 pixel elements*. Aside from bending light on the way to the sensors (via anamorphic lens), the only way to get a 16:9 image from those sensors is to crop 120 of the rows (to 360 rows of 720 pixels). Regardless of whether it is then recorded in "letterbox" mode or in "squeeze" mode, the 16:9 source for the recorded image still comes from those same 360 rows of 720 pixel elements.

*That's slightly simplifying things for practical purposes of this discussion.
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