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Old May 18th, 2003, 10:24 AM   #1
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Stupid 16:9 Question.

the DVX has a 16:9 mode, but i still havent tried it out. my question is, if you shoot in it, upload to premiere, etc, then put it on VHS or whatever, will it stretch the image to get rid of the black bars? or will the black bars still be present? because i know some programs and cameras have this problem of stretching it.

I never got around to using the 16:9 so i dont know if it will crop it or stretch it, so ive been shooting widescreen in my head, then cropping in premiere.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 10:51 AM   #2
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The review in American Cinematographer said:
________________________________________
Ideally, the DVX100 would have native 16:9 CCD chips for theatrical blowups, because 4:3 blowups are rare. The best work-around would be an anamorphic adapter from Panasonic or Century Optics. We didn’t test this because the devices weren’t available at the time. I don’t recommend changing the camera’s menu setting (Aspect Conv: Norm or Letterbox) from the native 4:3 format (Norm) to a “forced” 16:9 electronic setting (Letterbox). Letterbox on this camera, and most other native 4:3-chip cameras, means you’re not using all of the chips’ pixels; the camera is essentially masking off the top and bottom of the chips with electronic “black paper tape.”

http://www.theasc.com/magazine/product.htm
_________________________________________

On most cameras there is no advantage to using the builtin 16:9 mode. But the anamorphic stretching isn't a "problem" actually. This is needed for the footage to display properly on a widescreen TV. If your goal is just to letterbox it for 4:3 then it sounds like you're already doing the right thing.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 08:24 PM   #3
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Does not having true 16:9 really matter?

Im brand new to the realm of DV, and was wondering if it really matters not having true 16:9 on the camera. Cant you just mask off certain portions of the LCD to simulate 16:9 and then crop to 16:9 in an editing program? Correct me if im wrong but isnt this the next best way?
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Old September 16th, 2003, 08:38 PM   #4
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Yes it is the next best, but real 16:9 uses all 480 vertical lines whereas cropping only uses 360 lines. So you lose 25% of the vertical resolution. The progressive mode on the DVX-100 may compensate somewhat for this as compared to regular cameras. But you will still get higher resolution with a camera that has wide enough chips to capture a true 16:9 image. An anamorphic lens will also do this, but has a number of limitations.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 10:15 PM   #5
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Ahh now i understand. Thanks!
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Old September 18th, 2003, 06:51 PM   #6
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>>But you will still get higher resolution with a camera that has wide enough chips to capture a true 16:9 image. An anamorphic lens will also do this, but has a number of limitations.<<

Glad I stumbled upon this thread. I had a similar question to Dan.

Boyd, could you explain some of the limitations of the anamorphic lens?

Thanks.
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Old September 18th, 2003, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
An anamorphic lens will also do this, but has a number of limitations.
Distortion and no zoom-through, plus the crazy high cost of buying the 16:9 adaptor.
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Old September 18th, 2003, 07:26 PM   #8
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Thanks, Frank.
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Old September 18th, 2003, 07:57 PM   #9
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There you go. Also, they don't usually have filter threads, so you would need some sort of relatively expensive matte box to use filters. Plus, for me the biggest limitation is that you can't modify the field of view beyond what the adaptor provides. In other words, you can't add a wide adaptor or telephoto adaptor to the anamorphic lens. This, coupled with zoom through problems, really limits your field of view to a specific range. Also, the ones that are available for the Sony and Canon cameras cause vignetting at the full wide settings.

None of these things would be an issue for a camera with true 16:9 support. Caveat: I don't have any experience with the DVX-100 or it's anamorphic adaptor(s), these are just limitations of anamorphic adaptor lenses in general. FWIW, the Century anamorphic adaptor for smaller camcorders (37mm threads) is dramatically cheaper than its larger cousins.
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Old September 26th, 2003, 06:46 PM   #10
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Does anyone know if the new Century Optics anamorphic adapter is already available? Is it better than the other anamorphic adapters? What is the cost?
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Old September 26th, 2003, 07:36 PM   #11
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According to Ken Robings, an engineer from Century Optics:

"Work on the prototype should be completed sometime next month and production units should follow soon after that"

My guess is November or early December. However, this is a very high end lens with the excellent level of quality that Century Optics is known for (or so I understand). They are shooting for a retail price of around $2000. Hopefully it will be less than this but we won't know until it comes out.

Additionally, this lens has a very large front element. Currently, Ken states that the front O.D. is 115 mm (of course, this may change in the end product).

In other words, to use a matte box with this lens, you'll need a matte box that can accommodate at least one 4x5.62" filter. This means you'll need a good film matte box, which further increases the price of going 16:9.

With matte box, you could potentially end up spending upwards of $3500 for what is supposed to be - hopefully - the absolutely best but most expensive 16:9/AG-DVX100 solution yet. Of course, you don't necessarily need a matte box but if you're going this route, I thought you might as well go all the way.

Otherwise, check out this link from Saferseas. A cheaper route for 16:9 AND Chrosziel matte box.
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Old September 28th, 2003, 11:02 AM   #12
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For what it's worth, I'm in pre production on a documentary and have been calling labs to talk to them about tape to film transfers, shooting 16x9 issues, etc. and in those conversations more than one advised me to not go the annamorphic route. Their feeling was that, despite the advertising, nothing available in the miniDV cam range (such as in this DVX discussion thread, and elsewhere) did a good enough job (from a lab/tech point of view) to be worth using, or worth the price. They advocated that I frame for 16x9 and shoot 4x3, then adjust in post, which is what I've decided to do.
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Old September 28th, 2003, 01:47 PM   #13
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For what it's worth, I'm currently displaying footage shot on in 30p on the dvx (letterboxed 16:9) on a Sony HD 34 inch widescreen, and it looks awesome. I'm really impressed a what this camera is capable of...you really don't notice that it is SD DV until the camera starts to move, and some high contrast diagonal edge starts to stairstep, otherwise I'd come close to swearing it was an HD source.

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Old September 28th, 2003, 04:37 PM   #14
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Native 16:9 can be cheaper

> With matte box, you could potentially end up spending upwards
> of $3500 for what is supposed to be - hopefully - the absolutely
> best but most expensive 16:9/AG-DVX100 solution yet. Of course,
> you don't necessarily need a matte box but if you're going this
> route, I thought you might as well go all the way.

I spent less than that on my native 16:9 DV camera, the PDX10. It has some shortcomings of course, especially the low light issue. But if you are shooting with controlled light I think the PDX10 will give you very good images.

Also because the mexapixel CCD is oversampled in both 4:3 and 16:9 modes on this camera, you get the most jaggie-less image I have seen in the miniDV world.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 10:19 AM   #15
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DVX100A in-camera 16:9 and another "distorted effect" question

Hey!

I know that the majority of independent features shot digitally (Tadpole, Pieces of April, Personal Velocity etc) had been shot with a PAL camera and later cropped (losing resolution) to fit the 16:9 aspect ratio. I know that InDiGent Productions prefers this since you end up with basically the same full frame NTSC resolution.
I was wondering, is it a good idea to shoot with the DVX100AE (PAL) with the in-camera 16:9 option? The biggest advantage is that you could use a wide range of adapters (telephoto, wide, fish-eye and so on) TOGETHER with the 16:9 ratio, and end up indeed with a very decent resolution. This would save you the cost of the anamorphic adaptor, which is not pretty good anyway and plus, it eliminates the use of all the other useful optic adapters. Does anyone know of any disadvantage in using the in-camera 16:9 feature WITH the other adaptares (horrendous distortions, things like that)?

Another question if I'm allowed: I am looking to get the "Kubrick effect" of slightly distorted images using the equivalent of a very wide angle motion picture lens (you know, Clockwork Orange, The Shining etc). Somehow I have the impression that fish-eye lenses don't do the same job in video as extreme wide lenses to in film. In film, the image seems to "dissipate", to stretch to the sides (very nice effect), but in video all seems very rounded and ugly if you ask me.
What is the best lens to buy for the AG-DVX100A for this effect: an extreme wide-angle adapter or one of the two fish-eye adapters that are currently available (the one with less barrel distortions since the other one is way too extreme)?

Thanks a lot!
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