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Old January 7th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: New York, NY
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Anamorphic Wide or 4/3 for promo video?

Hello,
Another newbie on the boards. I've searched around the forum for questions like this, but found nothing.
I'm currently putting together a proposal for a new travel TV documentary series, and it's been suggested that we shoot a short promotional "teaser" for the show to highlight the style and energy we'll bring to the project. For both financial and practical reasons, we've decided to shoot it on my current camcorder, a PV-GS400. (Yes, I know, this doesn't quite fit in the DVX forum, but I could find nowhere else.)
I'd like to shoot it using the GS-400's "Pro-Cinema" anamorphic widescreen mode, which looks very good. Not HD, but good widescreen in any case. My partner and I have both heard about the headaches trying to get anamorphic to burn to DVD in the proper format, especially using iDVD. I may be able to upgrade to DVD SP, but not sure about that yet.
Anyway, my question is two-fold. Has anyone had success burning anamorphic widescreen to DVD using iDVD, or does anyone have an opinion as to the impact of low-def widescreeen vs. standard 4/3? We want to make the best impact possible, but it's just not worth the many $1000's to buy new HD equipment and peripherals.
Thanks for any advice anyone might have for us. We leave on our shoot quite soon.
Erik Hagestad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2010, 06:03 PM   #2
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In the UK, although HD is relatively new, widescreen broadcasts and digital broadcasting (576i/25) started over ten years ago and are now the norm.

Virtually all sets sold have been 16:9 for quite a time now, and whilst SD widescreen isn't as good as HD, the general feeling is that 4:3 is dead for new material. It's also worth bearing in mind that a 4:3 image derived by cropping from a 16:9 original is far better than doing it the other way round (cropping 4:3 to derive 16:9) because of interlace issues.

This all supposes that your camera has true 16:9 chips (sorry, don't know that model). If it doesn't, it's unlikely that the widescreen mode will be very satisfactory, unless done with an external anamorphic lens.
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 10th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #3
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I'm not sure but I don't believe the GS400 was a true 16:9 camera. But Cinemode was a good feature I used all of the time in my GS300.
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Old January 12th, 2010, 08:22 AM   #4
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Thanks to both of you. The "pro-cinema" mode is not a cropped wide-screen - it uses the full ccd (all 3 of them), and squishes the wide screen mode onto the full 4/3 ccd. The images come out very nice. Final Cut Express handles the format just fine for editing, but it does become a bit of a nightmare burning to DVD - iDVD won't accept it, but it seems that with some tweaking, DVD SP will.
Again, thanks for the help and advice. We leave in a few days for the shoot, so wish us luck - we really don't know what we're doing!
All the best,
Erik.
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