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Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant
The 4K DVX200 plus previous Panasonic Pro Line cams: DVX100A, DVC60, DVC30.


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Old January 16th, 2003, 09:01 AM   #1
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More 16x9 questions...

Hello all,

I'm getting ready to shoot a DV feature this summer (June-July), and I'm heavily researching my camera options. I am very impressed with the DVX100 and it's 24P Advanced setting for possible transfer to film later on. And I also know that there is an anamorphic adapter in the works from several manufacturers.

I have 2 questions:

a)Does anyone know if these anamorphic adapters will be available before June? From what I understand, If I'm aiming for transfer to film I'll need all the resolution I can get, and electronic 16x9 just won't cut it in terms of quality.

b)If the anamorphic adapters for 72mm cameras are NOT available before June, what should I do? Buy the DVX100 and use electronic 16x9 anyways? Or would I be better off with a PD-150 plus anamorphic adapter for image quality? Or even a GL2 with anamorphic adapter, since it's CCD's are higher res than the PD-150 even though they're 1/4"?

FYI- I'm aiming to have as filmic an image as possible, both in terms of the professional look (lighting, composition, camera movement, etc.) as well as the film look (frame rate, motion blur, no artifacts or jaggies, etc.) I'm not interested in the experimental "Full Frontal" kind of look for this project.

Thank you so much in advance for your feedback.

Jaime Valles
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Old January 16th, 2003, 11:06 PM   #2
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I would wait until 1 or 2 months before the shoot. Then see what your options are in the market. This will give you plenty of time to buy everything you need, and give yourself the time to familiarize yourself with this new stuff (cam & gear).
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Old January 16th, 2003, 11:12 PM   #3
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I saw this zoom-thru anamorphic adaptor at DV-Expo and it looked big enough to fit onto a DVX100 (you might want to confirm this with Optex):

http://www.optexint.com/digivid/xlanam.htm

Expensive though. I wouldn't buy anything this expensive without being able to shoot a test.
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Old January 16th, 2003, 11:17 PM   #4
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I see someone has already mentioned this in the "shoot a hole in your wallet" post. I'm not sure if what I saw at DV-Expo was the Optex one or the Century one.

It wouldn't be the end of the world to shoot in 4:3 and just compose for cropping to 16:9 later; you could transfer a 4:3 image to 35mm and it would just get cropped to 1.85 during projection.

Anamorphic adaptors give you more pixel resolution than cropping 4:3 but less optical resolution, so the net gain in quality is not as dramatic as you'd think. The look is "smoother" more than it is sharper.
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Old January 17th, 2003, 09:46 AM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by David Mullen : Anamorphic adaptors give you more pixel resolution than cropping 4:3 but less optical resolution, so the net gain in quality is not as dramatic as you'd think. The look is "smoother" more than it is sharper. -->>>

OK, that is interesting. I've never used an adapter, but from what I've gathered here they come with all sorts of focusing issues and potential zoom problems. I mean, I'm sure they provide a cleaner image, but is it worth the extra hassle and expense?

Granted, the shoot is 5 months from now, so a lot could happen in the optics world before then... One of the main reasons for my asking so early is I'm trying to make as accurate a production budget as possible, and a $1500 widescreen adapter will make an impact on the finances of it all.

I guess you've answered my questions. If an adequate adapter comes out some time in April or May, I'd take it for a test drive and see if it works for me. But if it doesen't come out in time, I'll still be OK for a transfer to film even without the adapter.

All of which brings up another 16:9 question: If I DON'T use the anamorphic adapter, but I want the movie to be widescreen, should I shoot it in 4:3 and crop in post, or should I use the camera's electronic 16:9 while shooting? I'm aware of Adam Wilt's explanation of why it gives you "slightly" better resolution if you shoot WITH electronic 16:9 (see this website: http://www.adamwilt.com/DV-FAQ-etc.html ), but does that still apply to the 16:9 of the Panny DVX100? I mean, the 16:9 of the XL1s stretches the image on the viewfinder, but the one on the DVX100 keeps it in letterbox format, with the black bars in the viewfinder. Does THIS kind of 16:9 provide better resolution than shooting 4:3 and cropping later?

Again, thanks for your help.

Jaime Valles
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Old January 17th, 2003, 12:48 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jaime Valles : <<<-- Originally posted by David Mullen : Anamorphic adaptors give you more pixel resolution than cropping 4:3 but less optical resolution, so the net gain in quality is not as dramatic as you'd think. The look is "smoother" more than it is sharper. -->>>


All of which brings up another 16:9 question: If I DON'T use the anamorphic adapter, but I want the movie to be widescreen, should I shoot it in 4:3 and crop in post, or should I use the camera's electronic 16:9 while shooting? I'm aware of Adam Wilt's explanation of why it gives you "slightly" better resolution if you shoot WITH electronic 16:9 (see this website: http://www.adamwilt.com/DV-FAQ-etc.html ), but does that still apply to the 16:9 of the Panny DVX100? I mean, the 16:9 of the XL1s stretches the image on the viewfinder, but the one on the DVX100 keeps it in letterbox format, with the black bars in the viewfinder. Does THIS kind of 16:9 provide better resolution than shooting 4:3 and cropping later?

Again, thanks for your help.

Jaime Valles -->>>


I've had much the same question, but have not tested yet. I have cropped and stretched the DVX100 image in AfterEffects with footage shot on the "THIN" setting. You'd be surprised how well this cam's image uprezes to 16:9. Usually, if you went for the additional vertical resolution you get by shooting "THIN" you'd have to apply a slight vertical blur before outputting to NTSC since most NTSC display can't seem to handle the res of "THIN", BUT if you're cropping and stretching the "THIN" image, you're essentially getting a slight verticle blur due to the interpolation and the results are quite nice.

Like a stated before, I'm not sure if there's any res benifit from shooting the letterbox mode then cropping and stretching so if you don't get any res benefit, it might be better to shoot 4:3 with the "THIN" setting, then crop and stretch in post. This will afford you the freedom of reframing shots if you didn't get it quite right, whereas if you shoot the letterbox mode your limited to how you framed your shot period.

If anyone has seen evidence that shooting letterbox actually preserves a bit of resolution due to less image information to compress, I'd like to know about it too.

my $.02

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Old January 19th, 2003, 12:46 AM   #7
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hey jamie,

i found this site today that will help you answer this question?

go to the site "www.zgc.com" and then scroll down the page until you see the heading "optex anamorphic attachment". click on the heading to go to the link for the info on these new adaptors. the list price for them is $720.00 and i believe they are ready to ship.

2nd i would like to know more about this film that you are going to shoot this summer. i ask this because i'm also in the same boat as you are. i trying to decide if i should shoot my dv film with this new panny 24 camera. like for instance what is the film/story about? where does it take place? how much is your budget?

thanks john,
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Old January 19th, 2003, 10:29 AM   #8
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John,

I had seen the Optex anamorphic attachment before, and so far it seems like the only alternative, at least until Century Optics and Panasonic come out with their rumored ones, hopefully before the summer. If anyone has any experience with the Optex adapter and the DVX100, please let us know how it works out!

As far as my movie goes, well I'm a little paranoid about talking specifics, simply because I don't want the idea "borrowed" by someone else reading these posts. ;) So I won't go into the plot details here. However, I can tell you that it's a comedy about a group of friends getting into all sorts of trouble. No special effects or alien invasions or explosions of any kind, just a good ol' fashioned comedic farce (think "Noises Off", doors slamming, etc.). I'm trying to make it look as good as possible without going the film route (for both monetary reasons and lack of experience with film), so DV is the obvious choice, having handled video cameras since I was really young (though none were digital).

Basically, I want to shoot and edit this on a budget of no more than $30K (it'll most likely be $20K, depends on who gives $$$). The whole thing will be on locations I can get for free, and if the actors get paid at all, it will be minimal (again, depends on funding). The camera front-runner right now is the Panny DVX100 for several reasons:

1) High-res CCD's

2) 24p Advanced (which, according to DVFilm.com is ideal for transfer to film)

3) Light weight allows for a less expensive jib arm

4) Has built-in XLR inputs

5) DV magazine's review of the camera's sound recording (Feb. '03) gave the DVX100 the "widest usable input range of any camera DV Magazine has measured"

6)I'm not really going to use different types of lenses, so the XL1s doesen't really provide a big advantage for my purposes

7) I've played around with it a lot at B&H Photo and Video, as well as with the XL1s and the PD-150, and it produces the most film-like images of the three, particularly with the cine-gamma and the 24p motion (it's really cool).

I'm interested in the possibility of an anamorphic adapter, but if it ends up being too much of a hassle or too expensive, I'll live without it. Of much more concern is the fact that we don't yet have a remote focus device for the DVX100 (see this thread: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5827 )

I know right off the bat that I won't be able to produce images that will fool everyone into thinking it was shot on film (certainly not the people in this forum). But I do think it will look good enough to have people not say "great story, but why did it look like Blair Witch?" My hope is that, due to the engaging story, people forget the medium in which it was shot after the first 5 minutes of this 90 minute thing.

So, there you have it. In the next couple of months I should be finished with casting and fundraising, and by that point I should start purchasing the equipment to shoot. If all goes well, this fall I'll get the editing equipment (hopefully the rumored PowerMacs with the IBM 970 chip will exist by then!), and then the editing will take who knows how many months. I hope this helps with your project.

And if anyone has any more leads into a 16:9 adapter for the DVX100 that doesen't cause vignetting or present too many focusing problems, please post!

Jaime
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Old January 20th, 2003, 09:44 AM   #9
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read the last few postings from this forum!

www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&postid=39276#post39276
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Old January 21st, 2003, 12:12 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Taddeo : read the last few postings from this forum!

www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&postid=39276#post39276 -->>>


Thanks so much! That last thread was really informative. Not to mention I live in NYC, I can go to DuArt anytime I want! I'm looking forward to a screening in the next few weeks.

As far as 16:9 goes, I'm pretty much sold on the DVX100 even if it doesen't come out with a good anamorphic adapter. The biggest question now is whether the DVX100 will get a remore focus device for use in a jib arm...
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Old March 1st, 2003, 07:21 PM   #11
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Hey James I dont know if ur still checkin back to this thread but...

I live in NYC as well and I enjoy working on as many projects as possible... I also own the DVX.

As an independent director my self, I know the value of having dedicated people to work with you on your "low budget" productions. So if you need more hands/minds for pre-production, production, or post production.... let me know how i can help.

-Emery

zzemeryzz@aol.com
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Old March 1st, 2003, 07:22 PM   #12
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oh sorry, I meant Jamie...opps

-Emery
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Old September 8th, 2003, 07:37 AM   #13
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I am having trouble stretching letterboxed footage from a Panasonic DVX100 to anamorphic, i.e 33.33% vertical stretch. I tried After Effects, but the results were disappointing.
I then tried using Photoshop on a still frame from the footage, and the result is spectacular. Obviously, either AfterEffects' stretching algorithm is useless, or I have done something wrong.
Could anyone help me please. What is the best way to stretch footage. I have AfterEffects 5.5 and Final Cut Pro 3
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Old September 8th, 2003, 10:47 AM   #14
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Check all your settings in AE related to interpret footage, output setting, fields etc. You might want to do a test without the stretch to make sure you are getting a quality file to start.
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Old September 8th, 2003, 11:07 AM   #15
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Thank you
I just discovered that the render setting in the render box seems to revert to "current settings", which is different to "best". Is there a way to default to "best"? Also is there a way to default to a particular Qucktime compression format, i.e. not "animation" which always comes up
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