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Old July 16th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #1
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HVX200: does it output letterbox into 4:3?

Hello all:

I've rented the Sony Z1U and I know that camera will output a letterboxed picture into a standard def 4:3 monitor when shooting 16:9.

Does the Panasonic HVX200 do the same thing?

Thanks!
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Old July 16th, 2007, 10:13 AM   #2
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Yes. It gives you three options.

- Normal
- Letterbox
- Squeeze
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Old July 16th, 2007, 10:36 AM   #3
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Gene, Thanks.

Much rather use my own trusty 1984 Sony CRT than a rental if at all possible.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 11:02 AM   #4
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Remember, you only have those options when shooting in standard definition on the HVX. In HD you are always in SQUEEZE mode and the output is 16:9, which will necessarily look stretched on a 4:3 monitor (unless the monitor itself can correct the image).

If you are shooting native 16:9 in SD you have to select SQUEEZE mode to record a true anamorphic 16:9 image. If you choose NORMAL it will cut the sides off that image to give you full-screen 4:3, and LETTERBOX will then cut the top and bottom off that 4:3 image with black bars, which significantly reduces your original canvas.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 11:29 AM   #5
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Yes, I will be shooting in SD... 480/60I and 480/24P.

Letterbox, with the bars top and bottom, works fine for me.

Having a monitor I know and trust for color and gray scale is still preferable to using an unknown camera AND an unknown monitor on the same gig.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 06:12 AM   #6
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I'm not sure the prior answer is entirely clear so let me take a stab at this: there is no aspect ratio conversion going on with the HVX200. If you're shooting 16:9, the output will be 16:9. You can't tell it to convert the output to 4:3 with letterbox bars.

If you're shooting 4:3 with letterbox bars, the output will be 4:3 with letterbox bars. If you're shooting 4:3 full-frame, the output will be 4:3 full frame.

So if you want to shoot 16:9 footage, the output will be 16:9, and it will look stretched out on your SD monitor.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 09:39 AM   #7
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George,
It's not advisable to shoot SD 480/60i with the HVX200. There are very serious aliasing problems with certain kinds of imagery. You will see staircasing on movement where there are contrasty diagonal lines.
Progressive is beautiful though - shoot 24P or 30P instead.
Panasonic won't tell you this but be forwarned.

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Old July 17th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green View Post
I'm not sure the prior answer is entirely clear so let me take a stab at this: there is no aspect ratio conversion going on with the HVX200. If you're shooting 16:9, the output will be 16:9. You can't tell it to convert the output to 4:3 with letterbox bars.

If you're shooting 4:3 with letterbox bars, the output will be 4:3 with letterbox bars. If you're shooting 4:3 full-frame, the output will be 4:3 full frame.

So if you want to shoot 16:9 footage, the output will be 16:9, and it will look stretched out on your SD monitor.
Well, I did basically say this while trying to clarify the NORMAL/SQUEEZE/LETTERBOX thing. Albeit not with clarity...
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Old July 17th, 2007, 05:51 PM   #9
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You did; I just wanted to spell it out a bit further because the original poster was asking about a specific feature that the Z1 has, and the HVX doesn't. The Z1 can shoot 16:9, but output a 4:3/letterbox version of that (i.e., the recorded image is full-frame 16:9, but the image sent to the monitor is letterboxed 4:3). The HVX can't do that, so I wanted to make sure the OP understood that clearly.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 06:47 PM   #10
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I don't think it could any clearer than how you explained it. You should write books on this stuff, I bet they would sell...
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Old July 28th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Yes, I will be shooting in SD... 480/60I and 480/24P.

Letterbox, with the bars top and bottom, works fine for me.
I wouldn't shoot letterboxed with the HVX because in squeeze mode you'll get a much better wide angle. Have a look at both modes and you'll notice in squeeze the focal length shortens quite significantly (I guess at least factor 0.8 compared to 4:3 or letterbox)
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