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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old June 6th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #31
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Update

Viewed wedding videos done by friend, look great in the 16:9 mode. I can't believe I haven't tried this yet.

I fear it will be the darker footage shot in darker churches and reception halls that will suffer.

I have to say though, I am psyched. Going to do 2 weddings this weekend and they will both be in fake 16:9.

Thanks for the comments and for sharing your experiences...
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Old June 6th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #32
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BTW, I thought I saw a post of someone saying the viewfinder is not going to show what you get in the 16:9 mode. I don't see that issue with vx2100 or PD cameras, am I missing something?
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Old June 6th, 2008, 02:00 PM   #33
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Less of this 'fake' 16:9 talk Jeff. Nothing fake about it, but I know what you're trying to say.

If you're using the in-built 16:9 mode on the VX/PD the v'finders and side screens will show you the correct aspect ratio, so nothing to worry about there. If you used an anamorphic to give you 16:9 with greater vertical resolution, then you'd have to learn to live with distorted (horizontally compressed) v'finder images. I hate it.

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Old June 6th, 2008, 02:16 PM   #34
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If it is not native then it is fake, you will lose vertical resolution, it might not be noticeble on a small tv but on a big screen it will looks like a fuzzy mess, either buy a 16X9 camera or if not shoot it in 4x3.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 02:54 PM   #35
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Just a gentle no - it's not fake at all. 16:9 is purely an aspect ratio - nothing more. You can arrive at that aspect ratio any way you choose - letterbox, native, anamorphic, squish, pull, stretch - you name it. If it ends up 16 long by 9 high it's real, true 16:9 all right.

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Old June 6th, 2008, 03:26 PM   #36
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OK, thanks much guys!
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Old June 6th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khoi Pham View Post
If it is not native then it is fake, you will lose vertical resolution, it might not be noticeble on a small tv but on a big screen it will looks like a fuzzy mess, either buy a 16X9 camera or if not shoot it in 4x3.
Well if you want to be really pedantic (!), all DV camcorders that record true 16:9 don't. They all record either 720 x 480 or 720 x 576. No exceptions. DV camcorders are aspect ratio neutral. The 16:9 presentations from these will be stretched horizontally instead of vertically. Sacrificing horizontal resolution can be more noticeable than vertical since vertical resolution of the final display is *always* 480 or 576.

Even HDV camcorders don't record in true 16:9 - they record in 4:3 (1440 x 1080).

At the end of the day: suck it and see what works best for you!

BTW, how much do you have to pay to get true 16:9 imaging and recording?

Any camcorders that work in 2.35:1 natively?
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Old June 6th, 2008, 05:28 PM   #38
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Even HDV camcorders don't record in true 16:9 - they record in 4:3 (1440 x 1080).
I think you're confusing aspect ratio with pixel shape - square v oblong pixels.

Aspect ratio is defined by what shape a recording has to be displayed to make a filmed circle look like a circle on the display. HDV cameras are then most definately 16:9.

But, each pixel is then a rectangle, 1.33x as wide as high. The desire in video is to move towards square pixels, as with still imaging, as it makes graphics etc so much easier, and for square pixels we need 1920x1080 (or 1280x720).

Same with DV - it doesn't have square pixels, but the 720x480 or 720x576 can be either true 16:9 or 4:3, depending how shot. Interlace means it's much more satisfactory to have 16:9 chips, shoot 16:9, and derive 4:3 if you need both, than start off 4:3 and derive 16:9. The former means a relatively simple rescaling along each line (rescale the centre 540 pixels on each line to 720), the latter means de-interlacing, resizing and re-interlacing.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 06:08 PM   #39
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What I mean is that there is an argument (earlier in this thread) that the 16:9 from a VX2100 isn't "true" but there aren't any "true" 16:9 camcorders (in a realistic price range) because all of them record to frames that are not 16:9 - they all require that the final display device stretch the image in some form or other. HDV records a 1440 x 1080 image and this requires horizontal stretching to achieve the target aspect ratio. This results in less horizontal resolution than a format that uses a true 16:9 square pixel image. The image may be displayed with a 16:9 aspect ratio but the resolution isn't 16:9.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #40
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This results in less horizontal resolution than a format that uses a true 16:9 square pixel image. The image may be displayed with a 16:9 aspect ratio but the resolution isn't 16:9.
That may be true, but in PAL land and DV (720x576) neither 16:9 or 4:3 have square pixels. You may be arguing that with 1080 HDV the non square pixels mean it will have horizontal resolution less than vertical due to pixel counts - in practice the effect of interlace will mean it's difficult to draw any conclusions, and that's before we start thinking of lenses etc.

In practice what is important is the native sensor shape, though 4:3 from 16:9 is easier than the other way round, for the interlace reasons mentioned earlier. Use the 16:9 mode of a 4:3 camera and it's easy to think that the only resolution loss is that (for PAL) you're just blowing about 430 lines up to 576. In practice the interlace effect makes it much more complicated, and the circuitry inside such cameras is not able to do the same job as such as a Snell & Wilcox box.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 06:43 AM   #41
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Simple test or daft idea?

As I have mentioned in another thread distorted images caused by "wrong" aspect ratios drive me daft and I can't understand why most punters don't seem to notice. So how about this:

At the beginning of the finished product (DVD or whatever) include 5 seconds of a circle graphic, centred and nearly filling the vertical TV safe area, along with the legend "If you don't see a perfect circle, please adjust your set or your viewing enjoyment may be affected" or something to that effect.

I suppose it's a sort of disclaimer really.
Basic idea - show circle, and say why. Details not thought out yet, obviously.

Does it get three Xs from the panel or through to the next round?
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Old June 7th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #42
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HDV1 is 16:9 native: 1280 x 720.
Sony's EX1 can record in 1920 x 1080 native in one (or more) of it's modes.
A bunch of the new AVCHD consumer camcorders record in 1920 x 1080.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 01:34 AM   #43
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Colin - I do like your 'disclaimer' idea and I've often thought something like this could be included with my opening logo in some way.

I think you'd need 5 circles to circumnavigate the wonders of a lot of 'smart' modes on modern 16:9 TVs though (one circle in each corner of the frame as well as your bigger centre circle) as a lot of them struggle to keep the center looking ok, but only pull at the edges.

Horrible.

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Old June 8th, 2008, 02:53 AM   #44
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Stretching = retching

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
Colin - I do like your 'disclaimer' idea and I've often thought something like this could be included with my opening logo in some way.

I think you'd need 5 circles to circumnavigate the wonders of a lot of 'smart' modes on modern 16:9 TVs though (one circle in each corner of the frame as well as your bigger centre circle) as a lot of them struggle to keep the center looking ok, but only pull at the edges.

Horrible.

tom.
True - I forgot about that, Tom. I remember watching a horizontal scrolling text banner on a widescreen tv and noticing the different speeds the text travelled across different bits of the screen, and that made me realise that stretching wasn't constant across the image.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 12:22 PM   #45
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In the projects I have shot since I brought up this thread, the 16:9 mode is definitely less sharp, there is a noticeable loss in resolution, no doubt about it.

I am reserving this mode of shooting for well lit conditions...
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