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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:08 PM   #46
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Personally I don't think the lighting is the critical thing which gives it away that you didn't shoot "real" 16:9. I think it has more to do with the composition. 16:9 from the VX/PD series will look acceptable for closeups, and will look out of focus for long shots with lots of fine detail. When looking at a face you don't concentrate on every little hair and freckle, but in a landscape you try to discern details in a distant house or tree. Or at least that's what happens with me.
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Old June 28th, 2008, 01:42 PM   #47
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That does seem to be true. I did notice the loss of resolution most on long shots...
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Old June 29th, 2008, 06:16 AM   #48
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That does seem to be true. I did notice the loss of resolution most on long shots...
The resolution is in fact undiminished. The lens is the same, the chips are the same. If you watch a 4:3 TV and physically blank out great swathes of the screen, what remains has exactly the same resolution, contrast, colour, you name it.

What you're saying is if you 'zoom up' your 432 line image to fill a 576 line tv, then it will look softer. Quite correct - it will look softer, but the resolution is undiminished, as I say.

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Old June 29th, 2008, 12:01 PM   #49
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What you're saying is if you 'zoom up' your 432 line image to fill a 576 line tv, then it will look softer.
Even worse Tom. This discussion is mainly about NTSC cameras, so zooming 360 lines up to make 480. Even worse than that, since you're reconstructing 480 INTERLACED lines from 360 interlaced lines. Might not be too bad with a box costing several thousand pounds in a TV studio, dedicated to the task, but in a camera that costs far less by itself?
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Old July 6th, 2008, 02:19 PM   #50
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I just read most of these posts and found some of it amusing.

Not long ago I edited a job that was shot with a XHA1 (in HDV) & a PD150 (in 16x9 mode). During capture I downconverted, no letterbox, staying anamorphic for both sources. I only added a slight sharpening to the PD150 footage & CC'd the best I could to match. I was surprised they cut together as well as they did and the average Joe Schmo wouldn't be able to tell the difference. After seeing the arguments here about resizing. stretching, squeezing, distorting, etc., not one mention was made regarding setting the 16x9 flag during the encoding process of the anamorphic material. I cut on Avid, compress with Cinema Craft SP, author with DVDLab Pro. The 16x9 flag is key. DVD's automatically play with correct aspect ratio regardless what kind of monitor is used for viewing (provided the DVD player settings are correct for the monitor they are connected to)... a 16x9 monitor displays full screen... a 4x3 monitor displays letterboxed... both correct aspect ratio, the way it should be.

Did I miss something in the posts complaining otherwise?
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Old July 29th, 2008, 05:33 PM   #51
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well i would just like to add that 99% of wedding videographers in my area shoot with Sony 250's one has a V1 but only shoots in SD, As i have said in previous threads i shoot both weddings and wildlife video's and have been using the XLH1, this camera is awesome for nature films but for weddings you will struggle because of the handling of the camera, + the fact that nobody as asked for hd i have made what most people would call a backward step and bought a second hand 170 this camera is very good in low light and this is were HD fails

I will shot in 4:3 because all the 250 owners are doing so with no complaints and are getting plenty of work and thats what keeps the wolf from the door

HD and 16:9 will come but not as fast as people thought, the 250 is still been made and the 170 still costs around 2500 new still very much in demand

Ian
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Old July 30th, 2008, 02:50 AM   #52
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HD and 16:9 will come but not as fast as people thought, the 250 is still been made and the 170 still costs around £2500 new still very much in demand
Ian
That might be the case in the UK but in Belgium 4:3 is allready out of the question as 90% of my clients for this and next year have 16:9 widescreen tv's, half of them are already lcd's.
As for HD requests I haven't got any yet eventhough I have seen pS3 standing in the livingroom, for me that's proof people still not understand what HD is all about. That will change because the TV broadcasters in Belgium are pushing HD transmissions a lot since this year and the clients just need to be convinced by us. I plan to take a PS3 with me to my clients who have a lcd tv to promote and try to sell HD packages.
But this can depend a lot I guess in which country you live in and how much effort they have done to get HD into everybodies livingroom, for Belgium I can say it has started to take of quite fast since this year.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 02:56 AM   #53
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Ian - I read your post and felt I'd read similar posts before, and that all wedding videographers that expressed the same view about 4:3 were from 'other than Europe'. So I was very surprised indeed to note that you're from Yorkshire, England.

You say, '..16:9 will come but not as fast as people thought' and I'm just dumb-struck. I live maybe 4 hours away from you and there's hardly a 4:3 TV to be seen - in shops or in homes down here.

And look at it this way - how many of the wedding couples that can afford your wedding DVD services come home from expensive honeymoon and switch on an old 4:3 CRT? Not many I'll wager.

The fact that they don't ask for their film to be shot in widescreen is neither her nor there - they don't ask for it to be shot in colour, they don't ask for it to be sharp, they don't ask for it on multi-chaptered DVDs. They just assume all these things, as you or I would assume a carpenter would build us a wardrobe with proper doors.

So I'd suggest that you don't shoot in 4:3 simply because all the old 250 owners around you are doing so. I'd further suggest that if you told couples that you were planning to do this and that they'd have to pillarbox their TV images they'd go find another filmmaker.

BTW, do you indicate on the surface printing of the DVD that it's 4:3 material?

tom.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 05:24 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
Ian - I read your post and felt I'd read similar posts before, and that all wedding videographers that expressed the same view about 4:3 were from 'other than Europe'. So I was very surprised indeed to note that you're from Yorkshire, England.
"You had a 4:3 colour TV to watch your videos on? You were lucky! When I were a lad we had nowt but a 405 line B&W telly and that was for the whole street to share."

Sorry - couldn't resist.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 12:12 PM   #55
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I agree that the transition of HD material on disk will take awhile, but the sands have really started to shift with regard to TV sets here in the US. While it doesn't mandate HDTV, the imminent phase-out of analog broadcasts are causing a lot of people to buy new sets here. And CRT screens are getting very scarce in the stores.

Personally I think it's very short-sighted to be producing material in 4:3 here and now. If you make an anamorphic DVD it will be properly letterboxed on most players for those people who still have 4:3 sets.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 03:49 PM   #56
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Tom

Do you deliver HD to your customers on a blue ray disc!
or do you downconvert to sd DVD's
Don't new Tvs adjust the aspect ratio? well my HDtv does, and my friend who has the 250 played some 4:3 on it and yes it was not as good as the footage shot on th XLH1 but it didnt look stretched to me and i doubt Joe public would notice because it was of high standard

I have thankfully had no complaints weather it was shot in 16:9 hd downconverted or 4:3 sd

My point is why shot HD unless the customer has blueray, as you only downconvert sd for distribution

Until HD is mainstream seems pointless to me

Just my opinion
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Old August 14th, 2008, 07:05 PM   #57
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I live in both the UK and North America -- the HD market in NA is _vastly_ bigger than that in the UK. My cable system delivers something like 50 distinct HD channels in NA; my service in the UK a paltry few. My friends in NA have all got HD sets (not to pretend this is the norm); my mates in the UK ... a couple have HD, but most are working with 'widescreen' SD sets.

Much of this thread is bitterly opposed to the anamorphic widescreen the PD150/170 offer ... but claims that this is 'faux' or fake are just plain wrong. The camcorder records true 16:9 720x480 ... the best widescreen available in NTSC SD. Yes, it does it with an imaging chip that falls short of that ability ... but so what? Most camcorders, even in the pricier range, make do with less than the recorded resolution, and these budget performers are no exception. Good enough? I think so, and so do my clients. Claims that the camcorder simply adds black bars top and bottom are just not so -- anyone that makes such a claim has never tried, or doesn't own a widescreen set! I have a 16:9 widescreen SD set -- an odd beast for sure, but a legitimate high end Sony from a couple of years ago. The PD150 I have available delivers very good material for it, that displays properly in 16:9 without issue. The same material presented in a legacy 4:3 set does display with black bars ... but those are added by the set, not recorded to tape.

So try it and see. My opinion -- 4:3 is as dead as VHS tape, though it may take a couple more years before this is obvious in every corner of Blighty. And soon enough your wedding clients will be struggling to figure out how to fit their program into a spanking new 16:9 set without pillar box bars ....

Cheers,
GB
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Old August 15th, 2008, 01:23 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by R Geoff Baker View Post
Much of this thread is bitterly opposed to the anamorphic widescreen the PD150/170 offer ... but claims that this is 'faux' or fake are just plain wrong. The camcorder records true 16:9 720x480 ... the best widescreen available in NTSC SD.
Of course you're right in that the VX/PD shoots 'proper' 16:9 when switched into that mode, but to suggest that it's the 'best SD widescreen available' (even at the price) is simply wrong. A PAL PD170 shoots 720 x 576, but only uses 432 of those vertical lines when in 16:9. It is indeed the correct aspect ratio, but is easily outperformed by the much cheaper FX1 when that's shooting 16:9 SD material - simply because the latter uses all the 576 lines.

The PD170 'adds black bars top and bottom' but only on a 4:3 TV; on a 16:9 TV the 432 lines are interpolated to fill the 576 height - which can make the image look a bit soft. This does mean though that a 4:3 TV shows the PD footage at full resolution and sharpness - it's only the 16:9 TV that softens it (by stretching the image in both directions).

Ian - you say you saw 4:3 footage displayed on a 16:9 TV and it didn't look stretched to you. Well that's perfectly feasible, as geometrically correct menu options exist in all 16:9 TVs - pillarbox and zoom.

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Old August 15th, 2008, 07:00 AM   #59
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I don't know what Tom means by 'stretching in both directions' but let's summarize:

The PD170 records (NTSC) 720x480 in either SD (.9 pixel) or SD-Wide (1.2 pixel) ... in other words, the 'resolution' never changes, it is always 720 across the picture width, and 480 across the picture height. Recorded, not resolved. So whether you 'see' the same on your display set is clearly the obligation of your display -- a poor SD-Wide will only use the middle 360 horizontal lines to display the image; a good one will adjust the raster so the image is 480 lines 'compressed' vertically to only fill the middle of the screen ...

Tom's adjusted my meaning a little -- I didn't say the PD170 was the best device you could get, just that 720x480 (NTSC) is the best resolution you can record using SD. Toss an HD device into the mix, and the question becomes a little more tricky, as you have to balance the recorded resolution (which varies by HD format) against the imaging chip ability (which varies by device model) ... and compare that against the SD devices available. Obviously an SD device that had an imaging chip that was 16:9 might be better than one that took the 16:9 window from a 16:12 (4:3) chip and recorded that as 720x480 PAR 1.2 ... but you'd have to find one and compare.

The black bar note is important, because some in this thread seem to suggest the bars are recorded into the signal, but they aren't -- the interpolation happens at the recording stage, so there are no recorded black bars, they are added on output or by the playback device.

Is the PD170 the best device available? No. Does it make sense to shoot in 16:9? If your client displays in 16:9, then shooting 16:9 with the PD170 is a good idea, in my opinion.

Cheers,
GB
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Old August 15th, 2008, 04:31 PM   #60
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I don't know what Tom means by 'stretching in both directions' but let's summarize:GB
OK, the 432 horizontal lines are interpolated to fill the 576 horizontal scan lines of a 16:9 TV - stretched, if you like. This is the only reason the PD looks soft on a 16:9 TV.

The 720 pixels have to be 'stretched' out to fill the 1024 which make standard DV into 16:9, but all SD cameras do this.

Let's take the PD170 and the Z1 as being logical progressions in Sony's chain. We switch the PD to 16:9 and the Z1 to 16:9 SD, light the scene well (as the PD is so much better in the gloom) and shoot.

On a 4:3 TV both cameras will be equal (look just as sharp) as both images will be shown letterboxed. On a 16:9 TV it's a one-horse race, and the Z1 looks far sharper. I know; I've done it.

tom.
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