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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old January 9th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #1
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masking the LCD

Iam going to mask the side screen on my 170 in a effort to get a better 16:9,

So do you set the camera to 16:9 and the mask the LCD screen to how it looks and then set the camera back to 4x3 and then use the masked area to frame the shots

Then what do you do next when you download into your edit system ( mines AVID Liquid 7)
i have heard you have to crop it, any help please
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Old January 9th, 2009, 12:12 PM   #2
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black bars top and bottom. if you crop it in post you could very well be defeating the purpose of masking the screen. just use some sort of generated media and set bars and you should be all set.

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Old January 9th, 2009, 12:41 PM   #3
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thanks Don

What do you mean generated media
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Old January 9th, 2009, 02:47 PM   #4
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I use Vegas to edit with and it has a "generated media" tab with various solid colors, gradients etc., in there. I just noticed you use Avid to edit with and since I haven't used Avid in close to 10 years I don't know if they have preset media but it wouldn't be to hard to generate media in photoshop or some other photo editor to pace on the footage.
Again in vegas I place a generated media on 2 tracks above the footage then use track motion to size and reposition the bars above and below the video footage to give me the cropped widescreen look.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 03:13 PM   #5
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Thanks Don
I think i no what you mean, Dose it look ok
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Old January 9th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #6
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to me 4:3 masked to 16:9 looks fine. I've never had any complaints.

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Old January 9th, 2009, 07:31 PM   #7
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On my VX2000, I've drawn little marks on the plastic bezel surrounding the LCD. I use metallic silver Sharpies, but any marker designed for dark surfaces will work. Turn on 16:9 in camera, draw the marks, then turn it off. You can now get a general sense of widescreen framing while still shooting 4:3 (to allow the use of deinterlacing and scaling software in post that produces much higher quality widescreen footage than this camera's widescreen mode can).

As for your editing software, in Liquid 7 just create a new sequence using the "NTSC 16:9" preset (or just right click the timeline and choose Timeline Properties), then right click your media clip, choose Properties, then in the V tab select "Fit X - Keep Aspect" from the Scaling drop-down. You can do this to clips already on the timeline or clips just sitting in a Rack somewhere, and you should be able to select several clips at once and do the same thing to change the scaling en masse. They'll need to be rendered once you make the change, but that shouldn't take too long.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 07:52 AM   #8
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so your guys are saying that the vx2100 doesnt have the same resolution in widescreen mode as in normal mode ??

is it better to shoot in 4:3 then postproduce 16:9 with the Sony VX2100 ??

all my footage looks decent in widescreen mode.

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Old January 10th, 2009, 08:51 AM   #9
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How good it looks depends on your personal preference, ultimately; the built in mode may be good enough for your taste.

The way it works, however, is less than ideal. It's one of many cameras (not so many anymore, but many of the same vintage) that performs the so-called "crop and stretch". Instead of simply letterboxing the picture, and recording the result as a 4:3 frame created by padding a 16:9 image above and below with black bars, the camera first crops the image and then digitally stretches that data vertically, to fill the entire height of the picture, resulting in an anamorphic image. The result is then unsqueezed horizontally in post, producing the widescreen result.

The problem is that if you use the in-camera mode, you're stuck with whatever scaling technology is in there, which in a prosumer camera isn't much. PAL users may get away with it, as their format has significantly greater vertical resolution than ours, but us NTSC users are scaling a measly 360 lines all the way up to 480. The explanation I always recommend is Adam Wilt's.

Software and hardware solutions are presently available, and continue to become available, that can do all sorts of different types of scaling. Beside the simple advantage of choice between algorithms, doing this conversion in post allows you access to the latest and greatest technology, much of which can do higher quality conversions than you'd ever get from a camera in this class.
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