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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


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Old August 22nd, 2004, 12:53 PM   #1
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Safety Areas Matte

Hi,

I have a DSR250, and the b/w viewfinder shows more than actaully shows up on a normal tv screen...

is anyone kind enough to make / point me in the direction of some kind of safety areas matte that i can use to just give me some indication in the viewfinder?

any help would be much appreciated

thanks
Romesh
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Old August 22nd, 2004, 01:39 PM   #2
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The problem is that every television set has a different overscan and scan centering.

It is very likely the 250, like the 150 and its family, doesn't show the full scan in the first place.

If you turn on the 1/3rds box in the viewfinder, that gives you a really good visual on where (roughly) 33% is and it is usually easy to mentally slice the area outside the box into 1/3 segments and only allow meaningful action to occur inside the box + 1/3 of the distance to the edge of the viewfinder.

After a bit of use, I don't have much problem with this.

I think you may have to take one of the memory stick files that came with the camera and then modify it. It is said to be difficult to create a new file although I have not tried it.
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Old August 22nd, 2004, 07:44 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : It is said to be difficult to create a new file although I have not tried it. -->>>

I tried this a couple years ago on my Mac. I was able to open the memory stick file in photoshop, edit and save it. But after writing the modified file back to the memory stick, the camera didn't recognize this. Evidently this is a Mac-specific problem. Wayne Orr was nice enough to post some instructions on how to get around the problem using a program called "Graphic Converter" from http://www.lemkesoft.com/en/graphcon.htm. Now this was awhile ago and I was running MacOS 9 at the time. It may be that the problem no longer exists under MacOS X.

Another little program you might check out is Test Pattern Maker. It only runs under MacOS 9, but it works in Classic under MacOS X. It creates a variety of test patterns, but the one which might be useful is the overscan chart. Drop the pattern into FCP and feed it to your camera and TV over firewire. You can see how much the viewfinder and the TV overscan this way. After noting that you could resize the test chart to 640x480 and use it to create the memory stick matte that you want by using Photoshop.

The only drawback to the memory stick approach is that whatever you superimpose on the image will also be written to tape. I suppose you could switch it on to check framing, then switch it off when you start recording.

All of this assumes you're using a Mac of course...
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Old August 24th, 2004, 03:01 PM   #4
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ahh damn, im on PC.

is there anyone that could send me the safety area file that i need?
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Old August 24th, 2004, 03:36 PM   #5
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Your PC should be able to read and write files to the memory stick with no problems, all you need is a card reader and they're very inexpensive. Sony included a free program for this when I bought my VX-2000... sorry I don't remember the name and never used it because it was PC-only. Maybe someone else knows? But I suspect that any PC graphics program will work fine for this.

Just create a JPEG file 640x480. Do a little trial and error with rectangles inside. Then load into the camera and see if they show on an external monitor. Or alternately, drop the JPEG's into your NLE software and connect the camera to the computer via firewire so you can display on the viewfinder and NTSC monitor.

Not really all that hard I'd think. But as I said before, not sure how useful any of this is because a memory stick matte will also appear on the image you record to tape and I wouldn't think you'd like that....
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