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Old August 9th, 2012, 07:42 PM   #1
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Another PD150 16:9 Question

Hi All,

Sorry to bother asking this, but I have read some posts about the 16:9 of the PD-150/PD-170 and have a few particular questions.

My clients for webcasts and community television are now requiring 16:9 footage only. I have been using PD-150s for my webcasts in 4:3 until now. Just wondering if buying an anamorphic lens for it will let me use it with a tricaster or other switcher and have the same quality of the 4:3, or will i still have lesser quality than the 4:3 mode. Also would the switcher or in my case a Tricaster be smart enough to tell the footage is anamorphic or would it just leave it as is and I would need another device to stretch it out? I would like to get more use out of these cameras, howeverI have considered purchasing more HD cameras. I have a few now that I use for other shoots, but their SD quality doesn't match that of the 4:3 mode of the PD150s. I do not mind spending a limited amount of money on the older cameras, but it's not really worth all that much, and definitely not worth buying more SD cameras that can do 16:9 properly since HD cams in standard def mode are almost unusable for me.

Any help would be great

Thanks
Mark

Last edited by Mark Chafe; August 9th, 2012 at 10:19 PM.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 11:06 AM   #2
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Re: Another PD150 16:9 Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Chafe View Post
HD cams in standard def mode are almost unusable for me.
How so? Even the worst HD pic down-converted will be vastly superior to a cropped SD pic. Unless you mean in terms of low-light performance.

But then there is the FX1000/Z5. Its pic is vastly superior in every way to the VX/PD, including low-light ability. It is a match in every way to the beloved PD series.

There is only one SD cam that does proper widescreen, and I think that is the Canon GL2. I believe that is mentioned on the other threads and is referenced in the Wilt article linked in the other threads. All the other cams crop.

Your idea about an anamorphic lens is a good one. It will result in a much better pic than the cropped widescreen of the VX/PD. But good anamorphic lenses are really expensive. For the price of a topnotch lens you can get two refurbed FX1000s. For the web I am guessing you don't need XLRs.

I don't know about the Tricaster but I imagine there is some setting so you can tell it to flag your 4:3 squeezed footage to stretch it back out to 16:9. It won't know it is squeezed because it is done optically, not electronically.

Then again, at web resolutions, none of this really matters, I guess.
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Old August 10th, 2012, 01:34 PM   #3
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Re: Another PD150 16:9 Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Chafe View Post
I have a few now that I use for other shoots, but their SD quality doesn't match that of the 4:3 mode of the PD150s
Most HD cameras can output a 16x9 SD signal over at least one of YCrCb component, HDMI or SDI. However, the picture quality may show aliasing and noise. These artifacts can be greatly reduced by changing internal camera settings. Look for noise filters, sharpness and coring. The goal is to sufficiently blur the HD image so the in-camera down conversion to SD is both free of aliasing and noise. This is a win-win situation, because aliasing and noise both decrease at the same time.

Note that blurring the HD image to obtain a better SD down conversion is counter intuitive to many people so you may find your camera operators resetting the camera and losing the good SD down conversion.
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