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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old July 24th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #1
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Masking VX2100 LCD

I have a wedding interview to do tomorrow, and the wedding to shoot Friday, so this probably isn't the best time to try something new, but I'm either courageous or stupid.

I've been shooting 16:9 on the VX2100 and now I'm wondering if I would get better quality if I shot in 4:3, mask-tape the LCD and put the boxes in while in post.

I just don't have time to experiment to find the right width of the tape for the top and bottom of the LCD.

I'm also using two VX2100s for the project and want them to match up without heads being cut off with the black bars.

Is this a rational idea or am I better off shooting in 16:9 mode? If I try this method, what width of tape do you use on the LCD?

Thanks,
Scott
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Old July 24th, 2006, 06:43 AM   #2
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My own experiments awhile ago indicated that you might get slightly better results cropping in post as opposed to using the built-in mode. But either way, 16:9 from the VX series looks pretty soft.

As far as marking the LCD... why not just switch the camera to 16:9 mode and make the marks, then switch back to 4:3?
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Old July 24th, 2006, 08:00 AM   #3
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I did what Boyd mentions above; get your hands on some Sharpies designed for marking dark surfaces (I went with metallic gray), turn 16:9 on, make four little dashes at the boundaries of the letterbox, then turn 16:9 off again and shoot. Somewhat imprecise, but it gives you a general idea, and gets you close enough that little, if any, shifting is necessary in post.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 02:03 PM   #4
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Thanks Guys! That was a nice simple answer, but I wouldn't have thought about it until next year!
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Old July 25th, 2006, 11:10 AM   #5
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Scott - don't do any prototype testing on a wedding. Go with kit and processes that you know like the back of your hand. Leave the experimental work for a calmer time, where you can back-track if needs be.

tom.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 11:11 PM   #6
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I agree. The picture is equal to VHS quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
My own experiments awhile ago indicated that you might get slightly better results cropping in post as opposed to using the built-in mode. But either way, 16:9 from the VX series looks pretty soft.

As far as marking the LCD... why not just switch the camera to 16:9 mode and make the marks, then switch back to 4:3?
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Old July 27th, 2006, 01:27 AM   #7
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Lou - you're saying the VX in 16:9 mode is like VHS quality? Then your VX has some very obvious faults or your VHS machines were a lot better than mine, and I include S-VHS in that.

tom.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 09:43 AM   #8
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I did these tests awhile ago, draw your own conclusions. I think calling it "VHS quality" is pretty harsh, but 16:9 is definitely soft looking, like everything is out of focus. But it will depend on what type of subjects you're shooting. A closeup of a face may look fine, but a landscape shot with a lot of detail will be very disappointing. http://www.greenmist.com/dv/16x9/
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Old July 27th, 2006, 10:46 AM   #9
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By the way, another way to shoot is to use 4:3 and the shot with a mask from the memory chip right in camera. I've done that for years. Big problem is you have to set it up each time you restart the camera. There was a thread about several months back in which people had posted serveral different aspect overlays to use.
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