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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 03:39 PM   #181
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg Liigand
I tested now my VX2100 in both 4:3 and widescreen by having it connected to the workstation. I filmed an object with small detailed text on it and some other situations. There indeed is a resolution difference, but speaking honestly, it's so small that you barely notice it. I imagine that on TV there is basically no noticeable drop in sharpness.
As far as TVs are concerned, playback on a large HDTV is more likely to reveal problems than on a smaller 4x3 TV. I don't have a VX2100 to test with, but it defies logic that you could get good widescreen footage from a camera designed to shoot 4x3 SD video, and even if you could the angle of view wouldn't be what you want. And once you start comparing to widescreen HD footage there's no comparison, especially when viewed on a computer monitor or HDTV.

As I've said before, the fact that most HDTVs are widescreen format is arguably as significant as the switch to higher resolution. You might be able to get 4x3 SD footage to look okay on a 4x3 HDTV, and get true widescreen SD footage to look okay on a widescreen HDTV, but getting footage from a 4x3 SD camera to look good on a 16x9 HDTV is simply too much to ask.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 04:11 PM   #182
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Kevin, I agree with most of your points but not this one:

and even if you could the angle of view wouldn't be what you want

This issue has nothing to do with 16:9 vs 4:3. You can have both closeup and wide shots with either format, the only difference is the aspect ratio. There are still reasons to use both wide and telephoto adaptors on native 16:9 cameras like the Z1 and native 4:3 cameras like the PD-170.

If you're using a Z1 and switch to 4:3 mode it's true that the field of view gets narrower, but this is just the inevitable result of not using the extra space on either side of the frame.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 05:06 PM   #183
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Boyd: that's fair enough, but switching to widescreen mode on most DV cameras involves throwing away the top and bottom of the image without gaining anything in terms of field of view, so to get that you'd need to add a wide-angle or anamorphic adapter -- which further compromises your image quality. Point being that it's just too much trouble to try to get acceptable widescreen output from a 4x3 SD camera, especially when you can buy an FX1 for a little over $3000 and shoot great widescreen footage with no hassles. If you already own anamorphic adapters or a true widescreen SD camera then use those, but otherwise I wouldn't recommend fussing with widescreen output from SD cameras.
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Old November 22nd, 2005, 09:45 PM   #184
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On the DV website (DV Magazine) there's 3 hours of Adam Wilt discussing cameras, how to get the most out of them. He goes into SD 16x9 with various test charts. The PD-150 (same chip as 170) was clearly the worst on the test charts BUT he said we dont' shoot test charts. He said it's very hard to tell the difference with "real world" material for most people. A an experienced viewer will know but the differences aren't too obvious otherwise to most people unless they know what to look for or can see things side by side.

No not recommended to shot 16x9 but I've done it when clients ask and they're always happy with the results.

Apparently clients are happy even though there are artifact issues with HDV on fast motion too.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 11:08 AM   #185
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Thanks a lot for the good information.

I'm not a 16:9 fan at all, but simply a bit afraid that for how long will the 4:3 ratio live from today. VX2100 is a top-notch camera and I'm satisfied without doubt, I'm just wondering how many years it will take till 4:3 is for example not acceptable in TV anymore.

I hope that I will be able to continue using my camera for professional work when 16:9 becomes a standard and if I will still have the VX2100.
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Old November 24th, 2005, 12:53 AM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg Liigand
I'm just wondering how many years it will take till 4:3 is for example not acceptable in TV anymore.
That's up to you and your customers. Personally I'd be reluctant to deliver marginal widescreen footage to someone with a large HDTV display, and that's going to become an increasingly common viewing situation in the future. One thing you could do is test some of your own footage on the best HDTV display you can find, and decide for yourself whether it looks okay on that.
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Old November 24th, 2005, 03:21 AM   #187
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True. I don't know any friends who own a HDTV yet, but I will have to do some more research.

Some of your words made me thinking: "that's going to become an increasingly common viewing situation in the future". We are saying future, but nobody probably knows how near or far it really is. Maybe it will take about 5 years and by then Sony will certainly have new HD cameras released.
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Old November 24th, 2005, 05:02 AM   #188
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The team who film the production diaries are using a mixture of Sony gear. The 'DVD Crew' have primarily used the FX1 and PD's.
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Old November 24th, 2005, 04:27 PM   #189
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Oh, thanks for this information. Do you know if they really use PD170 in the widescreen mode then?
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Old November 25th, 2005, 11:38 AM   #190
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It's interesting to note that the BBC were happy for their PD150/170 cameras to shoot in the 16:9 mode (PAL only, and no anamorphic) whereas they would not accept footage shot 16:9 if it came from the XL1-s or the DVX100.

Of course that's all changed now with the mass introduction of the Z1.

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Old November 25th, 2005, 12:07 PM   #191
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Pretty interesting... thanks for pointing this out. They probably did the same with VX2000's as well then.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 12:57 PM   #192
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After a little digging around I found the BBC report on the Z1 that was posted here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....24&postcount=1

Specifically regarding the PD-170 vs HVR-Z1 in 16:9 mode:

Quote:
Improved picture quality due to new image sensor and better lens. The Z1 shoots true 16:9 pictures - this means an end to the need for high quality aspect ratio conversion ('arcing'), or use of the alternative poor quality in-camera widescreen setting.
This is part of the following thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?p=284924

Also an interesting comment by Richard Entwistle there:

Quote:
I am wanting DV widescreen and was pleased to see the BBC calling the PD150 in-camera WS 'poor quality'. Earlier BBC guidelines suggested it was 'just acceptable'. Technology moves on and so does the quality bar. I was hoping to use my PD150 but that is a no-no for sure.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 03:34 PM   #193
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Nice! Thanks for sharing.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 06:51 PM   #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georg Liigand
We are saying future, but nobody probably knows how near or far it really is. Maybe it will take about 5 years and by then Sony will certainly have new HD cameras released.
Again, that all depends on your client base. Where I live many people already own HDTVs, and that number is increasing steadily. So depending on how you look at it, the time to at least start shooting widescreen video is now, and if you can shoot in high-definition so much the better.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 09:45 PM   #195
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16:9 on my VX-2000 isn't too bad on some shots but it's just horrible on othes. In particular: interior closeups of faces look pretty good while landscape shots of tree leaves look absolutely horrible.

I tried an anamorphic lens and gave up on it. It was just too impractical to use for the run and gun stuff I do.

My new HVR-A1 looks much better in 16:9. I gave up a little (well quite a bit) of low light ability, but gained everywhere else.
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