16:9 Real World Result with PD's and VX's - Page 19 at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old February 25th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #271
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This is getting to be a long thread. The question that started this thread was basically asking if a VX2100 was "the best" 3 CCD camera for shooting 16:9.

The short answer is a clear no.

The VX2100 is a camera with many excellent attributes and can shoot great images, but it is really a 4:3 camera. There are quite a few consumer cameras I would choose first, for shooting 16:9. Some of those megapixel consumer cameras have the pixel count needed, even when cropped on a 4:3 CCD, to resolve a 480 line image, wheras, the VX2100 simply does not.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 04:43 PM   #272
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Oooh yeah this is going to be a long thread ;)

Quote:
The VX2100 is a camera with many excellent attributes and can shoot great images, but it is really a 4:3 camera. There are quite a few consumer cameras I would choose first, for shooting 16:9. Some of those megapixel consumer cameras have the pixel count needed, even when cropped on a 4:3 CCD, to resolve a 480 line image, wheras, the VX2100 simply does not.
And it depends whether you need 16:9 or not. I would say that despite the pushing of 16:9, for several uses 4:3 is even better (top and bottom is needed more than the sides). For example several sports like ski jumping where they bring the person very large over the screen.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 10:39 PM   #273
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Georg -

I was saying that for 16:9, there are consumer cameras I would choose first.

I sure can't imagine any consumer camera being something anyone would choose for 4:3 shooting, over a VX2100 (unless you couldn't carry it where you needed to get it or something like that maybe).
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Old February 26th, 2006, 10:16 AM   #274
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But can anyone please answer whether it would be professional to use the letterboxing with my projects? Meaning that I film and edit in 4:3, then add the bars in post.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 11:38 PM   #275
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I guess that would depend on the client/target audience. If they'd be viewing on a 16:9 display, that could look a little cheesy, I would think. If you know for sure they'll be viewing on 4:3 SD displays, it will look fine.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 02:18 AM   #276
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Using VX2000 for a 16:9 film job

I have a customer who has hired me to shoot underwater footage with my PAL Sony VX2000 for a 16:9 job that will be transferred to film.

The VX2000 will not do 16:9 natively and an anamorphic lens is not an option so I reckon the options we have for achieving 16:9 are as follows:

1. Shoot 4:3 (576 lines) and crop in post production. This gives the flexibility to move the cropped area up or down for fine tuning of the composition. In this case I could mask the top and bottom of the underwater housing's monitor so I know I am composing shots correctly for a 16:9 result. Result is 432 lines of resolution.

2. Shoot 4:3 and reduce the aspect ratio ("squeeze" the height). Result is 576 lines of resolution.

3. A combination of 1 & 2. Some cropping, some "squeezing". Result is somewhere between 432 and 576 lines of resolution.

4. Shoot with the camera in 16:9 mode. This "letterboxes" the 4:3 image and gives 432 lines of resolution. One drawback is that the image on my monitor would be stretched vertically to 4:3 so it is not so easy for me to compose shots, but I can still work this way.

5. Tape the lens frame to mask the captured image. This is what the customer has suggested but would be difficult to do accurately. Result is 432 lines of resolution.

Can I ask you guys, are these options correct and which would you recommend? On previous 16:9 jobs I've just shot in regular 4:3 mode and I think the customer has just squashed the height (option2), but they may have cropped too.

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Old April 9th, 2006, 02:36 AM   #277
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You talk of 576 lines Nick, so I guess you're shooting PAL. This is a good start if you plan to finish with a 432 line 16:9 image, and I'd say this - go test out your various options, it really is the only way.

However, I like shooting 16:9 on my VX2k in the 16:9 mode - that way my v'finders both show the correct aspect ratio and I find framing much easier than viewing a vertically stretched image as on a XM2, say. But it sounds as if in your case shooting in 16:9 actually gives you a distorted monitor image - not good.

Shooting 4:3 is probably your safest bet. That way you can still produce 4:3 DVDs as well as mask within the frame in post. Have you checked to see if this post production reduces your picture quality?

Your last paragraph has me confused. It sounds as if the customer has accepted a distorted image just to have it in 16:9. Amazing. But then underwater things are a bit unusual anyway, so some one-sided compression might not go unnoticed by your average land-lubber.

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Old April 9th, 2006, 02:56 AM   #278
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On my VX2K, if I want to shoot for cropped 16:9, I add a mask from a file on the chip, and use MEMORY MIX to pull it up from the chip.

I like it because the mask shows up on screen, and on the monitor. I believe using that method, you get a better overall picture.
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Old April 16th, 2006, 11:54 PM   #279
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
On my VX2K, if I want to shoot for cropped 16:9, I add a mask from a file on the chip, and use MEMORY MIX to pull it up from the chip.

I like it because the mask shows up on screen, and on the monitor. I believe using that method, you get a better overall picture.
Thanks for the replies guys.

This sounds like my best option. How do I get hold of or create a suitable mask? Would it just be a JPEG of a pair of black bands (top and bottom) created in Photoshop or similar? What dimensions do I need (for PAL)?

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Old April 17th, 2006, 04:41 PM   #280
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16:9 Mask

Nick:

If you haven't done one yet, I have a file posted here:

http://www.makeyourfilm.net/downloads/DSC00027.jpg
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Old April 17th, 2006, 11:23 PM   #281
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Thanks very much indeed Chris.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 03:20 PM   #282
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Chris,

When importing that footage used with your mask, I am assuming that you import it as 16:9 and have a 16:9 project loaded to accept it, correct? Are there any problems you have come across with this? Do DVD players ignore the black bars? Any issues trying to go from that 16:9 mask to a 4:3 project?
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Old April 21st, 2006, 05:04 PM   #283
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I actually really wouldn't want to shoot in 16:9 on the camera...It's really not wide screen at all, you don't fit more information into the picture than 4:3, so you aren't actually gaining anything except for pure superficial cosmetics..True widescreen works because it's shot in a way that's easier on your eyes, it is truly wide in regards to more objects in the periphreal being visible, fake 16:9 just takes the 4:3 picture and squishes it...

For instance, if you have want a wideshot of a mountain with two peaks on either end, a 4:3 picture just wont do that justice, you need true 16:9 to fit in the peaks and the actual mountain top for it to look any good.

I seriously stay stick with 4:3 on the VX...
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Old April 24th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #284
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If I may add another option for shooting 4:3, you can do what I did: pick up some Sharpie markers designed for dark surfaces (I got some silver ones, and they're metallic to boot! Fancy lookin', lemme tell ya). Turn the in-camera 16:9 mode on, make four little dashes on the black plastic of your LCD panel that roughly correspond to the corners of the 16:9 frame, turn 16:9 back off, and use that for framing. Still leaves the problem of the viewfinder, but I find it's fairly easy to eyeball it with some practice.

Those familiar with the Memory Mix mask technique, let me ask you, does that mask get recorded to tape? I've been doing the method described above on the assumption that it does (with the mask on tape, I wouldn't be able to reposition my image in post, something I had to do for my DV Challenge short film), but if it's not true, it would certainly make for more accurate compositions.

Truth be told, I've tried the built in widescreen option, and I've been quite happy with the results. Looks pretty darned good, of course I've never been faced with a film transfer. The slight quality hit is hard to notice for most of us, with video on the web (small windows, high compression), but I imagine it may make a difference in your situation. And I'm no expert, but it's been my understanding that the VX2000 widescreen mode, while letterboxed on the viewfinder and LCD, is actually crop-and-stretch when going to tape (or through the cam's outputs); that is, the image isn't simply recorded to tape with the black bars, it's cropped to a 16:9 resolution and then stretched, vertically, back to 4:3. A 4:3 monitor will, therefore, show a distorted image. I suppose you may know that already, but based on the content of your first post, I thought I should chime in just in case. If you can get your hands on a 16:9 capable monitor, you should be able to use the built in option AND get an accurate picture for framing and composition.
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Old April 24th, 2006, 08:33 PM   #285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Wagner
Chris,

When importing that footage used with your mask, I am assuming that you import it as 16:9 and have a 16:9 project loaded to accept it, correct? Are there any problems you have come across with this? Do DVD players ignore the black bars? Any issues trying to go from that 16:9 mask to a 4:3 project?
Sorry, missed this post.

No, import as 4:3. It is still 4:3. Just has black bars. As I understand it, 16:9 DV is just cropped 4:3. Still 720 wide, but with tops and bottom trimmed.
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