16:9 Real World Result with PD's and VX's - Page 25 at DVinfo.net

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


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Old July 25th, 2007, 11:19 AM   #361
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The previous posters are misleading ...

The Sony VX 16:9 camcorders shoot anamorphic 16:9 video using the full recording height of 480 pixels, with a PAR of 1.3 to give you the proper display on a widescreen set, or a tall stretched image if presented on a 4:3 set. This is proper, true 16:9 ... and could only be improved if the imaging chips on the camcorder offered a higher resolution. But you could make that argument about any aspect of the camcorder ... 'it would be better if ...'

True SD widescreen is 720x480 with a PAR of 1.3 and that is what the VX family records. The alternative or faux widescreen is the letterbox to tape variety, which records only 360 vertical of image and an additional 120 vertical of black, using a PAR of .9

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GB
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Old July 25th, 2007, 06:16 PM   #362
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While the image may be recorded 480 pixels tall, my understanding is that it's being re-sampled from the center 360 lines. So it's really only a vertical resolution of 360.

But don't believe me. Just try it and you'll see. Be sure to watch the footage on a widescreen HDTV and the difference will be obvious. It's even obvious on the LCD screen of the cam as you're shooting -- it simply crops off the top and bottom. It does not do an anamorphic squeeze to add more picture from the sides, or show a letterboxed image with the same vertical information and more picture on the sides. (At a given focal length, a widescreen picture would by definition be, um, wider, i.e. have more horizontal information.)

Just because the picture is digitally stretched vertically to fill a 4:3 frame on some 4:3 TVs does not mean it's being shot anamorphically.

The last sentence of the previous post is exactly what the VX family does. It has no anamorphic ability at all. You could, of course, buy an anamorphic add-on lens, but they're not cheap and by the time you were done paying for it you could have had another A1 -- or at least an FX7.

Here are some previous threads on the subject:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...escreen+vx2100

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...escreen+vx2100

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...escreen+vx2100

More persuasively, here are Adam Wilt's articles on the subject, where he specifically notes how 16:9 works on the VX and PD series, but notes that the PDX's are different:

http://www.adamwilt.com/DV-FAQ-etc.html

http://www.dv.com/columns/columns_it...cleId=59100233
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Old July 25th, 2007, 06:48 PM   #363
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This issue has been discussed in many thread in this forum. Most recently, I started one, about real world results. There was a lively discussion about the issues, and comparisons with other cameras. Check it out at:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=88405
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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:34 PM   #364
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I remember that thread, and my results, as I noted above, were similar to yours, in that showing the results letterboxed on a regular TV weren't bad, and the quality loss only really becomes apparent on a big 16:9 TV.

And here are a few more threads from other forums (fora?):

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/bbs/t58307.html

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/bbs/t45850.html

I especially like this one because of the poster who swears up and down that "...the Sony VX2000 and VX2100 both shoot in native anamorphic 16:9 widescreen mode" until he actually gets one and checks it out, and then rapidly changes his tune to "Throw in a digital stretching algorithm for anamorphics and call it a "true 16:9 camcorder". Phooey":

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/bbs/t33995.html

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/bbs/t36603.html

...and there are tons more if you just do a search on any forum. Really, the only disappointment on an otherwise great camera. I still can't bear to part with my VX2000, even though I can't use it for anything now that I only do widescreen stuff.
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Old July 25th, 2007, 07:51 PM   #365
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Thanks for the links -- Adam clearly describes the VX family as anamorphic, as do I.

Could it be better? Sure, with better chips.

Is it anamorphic? Yes, just like Adam says.

Cheers,
GB
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Old July 25th, 2007, 11:50 PM   #366
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The point is it doesn't use the whole chip and you're still getting only 360 lines, not much better than VHS...

And you're not shooting anamorphic, only recording that way. So it's not true anamorphic, true 16:9, true widescreen or true anything else except cropped 4:3.

It would be tragic if anyone bought one of these expecting to be able to cut its tape with that of any native 16:9 HDV cam, even in SD DV mode. I'm not sure how anyone could read the phrases "does not do an anamorphic squeeze," "does not mean it's being shot anamorphically," and "has no anamorphic ability at all," and say they could be interpreted as describing "the VX family as anamorphic."
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Old July 26th, 2007, 03:09 AM   #367
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The PAL VX just about gives acceptable 16:9 results. In fact on a big Trinirton Sony TV (4:3) it intercuts very well with Z1 16:9 footage, but that's really because the TV itself is masking down the full 576 lines to 430.

It's a suck-it-and-see situation, but the VX/PD is one of the better cameras anyway, with a fine lens, big chips and clean processing - great starting blocks. Also, when switched to 16:9 the v'finders are letterboxed, unlike a lot of Canons where you must compose with ellipically wheeled cars and tall thin people - not very helpful for composers like ourselves.

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Old July 26th, 2007, 03:55 AM   #368
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The reference to VHS is just odd -- it deliver something like 360 lines of horizontal resolution, no where near the resolution achieved by a format with 720 pixels horizontal ... this has nothing to do with the vertical resolution as I'm sure you know.

And for those that don't want to read Adam themselves, I quote:
"Many cameras have a 16:9 switch, which when activated results in either a "letterboxed" image and/or an anamorphically-stretched image ..."

Not much wiggle room there -- and the VX family is the latter.

I repeat -- there is better. And I stand on the facts: The VX is anamorphic, and compares favourably to all but the camcorders that offer a native imaging chip that exceeds 720x480 ...

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Old July 26th, 2007, 02:33 PM   #369
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Geoff Baker View Post
...the VX family is the latter.
No, it's the former. Wilt makes this clear, and the referenced threads draw a clear distinction between the Sony and Canon methods, especially in the later Canons.

But we're getting hung up on semantics here. The original question was about whether you could shoot decent widescreen with the VX, whether it is "true 16:9 like the XL2 shoots" and whether it would cut well with tape from the Canon. And the answer, quite clearly and definitively in (almost) everyone's opinion, and supported by real measurable data, is no.
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Old July 26th, 2007, 08:28 PM   #370
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I'm not trying to argue, but it is most definitely the latter -- the VX family does not shoot letterboxed video (4:3 video with black bars top and bottom), it shoots anamorphically stretched video. And until the XL2 came along, it did the best job in class --

Adam is clear on this, and anyone that uses the VX camcorders doubtless gets it too.

Everyone will get confused if the facts are mis presented.

GB
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Old August 25th, 2007, 12:39 AM   #371
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What is the point in letterboxing?

I don't get why anyone would letterbox WS video at all. What for? The end result is a DVD, right? All DVD players are able to play both WS and standard titles, all one needs to do is properly set up the display device, whether it is a WS TV or a standard TV.

Then the player will do proper conversion itself. In particular, a DVD player will automatically letterbox WS footage for a standard TV.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 01:16 AM   #372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
What I have experienced though, is that when I output this material after editing to DVD, and play it on a standard definition television, the difference between a dedicated 16:9 chip camera and the PD is much less obvious.
Chris: the problem here is what happens when you play that same footage on a good HDTV, which is what many people are using now. In that scenario you should see a difference between widescreen footage from a 4:3 DV camera and widescreen footage from a proper widescreen/HD camera.

If you'd like you can swing by my place out in Folsom sometime and we can try your footage on a 1080p set here. Also, drop me a line if you'd like some info about the Sacramento area videographer meeting next month. We'll be posting our next meeting info soon at www.spva.info
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Old August 26th, 2007, 12:29 AM   #373
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Hi Kevin:

Didn't realize this thread got resurrected. Yeah, definite difference at that level for sure. Since I started this thread, I've purchase a 1080i 32" cheapy to actually hang in my editing room. The difference starts showing up at that level. My comments were pointed at standard SD delivery, of course. Big difference when you are throwing it up on a digital delivery high definition monitor. Would love to get a look at your 1080p set up, as well as meet you.....


My VX2000 sees less and less action these days, as I have been doing a lot of 35mm adapter type stuff. I m using both the FX1 and the Canon HV20. Did a couple of 48Hour Films one with a local guy who is a pretty good director, and one on my own as director, editor, camera man, sound man and, chief cook, and bottle washer. Made me very tired :)

I know we talked about SPVA a year or more back, but I never got around to hooking up with you on that. Kind of felt this was more about you guys in the trenches every days... but I'd love to come to a meeting see what you are up to these days....
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Old December 10th, 2007, 03:44 PM   #374
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Was reading BBC Training docs, came across this one: "How to Shoot Widescreen on Small Cameras", find it here: http://www.bbctraining.com/onlineCou...=5173&cat=2781

The doc says that shooting 4:3 and then performing an aspect ratio conversion (ARC) works better for certain camcorders than using built-in 16:9 mode. In particular, they recommend to NOT use 16:9 mode with PD 100, PD150, and VX 2000 (no note of VX2100, the doc is somewhat dated). Instead they recommend shooting in 4:3 with 16:9 guidelines and sharpness down, then using a high-quality ARC.

Interesting. I would think that built-in 16:9 always gives better result. Seems that it doesn't. I also thought that European users always had native widescreen equipment since most of the Europe switched to widescreen almost a decade ago. Again, seems that they didn't.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 04:17 PM   #375
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For some odd reason you've completely mis reported the BBC recommendation -- I have copied and pasted below:
"Do not use the camera 16:9 setting in the VX 1000,
VX 9000, or DSR 200. The cameras you can use are the: VX 2000, PD 150, DSR 250 and PD 100"

Frankly, I don't remember that the VX1000 offered a 16:9 mode -- but if it does, don't use it, apparently. But as concerns the 2000/150/250/100 ... the advice is the reverse of what you claim.

GB
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