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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 25th, 2003, 10:20 AM   #1
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What you See is Not What you Get

I filmed my sons ball game the other day. I was as close as you could possibly get. To the naked eye everything is clearly visible and proportionate. I noticed that when I started to film that everyone suddenly look like ants on the ground. I have the optex WA. Maybe its just me but I dont see a sizable difference in what I think I'm seeing.

I know most of you guys are very experienced camera operators. Just recently owing a camera myself I lack the knowledge to clearly ask a guestion. I guess what I am wondering is there a way to get a better view of my subject without having to zoom in so close that I lose sight of the surroundings I also want.

One more question on the WA. Is there a way to zoom in on a subject and not lose your focal width.

ty, Charles
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Old April 25th, 2003, 10:47 AM   #2
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You can't have it both ways. Human vision is unique in it's ability to be able to focus and concentrate on one object and still maintain a peripheral vision. Cameras and lenses to not have that ability.

Telephoto lenses will make distant objects larger, but they have a narrower angle of view. Hence, less background to establish your shot. Wide angles have a larger (wider) angle of view, but consequently, they make every thing smaller.

What will work in some situations (but not in most sports shots) is physically getting closer to your subject (making it larger) and at the same time using a wide angle lens (or setting on your zoom). Initially the subsequent distortion may be objectionable to you. It may take a little getting used to. And of course you can not walk on to the playing field to get your shots.

Many scenes are photographed, not as streaming consciousness, but as separate scenes that are edited together. A wide shot establishes the scene (your at the ball park) a medium shot shows some action (the batter is at the plate) and a close up provides detail, emotion etc.

Browse the book section at the bottom or the public library and pick up a beginners guide to filming. Other questions can be looked up and answer found by using the search function in the upper right corner. If you can't find the answer you need, well, just ask. We're here to help.
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Old April 25th, 2003, 01:13 PM   #3
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Another thought is that you're just viewing too small a TV picture or you're sitting too far away from a big one. I sit pretty close to my Sony 34" TV because I love the involvement this brings - maybe you should buy a projector and show your ball films this way?

tom.
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Old April 25th, 2003, 02:39 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. I should have named the thread "How to Capture What You See" But I get your point tho. I got a long row to hoe and it ain't getting no shorter.

ty, Charles
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Old April 25th, 2003, 05:06 PM   #5
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Just a "ball" shooting tip. I'd zoom in to were the main action is, and pan slowly when the action moves to another area. I'd keep the panning range "tight," not more than 120 degress and certainly never more than 180 degress. Shooting from a good angle, height and from some distance might make it more interesting, and less need to pan.
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Old April 25th, 2003, 08:33 PM   #6
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Even if you sit closer to the screen, there's only so much fine detail that a DV image can show at 720x480, further limited by the fact that your camera only resolves 530 lines. So small details (like faces at a distance) may only be represented by a couple pixels. Add DV compression to this and it gets much worse.

Unfortunately it's an accepted fact that digital video is generally disappointing for images with lots of fine, complex detail. Experiment a bit, and eventually you'll get a feeling for how much of the frame something important (like a person) has to fill in order to look "sharp".
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Old April 25th, 2003, 08:54 PM   #7
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The playback resolution for both the VX2000 and PD150 is 500 horizontal lines, but I don't know what these cams actually capture before resolving down to the constraints of miniDV/DVCAM. Source, DV Magazine.
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Old April 26th, 2003, 06:58 AM   #8
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Just a slightly off-topic question:

The Digital Betacam resolution is 850 lines. But a standard TV won't play 850 lines. It must be down converted to 525 scan lines. So why does it look better quality than DV? Is it the better horizontal resolution only?

Thanks.
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Old April 26th, 2003, 07:40 AM   #9
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There are two resolution, horizontal and vertical. The vertical resolution is fixed at 525 lines for NTSC video. The horizontal resolution is variable and is effected by lens, chips, tape format, digital processing etc.

Resolution is only part of the story. The type of color signal helps determine quality, 8 bit, 10bit, 14 bit etc. Compression is another factor as well as signal to noise ratio. So, as you can see there are many factors to picture quality beyond resolution.
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