No overscanning... so zoom? at

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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PXW-Z280, Z190, X180 etc. (going back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.

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Old August 5th, 2008, 10:39 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
No overscanning... so zoom?

When shooting DV, it was a certain no-no to zoom your footage if something crept into the frame. It really degraded the quality of the image.

In the world of super-35 and super-35 sized sensors on modern digital cameras, one of the most useful things I believe is their ability to overscan the image. So when looking through the viewfinder, you can see things about to creep into the frame before they ruin the shot. Sadly, down in the world of 1/3", 1/2", and 2/3" CCDs or CMOS imagers, we don't typically have that luxury.

The EX series is able to display safety zones on screen. Currently, I have mine set at 95%. I am wondering how much quality would be lost by intentionally shooting with the frame at 90% or even 95%, with the intention of zooming the footage inside that space in post. I know it's not an ideal solution, but it might provide some measure of protection during shooting to make sure you get usable shots.

Or would it be more helpful to simply use the entire frame and ONLY zoom the footage in posts if there are encroachments in the frame? This is all quite new to me, as my work has never had to consider overhead fixtures, booms, or other things. But now that I am entertaining these things, I can see how important that overscan area is.

On a related note, I am curious why Sony and other manufacturers cannot offer us a fairly clean area for our "frame" and give us the outer edges to dispaly things like the audio levels, histogram, shutter/F-Stop, etc.
DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 10:46 AM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
Your EX1 uses tiny " chips so I'd not compromise their surface area one little bit. And if I were you I'd have the v'fiders showing me 100% of the frame - remembering that a lot of new TVs are easily set up to have no overscanning whatsoever.

I'm pretty sure Panasonic have a 4:3 screen on their HVX200. The 16:9 rectangle occupies the top portion and the spam lives down the bottom. An excellent idea, because I often find the timecode display of my Z1 is wizzing away over the bride's face when I've got the framing just how I like it.

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