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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 17th, 2006, 05:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cook
This is not going to devolve into a HDV vs. SD thread. This is a question for SD producers only.
But of course it didn't take long to get around to the subject of HDV ;-) In many ways, the Z1 would be a simple solution to your problems. You could shoot HDV but downconvert to SD in-camera when you capture via firewire. The Z1 will let you choose either anamorphic widescreen or cropped 4:3 when you downconvert. You can also display 4:3 guidelines in the viewfinder while you shoot to aid with framing for both formats. This would let you provide either type of of SD aspect ratio without changing anything in your workflow (still capturing as regular DV). But you would retain the HDV master tapes for possible future use.

Personally, if I was paying someone for a wedding video (and my daughter is getting pretty serious with her boyfriend :-), I wouldn't accept a 4:3 DVD with ugly black bars on my plasma screen. And I certainly wouldn't accept something shot with a PD-150 in widescreen mode. But then again, I'm not your usual "Joe Sixpack"... ;-)
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Old March 17th, 2006, 06:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
But of course it didn't take long to get around to the subject of HDV ;-) In many ways, the Z1 would be a simple solution to your problems. You could shoot HDV but downconvert to SD in-camera when you capture via firewire. The Z1 will let you choose either anamorphic widescreen or cropped 4:3 when you downconvert. You can also display 4:3 guidelines in the viewfinder while you shoot to aid with framing for both formats. This would let you provide either type of of SD aspect ratio without changing anything in your workflow (still capturing as regular DV). But you would retain the HDV master tapes for possible future use.

Personally, if I was paying someone for a wedding video (and my daughter is getting pretty serious with her boyfriend :-), I wouldn't accept a 4:3 DVD with ugly black bars on my plasma screen. And I certainly wouldn't accept something shot with a PD-150 in widescreen mode. But then again, I'm not your usual "Joe Sixpack"... ;-)

No offense but I am guessing you also wouldn't be willing to accept the price tag of a full HD production.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 06:52 PM   #18
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No, I wouldn't want HD. But I would expect "real" 16:9....
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Old March 17th, 2006, 09:04 PM   #19
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"But I would expect "real" 16:9...."

But for what we are talking about, (camera price-wise) isn't the XL2 the only real solution here? Everthing else is "fake" 16:9. (I don't know anyone who would shoot w/ an anamorphic adaptor in this situation)

Also, just to add my $0.02, I have a 57" rear projection and 24p 16:9 and 2.35:1 from a DVX (non anamorphic) looks pretty dang good on it. And yes, I do have a pretty discriminating eye myself.

Also, I will say that I have yet to see a plasma/LCD screen that I thought looked good.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bennis Hahn
But for what we are talking about, (camera price-wise) isn't the XL2 the only real solution here? Everthing else is "fake" 16:9.
No, not at all! In fact, quite a lot of consumer camcorders have real 16:9. All that's needed is about a 1 megapixel CCD, and most new cameras have these because they take hi-res stills. Canon runs ads promoting their Optura and Elura models as native widescreen.

At the low end of the "pro" spectrum there's the Sony PDX-10, which was just discontinued. I've had one of these for years and it shoots remarkably good 16:9. A great value for $1,700:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Or how about the inexpensive Sony HC1?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Or the HC3 or HVR-A1? Then there's the FX1 in the $3000 range, about the same as a PD-170. All the HDV cameras shoot SD 16:9 with great quality.
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Old March 18th, 2006, 08:09 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Craig Terott
You can't tell customers to reduce the sharpness on their TV. They will look at you like you've got an arm growing out of your head.

This kills me, from a consumer/enthusiast point of view.
I think *all* Televisions and video monitors, should be calibrated correctly to one standard and set as a default.

You can have one of the most expensive HDTV sets out there, but one won't ever see the full potential of their sets because they have it in "full torch" mode.

Most sets have their defaults set with the sharpness cranked too high, the brightness near blooming white, and the color levels cranked up so your "average" consumer will be "wowed."

Almost ten years ago, a LaserDisc from Joe Kane called "A Video Standard" was introduced. It provided all kinds of test patterns and color bars to set up your tv. I was skeptical at first, but once "I got it"--every movie I viewed, from that point on was a revelation.

And of course video from my camcorder looked better too[except for the differences in black levels straight out of the cam]

A couple years back, Luca's THX-certified DVD's started to include their "THX optimizer" which attempts to help consumers dial in their sets. It's pretty good in my opinion, and free.

Once dialed in, I think, the criticisms of DV looking "bad" on a big screen will go away.

And with a big screen--most viewers won't be watching it from 12 inches away, they are usually sitting a couple feet back.

One last comment, this is what I gleaned from reading up www.avsforum.com.

Recently, their have been huge amounts of "upconverting" dvd players that upconverts the 480 signal to 1080i for HD sets.

I was skeptical at first, but it really is an improvement, especially if your HD set's built in scaler is not very good.
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Old March 18th, 2006, 10:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
(and my daughter is getting pretty serious with her boyfriend :-),
Boyd, time to start counting the pennies:)

Isn't the fact that the cheaper priced consumer cams are available but not for the pro quality we want to deliver? I see this as farming backwards a bit IMHO.

Taking the comments posted in this thread into consideration, doesn't this show that the higher res cameras are becoming a thing to consider strongly for the future???

I don't mean to hijack the thread for another purpose other than to illustrate that the SD market for footage is beginning to encounter a few issues????

I too battled the same way Mike did - and in the end relented.

What I encountered was exactly the same Mike has, and I wasn't able to find a good workable solution coupled with the frustrations it brought me.

Converting footage for output on a large screen is an option but the reduction in quality was just not good enough for my liking.

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Old March 19th, 2006, 08:16 AM   #23
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Native 16:9? How does that change things?

This still is a 720x480 picture at about 5:1 compression. Stretching that accross 55" will still not look good. True, you are taking a higher def chip and downsampling it but I would think 3 4:3 chips are still better than 1 16:9 chip.
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Old March 19th, 2006, 09:30 AM   #24
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The difficulty with most SD "prosumer" 3 chippers, for shooting 16:9, boils down to effective pixel count, combined with shape, of the CCDs. The only way to get 16:9 footage from a 4:3 shaped CCD with approx 400k effective pixels, is to crop the image on the CCD, which then effectively gives you only about 360 lines of resolution (losing approx 120 lines - 25% of SD resolution), regardless of whether or not it is recorded as 360 lines or stretched out and recorded over 480 lines. When played back, letterboxed on a standard 4:3 CRT, that's not a problem, because the playback is essentially only at 360 lines of resolution anyway, but when you play back the same footage on a high resolution 16:9 television or monitor, the loss of resolution is noticeable.

Many consumer camcorders made nowadays have much larger effective pixel counts on the CCD, and are capable of acquiring a full 480 lines from the CCD, while shooting at 16:9 (even if the CCD is not physically 16:9 in overall shape). It may seem odd, but in many situations, a fairly cheap consumer camera can outperform a much more expensive professional camera, for shooting 16:9. I have a TRV70 (1/3.6" CCD, with approx 1 million effective pixels), which I shoot 16:9 with on occasion (I believe it is a 4:3 shaped CCD, but I do not know that for certain - and I'm not going to take the camera apart to look!). It shoots a very clean, crisp image for a small consumer camera. In good light, I would use it, for shooting 16:9, before using my GY-DV300U (3-1/3" CCD, 410k effective pixels, similar in CCD resolution characteristics to a PD, VX, GL or XL1).
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Old March 19th, 2006, 12:36 PM   #25
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Ok, I must be missing something.

A 16:9 CCD or CMOS will capture a native 16:9 image. However, once it makes it to tape it is still a 720x480 image (in the DV25 world). For it to retain the 16:9 shape one of two things must happen.

1. to fit the 16 width in, somewhere your top/bottom letterbox is added reducing the actual picture to 400something pixels just like letterboxing 4:3 in post.

2. The image is sqeezed when recoreded then unsqueezed when played. Only now you are stretching the 16 part across greater than 720 pixels.

Or is there another option I am missing here?
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Old March 19th, 2006, 02:20 PM   #26
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Per the specifications printed in GY-DV300U manual, there are 380,000 effective pixels, arranged in 492 rows with 768 columns (492x768 is actually 377,856, so I assume JVC was rounding off to obtain the 380,000 figure). I'm not sure why I had a 410,000 figure in my mind earlier today for the DV300U, but that might be the effective number of pixels for a VX2100, since I looked at those specs recently. Regardless, the number of effective pixels for either camera is close to 400,000 and arranged similarly. For the sake of simplicity, let's call it 480 rows with 720 columns (matches the specs for recording NTSC SD digital video, at "D1", in either 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios). Also, for purposes of this discussion, let's think of the 3 CCDs as simply constituting one pickup device.

If you take those 480 rows with 720 columns and arrange them as a grid that measures (with a ruler) 3/4 as tall as it does wide (4:3 aspect ratio), you will have pixels that are, in essence, taller than they are wide. That is basically how most of the prosumer SD cameras' pickup devices are laid out. To capture an image at a 16:9 aspect ratio, using a pickup device laid out like that, the only way (unless an anamorphic lens is used) is to discard the output from 120 of the rows (cropping). To fit the D1 NTSC digital video recording spec, the recording can then either be of a cropped image also, or the output from the effective pixels can be stretched (either way, you lose effective resolution).

Conversely, you can layout a grid with 480 rows with 720 columns arranged such that the grid measures (with a ruler) 9/16 as tall as it does wide. That would give you exactly enough effective pixels, properly laid out, to capture a 16:9 aspect ratio image, to record at NTSC SD D1 digital video specifications with maximum resolution, and the pixels would be, in essence, wider than they are tall. To capture an image with a 4:3 aspect ratio, using a pickup device laid out that way, would require discarding the output from 180 of the columns (cropping). To fit the D1 NTSC digital video recording spec, the recording can then either be of a cropped image also, or the output from the effective pixels can be stretched (again, either way, you lose effective resolution).

With 1,000,000 effective pixels (an effective megapixel), you can layout a grid of varying height/width ratios (measured with a ruler), with far more than 480 rows and 720 columns. That way (with a reasonable layout) you can capture either a 4:3 or a 16:9 aspect ratio image, with enough individual effective pixels from the pickup device, for "D1" NTSC digital video specifications. Essentially, you can attain full NTSC D1 resolution either way, simply by overkill (more effective resolution acquired by the pickup device, than can be recorded under the specifications).

The NTSC D1 specification for either 16:9 or 4:3 recorded video (720x480) does involve stretching or squeezing, to playback properly, on a square pixel display. For example, 4:3 SD LCD monitors/televisions commonly have a display resolution of 640x480 pixels (CRT resolution isn't actually measured in pixels - that's native analog technology, which involves different types of measurement for resolution).

That's a lot of verbiage, but I hope it explains well. I can't think of a more succinct way to put it, with sufficient detail for a thorough explanation, without using illustrations.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 07:56 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright
The difficulty with most SD "prosumer" 3 chippers, for shooting 16:9, boils down to effective pixel count, combined with shape, of the CCDs. The only way to get 16:9 footage from a 4:3 shaped CCD with approx 400k effective pixels, is to crop the image on the CCD, which then effectively gives you only about 360 lines of resolution (losing approx 120 lines - 25% of SD resolution), regardless of whether or not it is recorded as 360 lines or stretched out and recorded over 480 lines.

Rob, THERE ARE 3 WAYS TO PRODUCE 16:9 depending on the camera - not just 2 ways as you seem to believe. [1] Cropped [2] True 16:9 chip [3] Anamorphic Squeeze. This 25% loss in resultion figure you speak of is only true if the camera crops the image to produce 16:9. But that isn't how it's done in most prosumer cameras. Most prosumer cameras achieve 16:9 using method 2 or 3. There is no loss in resolution with anamorphic because the chips are not 4:3. I'll repeat... the chips ARE NOT exactly 4:3. This is a big assumption you made and it's wrong. The anamorphic chip has greater than 480 lines and squeezes the picture above 480 then the pixels are stretched to produce 16:9. Your big assumption is that unless it's a 16:9 chip it is a "4:3 shaped chip" and this is just not true.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 12:04 PM   #28
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There is no physical way to layout a sensor array (grid), with only 400,000 (or thereabouts) effective elements, that can acquire a full D1 resolution image (720x480) at BOTH 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios (without use of an anamorphic lens in acquisition, for at least one of the aspect ratios). Can't be done. It's simply a physical impossibility. There are not enough elements in the array (no matter what the physical layout arrangement is) to do so.

Don't confuse cropping from the sensor for cropping in the recording (two entirely different things). An image acquired by cropping the output from the sensor, can be recorded as appearing "squeezed" (and is an option on some of the cameras mentioned). Actually, when that is done with one of the cameras mentioned (VX, GL, etc.), the use of the term "squeeze" can create confusion, since first, the image must be stretched vertically before recording (the acquired image is not actually squeezed with one of these cameras). The resulting recording is of an image that appears to be squeezed horizontally (must be stretched horizontally, or squeezed vertically, upon playback, to display at the proper aspect ratio).
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Old March 20th, 2006, 12:56 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Robert M Wright
There is no physical way to layout a sensor array (grid), with only 400,000 (or thereabouts) effective elements, that can acquire a full D1 resolution image (720x480) at BOTH 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios (without use of an anamorphic lens in acquisition, for at least one of the aspect ratios). Can't be done. It's simply a physical impossibility. There are not enough elements in the array (no matter what the physical layout arrangement is) to do so.
You are confusing are discussion of anamorphic 16:9 with true 16:9. I never said in-camera anamorphic 16:9 was aquired with a true 16:9 chip therefore your argument about the sensor layout is not relevant.

The debate is with this loss of resolution you claim with the use of a camera that doesn't have a true 16:9 chip. You said that recording in 16:9 mode would result in a 25% loss in resolution when compared to 4:3 mode and I've said that isn't true. They can aquire 16:9 with a pixel count not less than the standard 4:3 pixel count (or it's very very close - not anywhere near a 25% loss). Sony's own specs for this camera claim no loss in resolution.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 08:35 PM   #30
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dont forget, when shooting progressive scan, you effectively have twice the resolution PER FRAME than you would with an interlaced source.

When shooting with a DVX100 in squeeze mode, progressive scan, vertical detail set to thin and you use the native widescreen (squeeze) you CANNOT tell the difference between this and native 16:9 from an XL2. Maybe if u ran a res chart you might find a 50 odd line difference, but lets face it, in the real world, if it looks good and it does the job WHO CARES
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