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-   Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-vx2100-pd170-pdx10-companion/)
-   -   16:9 argument with my new shooter (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-vx2100-pd170-pdx10-companion/122863-16-9-argument-my-new-shooter.html)

Colin McDonald June 7th, 2008 05:43 AM

Simple test or daft idea?
 
As I have mentioned in another thread distorted images caused by "wrong" aspect ratios drive me daft and I can't understand why most punters don't seem to notice. So how about this:

At the beginning of the finished product (DVD or whatever) include 5 seconds of a circle graphic, centred and nearly filling the vertical TV safe area, along with the legend "If you don't see a perfect circle, please adjust your set or your viewing enjoyment may be affected" or something to that effect.

I suppose it's a sort of disclaimer really.
Basic idea - show circle, and say why. Details not thought out yet, obviously.

Does it get three Xs from the panel or through to the next round?

Shaun Roemich June 7th, 2008 10:56 AM

HDV1 is 16:9 native: 1280 x 720.
Sony's EX1 can record in 1920 x 1080 native in one (or more) of it's modes.
A bunch of the new AVCHD consumer camcorders record in 1920 x 1080.

Tom Hardwick June 8th, 2008 12:34 AM

Colin - I do like your 'disclaimer' idea and I've often thought something like this could be included with my opening logo in some way.

I think you'd need 5 circles to circumnavigate the wonders of a lot of 'smart' modes on modern 16:9 TVs though (one circle in each corner of the frame as well as your bigger centre circle) as a lot of them struggle to keep the center looking ok, but only pull at the edges.

Horrible.

tom.

Colin McDonald June 8th, 2008 01:53 AM

Stretching = retching
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick (Post 889804)
Colin - I do like your 'disclaimer' idea and I've often thought something like this could be included with my opening logo in some way.

I think you'd need 5 circles to circumnavigate the wonders of a lot of 'smart' modes on modern 16:9 TVs though (one circle in each corner of the frame as well as your bigger centre circle) as a lot of them struggle to keep the center looking ok, but only pull at the edges.

Horrible.

tom.

True - I forgot about that, Tom. I remember watching a horizontal scrolling text banner on a widescreen tv and noticing the different speeds the text travelled across different bits of the screen, and that made me realise that stretching wasn't constant across the image.

Jeff Harper June 28th, 2008 11:22 AM

In the projects I have shot since I brought up this thread, the 16:9 mode is definitely less sharp, there is a noticeable loss in resolution, no doubt about it.

I am reserving this mode of shooting for well lit conditions...

Boyd Ostroff June 28th, 2008 12:08 PM

Personally I don't think the lighting is the critical thing which gives it away that you didn't shoot "real" 16:9. I think it has more to do with the composition. 16:9 from the VX/PD series will look acceptable for closeups, and will look out of focus for long shots with lots of fine detail. When looking at a face you don't concentrate on every little hair and freckle, but in a landscape you try to discern details in a distant house or tree. Or at least that's what happens with me.

Jeff Harper June 28th, 2008 12:42 PM

That does seem to be true. I did notice the loss of resolution most on long shots...

Tom Hardwick June 29th, 2008 05:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Harper (Post 900199)
That does seem to be true. I did notice the loss of resolution most on long shots...

The resolution is in fact undiminished. The lens is the same, the chips are the same. If you watch a 4:3 TV and physically blank out great swathes of the screen, what remains has exactly the same resolution, contrast, colour, you name it.

What you're saying is if you 'zoom up' your 432 line image to fill a 576 line tv, then it will look softer. Quite correct - it will look softer, but the resolution is undiminished, as I say.

tom.

David Heath June 29th, 2008 11:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick (Post 900441)
What you're saying is if you 'zoom up' your 432 line image to fill a 576 line tv, then it will look softer.

Even worse Tom. This discussion is mainly about NTSC cameras, so zooming 360 lines up to make 480. Even worse than that, since you're reconstructing 480 INTERLACED lines from 360 interlaced lines. Might not be too bad with a box costing several thousand pounds in a TV studio, dedicated to the task, but in a camera that costs far less by itself?

Bill Busby July 6th, 2008 01:19 PM

I just read most of these posts and found some of it amusing.

Not long ago I edited a job that was shot with a XHA1 (in HDV) & a PD150 (in 16x9 mode). During capture I downconverted, no letterbox, staying anamorphic for both sources. I only added a slight sharpening to the PD150 footage & CC'd the best I could to match. I was surprised they cut together as well as they did and the average Joe Schmo wouldn't be able to tell the difference. After seeing the arguments here about resizing. stretching, squeezing, distorting, etc., not one mention was made regarding setting the 16x9 flag during the encoding process of the anamorphic material. I cut on Avid, compress with Cinema Craft SP, author with DVDLab Pro. The 16x9 flag is key. DVD's automatically play with correct aspect ratio regardless what kind of monitor is used for viewing (provided the DVD player settings are correct for the monitor they are connected to)... a 16x9 monitor displays full screen... a 4x3 monitor displays letterboxed... both correct aspect ratio, the way it should be.

Did I miss something in the posts complaining otherwise?

Ian Thomas July 29th, 2008 04:33 PM

well i would just like to add that 99% of wedding videographers in my area shoot with Sony 250's one has a V1 but only shoots in SD, As i have said in previous threads i shoot both weddings and wildlife video's and have been using the XLH1, this camera is awesome for nature films but for weddings you will struggle because of the handling of the camera, + the fact that nobody as asked for hd i have made what most people would call a backward step and bought a second hand 170 this camera is very good in low light and this is were HD fails

I will shot in 4:3 because all the 250 owners are doing so with no complaints and are getting plenty of work and thats what keeps the wolf from the door

HD and 16:9 will come but not as fast as people thought, the 250 is still been made and the 170 still costs around 2500 new still very much in demand

Ian

Noa Put July 30th, 2008 01:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian Thomas (Post 913894)
HD and 16:9 will come but not as fast as people thought, the 250 is still been made and the 170 still costs around £2500 new still very much in demand
Ian

That might be the case in the UK but in Belgium 4:3 is allready out of the question as 90% of my clients for this and next year have 16:9 widescreen tv's, half of them are already lcd's.
As for HD requests I haven't got any yet eventhough I have seen pS3 standing in the livingroom, for me that's proof people still not understand what HD is all about. That will change because the TV broadcasters in Belgium are pushing HD transmissions a lot since this year and the clients just need to be convinced by us. I plan to take a PS3 with me to my clients who have a lcd tv to promote and try to sell HD packages.
But this can depend a lot I guess in which country you live in and how much effort they have done to get HD into everybodies livingroom, for Belgium I can say it has started to take of quite fast since this year.

Tom Hardwick July 30th, 2008 01:56 AM

Ian - I read your post and felt I'd read similar posts before, and that all wedding videographers that expressed the same view about 4:3 were from 'other than Europe'. So I was very surprised indeed to note that you're from Yorkshire, England.

You say, '..16:9 will come but not as fast as people thought' and I'm just dumb-struck. I live maybe 4 hours away from you and there's hardly a 4:3 TV to be seen - in shops or in homes down here.

And look at it this way - how many of the wedding couples that can afford your wedding DVD services come home from expensive honeymoon and switch on an old 4:3 CRT? Not many I'll wager.

The fact that they don't ask for their film to be shot in widescreen is neither her nor there - they don't ask for it to be shot in colour, they don't ask for it to be sharp, they don't ask for it on multi-chaptered DVDs. They just assume all these things, as you or I would assume a carpenter would build us a wardrobe with proper doors.

So I'd suggest that you don't shoot in 4:3 simply because all the old 250 owners around you are doing so. I'd further suggest that if you told couples that you were planning to do this and that they'd have to pillarbox their TV images they'd go find another filmmaker.

BTW, do you indicate on the surface printing of the DVD that it's 4:3 material?

tom.

Colin McDonald July 30th, 2008 04:24 AM

Technology in Yorkhire
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick (Post 914074)
Ian - I read your post and felt I'd read similar posts before, and that all wedding videographers that expressed the same view about 4:3 were from 'other than Europe'. So I was very surprised indeed to note that you're from Yorkshire, England.

"You had a 4:3 colour TV to watch your videos on? You were lucky! When I were a lad we had nowt but a 405 line B&W telly and that was for the whole street to share."

Sorry - couldn't resist.

Boyd Ostroff July 30th, 2008 11:12 AM

I agree that the transition of HD material on disk will take awhile, but the sands have really started to shift with regard to TV sets here in the US. While it doesn't mandate HDTV, the imminent phase-out of analog broadcasts are causing a lot of people to buy new sets here. And CRT screens are getting very scarce in the stores.

Personally I think it's very short-sighted to be producing material in 4:3 here and now. If you make an anamorphic DVD it will be properly letterboxed on most players for those people who still have 4:3 sets.

Ian Thomas July 30th, 2008 02:49 PM

Tom

Do you deliver HD to your customers on a blue ray disc!
or do you downconvert to sd DVD's
Don't new Tvs adjust the aspect ratio? well my HDtv does, and my friend who has the 250 played some 4:3 on it and yes it was not as good as the footage shot on th XLH1 but it didnt look stretched to me and i doubt Joe public would notice because it was of high standard

I have thankfully had no complaints weather it was shot in 16:9 hd downconverted or 4:3 sd

My point is why shot HD unless the customer has blueray, as you only downconvert sd for distribution

Until HD is mainstream seems pointless to me

Just my opinion

R Geoff Baker August 14th, 2008 06:05 PM

I live in both the UK and North America -- the HD market in NA is _vastly_ bigger than that in the UK. My cable system delivers something like 50 distinct HD channels in NA; my service in the UK a paltry few. My friends in NA have all got HD sets (not to pretend this is the norm); my mates in the UK ... a couple have HD, but most are working with 'widescreen' SD sets.

Much of this thread is bitterly opposed to the anamorphic widescreen the PD150/170 offer ... but claims that this is 'faux' or fake are just plain wrong. The camcorder records true 16:9 720x480 ... the best widescreen available in NTSC SD. Yes, it does it with an imaging chip that falls short of that ability ... but so what? Most camcorders, even in the pricier range, make do with less than the recorded resolution, and these budget performers are no exception. Good enough? I think so, and so do my clients. Claims that the camcorder simply adds black bars top and bottom are just not so -- anyone that makes such a claim has never tried, or doesn't own a widescreen set! I have a 16:9 widescreen SD set -- an odd beast for sure, but a legitimate high end Sony from a couple of years ago. The PD150 I have available delivers very good material for it, that displays properly in 16:9 without issue. The same material presented in a legacy 4:3 set does display with black bars ... but those are added by the set, not recorded to tape.

So try it and see. My opinion -- 4:3 is as dead as VHS tape, though it may take a couple more years before this is obvious in every corner of Blighty. And soon enough your wedding clients will be struggling to figure out how to fit their program into a spanking new 16:9 set without pillar box bars ....

Cheers,
GB

Tom Hardwick August 15th, 2008 12:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by R Geoff Baker (Post 920583)
Much of this thread is bitterly opposed to the anamorphic widescreen the PD150/170 offer ... but claims that this is 'faux' or fake are just plain wrong. The camcorder records true 16:9 720x480 ... the best widescreen available in NTSC SD.

Of course you're right in that the VX/PD shoots 'proper' 16:9 when switched into that mode, but to suggest that it's the 'best SD widescreen available' (even at the price) is simply wrong. A PAL PD170 shoots 720 x 576, but only uses 432 of those vertical lines when in 16:9. It is indeed the correct aspect ratio, but is easily outperformed by the much cheaper FX1 when that's shooting 16:9 SD material - simply because the latter uses all the 576 lines.

The PD170 'adds black bars top and bottom' but only on a 4:3 TV; on a 16:9 TV the 432 lines are interpolated to fill the 576 height - which can make the image look a bit soft. This does mean though that a 4:3 TV shows the PD footage at full resolution and sharpness - it's only the 16:9 TV that softens it (by stretching the image in both directions).

Ian - you say you saw 4:3 footage displayed on a 16:9 TV and it didn't look stretched to you. Well that's perfectly feasible, as geometrically correct menu options exist in all 16:9 TVs - pillarbox and zoom.

tom.

R Geoff Baker August 15th, 2008 06:00 AM

I don't know what Tom means by 'stretching in both directions' but let's summarize:

The PD170 records (NTSC) 720x480 in either SD (.9 pixel) or SD-Wide (1.2 pixel) ... in other words, the 'resolution' never changes, it is always 720 across the picture width, and 480 across the picture height. Recorded, not resolved. So whether you 'see' the same on your display set is clearly the obligation of your display -- a poor SD-Wide will only use the middle 360 horizontal lines to display the image; a good one will adjust the raster so the image is 480 lines 'compressed' vertically to only fill the middle of the screen ...

Tom's adjusted my meaning a little -- I didn't say the PD170 was the best device you could get, just that 720x480 (NTSC) is the best resolution you can record using SD. Toss an HD device into the mix, and the question becomes a little more tricky, as you have to balance the recorded resolution (which varies by HD format) against the imaging chip ability (which varies by device model) ... and compare that against the SD devices available. Obviously an SD device that had an imaging chip that was 16:9 might be better than one that took the 16:9 window from a 16:12 (4:3) chip and recorded that as 720x480 PAR 1.2 ... but you'd have to find one and compare.

The black bar note is important, because some in this thread seem to suggest the bars are recorded into the signal, but they aren't -- the interpolation happens at the recording stage, so there are no recorded black bars, they are added on output or by the playback device.

Is the PD170 the best device available? No. Does it make sense to shoot in 16:9? If your client displays in 16:9, then shooting 16:9 with the PD170 is a good idea, in my opinion.

Cheers,
GB

Tom Hardwick August 15th, 2008 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by R Geoff Baker (Post 920701)
I don't know what Tom means by 'stretching in both directions' but let's summarize:GB

OK, the 432 horizontal lines are interpolated to fill the 576 horizontal scan lines of a 16:9 TV - stretched, if you like. This is the only reason the PD looks soft on a 16:9 TV.

The 720 pixels have to be 'stretched' out to fill the 1024 which make standard DV into 16:9, but all SD cameras do this.

Let's take the PD170 and the Z1 as being logical progressions in Sony's chain. We switch the PD to 16:9 and the Z1 to 16:9 SD, light the scene well (as the PD is so much better in the gloom) and shoot.

On a 4:3 TV both cameras will be equal (look just as sharp) as both images will be shown letterboxed. On a 16:9 TV it's a one-horse race, and the Z1 looks far sharper. I know; I've done it.

tom.

R Geoff Baker August 16th, 2008 06:00 AM

Tom, if you have the results you describe, i.e. the Z1 outperforms th PD170, it is because of differing imaging chips, not differing methods of recording SD 16:9 ... that's the sum total of my point.

The PD150/170 shoot true anamorphic 16:9 video, not faux letterboxed video, but they do it with less than optimal imaging chips. Same is true of some formats, which record at less than the display resolution (HDV, DVCProHD) and many, many camcorders which have imaging chips of less than the target resolution.

Hope that helps,
GB

Tom Hardwick August 16th, 2008 01:50 PM

I agree with you RGB (good initials you have!) Both cameras record 'proper' 16:9 but the Z1 uses the entire chip surface whereas the PD170 uses a 16:9 rectangle from the middle of its 4:3 chip.

The Z1 has a 1"/3 chip (diagonal, let's say, though of course we know these figures are only arbitrary).

The PD170 also has a 1"/3 chip, but when you place the 16:9 rectangle over this chip you now see that the chip is no longer 1"/3 - the diagonal line has been shortened.

You can see this in the v'finder - the PD has less wide-angle coverage in the 16:9 mode. I'm not complaining, the VX/PD are very fine cameras indeed, but were designed in the 4:3 age.

tom.

David Heath August 22nd, 2008 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian Thomas (Post 914351)
Do you deliver HD to your customers on a blue ray disc!
or do you downconvert to sd DVD's
Don't new Tvs adjust the aspect ratio? well my HDtv does, ........

My point is why shot HD unless the customer has blueray, as you only downconvert sd for distribution

Until HD is mainstream seems pointless to me

Toms comments were mainly to suggest that true widescreen, not HD, should be the de facto "here and now", at least in the UK. And he's right. It's not a question of complaints, like any craftsman it should be a cameramans duty to do the best job for a customer he can within reason, and nowadays that must mean 16:9. If that means a new camera, so be it, is the cost really that much compared to other business expenses, and with the expectation it should give some years service?

In the case of wedding videos they are likely to be watched in years to come, well after the last 4:3 TVs have gone to landfill, and a 4:3 original will inevitably be compromised in the viewing. New TVs may well "adjust the aspect ratio", but inevitably at the expense of losing part of the picture or distorting the shape.

Ian Thomas August 23rd, 2008 02:36 PM

David

Most tv's now adjust the aspect ratio and i can't see anything wrong the pd's footage
Iam very pleased with the quality and i know that my customers are


I use my XLH1 now for my wildlife work and i love the picture but until someone asks for hd
or 16:9 i will use the 170

David Heath August 23rd, 2008 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian Thomas (Post 923973)
Most tv's now adjust the aspect ratio and i can't see anything wrong the pd's footage

I can think of three basic ways a modern (16:9) TV can "adjust the aspect ratio" to cope with a 4:3 input.

1] Put it uncropped as 4:3 in the centre, with black columns either side. (Some TVs can let you make these coloured.)

2] Horizontally stretch the full 4:3 image to fill the screen. Normally the sides are stretched more than the centre, and there will obviously be distortion of shape - circles will become ovals, etc.

3] Lose the top and bottom of the picture, fill the 16:9 TV frame with the centre 3/4 of the original 4:3 image.

All of the above are possible if needs must, but for a 16:9 display, none of them are anywhere near as good as shooting a true 16:9 original, on a camera with true 16:9 chips. That's the only way to fill the screen with the original image, without cropping or distortion - period. If I was commissioning anything which was to have future value (and a wedding video is surely one of the best examples), I would not now entertain it being produced in 4:3. HD may be desirable for the future, widescreen should be a must.

John Cline August 23rd, 2008 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian Thomas (Post 923973)
I use my XLH1 now for my wildlife work and i love the picture but until someone asks for hd or 16:9 i will use the 170

I've seen this statement in quite a few video forums, "I'm not going to do 16:9 or HD until one of my clients asks for it." What the heck ever happened to salesmanship? It's up to US to keep our clients informed about the trends in video production and delivery. I've been shooting HD exclusively for the last four years, whether the client asked for it or not. Since I'm not doing car commercials, which have a very short "shelf life", I've been gathering HD material which can delivered in SD now and repurposed into an HD product later for an additional fee. I've also been collecting a lot of stock footage in HD. Much sooner than later, all my SD stock footage will be outdated and unusable.

A couple of months ago, I pitched a corporate client on HD and she half-jokingly said, "it's too bad we haven't been shooting HD all along." I said, "But we have! I've just been delivering in SD." Now she wants most of her previous product in HD which is a simple matter of loading the old project, spitting it out as HD and burning it to a Blu-ray disc. She's thrilled and I have another revenue stream with virtually no additional effort. I don't do weddings, but as David Heath pointed out, weddings would be a prime example of generating additional revenue after the fact.

There is a learning curve to shooting HD, not the least of which is getting the "feel" of framing a shot in 16:9. That was the strangest part for me since all my "chops" were based on shooting 4:3 for decades.

You don't want to wait until the client asks for it and then have to learn it on the job. You're not going to be ready to shoot and post HD when the client finally asks for it. Start shooting HD and start educating and selling your clients on the idea NOW! It's going to be a 16:9 HD world sooner than you think.

John

Tom Hardwick August 24th, 2008 12:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian Thomas (Post 923973)
until someone asks for hd
or 16:9 i will use the 170

Ian - just like John I too have seen this said on so many forum posts and I'm afraid that you must now bite the bullet and accept that the PD170's days are very nearly over. You live in England and I'd say this Sony will be saleable this year to people who shoot exclusively for the web, say, but difficult to sell next year as 4:3 screens will look increasingly old fashioned.

People don't ask for 16:9 in the same way as they don't ask for colour - they simply expect it, as they expect it will be sharp and delivered on DVD.

tom.

Ian Thomas August 24th, 2008 02:20 AM

Tom

If as you say that the pd170 will be saleable for this year but hard to sell next year,
why does it still command a good price! more than some of Sony's same size HDV offerings

Look iam not knocking HD, yes it will come and as you know i have the XLH1, and yes the picture is stunning, But when the lights go down this is were it lets you down images start looking murky, yes a good light works but in dimly lit churches the vicar won't allow, so in this instance good 4:3 is better than poor HD 16:9

Also focus has to be spot on or images in hd look soft which can spoil a important shot


And how many couples are going to come back to you in a couple of years and want that HD master? how many marriages last that long

Hd is the future make no mistake but i think that it will take a few years before joe public has the tackle to play hd

this just how i find things at the moment

Tom Hardwick August 24th, 2008 03:00 AM

The PD170 deserves to command a good price and I see them used a lot by the paparazzi on the news - but only in 'desert regions' shall we say. Here in Europe 4:3 is so dead that footage from the war and the Beatles is habitually cropped for 16:9 transmission.

Agreed, the 170 comes into its own in gloomy churches, but only for its ability to see in the dark, not for its ability to shoot sharp widescreen (for which it was never seriously intended).

You say, 'good 4:3 is better than poor HD 16:9' but I wobble over that one. The Z1 is a stop and a half down on the 170, so it's at +9dB when the PD's at 0dB. This is a fair trade in my view - the sharper pictures (in widescreen) vs the grain of using +9dB. And I'm talking SD remember.

I'll say it again - how many couples that can afford your wedding videography services come home from expensive honeymoon and turn on an old 4:3 CRT?

tom.

Ian Thomas August 24th, 2008 03:19 AM

Tom

How many couples tell you that they thought the picture quality was great and it looked great on there widescreen tv! not many i wager, but they will tell you that there Dvd was great and how did you manage to capture all that footage most of which i can't remember

Thats the secret if the content is good and it is edited well you are not going to get many complaints what ever format it is filmed on

Tom Hardwick August 24th, 2008 03:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian Thomas (Post 924137)
Tom

How many couples tell you that they thought the picture quality was great and it looked great on there widescreen tv! not many i wager,

That's a strange thing to say to a filmmaker that you've never met Ian. I actually get quite a few compliments to that effect.

But you're right - if the content is good and it is edited well that's surely a big, bold Number One.

tom.

Ian Thomas August 24th, 2008 03:44 AM

no Tom

i didn't mean that your quaility was not good, iam sure it is, the point i was making how many notice!"

Noa Put August 24th, 2008 06:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian Thomas (Post 924126)
so in this instance good 4:3 is better than poor HD 16:9

I also have waited a HD upgrade because I never saw the advantage of putting it on a dvd afterwards, now finally I bought a xh-a1 because my vx2100 footage started to look like crap on some full hd or hd ready tv's. Only my pana dvx100b was better, it gave nicer color and a bit sharper image which I believe has to do with the fact that the camera has better manual iris/nd filter/gain controll because all 3 have a big impact on the end result, with the vx2100 the controll you had over this was more limited.

Also because the vx2100 looses quite some resolution once you switch to widescreen mode I felt it was time to move on and get a camera with a "real" 16:9 lens.

I haven't used the xh-a1 on a paid job yet because I want to get used to it first but did allready some testing in different circumstances, especially darker places and now I have seen it I'm impressed with what the camera can do, you know Ian, a few months ago I would have agreed with you but now I don't anymore.

The xh-a1 produces clearly sharper images after convertion to a regular dvd, especially when going wide with the lens, the difference is then quite noticeable, Once you zoom in with an SD or HD camera the difference is less noticeable.

In regard to filming in dark places, I did some test footage 2 weeks ago at a reception, I didn't use any camera light, the room was lit with 4 small small lamps on each side of the dancefloor so it was quite dark. I used the +6db preset from Wolfgang Winne, filmed in 50i, 1/25 shutter, no gain and guess what; the footage matched the one from a vx2100. The only difference was that further away in the reception hall the xh-a1 was noticeable darker compared to the vx2100. Only everything on the dancefloor (I was standing beside the dancefloor) did have the same amount of light (the sony was at that moment at 12db) One thing you can not do under those circumstances with the canon is zooming in because everything will get completely underexposed, the Sony on the the other hand has much less problems with that. But if you don't zoom, get closer to your subjects and use a 10-20 watt lamp the canon will match the Sony when it comes to showing detail in dark places. It's just a matter of using the right preset/settings.
Also the xh-a1 footage was virtually without noise which I could not say from the Sony and it was sharper.

The xh-a1 has me convinced, also for use on a regular dvd, only the dvx100b that I also use is still a good camera, even if it isn't as sharp, it just gives a better overal look and feel compared to my Sony and I can see that it's a bit sharper. For the pana I do have to use sufficient extra light in the evening but the images are also great then.

Ian Thomas August 24th, 2008 07:18 AM

so what you are all saying its 16:9 nothing less

If so what about a 16:9 adapter for the 170 how do they perform
and how much

Noa Put August 24th, 2008 07:51 AM

Don't know about the Sony but the pana dvx100b does have a anamorphic adapter for widescreen footage which uses the full resolution but it has one big disadvantage and that's the autofocus that will not focus right anymore and manual focussing is difficult, you have to use the autofocus setting (which will not be correct) and use that value to compare it to a distance chart to be able to set the right anamorphic setting.
That's ok under controlled situations but not for run and gun.
The difference in sharpness is noticeable which is normal because you don't loose any resolution, only your camera will get front heavy with the adapter on top of your lens.

Boyd Ostroff August 24th, 2008 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ian Thomas (Post 924181)
If so what about a 16:9 adapter for the 170 how do they perform and how much

Unfortunately you missed the big "blowout" sale which Century Optics (Schneider) had on their anamorphic adaptors last year. This was their best model, but no longer available: 16:9 WIDESCREEN ADPT 170/2100 - Schneider Optics

I have never used one of these adaptors, but have read a lot about them. They create a variety of issues evidently. First, you must correctly align when installing. And when you have it attached you can't add a wide or teleconvertor lens anymore, and will need some other kind of sunshade/matte box. Zoom through is limited.

I suppose you might find cheap used adaptors somewhere, but at the original price of $900 this one would have been a questionable investment in today's world IMO. If you decide you really need better widescreen footage, I think the more practical solution would be selling your 4:3 camera and applying the proceeds to a new purchase.

Also remember that the DVinfo search function is a great way to find things. A search of this forum for "anamorphic adaptor" turns up a bunch of threads, like these:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-vx21...t-pds-vxs.html
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-vx21...s-adapter.html

James Strange September 14th, 2008 07:20 AM

16:9 on PD/VX
 
Hi guys, hotly debated topic here.

I currently own and use an fx7, vx2000 and pd150.

A few friends borrowed my vx2000 to shoot a kickboxing show with the Z1 they had hired.

They shot in 16:9 mode on the VX and SD 16:9 on the Z1

a clip can be seen at:

battlegroup.strangeworx.com
Similarly, we shot a friends high school play using the fx7, the pd150, and the vx2000, all in 16:9 and the fx in SD 16:9

clip can be seen at:

thewiz.strangeworx.com

I know its difficult to comment on quality on a compressed flv file, but they're there if any want to have a look.

I personally can tell the difference in the cameras, but I would'nt say that shooting the vx in 16:9 is a bad thing, I've viewed the dVD on my 50" LG plasma, and there was no real noticable difference in quality.

Up until recently I have been shooting weddings in 4:3 with my FX7 as my main camera, and the PD and VX as b and c cameras. A month or 2 ago I switched to 16:9 and neither me or any of my clients have noticed the difference.

The main reason for the switch was when I was at a wedding fair, I would show my demo on a 26" widescreen LCD.

Now, my demo (back then) was shot in 4:3. So I had the option of either letting the TV 'stretch' the image to fill the screen (which inevitablel makes people look wider, and by wider, i mean fatter, and thats a big deal when it comes to brides!) or having black bars at the sides of the screen.

Either option was is a problem, as people would ask why is it stretched or why are there black bars.

I had a couple (future bride and groom) come to see me to discuss their wedding DVD that I was filmin in a month or so.

The groom began to talk about other demos he had seen from other companies, what he liked and disliked etc...

The one thing he focused on was the the ones that were shot in widescreen, simply looked better.

(Now, I'm not talking HD here, I think as many people have said, HD is still a bit far from being the norm. Only 2 out of 50 clients this year have asked about HD filming, and neither one of them had a BLuray player or a ps3, they simply asked abour HD filming. )

Back to the topic.

The groom said and i quote "the ones that were widescreen just looked better, they had a better feel, whereas the ones not in widescreen just felt like a good home video"

He even said that when he sees something on a non widescreen TV, if it has black bars at the top and the bottom it looks more proffesional, the same aswhen you watch a holywood movie on a non widescreen tv - this has been mentioned on the thread I believe.

Technically, 16:9 on the vx/pd my be less pixels, lower lines of resolution or whatever, but in my personal experience, clients have never said anything, they have however mentioned the fact that their widescreen TV either stretches the the 4:3 image or puts black bars at the sides. Ans they mention it in a negative way.

That was enough for me, from that point on, I was always filming in 16:9.

I may sell my PD and VX in the near future, but I simply love my PD, sure, its not widescreen, its not HD, but it kicks ass in low light!

Point in fact, just last night I was filming a wedding. I was using the FX7, the 2nd operator was using the FX7.

Now, I'd said to the venue staff and the band, "please keep the lights up a bit just for the first few dances" I'm not talking blackpool illuminations, but just not as dark as they would normally have it.

The staff were fine with it, the band were fine with it, the bride and groom were fione with it.

30 seconds into the 1st dance, some daft wee bar person decides to turn the lights down (in fact he turned them off, completely, fiddled about for a few seconds and finally settled on a setting that was waaaaaay to dark, I had to use +15 gain on the PD150, and the FX7, even with the gain up full (+18db) it is totally unusable.

So until its financially feesable to replace my PD and VX with equally good low light HD cams, I'll be shooting in 16:9 with them.

Sorry for the long post, I only recently discoverd these forums, and all I can say is, thanks god I did.

Good shooting!

James

Boyd Ostroff September 14th, 2008 07:34 AM

One trick you can try with the fx is to lower the shutter speed to 1/30 (or 1/25 for PAL). You take a big resolution hit when doing this on the PD or VX because of doubling the standard definition fields. The fields are still doubled on the FX, but it's done at HD resolution before downsampling to SD. So you shouldn't notice much if any quality change, and you'll gain another f-stop.

Kevin Shaw September 14th, 2008 08:14 AM

Also note that the new Sony FX1000 should produce decent low-light results with a modest street price of $3199, so it could finally be time to upgrade any VX series or PD170 cameras.

Interesting that clients are starting to notice the difference between widescreen and 4:3 footage, which is at least as important as resolution in the switch to HD. Since it's easier to shoot widescreen on a camera designed to do so (thanks to widescreen LCDs) and you get the advantage of a wider field of view, having widescreen cameras is the way to go now if you can afford it.

Duncan Craig September 17th, 2008 04:20 AM

Sorry to hijack the thread
 
Just to say Ian, if you ever travelling near Leeds on a weekday, bring along your 170 and you can try my Century anamorphic on it.

Needless to say it's a great lens, and gives better resolution in FHA SD compared to a Z1 when downconverted. The Z1 wins on image quality, highlight handling and general tonality however.


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