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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)

Jeff Harper June 1st, 2008 10:04 AM

16:9 argument with my new shooter
 
I shoot weddings, etc using the VX2100 and the PD 150/170. I always shoot in 4:3 mode.

I have a new shooter who just finished film school, who questions our (my company's) continuing to shoot in 16:9.

I explained that when running multiple cams, doing multiple gigs, etc., it's not worth it. I also explained to him that it's fake widescreen, it distorts.

He countered with the fact that he uses FCP and chooses an anamorphic setting and it looks fine to him when he makes his own videos.

I belong to a community of wedding videographers who still use the 4:3 sony cams and NO ONE I know of shoots in the fake 16:9 mode.

I personally have never even tried shooting in the 16:9 mode on these cams, don't see the purpose, not for what I do.

Am I missing something here, is the kid right and are all of us old geezers in cincinnnati are just too old-school to know what's good?

I truthfully don't have anything left to counter him with, and finally had to admit I had never tried it, and that I would just for kicks.

Can anyone give me some guidance here?

Truth be told, it irritates me that people end up watching my videos stretched out on the screen anyway, as so many people have widescreen TVS now, but until I switch to native 16:9 cams, I feel I should just keep on as I have been.

What do you think? What do I tell him?

Please don't recommend I get new cams unless you have $20K to replace my current ones for me! I'm making that transition as best as I can.

Don Bloom June 1st, 2008 11:45 AM

having tried the '16:9' with the VX1000/Pd150/Pd170/DSR250 and even a JVC5000U NONE of them shoot in true 16:9 and to my eye the "fake" 16:9 of those cameras really is pathetic. I have never had a problem with clients asking why I shoot in 4:3 since most don't really know the difference anyway. They see what they see be it 4:3, 4:3 stretched or 16:9, and go on with life.
Since he works for YOU why not tell him, 'this is OUR way of shooting and we edit the product in the same mode it was shot." Meaning get with the program or hit the door. Well maybe that's a bit harsh but I think you get what I mean.
I would never use it (the '16:9' of those cameras)for a paying job. It really just doesn't look good at all. At least not to me.
Just my $.04 worth adjusted for the rising cost of fuel.
O|O
\__/

Don

Chris Hurd June 1st, 2008 12:38 PM

Nothing wrong with shooting 16:9, as long as the camera is native 16:9. These aren't.

Jeff Harper June 1st, 2008 01:21 PM

Thanks guys. This kid was talking with such conviction about how great it looked, I really got to thinking there was something to what he was saying. Ahhh, to be young and know everything, what a blissful state that was.

Tom Hardwick June 1st, 2008 01:45 PM

Jeff, your VX and PDs when set to their 16:9 mode don't distort. Whatever gave you that idea? OK, they lose vertical resolution and the viewfinders give a smaller image, but that's the only two downers.

As you've found out, folk that can afford your wedding filming skills don't come home from their expensive honeymoon and switch on an old 4:3 CRT, now do they? What they do is stretch, expand, 'smart', 15:9 and god knows what else to your footage, and yes - that sure does distort it.

Very few of them (I'll wager) will bother to switch their nice plasmas to the 4:3 mode, and anyway, as I've found out some 16:9 TVs don't even have a 4:3 mode these days.

So your 4:3 footage is being stretched and pulled to fill these screens. Surely it's better to film in their 16:9 mode and stop the client messing about and getting it wrong?

I used to film with my PAL VX2k in the 16:9 mode and it looked just as good on a 16:9 TV as shooting in 4:3 and have the TV expand the footage to show the central 432 lines. IN NTSC land this cropping will mean a greater resolution hit, but surely it's time to give it a test run.

One thing though. Your clients will make assumptions unless you tell them otherwise. They'll assume the film will be supplied on DVD. They'll assume it will be in colour, sharp and well exposed. They'll also assume it'll fill their posh new TV screen, and I'm not sure how much longer you can continue keeping stum about this last point.

tom.

Chris Barcellos June 1st, 2008 02:34 PM

This issue with the VX and PDs has been going around for several years. Ultimately, those of us who shot in 16:9 on the camera, had three methods of doing so. One way was to engage the 16:9 function. Another was to shoot 4:3, but mask in camera using a mask from the memory card. This worked great. The third was to use a 16:9 adapter. They ran about about $1000 at one time. Essentially what occurs is the adapter squeezed a wide view into the 4:3 frame, distorting the image. In post (in Vegas, for instance) you change the properties of the clip from 4:3 to 16:9. . I just bought one on a close out from Century Optics for $99.00. It is clear they see the future.

These days you can get a better 16:9 native images with a $ 800 camera like the HV30, so this debate is dissappearing. Only thing missing in these new cameras is VX/PD low light capability...

David Heath June 1st, 2008 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Harper (Post 886629)
Truth be told, it irritates me that people end up watching my videos stretched out on the screen anyway, as so many people have widescreen TVS now, but until I switch to native 16:9 cams, I feel I should just keep on as I have been.

What do you think? What do I tell him?

I think the above says it all. Deep down, you know 16:9 makes increasing sense for this work, but also know that if you have a 4:3 camera, it's best used in 4:3 mode. I fully agree.

BUT, if a friend was about to employ someone to film their daughters wedding, and asked my advice about what to look for, then "make sure they film true widescreen" would be well up my list of check points for them. (Along with "if they don't, go away and find someone who does".)

The wedding DVD may be looked at for years to come, well after 4:3 TVs have gone the way of monochrome sets. Should customers really have to put up with watching the picture stretched, or with black bars at the side? Even if they currently only have a 4:3 TV, a DVD player and widescreen DVD will produce a centre-cut or letterbox picture for it - as they do with cinema DVDs.

So, what to do?
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Harper (Post 886629)
Please don't recommend I get new cams unless you have $20K .........

Ah! Bang goes that idea....... :-)

All I can say is that anybody not able to offer a widescreen (and ideally HD) product, may find themselves increasing being squeezed by companies who do offer it. It may become not a case of can you afford to buy new cameras, but can you afford not to?

Simon Denny June 1st, 2008 04:50 PM

Hi Jeff,
The PD 150/170 records to tape in square pixels and a true 16.9 cam use's rectangle pixels.

The PD 150/170 in 16.9 mode just puts black bars top an bottom.
Even if you mask the LCD and use an anamorphic setting in post, this will resize the footage to get 16.9 wich on a 4.3 TV looks ok but when played on large widescreen, resoultion takes a hit and looks like a very cheap camera which theses camera are not.

Cool

Noa Put June 2nd, 2008 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Ash (Post 886793)
resoultion takes a hit and looks like a very cheap camera which theses camera are not.

I guess that with ntsc the resolution hit is bigger then with pal, sure I see a loss in resolution when I film in 16:9 mode with my vx2100 but it's acceptable on older crt screens were you hardly can see the difference, only big lcd's cause bigger problems. I have seen lcd's (or might be plasma's, not sure about that) at my clients were my 16:9 dvd's looked quite good and I have seen lcd's were my footage looked like crap.

That's the main reason why I intend to switch to HD by the end of this year, for regular dvd I hope to get a better resolution and for blu-ray I should be sure to get a very good image.

The thing about filming in 4:3 is that I was doing that about 2 years ago but since then wide screen tv have really flooded the market here, since last year I always have filmed in 16:9 mode because with 4:3 there are other problems to consider.

First of all, selling 4:3 is out of the question here, no way my clients want to look at their expensive wedding in an old format on their expensive widescreen lcd.

you can also bet they, like Tom said, will start to stretch your footage to fit their screen. I can tell you that no-one has a clue when it's correctly stretched, most of them will watch a completely deformed image and if I don't tell them, most of them won't notice. Today's lcd's have so many options in choosingseveral widescreen modes they just don't know. If it fills their screen, then it's OK.

The biggest problem I see with filming 4:3 is if they stretch it it will be either deformed or a part of the top and bottom of the image is missing, which will cause chopped of heads and so, meaning you have to take that into consideration while filming to leave anough headspace.

That's why I allways film in 16:9 mode because then they can only distort the image with a wrong setting but I will tell them when they look at their dvd, if it's correctly set I will be sure that what i want to appear on screen will be seen and not covered by the TV.

Martin Mayer June 2nd, 2008 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Ash (Post 886793)
The PD 150/170 records to tape in square pixels ......

I'm not sure WHAT you are saying here and, with respect, I'm not sure you are either. Pixels on tape don't have a shape, and there is no meaning to the phrase "square pixels". Even non-anamorphic "square" pixels used in 4:3 footage are NOT 1:1 aspect ratio.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Ash (Post 886793)
The PD 150/170 in 16.9 mode just puts black bars top an bottom.

This is simply not true (regarding the signal recorded) and again, with respect, shows a complete lack of understanding of anamorphic footage and how the PD150/170 produces it (which it does). True, the PD150/170 do not have 16:9 sensors, but your post is very misleading.

FWIW, in response to Jeff, I agree with Tom H and I fear your new shooter is right: Jeff, how can you say 4:3 footage - usually stretched for watching on a 16:9 set - is an acceptable way to proceed?

Jeff Harper June 2nd, 2008 09:44 AM

I suppose the only way to see if shooting in the fake widescreen is acceptable to me is to try it!

Martin Mayer June 2nd, 2008 09:57 AM

Good idea. As Tom H says - it will letterbox the V/F and LCD, but (and this is a big but) it will NOT letterbox the recorded footage. Recorded footage will be anamorphic (full frame) 16:9, synthesized by expanding the central c.400 lines (from memory) to fill the frame height, giving a "correctly" distorted (tall and thin) anamorphic image.

The captured footage can be treated as true anamorphic 16:9 by your NLE, and will show a small loss of vertical resolution - although I defy your customers to notice it.

I found it OK (until I eventually went to HDV) and it was CERTAINLY better than delivering 4:3 footage eight years into the in 21st Century - which I would find professionally excruciatingly embarrassing.

Chris Barcellos June 2nd, 2008 10:01 AM

Jeff:

This thread is a combination of serveral different original threads. http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ght=16%3A9

Ryan Postel June 2nd, 2008 10:54 AM

The wedding video company I worked for a little over 3 years ago made the switch from 4:3 to 16:9 back then after they bought new widescreen TVs (as people do nowadays) for the demo room and the 4:3 demo videos looked embarrassingly bad with the bars on either side. People would ask why the image didn't fit the TV and would that be the same for their TV at home.

Plus, we found that people assume that 16:9 = professional and 4:3 = my own dinky camcorder.

I'm not saying that 4:3 cameras don't produce a good image, but that things are progressing. The whole argument of standard to widescreen aspect ratio seems a bit dead at this point. The kid is right.

Jeff Harper June 2nd, 2008 11:07 AM

Yes, I suppose he is. I'm shooting some wedding porn tomorrow in a park. I'll shoot it in 16:9 and see what happens.

I am overwhelmed with editing and need to get off of this board!

To avoid temporarily researching this much as I am overloaded with work, can I simply shoot in the 16:9 mode, set my project properties in Vegas to 16:9 and I'll be good to go?

Thanks for all of your feedback, very much appreciated.

David Heath June 2nd, 2008 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Harper (Post 887161)
Yes, I suppose he is (right).

I'd say you both were. He would be right if he was saying "we should be producing our product 16:9", but you're right to be saying "we've got 4:3 cameras and they don't work as well in 16:9 mode".

The obvious conclusion is that it may be time to upgrade......... Sorry...... :-)

Jeff Harper June 2nd, 2008 01:54 PM

I know. I have an FX7, and the low light is so terrible. The EX1 is out of the question, not interested at this point.

If I felt I could shoot wedding videos with the FX7 and V1Us I would buy a V1u, but it's that darn low light thing. I've only used the FX7 for it's zoom as a fourth camera from the balcony.

Has anyone made the transition from the PD and VX series cams to the FX7/V1U series succesfully? How do you handle it?

Martin Mayer June 2nd, 2008 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Harper (Post 887285)
Has anyone made the transition from the PD and VX series cams to the FX7/V1U series succesfully? How do you handle it?

Not quite. We went from PD170s to Z1s - I never liked the V1 - not the images, nor the operation, and the Z1 (with gain) is close to the PD170 in low light - although not quite as good.

Rick L. Allen June 2nd, 2008 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Harper (Post 886629)
I shoot weddings, etc using the VX2100 and the PD 150/170. I always shoot in 4:3 mode.

I personally have never even tried shooting in the 16:9 mode on these cams, don't see the purpose, not for what I do.

Am I missing something here, is the kid right and are all of us old geezers in cincinnnati are just too old-school to know what's good?

The PD150/170's widescreen mode isn't really "fake." It chops the top and bottom off the 4:3, 720X480 screen to a 16X9, 720X405 screen. You lose a little vertical resolution but it edits as wide screen and looks just fine. Before HD came along and SD was just beginning to go 16X9 I was able to sell quite a bit of footage to Discovery and BBC in this mode. The most important thing is to import your footage as component video and it will look great.

And yes you are old. The video world is going HD and 16X9. Bet you don't see a lot of 4:3 TV's in Best Buy anymore do you? Finally, widescreen is more pleasing to the eyes because it more closely resembles the way we see the world. Our eyes see in widescreen not 4:3 boxes - never have.

Is he right? It's your business and you make the rules but give it a try anyway. It won't hurt. I promise.

Kevin Shaw June 3rd, 2008 12:33 AM

A couple years ago I tested various options for getting widescreen footage from 4:3 cameras and concluded that the 'faux widescreen' option isn't worth using. Not only is the quality marginal when viewed on a good HDTV, you also compromise your ability to crop back to 4:3 output if you decide you need that. Better to run the camera the way it was designed and determine whether to convert to widescreen in post, which isn't hard to do these days and works about as well as faux widescreen recording.

Anamorphic lens adapters work better, but for a little more than what one of those costs you could trade in the camera and buy a Sony FX1 or Canon XH-A1. I sold my Canon GL1/GL2 and upgraded to two FX1s for about $4K, of which I recouped nearly half in the form of reduced taxes. Buy a faster computer if you need one for editing HD, get a Blu-ray burner and authoring software for ~$600-800, and your total upgrade cost shouldn't be much more than $5-6K after tax credits. Spread this process out a little and it shouldn't be too painful, compared to getting stuck when customers start expecting widescreen/HD video.

Jeff Harper June 3rd, 2008 01:01 AM

If I could find 2 FX1s for $4k I'd buy them!

Tom Hardwick June 3rd, 2008 01:23 AM

Yes Jeff, do that - switch your VXs and PDs to their in-built electronic anamorphic modes and tell your NLE that it's 16:9 footage. OK, it will be softer than footage generated from an FX1, say, but hopefully you'll not be intercutting footage with a genuine 16:9 camera (your FX7), so it'll largely go unnoticed.

But you suddenly tell us you have an FX7! Forget the VX/PDs, sell them pronto while they still retain some value, and shoot all your weddings on the FX7 and bump the gain. Sorted!

tom.

Jeff Harper June 3rd, 2008 01:33 AM

That would be easy Tom if I didn't need three cams to shoot my gigs! I have on FX7, one VX and two PDs. My single FX7 is meant to be taking me in the right direction. If I found an FX1 or two cheaply enough I could probably scratch up the money, but they seem to be expensive even used!

Also, late to the 16:9 game as I am, there is the additional masking thing! Apparently there are various ways to do that. I always wondered in the past when I would see it mentioned as I had no idea what they were talking about.

Now thanks to a previous post, (forget the the guy who mentioned it) I understand what you see is not what you get in 16:9 mode on these cams.

Simon Denny June 3rd, 2008 01:58 AM

Hey Jeff,
I have the 170 and a Z1 and this is what i do to sort of get a wide screen from the 170 and still mix it with the Z1.
I use Vegas as my NLE. Record 4.3 with the 170 and put some tape top and bottom on the 170 screen to give you a 16.9 frame.

Capture your footage as 4.3 with Vegas as it will do.
When it comes time for editing, go in event pan crop on each pd170 footage and choose the 16.9 template. on the same page go to Source, STRETCH TO FILL FRAME AND SELECT NO. This will keep the footage 4.3 but gives it that 16.9 look without the loss of quality.
When you veiw this on a 4.3 TV you get black bars top and bottom and on a widescreen TV it is smaller than 16.9 and to MY liking it looks good, it's like another frame size but i'm not to sure what size it is.
Hope this makes sense.
I use this a lot also with regular 4.3 footage, i just mix it all up when i have different footage from different cameras.

Cheers
Simon

Boyd Ostroff June 3rd, 2008 07:37 AM

Recently I had to intercut some performance footage shot on my VX-2000 in 2002 as 4:3 with 16:9 downconverted from my Z1. I was a little worried at first, but it worked surprisingly well - I doubt that many (if any) people would notice the difference. I just dropped the 4:3 clip into a 16:9 FCP sequence and zoomed it out to fill the width of the frame.

However, I think it has a lot to do with your subject material. In this case, it was a close shot of an opera singer. If it had been a wide shot of the entire stage then it would be immediately noticeable as soft. Anyway I was glad it worked so well, since it was vintage footage of Anna Netrebko who has since become a true superstar in the opera world :-)

So if you have a mix of 4:3 and 16:9 native cameras, I'd suggest using the 4:3 for the closeups. I think it's a perceptual thing - there's only so much detail that we expect to see in a face, but if it's a landscape we look for details in the small objects and it appears out of focus.

Ryan Postel June 3rd, 2008 09:01 AM

Kevin,
In my opinion 4:3 footage looks just as marginally bad on a good HDTV as faux 16:9 does... SD only tends to look better on an CRT rather than HDTVs. Isn't that the consensus?


As far as blowing up a 4:3 shot to fill the 16:9 frame, I think it will really vary on the shot, as you said. Many many shots can look terrible intercut and you end up looking stupid doing it.

Chris Barcellos June 3rd, 2008 09:30 AM

I remember doing the math on this in the other thread I started. I came to the conclusion that on your SD tv set, with nominal 640 x 480 resolution, it really didn't matter whether you shot 4:3 and masked in a 4:3 project, or shot 16:9 "electronica mode" and edited 16:9. The output to the common CRT looked pretty close. When you started looking at it on computer monitors, or on high def monitors, thats when things start to suffer.

Jeff Harper June 3rd, 2008 09:46 AM

I have a pretty nice Toshiba hi def set. My 4:3 videos, look great on my TV. I sold a wedding pakcage on it last week. Groom was relieved that SD looked so good on a HD set. I am likely one of the only six or seven people on the planet who do not use the stretch or zoom mode.

But you know Simon, I do see what your suggesting. It does make sense. Not a bad suggestion! Thank you!

Kevin Shaw June 3rd, 2008 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Harper (Post 887546)
If I could find 2 FX1s for $4k I'd buy them!

My point was that if you sell your SD cameras while they're still worth anything and use that money toward a downpayment on a couple of HD cameras, your net upgrade cost (before tax savings) shouldn't be more than ~$4K. Then figure that your overall marginal tax rate including FICA is probably over 40% (15.3% plus 25% plus state), and your actual net upgrade cost is under $3K. I've also heard of people buying used FX1s for ~$2K or so each, so if you go that route you could cut your net upgrade cost to under $2K after taxes. That's still real money, but not as bad as $20K.

Regarding the question about how 4:3 footage looks on HDTVs, it can be okay depending on the TV but it's just not a good production format as we move into the widescreen display era. I'd rather take native 16:9 footage and crop it to 4:3 for old TVs than try to do the opposite for new TVs.

Boyd Ostroff June 3rd, 2008 03:12 PM

If you're viewing on a widescreen TV with decent scaling hardware, my guess is that 4:3 footage in "zoom" mode (such that it fills the 16:9 screen) will look better than either method of creating widescreen from the VX/PD series. In fact, a few years ago someone posted some examples which made a strong case for that.

Jeff Harper June 6th, 2008 12:50 PM

Update
 
Viewed wedding videos done by friend, look great in the 16:9 mode. I can't believe I haven't tried this yet.

I fear it will be the darker footage shot in darker churches and reception halls that will suffer.

I have to say though, I am psyched. Going to do 2 weddings this weekend and they will both be in fake 16:9.

Thanks for the comments and for sharing your experiences...

Jeff Harper June 6th, 2008 12:51 PM

BTW, I thought I saw a post of someone saying the viewfinder is not going to show what you get in the 16:9 mode. I don't see that issue with vx2100 or PD cameras, am I missing something?

Tom Hardwick June 6th, 2008 01:00 PM

Less of this 'fake' 16:9 talk Jeff. Nothing fake about it, but I know what you're trying to say.

If you're using the in-built 16:9 mode on the VX/PD the v'finders and side screens will show you the correct aspect ratio, so nothing to worry about there. If you used an anamorphic to give you 16:9 with greater vertical resolution, then you'd have to learn to live with distorted (horizontally compressed) v'finder images. I hate it.

tom.

Khoi Pham June 6th, 2008 01:16 PM

If it is not native then it is fake, you will lose vertical resolution, it might not be noticeble on a small tv but on a big screen it will looks like a fuzzy mess, either buy a 16X9 camera or if not shoot it in 4x3.

Tom Hardwick June 6th, 2008 01:54 PM

Just a gentle no - it's not fake at all. 16:9 is purely an aspect ratio - nothing more. You can arrive at that aspect ratio any way you choose - letterbox, native, anamorphic, squish, pull, stretch - you name it. If it ends up 16 long by 9 high it's real, true 16:9 all right.

tom.

Jeff Harper June 6th, 2008 02:26 PM

OK, thanks much guys!

John Miller June 6th, 2008 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Khoi Pham (Post 889253)
If it is not native then it is fake, you will lose vertical resolution, it might not be noticeble on a small tv but on a big screen it will looks like a fuzzy mess, either buy a 16X9 camera or if not shoot it in 4x3.

Well if you want to be really pedantic (!), all DV camcorders that record true 16:9 don't. They all record either 720 x 480 or 720 x 576. No exceptions. DV camcorders are aspect ratio neutral. The 16:9 presentations from these will be stretched horizontally instead of vertically. Sacrificing horizontal resolution can be more noticeable than vertical since vertical resolution of the final display is *always* 480 or 576.

Even HDV camcorders don't record in true 16:9 - they record in 4:3 (1440 x 1080).

At the end of the day: suck it and see what works best for you!

BTW, how much do you have to pay to get true 16:9 imaging and recording?

Any camcorders that work in 2.35:1 natively?

David Heath June 6th, 2008 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Miller (Post 889314)
Even HDV camcorders don't record in true 16:9 - they record in 4:3 (1440 x 1080).

I think you're confusing aspect ratio with pixel shape - square v oblong pixels.

Aspect ratio is defined by what shape a recording has to be displayed to make a filmed circle look like a circle on the display. HDV cameras are then most definately 16:9.

But, each pixel is then a rectangle, 1.33x as wide as high. The desire in video is to move towards square pixels, as with still imaging, as it makes graphics etc so much easier, and for square pixels we need 1920x1080 (or 1280x720).

Same with DV - it doesn't have square pixels, but the 720x480 or 720x576 can be either true 16:9 or 4:3, depending how shot. Interlace means it's much more satisfactory to have 16:9 chips, shoot 16:9, and derive 4:3 if you need both, than start off 4:3 and derive 16:9. The former means a relatively simple rescaling along each line (rescale the centre 540 pixels on each line to 720), the latter means de-interlacing, resizing and re-interlacing.

John Miller June 6th, 2008 05:08 PM

What I mean is that there is an argument (earlier in this thread) that the 16:9 from a VX2100 isn't "true" but there aren't any "true" 16:9 camcorders (in a realistic price range) because all of them record to frames that are not 16:9 - they all require that the final display device stretch the image in some form or other. HDV records a 1440 x 1080 image and this requires horizontal stretching to achieve the target aspect ratio. This results in less horizontal resolution than a format that uses a true 16:9 square pixel image. The image may be displayed with a 16:9 aspect ratio but the resolution isn't 16:9.

David Heath June 7th, 2008 03:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Miller (Post 889358)
This results in less horizontal resolution than a format that uses a true 16:9 square pixel image. The image may be displayed with a 16:9 aspect ratio but the resolution isn't 16:9.

That may be true, but in PAL land and DV (720x576) neither 16:9 or 4:3 have square pixels. You may be arguing that with 1080 HDV the non square pixels mean it will have horizontal resolution less than vertical due to pixel counts - in practice the effect of interlace will mean it's difficult to draw any conclusions, and that's before we start thinking of lenses etc.

In practice what is important is the native sensor shape, though 4:3 from 16:9 is easier than the other way round, for the interlace reasons mentioned earlier. Use the 16:9 mode of a 4:3 camera and it's easy to think that the only resolution loss is that (for PAL) you're just blowing about 430 lines up to 576. In practice the interlace effect makes it much more complicated, and the circuitry inside such cameras is not able to do the same job as such as a Snell & Wilcox box.


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