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Old 10-04-2006, 04:13 PM   #31
oakstreetphotovideo
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Shaw, shooting 16:9 on a camera with a 4:3 native CCD is essentially the same as cropping, and either can be forced to play correctly on a 16:9 TV. Shooting 16:9 in camera will yield true anamorphic format, but it will do so by using a slice of the CCD, thereby lowering the resolution.

Eddie, Resolution is the number of pixel elements that make up the image. Using DV, you've got approximatey 350,000 pixel elements that make up the image (it varies from NTSC to PAL). 350K isn't a lot of dots to construct an image on a 30" television, so the image won't be really sharp. If you crop to top and bottom off, you lose about 25% of the dots, so your image has only 260,000 pixel elements, which is even worse.

I agree that the 16:9 look is hip. I do like it, and I paid dearly to get it (about $750). However, 4:3 is where your camera will give you the sharpest image. If you shoot with widescreen in mind, you can always make the decision to crop and stretch later. Your other option, is to find an anamorphic adaptor that mounts in front of your lens. That's what I did, and I love it. It also gives you a wider field of view.
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:51 PM   #32
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I may have meant -12...I just use the lines, I was just going off your previous post from memory. I do know that the measure is of Decibels...which would make sense to be -12.

Any footage can be turned into 16 x 9 in post by dropping it into a 16 x 9 timeline, then adjust the footage up and down in the timeline to get the headspace you're looking for...you can also then do 2.35:1 as well (cinemascope) and look even cooler.

Of course if that logic fits, you could make a single pixel tall frame and have the coolest movie ever
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:52 PM   #33
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Oh certainly. I realize the loss of resolution when cropping or shooting 16:9 in camera. It's just easier to shoot anamorphic 16:9 if your output is an anamorphic DVD than to crop and later stretch the footage to be anamorphic. It also doesn't look as good unless you use a high quality scaling algorithm which many NLEs aren't equiped with.

Of course, shooting 4:3 does allow some freedom in re-framing. Since I shoot 2.35 a lot though it works for me either way.
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:51 PM   #34
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Actually, Shaw, I suspect that the oversampling on the limited CCD area could product more actual resolution than stretching 360 lines to 480 (using NTSC metrics). I guess my point is that you should shoot 4:3 and use 4:3 if you want the most from your camera, or buy an anamorphic lens adaptor that will allow you to make optimal use of your camcorder's sensors. I don't think the widescreen look is worth sacrificing resolution when miniDV is already on the lower end of the scale. I surely wouldn't want someone to shoot in 16:9 and not realize what they might be sacrificing.

The bottom line here is that everyone, including those with the very best equipment, should make test shots and verify that the results they are getting are acceptable. It all comes down to the look you want, and your target audience. Go shoot some video, capture it on the computer, give it a hard look, and decide for yourself.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:17 PM   #35
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I am also a large proponent of test shooting...tests are cheap in digital, there's no reason not to. I want a 72mm anamorphic adaptor...any recommendations?

I ask because I can't find one for an XL1s (72mm filter thread)...I think it'll fit the XM2 also (to bring it back on thread )

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Old 10-04-2006, 11:05 PM   #36
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If you're looking for one, I'll be sure to bring mine up there when I visit, and you can give it a try. I have no idea if it would fit on a Canon, but it does screw into a 72mm filter thread.
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:56 PM   #37
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that would be cool.
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:36 AM   #38
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Ok, thank you all for responding i think i understand a bit more...

1. Resolution determines the picture quality so its pointless shooting 16-9 format as you lose some of that quality. 16-9 format can be created in post or by using a wide angled lens.

2. Manual settings give a much greater control over the image. I have been trying out the manual settings and creating different pictures with various tones of light/shade. So i imagine it would be just like choosing the best photograph and shooting that for the scene.

3. Audio gain can be maintained at +12db. However will this be a good thing? In previous films my audio levels have been up, down, all over the place. And is manual control of audio gain required if i use an external mike?
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Old 10-05-2006, 06:53 AM   #39
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Your right about the manual controls! It exactly creates the sort of the picture you want.

Also i have just done a manual white balance by zooming into a white sheet of paper and the colours of what i filmed looked very natural indeed.
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Old 10-05-2006, 11:17 AM   #40
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It sounds like you've made a lot of progress, Eddie. Don't worry if it takes a while for all of this stuff to sink in. I've learned most of what I know by making mistakes and then learning how not to do that again.

The problem with automatic audio levels is that the automatic gain will amplify the background noise a lot during quiet times, because it "thinks" it the mic sensitivity is too low when it doesn't hear any foreground audio. The reason this is such a problem, is that the background noise levels will rise and fall throughout your clip. It makes it virtually impossible to clean up the audio, and it can be quite annoying to listen to.

As an experiment, just set the AGC (automatic gain control) to on and find a relatively quiet location. Let the camera record the ambient background noise for 15 seconds, then talk for 15 seconds, then be quiet whilte the camera records for another 15 seconds. Play that back, and notice how the AGC cranked up the mic sensitivity (gain) while you were not talking, and how that affected your audio track.

Finally, all of this applies as well to external microphones. The big difference with the ext. mic is that it probably won't pick up the motor noise from you camera, when the gain gets hiked up really high. Noise levels will still be a problem.
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Old 10-05-2006, 11:28 AM   #41
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Love to see some screen shots of the tests you're doing.
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:19 PM   #42
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Quote:
Actually, Shaw, I suspect that the oversampling on the limited CCD area could product more actual resolution than stretching 360 lines to 480 (using NTSC metrics)
What I was trying to say is that stetching the footage to be anamorphic will look worse than in camera anamorphic unless you have a great resampling algorithm - so precisely what you are suggesting. Bad english sentence construction on my part.

Quote:
1. Resolution determines the picture quality so its pointless shooting 16-9 format as you lose some of that quality. 16-9 format can be created in post or by using a wide angled lens.
It's not *pointless* - just realize that you won't have as much resolution as with 4:3. Plenty of people do it any it looks fine. I even crop to 2.35:1 quite often. Like all things it's just know what the downsides are so you make an informed choice. Also, a wide angle lens and an anamorphic lens are two separate beasts. The anamorphic is wide angle only in the horizontal direction whereas a normal wide angle lens is wide in both vertical and horizontal which is not what you would want.
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Old 10-05-2006, 01:34 PM   #43
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Oakstreetphotovideo, yes i have made progress and i shall try the audio 15 sec test later on tonight.

Knightly, shall be making a horror movie for halloween so i shall be uploading plenty of footage, before the end of the month.

Shaw, i shall probably buy anamorphic lens in the near future.

Anyway i shall be trying some test shots now, shooting in low levels of light. Back in half an hour...
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Old 10-05-2006, 01:35 PM   #44
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I understood what you were saying, Shaw. I was just rambling on and on, like I do, in the hope that saying the same thing 5 different ways would help Eddie make sense of all of this techno-jarble.

Back to my point about oversampling, vs. stretching from 75% of a 4:3 frame. I was just reviewing the specs on the camcorder, and it claims to sport 3, 470,000 pixel sensors. In PAL format, with 525 lines of resolution, you'd need something like 380,000 pixels to make up the 4:3 image. If you then used 3/4 of the sensor for 16:9, you'd be using 352K pixels (theoretically, of course), to construct an image of 378K pixels. That really isn't much of a stretch. At least not as much as taking the 378K pixel image and reducing it to 75% in the vertical dimension and stretching, which would be starting with about 283,500 pixels.

So ... it is theoretically possible to get better 16:9 from the camera than you'd get by converting in post; even if you had excellent interpolation software. You will still lose some resolution, because only part of the sensor can be used. The difference in chroma samples would be even more significant, but I don't want Eddie's head to explode (miniDV PAL samples chroma on every other line). Of course, these numbers are all based on theoretical maximums and the final arbiter should be real world testing and subjective analysis.

In laymen's terms: Try it, and see if you like it.
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Old 10-05-2006, 01:45 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Eddie Rex View Post
Oakstreetphotovideo, yes i have made progress and i shall try the audio 15 sec test later on tonight.

Knightly, shall be making a horror movie for halloween so i shall be uploading plenty of footage, before the end of the month.

Shaw, i shall probably buy anamorphic lens in the near future.
Man, we've got to stop ganging up on Eddie!

To reiterate my last post in more simple terms, Eddie ... don't buy any new equipment until you determine, through real-world testing and comparison that it will actually be justified. You might find that a good microphone will do more for your production quality than a slight improvement in sharpness from an anamophic adaptor. A good way to "preview" what the anamophic adaptor will do on your camera is to shoot some video in 4:3 (so you get the benefit of the entire CCD area), then tell your editing software, or playback software that the video is actually 16:9. You should then see the image stretched horizontally, but with the full image quality. Compare that to something similar shot with the camera set to 16:9 and see how much difference there is in sharpness. The anamorphic adaptor would fix the image so it wouldn't look stretched, but it won't provide any more sharpness than the 4:3 image that you forced to 16:9 by stretching.

I hope that makes sense. If it doesn't, let me know, and I'll post some sample images to describe how you can compare for yourself, and make an informed decision. Image sharpness isn't everything, and the difference may not be that great. Your production may benefit more from some other piece of equipment.
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