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True Wide-Screen with Digital Video? 21

skyman8081 asks: "Have anyone had any luck getting DV footage to use a 2.35:1 Cinemascope aspect ratio? The wide-screen functions built into most video cameras are all 1.77:1, which is not what I am looking for. And the only anamorphic lenses for DV cameras are 1.85:1. Matting it out to make it fit 2.35:1 would not be an option as that would cause detail to be lost in the total image in the process, which would be very noticeable when you are working with Standard Definition of 720/480 and not the High Definition resolution of 1920/1080. So, how does one get the wider Cinemascope aspect ratio on a DV camera without sacrificing detail?"
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True Wide-Screen with Digital Video?

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  • Partial solution: (Score:2, Informative)

    by escher ( 3402 ) *
    The only thing I can think of is to use both an anamorphic 16:9 lens and the fake 16:9 camera mode.
    • To whoever modded this down as overrated: I've seen this technique used and it works pretty well. It's probably the lowest-cost way to get an anamorphic 720x480 frame > 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • I'm no video expert, but as far as I know, 1080i and 720p are the two main resolutions generally agreed upon in the high def standard. Don't ask me who ratifies that standard, because i don't know, probably a consortium of Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Pioneer, etc...
  • Duct tape! (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Tape two DV cameras side-by-side and shoot... Then collage the two frames together, frame by frame... Uh, good luck!
    • Re:Duct tape! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by skyman8081 ( 681052 ) <skyman8081 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @09:02PM (#11154666) Homepage

      Tape two DV cameras side-by-side and shoot... Then collage the two frames together, frame by frame... Uh, good luck!

      I was reading an article in CineFex on the production of SeaBiscut (Issue 95, October 2003, Matrix: Reloaded Cover Story), and that actually is what they did for the POV shots of the jockeys riding on the horses.

      The biggest problem with that is then having to rotoscope out the parallax of each frame. A real PITA to do.
  • The classic technique is to use a special (read: expensive) lens.

  • by GoRK ( 10018 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @08:09PM (#11154243) Homepage Journal
    Uhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............ The only way you are going to get it is without sacrificing native resolution is to use an anamorphic lens as you stated. Therefore you're going to have to look harder for a 2.35:1 anamorphic lens.

    Canon has a 2.35:1 lens in its HD-EC line, but it's made to work on a native 16:9 camera, as are most 2.35:1 lenses. Therefore, as another poster said, you're going to have to find a native 16:9 DV camera, or you're going to have to stack a 2.35:1 -> 16:9 converter onto a 16:9 -> 4:3 converter.
  • Easy (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    You need to spend more cash.

    Next question !
  • Lack of resolution (Score:3, Informative)

    by rueger ( 210566 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @08:24PM (#11154357) Homepage
    We're also working on project that would involve Large Format(LF) digital projection.

    From what I understand the resolution just isn't there yet in the digital realm. It is though close, and I'd wager that in a year or so you'll see projection systems, if not cameras, that can handle widescreen or Imax formats in a reasonable fashion.

    For instance, we're looking at LF presentation in a gallery setting for 10-20 people at a time. Can't do it right now, but by the time we're ready to launch we should have the technology in hand.
  • Know your equipment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DreadPiratePizz ( 803402 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @08:26PM (#11154371)
    All 2.35:1 lenses that I know of only work with cameras that have native 16:9 CCDs. Most cameras do not. If your DV camera was expensive, refer to the manual about information regarding the CCDs.
    Video works a little differently than film. Shooting 16:9 on a 4:3 CCD, the image is shrunk to fit the CCD horizontally, leaving the top portions of the CCD unused, thus decresing resolution. This will occur using 2.35:1 lenses on a 16:9 camera. You're going to lose quality either way.
    Honestly the easiest thing to do WOULD be just to matte your video. Honestly it doesn't matter. The visible portion is still just as sharp as it would be otherwise. The best option in my opinion is to shoot 16:9 on a camera with native 16:9 CCDs, then crop the remaining portion to get to 2.35:1.
    • Additionally if you crop during the editing stage; you can crop each scene seperately and use the extra area to make adjustments to the vertical framing of each shot.
    • ...and if it really matters he shouldn't be looking for "please do this for me ultra cheaply right now" solution anyways...
    • IIRC, the Canon XL2 can do 16:9, but I dont recall if that's the native resolution of the CCDs or not (though I think it may be). I think there are also a couple of Sony (yuck!) cameras that have 16:9 resolution.

      Forget using consumer-level cameras altogether. You're going to have to start at the prosumer level at a minimum. The XL2 [] may be a good point at which to start your search.
  • Why do people call short-screen formats wide-screen?
    • " Why do people call short-screen formats wide-screen?"

      Because cinema screens are (or at least used to be, before cheap-ass multiplexes ruined everything) fixed height, not fixed width. Therefore Widescreen is wider than Academy. The shape of your television is irrelevant.
  • Black tape! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by relaxmax ( 686075 )

    If I were in your shoes, I'd use some black tape and stick it carefully onto a part of the camcorder's viewfinder. This way, you can film in the max widescreen resolution it supports, then run it thru filters that give you the resolution you need.

    At the end, you won't lose details in your movie 'cos you saw only what you wanted; NOT what was being filmed!

    -- rxMx --

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner