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post #1 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
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After seeing the thread about the new Sony HD camcorder, I did some searches for something a bit closer to my price range. I saw a couple of 16:9 native camcorders that apparently sell in Europe. These might be a nice lower cost alternative with some quality advantages. Also, as standard MiniDV format, they would have better compatibility with all the existing tools out there. (although, the specs for these were a bit ambiguous.. I'm not 100% sure they have true 16:9 CCD's)


A couple I found were:
Sony DSR-PDX10P
Canon MVX200

Does anyone have experience with these? Have any 16:9 camcorders been sold in the U.S.?
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post #2 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 06:31 AM
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Are they Anamorphic. Lot's of cameras say they support 16:9 but if they're simply masking or cropping that's losing resolution. They must be Anamorphic for you to maintain the quality.
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post #3 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 09:10 AM
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Almost all the Sony Digital camcorders support 16x9 anamorphic. My old TRV-130 does. And it was the bottom of the line digital camera, and is about 3 years old. It works pefectly with my 16x9 display. This is a very common feature, but most people do not know it exists. Though it is true some cameras still just crop and will give you black bars at top and bottom.

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post #4 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 09:41 AM
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Most of the cameras just take the middle 360 lines (NTSC) for the anamorphic 16:9 so you aren't getting the full resolution. Sony released a native 16:9 last year, PD170 (or something like that) I think. That give full vertical resolution. I believe the movie "Pieces of April" may have been shot with a couple of them.

It seemed to take the industry some time to respond to the demand for such cameras. Instead of using the lower resolution built-in 16:9 in consumer and prosumer cameras most filmmakers used anamorphic lenses such as the Century Optic lens.
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post #5 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 09:53 AM
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The Panasonic DVX100 and the JVC GR-HD1/JY-HD10U are TRUE 16:9 camcorders. Those are sem-pro/pro-sumer models but there are other Pro models that are in the +$15,000 or more range.

As Brian stated, most camcorders only mask the image an you don't have full resolution although it is a 16:9 image.

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post #6 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Troy LaMont
The Panasonic DVX100 and the JVC GR-HD1/JY-HD10U are TRUE 16:9 camcorders.

The DVX100 is not in anyway a true 16:9 camera. It too masks the CCD to capture a 16:9 image.

If you want a TRUE 16:9 image from the Panny, you need to buy the Panasonic AG-LA7200G Anamorphic adapter.

The Sony PDX10 supports a true 16:9 image recording the same # of pixels.
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post #7 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, most camcorders support 16:9 modes, with varying levels of quality.. But with widescreen being popular in Europe and Japan, I have expected more native 16:9 camcorders to become available, which is what I was searching for.

The Sony documentation for the DSR-PDX10 says:
• Switchable 4:3 and 16:9 image acquisition and recording modes (native 16:9 extraction)
• Precision 16:9 technology and wider angle of view in 16:9 mode

this sounds like a true 16:9 CCD. A google search also turned up a coupld reviews which mentioned the 16:9 CCD. But, I don't know what price range it is at.

I tried finding more information on the Canon MVX200, but it only says things like "high resolution 16:9", which I assume is a horizontally compressed full-frame 4:3 mode.
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post #8 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 11:39 AM
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I've got the TRV20 Sony Camera. I tested 10 different camera's (Back in 2002) that did a 16X9 squeeze. This was the only camera in my test that didn't lose resolution in 16X9 mode. I think because it has a 1 megapixel CCD,it has the head room to zoom the CCD without losing any resolution. I did lots of testing between 4:3 and 16X9 on this camera. I've got a 65" Mits Wide-screen TV, and I couldn't see any difference in picture quality or detail between the two modes. I still have the DV tape with the me saying "4:3 street sign, 16X9 street sign, Rose peddle 4:3, 16X9 Rose peddge,..etc,...
I would think that any 1 megapixel or above Sony ('cause that the on that works for me) would have the same results.
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post #9 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
The DVX100 is not in anyway a true 16:9 camera. It too masks the CCD to capture a 16:9 image.

If you want a TRUE 16:9 image from the Panny, you need to buy the Panasonic AG-LA7200G Anamorphic adapter.
Brian,

Thanks for the clarification. Remember this thread! :D

Also to note that any 4:3 camera can acheive a full resolution 16:9 image with an anamophic lens.

Greg T,

Quote:
I've got the TRV20 Sony Camera.
I have the same camera and it DOES lose resolution as well as all the other cameras. If it doesn't affect the way you view the image, that's good, but it does lose resolution and that's been documented numerous times.

I'd also have to add that the widescreen image does stretch to fit a 16:9 set and doesn't look bad, but I wasn't satisfied that I wasn't getting the full resolution.

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post #10 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 02:17 PM
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Oh God Troy, not THAT thread ! Ugh.....

the PDX-10 is essentially a 4:3 CCD as well. However, it is a megapixel CCD (1152x864) that masks the CCD according to 4:3 or 16:9 setting. In essence, it is capturing as a 16:9 CCD with full 16:9 DV resolution.

In fact, I think that's going to be very commonplace in the future, with convergence of "megapixel" digital cameras converging with video cameras.

I was going to buy a PDX10 but was waiting for a HDV version which Sony has just announced.
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post #11 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 02:35 PM
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tji -

I agree with Troy -- go the route of getting an anamorphic lens.

I did extensive research for a good quality DV camcorder about 1.5 years ago and DEFINATELY wanted 16:9 to author onto DVD to display on my 16:9 TV.

I ended up with the (then) new Sony TRV-950 3ccd DV camcorder and purchased a Century Optics 16:9 anamorphic lens for it. The quality of the video I am getting ... in a word ... STUNNING.

This camcorder has 1 megapixel CCD's and by using the anamorphic lens I am utilizing the full resolution for my movies. Once transferred to the PC, the MPEG2 compression program I use (Canopus Pro-Coder) allows me to insert the 16:9 flag into the MPEG2 stream so it authors as a widescreen movie to DVD properly.

Century Optics:

http://www.centuryoptics.com/product.../16x9_37mm.htm

Good Luck!
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PS - using the 16:9 switch on most camcorders also *does not* capture a true 16:9 panoramic image since the lenses in camcorders are not usually wide-angle. An anamorphic lens will give you a true panoramic wide-screen image as indicated on Century Optics webpage above.

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post #12 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by aaron.s

I agree with Troy -- go the route of getting an anamorphic lens.
I thought that the optical 16:9 adapters limited the camcorder's zoom capability. But, the Century Optics www site says it has "Full zoom capability", can you confirm this?

I see the pricing for this is $700-800, which makes it less clear when compared to something like the JVC HD camcorder.
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post #13 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 03:14 PM
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tji -

On my Sony TRV-950 it does limit the zoom slightly but not that much.... and that is (I believe) because my Sony has a 12x optical zoom. I think that on 10x optical zooms there is full zoom capability.

The price depends on the size adapter you need - dependant on the thread size of your camcorder's lens. The Sony TRV-950 has 37mm thread size and the 16:9 adapter cost me $395

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post #14 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
I thought that the optical 16:9 adapters limited the camcorder's zoom capability. But, the Century Optics www site says it has "Full zoom capability", can you confirm this?
By limits, the more you zoom, the more distortion (astigmatism) you get with your video (another reason I was going to go wtih a PDX10).

I had the Optex (Century only had a bayonet mount at the time) which was fantastic. No distortion from 0-25% zoom, 25%-50%, astigmatism presented itself, slight softening of the picture, 50-75%, much worse, and 75%-100% zoom, you'd think you were going blind.
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post #15 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 08:59 PM
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i have a century optics on a canon gl1 and it definitely limits the zoom. maybe 60% of the zoom range is left. i can't say that the focus is really good on auto either. i have read a review there the optex anamorphic lense was much sharper.

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post #16 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 09:07 PM
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as i look at this i am unclear on what a pdx10 is. we have used the vx2000's or vx1000's but i was unaware for the pdx10. why does sony have two 3ccd camcorders in the same price range? what is the difference between these? the x10 looks prettying interesting and i did not know it existed.

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post #17 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 09:44 PM
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The VX1000/2000 are first/second generation DV cameras that are discontinued.

The PDX-10 is within the last 12-14 months. The consumer equivalent (without teh 16:9 option) is the TRV950. I don't think the VX2100 supports true 16:9 but haven't checked.

The Optex that I had compared to the first generation of Century Optics anamorphic adapters was signficantly better. But still limited on zoom
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post #18 of 35 Old 03-19-2004, 11:51 PM
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Well,
To my eyes, I could not see a difference in picture quality between 4:3 and 16:9 on the TRV20. I even did my tests on a tri pod, and to my suprise the TRV20 had about 5-7% more width when switched to 16:9 mode. I took 4:3 video and 16:9 video of a sign across the street from my house that is barely readable with DV's resolution. It had the same readability for 16:9 or 4:3 with this camera. Maybe Sony did something different by version number whithin the same model. Again, all of the other models I tested had a very discernable resolution loss when switched into 16:9 mode.
I even bought the Canon XL-1 and the Sony's 16:9 mode blew it away.I'd imagine that a better camera with an anamorphic lense would provide a better picture, but the TRV20 will serve me well until I jump to HD. If only the GR-HD1 was a little smaller.
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post #19 of 35 Old 03-20-2004, 04:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bwiklem
I don't think the VX2100 supports true 16:9 but haven't checked.

The Optex that I had compared to the first generation of Century Optics anamorphic adapters was signficantly better. But still limited on zoom


i still don't understand the niche for this little pdx cam. it looks so consumer compared to the 2100 and it has 1/4" ccd's while the 2100 has 1/3"ccd's but the res is so much higher and it is listed in their pro line with xlr's and all. i have gl1's and was thinking of replacing them with sony's but i am not sure how i choose between them. has anyone ever compared the image from them?

also, i didn't realize century optics had a new anamorphic lense. i wonder if it is much better than mine or better than the optex. i have a first gen century optics.

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post #20 of 35 Old 03-20-2004, 09:55 AM
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The Sony camera I was thinking about is the DSR-PD170:

http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Professiona...cam.html<br />

- Brian
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post #21 of 35 Old 03-20-2004, 12:25 PM
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I'm using the Century Optics adapter on a TRV900 and the zoom works fine. Very nice combo!

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post #22 of 35 Old 03-20-2004, 01:16 PM
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brian,

as i understand the 170 is the pro version of the vx2100. i understand that the engine is the same in the two. it is 3 1/3 inch 380K pixel ccds. it lists for nearly 4K where the pdx10 has 3 megapixel ccd's but they are only 1/4" and it lists for only $2400. if i understand correctly the downside of smaller ccd's is not as good at low light and the depth of field is not as good. like on a 60 minutes interview where they have the subject in focus and the background is not yet the background is only 10 ft away. in the case of the pdx10 i would think it is worse since they are not using the entire 1/4" sensor (they use some pixels for 4:3 and some more for 16:9). i just don't know how to judge the value of the bigger chip size.

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post #23 of 35 Old 03-20-2004, 03:50 PM
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I don't have experience with teh PDX10, but it has received rave reviews (DV magazine, and others I can't remember). But when HDV was announced by Sony/Sharp/JVC and that a 1080i camera was coming, I decided to just hold out and wait.

Sony has answered my prayers, and I will demo their new camera bypassing the PDX10 completely.
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post #24 of 35 Old 03-21-2004, 12:57 PM
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Yes, I would recommend going with an HD camera for 16:9. My JVC footage looks like film not video. It will be interesting to see if the Sony is going to look like film or video. My bet is video as you get the film look with progressive scan. Also it will be interesting to see how soon Panasonic gets it's D-snap HD version on the market (for low cost HD shooting).

Before the JVC GR-HD1 I was using a JVC DV2000 which had 16:9 progressive and was "supposed" to be native 16:9 but there was a lot of debate over that though the footage was better than my 16:9 Sony footage.
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post #25 of 35 Old 03-22-2004, 07:38 AM
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Is the new Canon Elura 60 supposed to have the full 16:9 mode?

John
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I'm also in the market for a 16:9 camera. I've heard a number of different opinions, so I thought I would ask if anyone compared the Sony PDX-10 with the JVC GR-HD1? Which would you choose for the best indoor picture quality (16:9 only)?
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Damm, I wish I waited on purchasing my SONY TRV950, now that a SONY HDV cam is coming out. Oh well.... BTW, 16:9 on my 950 looks great, even though it is slightly cropped. From all the things I have heard is try the 16:9 mode on your cam before you go out an purchase a new camera or some $500 lens.
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post #28 of 35 Old 03-22-2004, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by jcg
Is the new Canon Elura 60 supposed to have the full 16:9 mode?

John
No. It most likely has a mode which masks off part of the 4:3 CCD to do 16:9 mode.

A Google search turned up this link which says the Elura 65 and 70 have a better widescreen mode.
It sounds like the mode that several other cameras have, where it uses the full 4:3 CCD, and horizonally compresses the widescreen.
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post #29 of 35 Old 03-22-2004, 09:59 AM
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I've been watching the HD Camcorder space for a while. Here's what I've picked up thus far...

Sony's first foray into the sub $50k HD market will be the HDC-X300 with 3 1.5 megapixel HAD 1/2 inch CCD's. It will be rated at 1080 lines and can shoot 59.94 or 50 frames interlaced, or 24,25, or 40 frames progressive. Retail will be around $15k and it will be shown at the NAB show in April.

The only thing I've seen about a Sony HDV camera is here: http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...r-03_17_04.htm


Panasonic's first HD 16:9 camera is the AK-HC900 with three 2/3 inch CCD's (1280x720), 720 lines of resolution at 60 frames per second (progressive). This will come in at $35k.

The four companies that formed the HDV high definition standard (Sharp, JVC, Sony & Canon) for camcorders have all been mum on prosumer models, although I've read a lot of speculation that the NAB show will be a "coming out" party for at least two companies showing prosumer models to compete with JVC - I suspect Sony will be one of them based upon the Euorpean Cebit announcement.

I should point out that the Sony is 2.6 lbs, which at least tells me that a small form factor HD 16:9 camera is possible - now we need to get the price down :>
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post #30 of 35 Old 03-22-2004, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by alk3997
I'm also in the market for a 16:9 camera. I've heard a number of different opinions, so I thought I would ask if anyone compared the Sony PDX-10 with the JVC GR-HD1? Which would you choose for the best indoor picture quality (16:9 only)?
If you're shooting a lot of indoor, I'd go with the PDX10 - better color and light sensitivty, cheaper, and smaller.
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