16:9 or 4:3???. documentary and ‘adult’ video.

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    • #37815

      I’ve been researching this online but I can’t really find a solid answer. My camera does native 16:9. I tend to prefer this more ‘cinematic’ look. However I am a total newb and I am worried about making a rookie mistake that would make my videos ineligible for contests, commercial distribution etc.

      My nightmare is having a finished project with tons of time and money and tears invested and a pro takes one look and says, ‘dude, you shot in widescreen? don’t you know any better? might as well start over.”

      I have two projects I am working on. One is a documentary. The other is an ‘adult’ film. I am not sure if this would affect the choice of aspect ratio also.

      Any help appreciated. Ridicule accepted also.

    • #167500

      I don’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve seen a single4:3 video on Youtube.

      I’d shoot it in 16:9, wait for the contest, and then crop it only if by hypothetical chance they won’t accept it in 4:3.

    • #167501

      In today’s production environments, while I continue to shoot and produce on SD because I’m not getting the demand for wide screen OR HD in my select production categories, you can certainly NOT go wrong shooting widescreen and/or high definition. There’s, as XTR said, always the option to down-convert and/or crop, pan and scan, etc. to make it fit into other demands, but again I do not expect you to run into “issues” regarding wide screen or HD production delivery on the client/user end.

    • #167502


      Don’t forget if you shoot in 16:9 and plan to crop it down to 4:3 in post you’ll need to put a standard def safe action/title area on your camera view screen or LCD so you can frame in camera during the shoot. Trying to jam it down from wide to standard in post will be a fruitless affair with either ‘stretched’ imagery or a badly cropped frame. You’ll also have to move your talent in closer together to take the 4:3 frame into account.

      Unless your client has specifically asked for SD, just shoot in widescreen. Make sure you set up the imagery to suit the 16:9 format and take advantage of the larger format.

    • #167503

      I have one client who specifically asked for SD, not HD. I usually record in HD 1080i even if my final output will be SD, either 4:3 or 16:9. The past couple of projects I have done were 4:3 in final delivery, regardless of recording settings.

    • #167504

      To follow up on CJ’s question, I have to convert our HD to SD 4:3 for television. I am trying to use previously written .mov files and letterbox to fit 4:3 in Compressor. Is that a possibility without squishing the image. Having a tough time finding the correct settings?

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