Capturing 4:3 mini dv footage from 16:9 screen

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    • #95381

      I have mini dv footage which has been recorded in 4:3. I am looking to buy a new camcorder with a 16:9 screen, not only for future use but to play my existing tapes for capturing (mainly because it will hopefully be of better quality playback than the original camcorder used to record the footage).

      Will this new camcorder (which presumably ‘outputs’ in 16:9) be able to successfully hook up to software designed to capture in 4:3, without affecting the resulting image ratio?


    • #216096

      It will hook up, but SD material is usually 720 x 576 (in the UK, less in the US) no matter of it is 16:9 or 4:3, so your editing software can deal with this in two ways. lose the edges of the 16:9, or stretch and then lose the top and bottom of 4:3. The stretching and then ‘throwing away’ means you will lose resolution. You can even stretch a bit and shrink – so you distort a circle, but only a bit. If you play your old tapes, I suspect the image will stretch, because while there are data flags to indicate the aspect ration, because the SD frame size is fixed in pixel count, different models and makes often get it wrong. So anything you capture might need adjusting depending on the format you select.

    • #216101

      Your software should be able to display 16:9 and 4:3 on the same timeline. Each will be in its native format. Your software should then permit stretching or shrinking as you choose.

    • #216123

      The DV codec is designed to support both 4:3 and 16:9 animorphicaly – the dimensions of the frame will actually be the same no matter which aspect ratio you shoot it in. Basically, any DV camera should recognize, capture, and playback both 4:3 and 16:9 video regardless of the built in screen’s aspect ratio, as the only real difference is how much the image in the frame is horizontally squished. The same should go for your editing software.

    • #216162

      I use Premiere Pro CS4, and it doesn’t matter whether I’m siting in HD or SD, but if I book a Mini-DV camera/deck by FireWire to my computer, the computer will automatically record in whatever aspect ratio I had shot in.

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