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What do you think of Panasonic DV-30's "movie-like" feature?


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#1 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 09:50 PM

I've shot several shorts with Panasonic's DV30 and many clients have liked the "movie-like" setting.
If you go into the camera settings, you can see that it lowers the detail setting, increases the chroma,
changes the AE settings, turns on a skin detail feature for softer close-ups and shoots in a frame mode.

Some people have told me that they can't stand it and that with that camera they would shoot with the
regular video setting and do any adjustments in post. What do you think and if you're one of the ones
who would work with it in post, what programs would/do you use in Final Cut pro?

Also, I've heard conflicting reports on using the letterbox mode. Yes, it's not true 16x9 but I'm told
that shooting 4x3 and letterboxing later -easy with Final Cut Pro - is a waste because more information is
captured (shooting with letterbox "on") because -I'm hazy here - either fewer pixels are "wasted" with the
letterbox mode or there is
less unnecessary compression than would be with 4x3 images of information that will never be used
(i.e. above and below the letterbox frame.)

Thanks.
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#2 Scott Lynch

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 10:05 PM

Also, I've heard conflicting reports on using the letterbox mode. Yes, it's not true 16x9 but I'm told
that shooting 4x3 and letterboxing later -easy with Final Cut Pro - is a waste because more information is
captured (shooting with letterbox "on") because -I'm hazy here - either fewer pixels are "wasted" with the
letterbox mode or there is
less unnecessary compression than would be with 4x3 images of information that will never be used
(i.e. above and below the letterbox frame.)


I don't have a DV-30 but my XL1 has a 4:3 chip in it with an option to shoot a squeezed 16:9. I used to shoot all of my footage 4:3 and letterboxed the top and bottom in post. I did this because I thought that if I wanted to I could move the frame up and down to correct any framing issues. But on a recent short I used the 16:9 feature. What I found was that when I squeezed the image in post my images looked a lot sharper and cleaner, and had less of that "soft" look that older mini-DV cameras have.

So, I guess think about shooting squeezed 16:9 as a way to qet more quality in your final image. It's kind of like if you shoot HD video and downconvert it to SD, because you are starting with more pixels then you need in the original image, when you compress it the footage always looks better. But try it out shoot a couple of shots once in 4:3 and then before you move the tripod shoot a squeezed 16:9. Then in post decide for yourself if you think that one image looks better then the other and use that to make your decision.

-Scott
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#3 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 04 July 2006 - 10:27 AM

I don't have a DV-30 but my XL1 has a 4:3 chip in it with an option to shoot a squeezed 16:9. I used to shoot all of my footage 4:3 and letterboxed the top and bottom in post. I did this because I thought that if I wanted to I could move the frame up and down to correct any framing issues. But on a recent short I used the 16:9 feature. What I found was that when I squeezed the image in post my images looked a lot sharper and cleaner, and had less of that "soft" look that older mini-DV cameras have.

So, I guess think about shooting squeezed 16:9 as a way to qet more quality in your final image. It's kind of like if you shoot HD video and downconvert it to SD, because you are starting with more pixels then you need in the original image, when you compress it the footage always looks better. But try it out shoot a couple of shots once in 4:3 and then before you move the tripod shoot a squeezed 16:9. Then in post decide for yourself if you think that one image looks better then the other and use that to make your decision.

-Scott



Thanks, Scott. Excellent suggestion. In fact, the DV30 has, in addition to normal 4x3, and letterbox,
also an option called 'squeeze' which I haven't explored enough, so I will do a lot of tests.

I do have a couple of stories from friends though who shot 4x3 and that saved them because they
could move certain shots to hide a boom or something, but hey I guess you should be framing
right in the first place - although without a monitor, preferably shaded, the camera viewfinder
or LCD viewfinder is not always easy to use even to see the image enough to focus, much less
see a grip stand leg in a far corner.
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