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Best way to shoot 16:9 on XL1


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#1 Adam Butterworth

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 12:10 AM

I'm making a film and want to make it in the 16:9 ratio, mostly because im sick of the 4:3 ratio and feel that 16:9 allows for much more interesting compositions. However the camera I'm using is the XL1 which has no settings for this. I'm planning on using FinalCut's letterboxing to change the ratio. For composition is the best way to modify the camera just by modifying the viewfinder with paper or something?
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#2 Scott Lynch

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 03:26 PM

I'm making a film and want to make it in the 16:9 ratio, mostly because im sick of the 4:3 ratio and feel that 16:9 allows for much more interesting compositions. However the camera I'm using is the XL1 which has no settings for this. I'm planning on using FinalCut's letterboxing to change the ratio. For composition is the best way to modify the camera just by modifying the viewfinder with paper or something?


Don't mask it it post :)

The XL1 does have a 16:9 function in the menu, I use and XL1 all the time in this mode (it's not an XL1s but that has a 16:9 mode as well). Just flip the red circular panel near in the center of the camera, just under the "light" button, push the menu button and and its the second option down just turn 16:9 to "on".

I used to just mask my 4:3 stuff a few years ago when I first started, but if you want 16:9 in the end use the 16:9 mode and later "shrink" it for proper letterboxing. When shooting Mini-DV you need every single pixel you can and not be wasteful in the slightest. All your projects will look cleaner and sharper.
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#3 Josh Bass

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 03:43 PM

The XL1's 16:9 is not real 16:9, it just crops the top and bottom of the frame, and then squeezes it to fill a 4:3 frame, so the NLE can re-squeeze it back to 16:9, but you're still losing all the pixels you'd lose by cropping in post.

The XL1s has viewfinder guides for 16:9, you can turn them on when the cam's set to 4:3, and use them to frame, and crop later. I don't know if the XL1 has these too.
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#4 Phil Connolly

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 04:18 AM

Unlike the XL1s the XL1 dosent have 16:9 guides in the viewfinder. I've composed for 16:9 on the XL-1 by using a monitor thats been taped off to 16:9. It is possible to eyeball the framing - once you get used to doing it, you still have the option to reframe in post.

Do mask it in post - its better

I wouldn't use the 16:9 in camera mode as its seems to soften the image more than doing it in post. You will get a much better result using something like After Effects to crop and streach 4:3 to 16:9 anamorphic. You also get the option of re-frameing in post which is useful and could save a shot if the boom creeps in.

If you only plan to letterbox the footage, rather than convert to 16:9 anamorphic, the widescreen mask in FCP pro would work nicely with 4:3 footage and it has a re-frame option built in.
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#5 Enrique Lombana

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 08:15 PM

Can you use a 35mm adapter lens to get true 16 x 9 and thus have a better picture (on an XL1).

Thanks for your reply because that's where I'm at now.

Enrique

p.s. - thanks for starting this thread by the way.
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#6 Enrique Lombana

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 08:54 PM

Can you use a 35mm adapter lens to get true 16 x 9 and thus have a better picture (on an XL1).

Thanks for your reply because that's where I'm at now.

Enrique

p.s. - thanks for starting this thread by the way.



or an anamorphic adaptor I meant, not a 35mm adapter.
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#7 Freya Black

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 05:39 PM

or an anamorphic adaptor I meant, not a 35mm adapter.


Yes of course, a 1.33x anamorphic adaptor would squeeze your 16:9 image onto the 4:3 ccd in the XL1.
I think century might have even made one for the XL1 at one point but I might have a bad memory, but you could use a generic one if you can get it to fit the camera. You would just need a 1.33x lens.

love

Freya
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#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 10:05 PM

Somehow I doubt Adam's gonna go out and get an anamorphic lens and an adapter for his XL1.

So yes, you're best option is to tape off the 16:9 frame on the viewfinder and monitor, then throw the matte on in FCP. This has been discussed numerous times, so you can search the forums for evidence that this is your best option. When you switch the XL1 to 16:9 you lose a lot of resolution since it is not 16:9 NATIVE.
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