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Framing for widescreen in viewfinder


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#1 Mike Dunn

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 10:16 AM

Hey gang,

I've used the SDX900 several times and have shot it using the 4:3 and 16:9 options and have always had killer results. Recently a producer asked me if we could shoot in 16:9, but actually frame it for 2:35. After informing him that we'd lose information at the top and bottom (he didn't care, he just liked the effect) I said I could just tape off a 2:35 frame for him on the monitor. However, I haven't figured out how to set it up for myself to see through the viewfinder. Obviously I can't do anything internally with the camera. Has anybody else done this? Did you use a hard matte over the lens? Thanks for the help!
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 10:47 AM

The easiest thing to do is to use an onboard LCD that's marked for 2.35:1. You can still use the VF to check zebra stripes and warning info, and then operate by the monitor.

If you're doing a lot of handheld it's a little harder. In camera, an 80% Safety Zone marker gets you close to the right top and bottom line (it's a little taller than 2.35), and you just have to ignore the side markings.

I worked on one shoot where the rental house actually gave us the go-ahead to use a marker on the plastic that covers the CRT inside the VF (Sony cameras). It's not the best option, and tough to mark it correctly (shoot and playback a 2.35:1 framing chart in-camera as a guide).

You can't really hard matte the lens to view the correct aspect ratio. Not only would you need a different matte for *every* focal length, they would also have to be different distances from the lens to be in focus (like, so far away it would be impractical).
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#3 Mike Dunn

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 09:34 AM

That's what I figured about the hard matte. About an hour after I wrote that I realized how impractical that was. Good to know about the 80% safety marker though. That sounds like the best way when it's hand held. Also for shooting in the desert. I'm afraid there might be too much glare out there to be able to see the LCD properly...even with a hood. Thanks for the tip!
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#4 John Ealer

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 01:06 PM

For the SDX-900, as well as most Panasonic cameras, I would recommend enabling the user box function, where you can program a custom-sized box in the viewfinder for the aspect ratio you need.

J
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#5 Gabriel McArtney

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 05:28 PM

With user box you can set the horizontal and vertical frame borders in your electronic view finder at any height or width you want.


also don't forget to shoot a frame leader so you can crop in editing.

chur
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 05:48 PM

For the SDX-900, as well as most Panasonic cameras, I would recommend enabling the user box function, where you can program a custom-sized box in the viewfinder for the aspect ratio you need.

J


I didn't think the SDX900 allowed a user-definable box, only presets -- that's the only reason I suggested the 80% safe area as a "close" workaround. I guess I'll have to check the SDX manual...
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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 05:52 PM

For the SDX-900, as well as most Panasonic cameras, I would recommend enabling the user box function, where you can program a custom-sized box in the viewfinder for the aspect ratio you need.

J


I didn't think the SDX900 allowed a user-definable box, only presets -- that's the only reason I suggested the 80% safe area as a "close" workaround. I guess I'll have to check the SDX manual...

Edit: I just checked and there is indeed a "USER BOX" menu item. You can program the shape you need there. Thanks John!
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Visual Products

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

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