2008 February 10th, 00:30
Shooting a Documentary -- 16:9?
There's a good chance I might be on the road this summer with a band I know. The plan is to have me along as a videographer, and see what happens. To answer my question about cameras, let's assume that we're in my ideal situation -- that the footage I get can be turned into a feature length documentary and sent out to festivals (which I think is possible).
That said, I'd definitely want the footage to look as good as possible if it could end up on the big screen. The record company has provided me with a Sony VX2100 standard definition 3 chip camera. I love shooting in 16:9 simply because of its cinematic feel, but since this isn't something going on the web, should I avoid it and go with a simple 4:3 ratio?
I'm a bit confused by the difference native and true 16:9, but from what I understand, the Sony I have only crops the image and doesn't produce a real 16:9 image that HD cameras offer (if not all, then some). So that's my basic question. If the Sony is what I end up using, and my film could end up on the big screen, is 16:9 (whether cropping in camera or in post) a bad idea, since theaters have 16:9 or bigger screens?
Thanks a bunch.
2008 February 10th, 00:42
For NTSC, SD resolution is always 720x480. Each pixel is 90% narrower for 4:3 screen and 20 wider to fill the 16:9 screen.
For your camcorder having native 16:9 image sensor, the resulting video will still be in 720x480 with 1.2 Pixel aspect ratio.
2008 February 10th, 02:43
Right. So does that mean if I shoot 16:9 on my camera, the only way I can keep quality high is to have black bars on all 4 sides (provided it's shown on a 16:9 screen)?
2008 February 10th, 02:55
How you gonna delivery your final video? Web or DVD?
2008 February 10th, 13:09
It would be for a festival. So DVD or possibly miniDV tape.
2008 February 10th, 13:13
Without understanding the resolution question, if you're sending to festivals I would definitely go for consistent 16:9. You might want to put some scotch tape on your LCD to mark 4:3 and shoot conscious of that, but I've never seen a 4:3 doc on the big screen.
2008 February 10th, 13:13
From my experience, in home made SD video in DVD, 4:3 image quality is better than 16:9.
2008 February 14th, 10:15
You can check with the band and see if they have a preference, but if not, then since this will more than likely go to DVD, then I would go for the 16:9!
Being an A/V geek, that is a pet peeve of mine...that they are still releasing "full screen" dvd's. I feel they should just be releasing widescreen dvd's only! Especially since widescreen tv's are becoming the norm!