The most common and easiest way of shooting 16:9 is to put your DV camcorder into widescreen mode and shoot away. A higher quality of shooting in 16:9 would be attaching an anamorphic lens adaptor to your camcorder.
Fewer Pixels means Lower Image Quality,
orange area indicates lines of video that are lost
Should I shoot with an Anamorphic Lens or should I use my DV Camcorder's 16:9 setting?
It should be noted that shooting in your DV camcorder's 16:9 widescreen mode is the lowest quality method in acquiring widescreen video. This is because the camcorder crops the bottom and top of the frame then "stretches" the widescreen aspect ratio (about 25% and 360 lines) onto 480 lines, anamorphically distorting the image before recording it to tape. This results in fewer pixels, therefore reducing resolution, when the image is recorded back to tape. The convenience and compromised quality of being able to shoot 16:9 in camera should be weighed against the higher quality method of acquiring 16:9 with an anamorphic lens attached to the camera.
If image quality is your concern, a better way to shoot 16:9 is to do so optically with an anamorphic lens attached to the camera. With an anamorphic lens, every pixel comes into the camcorder as nothing is cropped or distorted by the DV camcorder's anamorphic setting, so the quality is better from the get-go. The lens will do an optical distortion, sending the full resolution of the 16:9 image to the CCDs (color pick up chip or chips) before it is recorded to tape.
The only format that truly uses the full potential of the16:9 frame is HDTV is because it is the native frame resolution of widescreen and there is no distortion going on. There are a number of frame sizes for HDTV, as the battle for international broadcast standards continues. Stay tuned.
Last update: 08:29 PM Saturday, January 28, 2006