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Camcorder with widescreen surround sound/4 channel input

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by speculatrix, Jun 7, 2002.

  1. speculatrix

    speculatrix
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    Are there miniDV camcorders around which do real widescreen recording and have four-channel sound recording so that I can attempt to record a music event with surround sound of some kind?

    In fact, are there any neat/portable four-channel sound recorders which I could use to supplement a miniDV camcorder?

    thanks for your time,
    Paul
     
  2. speculatrix

    speculatrix
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    still hoping someone has seen such a thing, given I'm getting married in less than a fortnight and want to buy one.
     
  3. Matt F

    Matt F
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    This article may help a bit:

    http://www.farnfilm.com/widescreen.html

    Incidentally, the camcorders he mentions that can do true 16:9 widescreen are in the £6K + price bracket!

    One other issue, of course, is that if you do manage to record in anamorphic widescreen (using a lens attachment) then that recording's only going to be any use shown on a widescreen TV i.e. if you copy a recording to tape and lend it to someone else then they would need a widescreen TV to see it in the correct aspect ratio.

    It's something I've been looking at myself and the camcorder I have just ordered (Panasonic GX7) does have a cinema mode so I'll be interested to see how this mode works and what the quality is like.

    On the sound front, I don't know of any camcorders that record in surround sound, they are all stereo - they can have four tracks of audio (in , reduced quality,12 bit mode) but that's for audio dubbing a second stereo soundtrack alongside the original stereo recording taken with the picture.

    Hope this is of some use.

    Matt.
     
  4. speculatrix

    speculatrix
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    Thanks very much for that link.

    You confirm my fears, that "home cinema" camcorders aren't yet a reality.
    I wouldn't be too unhappy to have slightly reduced audio quality to get four channel sound, but I would guess that you have to add the extra pair afterwards.

    Two years ago I borrowed a good Sony hi-8 camcorder, and it had a widescreen mode, the viewfinder showed a typical squeezed display as if I was watching an anamorphic video on a 4:3 display. I suspect it just used some of the image stabilisation pixel space to widen the image. I didn't really have time to play, and I suspect things have moved on now.

    thanks again,
    Paul
     
  5. shoehorn

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    I've got a Sony PC100E (a bit out of date now I guess - but still excellent...) and it has a 'wide-screen' mode.
    It comes out very well - except that as Matt F suspects you can only view it in the correct aspect on a widescreen TV - which is no good if lending (or producing) to (or for) someone without.
    If it is viewed on a 4:3 the picture fills the whole screen (ie there are no black bars top and bottom). Sure they can see it - but everyone's tall and thin.... (hmmmm.... maybe that's not so bad after all.....:D )
     
  6. speculatrix

    speculatrix
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    hmmm, thanks for that. It looks like some camcorders
    do have a real wide-screen mode, but I am guessing
    it's imperative to check the specifications carefully!

    thanks fro all the ideas, much obliged!
    Paul
     
  7. Matt F

    Matt F
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    Right, just got my camcorder JVC DVP7 - couldn't get hold of a Panasonic GX7 - but I'm more than happy with the JVC.

    Anyway, the widescreen mode ("stretch" mode on the DVP7) does give you a 16:9 anamorphic picture so you use the proper widescreen setting on the TV. It actually doesn't look too bad on my 32" widescreen TV but it isn't as sharp or detailed as it is using the normal 4:3 recording mode.

    However, it achieves this effect by cropping the top and bottom of the picture to create the correct aspect ratio and then "digitally adjusting" the picture to make it anamorphic.

    So, in other words, you aren't getting a wider picture at all, you are losing the top and bottom part of the picture i.e. less information is used to make a bigger picture which is why it doesn't look as good as it does in the 4:3 mode.

    In summary, it's an interesting feature and the results are not as bad as I had read they would be but for ultimate quality stick to 4:3.

    Oh, and as for the DVP7 - I love it - so small but the quality is great and it seems to do everything you can think of.

    Matt.
     
  8. speculatrix

    speculatrix
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    thanks for that update, much appreciated.
    I will stick to borrowing my brothers camcorder just for the moment and get an anamorphic adaptor to be sure of not losing the quality of a letterboxed recording.

    I do find it interesting that despite all the big manufacturers pushing widescreen TVs as "the big thing" they haven't been doing w/s camcorders in any serious way. shame!

    regards
    Paul
     

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