16:9 or 4:3 for best quality of stnd movie on HD Tv

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by vjaaan, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. vjaaan macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2010
    I have made an iMovie using video from a Digital 8 Camcorder and high quality digital photos. I made it in widescreen, to fit most new TV shapes. But the video footage was recorded in the 4:3 size.

    Since the video is not HD, it does not have good quality on my 73" HD TV, as expected. But I wonder if the quality would look sharper if I made the movie in 4:3.

    I think that iMovie zooms in on the boxier video in order to make it fit the 16:8 shape, and I wonder if that zooming reduces the sharpness of the movie when shown on big TVs.

    And, a separate question, I will switch soon a new smartphone (either Epic or iPhone5) and I think they have an HD video camera. Would you say that phone HD video looks acceptable, close to real camera HD? And would you expect the video quality of HD from a smartphone to be much better looking on a TV than standard Digital 8 video?

  2. kevinfulton.ca macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    The video will be sharper in whatever aspect it was recorded in. If it was shot in 4:3 then that's when it will look best, but there will be black bars on the left and right side of the screen (not because it's being masked, but because there's no content there. This is a common misconception.) in 16:9 the top and bottom of the 4:3 image will be cropped and zoomed so you'll start to see enlarged pixels and things get a little fuzzy. Sorry, but there's not much you can do. At least this gives you an excuse to get a new camcorder!! :)


    Sorry forgot to answer the second question!:p. I don't have an iPhone4 (waiting on the 5), but I DO have an iPad2 and the video looks fantastic! My advice would be: if it's for home movies and such the iPhone4 camera would do just fine. But, if you're turning into an enthusiast or want something that gives you more professional video then don't look at camcorders and take a really good look at DSLR's. The picture quality on these are amazing for both photos and video! Hope this helps! :D
  3. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    To answer the second question....The HD video does look surprisingly good but that's because I find its all resolution. Comparing my iPhone 4's video to some of the stuff I shot with my Canon DSLR is a joke though. Even 640x480 looks better than smartphone 720p and its essentially the same codec but the DSLR will write at much higher bitrates (5mbps vs like 40+mbps on a DSLR). I've run allot of tests to see the limits of various types of video files for curiosity's sake and I can say you can really take allot out of a DSLR's file. That said the smartphone's video is still pretty good. Problem is zoom not so good. I would probably prefer to use zoom crop if possible on a smartphone even if it meant not 720p.
  4. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Smartphone video will always be limited by light sensitivity (tiny pinhole sized lenses) and codec limitations (mostly bitrate and color sampling) versus even a consumer-level HD camcorder.

    But in terms of resolution, 720p or 1080p smartphone video will look better than an 8-year old SD camcorder easily. When viewing SD material on an a large flat panel display (which has fixed pixels), the display is forced to upscale the image to fit the screen, which will create visual artifacts like pixelization. Some TVs upscale video better than others. YMMV.

    And a DSLR also has vastly superior optics. ;)
  5. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    The main problem with iPhone filming is that it will switch framerates according to lighting and it's auto focus, auto exposure and auto white balance.
    All of these can be locked using an application like FILMiC pro. Then the results become surprisingly good... for a phone. Comparing it to a 5D mk II isn't exactly fair game.

Share This Page