how do you obtain the widescreen effect in fcp5


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 23, 2007
Lacombe Ab Canada
so I am using a camera that can record in 16:9 or standard.
if i use 16:9 do i lose quality and will it squish or stretch it?
or should i just use standard and then can i somehow export as widescreen?

i need the widescreen effect...but i don't have a hd camera to work with...:eek:


macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
Los Angeles
if i use 16:9 do i lose quality
Yes, but you may or may not notice it.

and will it squish or stretch it?
Maybe. It depends how the camera records the image (some shoot in a "letterbox" while others use distortion to squeeze a 16:9 image into a 4:3 frame).

or should i just use standard and then can i somehow export as widescreen?
The advantage here is that you have a little leeway to vertically reframe your shots if you need to. The disadvantage is that you have to be careful when you frame your shot because what looks good 4x3 may look bad (or be cut off) in 16:9.

Unless the camera records the image squeezed you are limited to a letterboxed image for your final output (as opposed to a 16:9 frame).



macrumors member
Apr 18, 2007
shoot 16X9
open FCP5
go to Easy Setup
choose DV NTSC Anamorphic
import tape
export as quicktime movie.

when you watch the movie in quicktime, it may be squished....that's just because quicktime sometimes doesn't open it correctly....but don't worry - if you burn a widescreen dvd in DVD Studio Pro, you will have a true 16X9 DVD.

widescreen videos kind of suck for watching on computers cause, like i said, quicktime doesn't open them correctly sometimes. if you just wanna watch it on ur computer, you can change the size to 854X480 in fcp when you go to export - quicktime conversion. this will lose a slight bit of quality but you prob won't notice. Don't ever do this if you're gonna burn to DVD.


macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2005
Behind the lens
This is all assuming your "widescreen 16x9" camcorder setting is actually anamorphic.

Most likely, its nothing more than black bars at the top and bottom of your video.

Truly anamorphic squashes a widescreen image onto a square format, mostly in the center of the frame; circles become tall ovals.

In FCP when you select anamorphic, it looks at the distorted square, runs it through a computation filter to correct the anamorphic optics, and you get a widescreen image that isnt distorted.

When exporting the video, make sure you select 16x9 because the DVD standard is a square image standard. And if you export it as is, youll get a distorted or cropped video.

To make widescreen movies a DVD player does the same thing as FCP, it runs an anamorphic algorithm to unstretch it to wide. Not a single DVD movie you have ever seen is widescreen, they are all anamorphic.