Is 16:9 Format Quality the same in iMovie and FCP

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Ivan B, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Ivan B macrumors newbie

    Ivan B

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Guys any help will be appreciated on this issue...:confused:

    So here's the deal. I have a party movie shot in 16.9 format in Standard .Def. and my goal for this one is to simply to burn it to DVD without any additional editing. When I captured it in iMOvie (using default iMovie settings) I noticed after the movie was captured, iMOvie spent a lot of time adding the letterbox to the footage. The question is will the iMovie output be real 16.9 output without loss of any original footage or was the letterbox rendering it did just more of an effect and therefore I will loose some % of the original picture? I did burn the footage using iDVD and I watched it on my widescreen TV and I got the impression the quality was not quite as good when i had captured 4:3 format from the same camera recently (Sony DSR 250). Anybody have any insights into whether this camera suffers in quality when shooting in 16.9 mode????

    If iMovie is not going to give me the best 16.9 capture, does FCP have any advantage in capturing and rendering the final footage. Remember I will not be doing any editing to this footage so the goal is to take the approach that is most simple but provides best quality.

    If anybody can offer any advice that will be great, it will probably save me from messing around for hours to see what the best solution is :) ....

    Ivan
     
  2. Scandals macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    The camera appears to have a 4x3 CCD, therefore, if you shoot 16x9 footage you will be losing about 25% of the vertical resolution of the CCD (ideally 720x360 but your CCD resolution may be lower). If you shot this as "anamorphic" the camera will internally process the information from the chip and stretch it to be recorded on the 720x480 DV frame. If you shot letterbox, then you will have the black bars filling in the 25% you never captured in the first place. Did you lose resolution shooting 16x9? Well yes, but there really isn't anything you can do about that other than a) shoot with a true 16x9 native CCD camera or b) use an anamorphic lens adaptor if it is available for that specific camera. Those both have other issues to deal with.

    As for quality going into and out of iMovie or FCP. DV is going in and DV is going out so they should be close to if not exactly the same as long as you have the settings correct. Make sure that iMovie is set to 16x9 widescreen only if you are definitely sure you shot anamorphic footage (not letterbox). The only difference I could imagine between iMovie and FCP is in the rendering of effects and transitions, but I haven't done any tests to prove that a difference even exists. I'd say you should probably decide whether you need the tools, power and versatility that FCP offers vs. the simplicity of iMovie as I think the question of quality is moot at this point. Hope that helps.:D
     
  3. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    I used to work with DSR250 a lot, and I can confirm that 16:9 mode is not as good as 4:3, because of the 4:3 CCD chips as mentioned above.

    But yes, if you make sure iMovie is working in a 16:9 project before capturing, you should be able to burn a DVD without letterboxing.

    FCP also works with anamorphic material certainly, but there is no real advantage in this case over iMovie. In fact, you would have to use DVD Studio Pro because FCP does not "flag" the video as anamorphic for iDVD like iMovie does.
     
  4. ibglowin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2005
    #4
    When you opened iMovie did you......

    Create a new project and select "DV Widescreen" from the popup?

    The default is just DV. This drove me batty for months until I figured it out. If you use the default DV option it assumes 4:3 and would therefore letterbox all your 16:9 stuff.
     
  5. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    #5
    If you haven't bought your camera yet, I'd check out the reviews section on www.camcorderinfo.com, they do pretty thorough testing on 16:9 vs. 4:3 modes on each camera... giving you a "real world" resolution for both modes.
    Just and FYI. The pages load really slowly in Safari ( don't know if it still does ), so If you spend a long time there comparing models, I would use Firefox.
     
  6. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    Hoosiertown
    #6
    imovie and fcp and compressor all use quicktime as the backend for converting exporting movies, so yes an imovie exported under samesettings would look as good as on in FCP or compressor. The difference is that in FCP/compressor you have infinite times more control.
     
  7. Ivan B thread starter macrumors newbie

    Ivan B

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    California

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