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GL1 frame mode and 16x9

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gary m. davis
GL1 frame mode and 16x9
on Sep 18, 2005 at 7:24:48 pm

Q: is there really a loss in resolution to switch the GL1 to frame mode? ive seen several different answeres when i google for info about this on the web. i want to shoot some personal projects that will be raw footage for heavy digital compositing and editing downstream and want the images to be filmic. i cant seem to find a straight answer about shooting frame or field. fyi - i can tell my compositor (autodesk combustion) which field dominance there is if i shoot in fields, but i like the look of frame mode. however, if its losing rez to capture in frame mode, i'd rather not do this.

for me, highest resolution on raw capture is primary goal. close second place is the ability to capture at a controlled (high) shutter speed.

also, i'd like to shoot everything 16x9. to my understanding, this doesnt lose resolution but just changes the images' pixel aspect ratio from 0.90 to 1.20... right? {no loss in res to shoot 16x9 is there?).

any input appreciated.


gary m. davis //
application training specialist
3ds Max | Combustion | Toxik
"don't key DV!"

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Don Greening
Re: GL1 frame mode and 16x9
on Sep 18, 2005 at 8:10:04 pm

Using the GL in 16:9 actually will have less resolution than shooting in 4:3. In order to create the widescreen image your camera cuts the bottom and top off the 4:3 frame and then electronically expands it to the 16:9 aspect ratio. It's called "electronic interpolation", or "digital stretch" and several scan lines are lost in the process. The only way you can shoot 16:9 with these cameras and not lose any resolution at all is to use an anamorphic lens adapter, which forces a true 16:9 image onto your 4:3 imaging chips.

Your GL1's frame mode is Canon's version of progressive scanning as opposed to interlaced, and I don't think there will be much image resolution loss using this mode. Certainly not as much as using the 'in camera' 16:9.

For more info go to:

This last link is about using 16:9 footage in Final Cut Pro but there's still lots of good info about the different types of widescreen to make reading it worth your while.

- Don

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Re: GL1 frame mode and 16x9
on Sep 21, 2005 at 10:13:49 pm

figure a 20-25% loss of resolution using frame mode vs interlace ... the reason they call it frame mode is because it is NOT progressive (PERIOD) and don;t let anybody try to talk you into believing it's just the name canon gave to their "progressive" = not the same thing .. if i remember correctly i think the GL 1 has around a 480 line resolution in interlace mode and around 360 in frame mode ...

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