Recording Anamorphic Video
Anamorphic video can be acquired in one of three ways:
Â Using a camera with a 16:9 CCD: A charge-coupled device (CCD) is the element of a
video camera that actually takes the image after it comes through the lens and turns
it into an electronic image. Some SD camcorders have CCDs with a 16:9 aspect ratio,
so they actually capture full-resolution 16:9 video prior to squeezing the image
anamorphically for recording.
Â Using an anamorphic lens: An anamorphic lens is a wide-angle lens that optically
distorts the 16:9 image to fit into a 4:3 frame before sending it to your camcorder’s
CCD. Because this is done optically, the result is clean and clear and takes advantage
of the full resolution of the DV frame. This method is recommended by some for
users looking for the best possible quality.
If you use an anamorphic lens, the camera does not need to be in a special mode
when recording. In the camera’s viewfinder, the image appears stretched vertically;
you should be aware that the recorded clips will only look correct on an NTSC or PAL
monitor with a 16:9 setting, or in Final Cut Pro with the Anamorphic option selected.
Â Using the 16:9 Wide button found on most camcorders: Although easy and inexpensive,
this method yields lower resolution than other methods. The camcorder crops the
top and bottom of the screen and then stretches this smaller widescreen image
vertically to fit the full 4:3 aspect ratio, producing the necessary anamorphic
distortion before recording the image to tape.
Many camcorders embed information in the video signal that indicates whether or not
it was recorded in 16:9 anamorphic mode. Final Cut Pro can read this information and
automatically capture and output the video in the correct mode.
Working with Anamorphic 16:9 Media