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Alan T Jul 6, 2008 1:04 AM

TCav wrote:

Alan T wrote:

TCav wrote:

......BTW, the aspect ratio of the APS-C image sensor is 3:2 (the same as for 35mm film), not 16:9. Some cameras make the 16:9 aspect ratio available, but only by ignoring the pixels at thetop and bottom of the sensor.
Does this apply, TCav, to consumer camcorders as well as stills digicams?
The manual for your Samsung D371W (BTW, thanks for the link, SkyShoot.) states that it and its sister productshave an 800K pixel image sensor, but that one ofits sister products can take still images with a resolution of 800x600. (The D371W can't take still images, butthe D375W, can.)

The puzzle is that an 800K image sensor should be able to take 1024x768 still images, but that's not an option, and that 800K isn't enough for a 16:9 HD image at 1920x1080 or even 1280x720, but it's overkill for 704x480, yet there's no digital zoom available for 16:9.

It seems that the image sensor in the D371W (and it's sister products) have pixels that are being ignored whatever you do.
(I've started a new thread because I'd taken the original thread on ' ultrazoom dSLRs' way off-topic)....

Sorry, I should have said I'd already read the manual & spec (having downloaded it immediately I got the camera), so I knew it didn't contain the answer. While my particular model has no pretensions to 1280x720 HDTV, it's fine as a successor to Video8 viewed on a normal broadcast TV.

BBC or advertising-funded, free-to-air digital TV is only just spreading around the UK, has a weak signal at present in many regionsand there's little HD about. 'Freeview' is the terrestrial version, and 'Freesat' a brand-new satellite version, and both have only a few limited HD broadcasts. Otherwise subscription-only media moguls rule the airwaves. So 625-line PAL TV is what TV viewers are used to.

The D371W camcorder does have a so-called 'still image' mode, but renders it as astationary 6-second 625-line DVD movie. It's hopeless as a photograph, but superior to pausing a DVD on playback. It's equal to viewing a jpeg on a non-HD TV, i.e., roughly VGA, and not suitable for family viewing on TV of a digicamjpg still. Very occasionally it'll do when I can't be bothered to get the still camera out for a proper image.

I hope today to see my digicam images played off CD from my son's brand-new Sony Playstation 3 on his HD LCD TV via HDMI connector. (If I can wean him off 24-hour shoot-em-ups; reaction to weeks of exams, that is.)

My strong suspicion is that enoughpixels from the camcorder sensor are used to provide a 4:3, 625-line TV image, and the 16:9 version is cropped from that, but I'm only guessing.

I was seeking the camcorder's least bad imaging mode. I prefer to shoot in 4:3, which matches my everyday electron-gun TV and last 6 years' digicams, but the camera annoyingly defaults to 16:9 and loses my menu settings whenever the battery is removed without mains power present. If the quality was marginally better on 16:9 I'd learn to live with it and not bother changing it back. I'dlearn to spot the extraneous subject matter lurking at the edges (this is movies, remember, with little time for composition!).

I suspect that only a few backroom camcorder designers back in the mists of time know the real answer!

Thanks for the help, anyway.

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