This one has probably been the subject of a few posts so apologies in advance !!!
I own a basic camcorder in the form of a Sony DCR-HC53E. I'm afraid it only comes out a few times a year so in lazy mode I use it in its native 4:3 aspect ratio mode with the resulting horizontal expansion when showing DVD's produced from the DV tape on a16:9 TV.
After complaints from my wife I dug out the manual and you can use it in 16:9 and when the resulting video is imported into a video editing package as 16:9 that's what you see and I will assume the DVD's turn out ok.
My question is pixel number. The PAL standard is 720 x 576 and I am going to assume that the picture I am producing is 720 x (720 x 9 / 16), thus I am losing pixels and therefore image quality. I suppose my real question is that if I purchased a camcorder which had native 16:9 format in general is it limited to 720 x (720 x 9 / 16). It must be that in order to fit into the PAL broadcast standard. Unless someone can tell me different.
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The camera uses the exact same number of pixels in 4:3 and in 16:9 mode: 720 x 576 (for PAL). There is a tiny bit of information added to signify how it should be stretched to display correctly; either 4:3 or 16:9.
You could think of it as the pixels not being square, but rectangular. Or you could think if it as the video information being stored in a stretched grid. It's all the same thing.
Some DV camcorders take the inner 720x432 image and stretch it to 720x576 to make 16:9 from a 4:3 image. The picture is not as sharp on cameras that do that.
Hard to tell about yours from the manual, but looks like it could do true full-pixel anamorphic recording...
You can covert the video to any format you want. Recording the video based on its aspect ration is not important. Important thing is recording the video with 720p or 1080p. if you record it 4:3 ration or 16:9 ratio you are not losing any pixel. While converting the codec from one standard to another will determine how much space you will lose. Because 16:9 and 4:3 are display aspect ratios and they depend on pixel aspect ratio (PAR) and storage aspect ration (SAR). It all depends on where you are going to show the video that you captured.