Cinematic video with a 20-year-old camcorder
Are you a lover of 4:3 aspect ratio? There’s definitely something nostalgic about the almost square frame that immediately brought me back to my childhood in the late 1980s. Besides that, I’m glad it’s no longer being widely used. more widely.
The 4:3 format has always made me feel uncomfortable, the unnecessarily short width feels too constricting, doesn’t give the scene enough room to breathe, and ends up feeling claustrophobic. And for more than a century, it has been the de facto standard. However, what if you could see life through the technology of the original digital age, but with a truly cinematic aspect ratio?
In this amazingly entertaining video by Mathieu Stern, he answered that very question. He took a 20 year old JVC MiniDV camcorder and combined it with a Kowa 2x anamorphic converter. It’s hard to imagine that just 20 years ago, we were still messing around with MiniDV tapes in standard definition with such terrible quality! Also, his adaptation is unique and simple. The lens and camera are mounted separately on a pair of 16mm rails, allowing for proper reverse focus adjustment between the lens and camcorder. With a bit of cropping in the post, the new 2.39:1 anamorphic aspect ratio looks pretty awesome coming out of the little JVC.
I love this movie. The idea of adapting a junk camera to make the footage more cinematic is unique enough. Also, no one asked for this! It was just a fun project by a tinker who put together two very different kits. But that’s what Mathieu Stern is known for, because he also manages Strange Lens Museum. If you enjoyed this video, you must see him there too.