What is anamorphic shooting?

Anamorphic shooting was originally a way of shooting super-wide footage without having to go out and build super-wide format cameras and manufacture super-wide format film. The work-around was to use asymmetric lenses that offer a wider angle of view horizontally than they do vertically: effectively squeezing a wide image down onto a much squarer format.

This squashed footage then needed to be projected through a similarly asymmetric lens, to 'de-squeeze' the footage back out to a wide screen.

A side-effect of this hack was that, while the image in the plane-of-focus looked correct when it has been squeezed and de-squeezed, the same isn't true of the out-of-focus regions. Since the capture lens essentially has different vertical and horizontal focal lengths, it also has different amount of depth-of-field in each direction, giving elongated bokeh. Their complex designs and wide horizontal view is also famous for producing dramatic elongated lens flare.

And, a bit like the look and feel of 24p capture, the look of anamorphic footage has come to be recognized (unconsciously for many people) as looking cinematic.

The S1H has a series of modes and features designed to support shooting with anamorphic lenses, for productions aiming for this cinematic look.

The core feature the S1H offers for anamorphic shooting is the ability to capture footage from a 4:3 region of its sensor. This is a Super35 crop of the sensor, taller but narrower than the standard 16:9 crop regions. This can be shot at up to 50p.

Sensor area Frame Rate Bitrate
Compression type Codec
3328 x 2496
50, 48, 47.95p 200 4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP H.265
50p 150 4:2:0 8-bit H.264
29.97, 25, 24, 23.98p 400 4:2:0 10-bit All-I
200 4:2:0 10-bit LongGOP
100 4:2:0 8-bit

There are also two 'open-gate' 3:2 modes that shoot nearly the whole sensor at up to 24p, or at up to 30p with a slight crop.

The S1H provides two key tools for assisting with anamorphic shooting, the first is the ability to present a de-squeezed preview, so that you can frame and preview your shots without them looking horizontally squeezed. The camera will correct for five different anamorphic ratios, to match the lens you're using.

Anamorphic ratio 1.3x 1.33x 1.5x 1.8x 2.0x
4:3 capture 1.73:1 1.77:1 2.00:1 2.40:1 2.67:1
3:2 capture 1.95:1 2.00:1 2.25:1 2.70:1 3:1

The de-squeeze shown on the rear monitor is not applied to the footage or to any signal being put out over the HDMI port.

In addition, the camera can indicate the safe regions for different common output formats, so you can ensure you don't shoot in parts of the frame you're going to end up cropping off. These frame markers can be applied whether or not you're shooting anamorphic, meaning you could simply shoot in the camera's high-res 16:9 mode, and use them to frame your shots if you plan to crop down to one of the following aspect ratios.

Aspect ratios for which frame markers are available
4:5 1:1 4:3 16:9 1.85:1 2.00:1 2.35:1 2.39:1

The color of the frame markers can be adjusted and the intensity with which the unused areas are masked-off can be adjusted.

On-screen masks let you compose and frame for a variety of popular video aspect ratios. This is 2.35:1 with a 50% mask intensity on the out-of-shot region

The behavior of the S1H's image stabilization can also be adjusted to match the anamorphic lens you're using. This changes the horizontal and vertical response of the IS system to reflect the different effective focal lengths you're using in each axis.