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Old February 3rd, 2015, 03:54 PM   #1
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Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

Of the two shooting formats, which do you prefer to shoot at if the final format will be a full motion HD or SD DVD video, and why?

1080/30P or 720/60P
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Old February 3rd, 2015, 06:42 PM   #2
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

I generally shoot at 1080/23.976P when I want a film-like look. If I want a you-are-there (documentary, news, sports) look, I would shoot at 720/59.974P.

...I always want the film look. :)
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Old February 3rd, 2015, 10:16 PM   #3
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

Seems rather rude to bring up 24p when the question is clearly between 30p and 60p.

60p is going to handle motion blur better, and will appear sharper. I haven't used 60p for anything other than slow motion so far, but I would like to have a project that would allow me to master in that format just to see what it looks like in something that's more than just test footage.

However, if you can live with the half frame rate of 30p, that could be to your advantage given the situation you are shooting in. 1080p30 has a shutter speed of 1/60 while 720p60's shutter speed should be 1/120. That could make a lot of difference for night or even indoor shooting, so depending on how much light you can rely on, that would be the biggest thing to consider for myself.
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Old February 3rd, 2015, 11:45 PM   #4
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

I didn't mean to be rude. It just seemed like a false dichotomy. George didn't provide a context as to why 24p was excluded in the original post.

When the 5D2 was first released, it only shot 30p. It wasn't popular. (The camera was, but not the frame rate.) People who wanted the film look felt that it had a soap opera feel. And it didn't have the crispness of 60p.

In any case, that's a good point about getting more light at 30p than at 60. Of course, 24p offers yet a bit more exposure time, if needed.

From a "look" perspective, I'd choose 720p60 for news/sports/documentary, 1080p24 for "film", and would use 1080p30 only under special conditions. For instance, if you have 1) little motion, 2) want a video feel, yet, 3) want better resolution and/or light capture. It could be used to intercut with 720p60 for special scenes (low light situation or a slider in a lace factory...)

An important thing to keep in mind is camera movement. At 24 fps, one should take at least 7 seconds for an edge-to-edge pan in order to avoid obvious judder when just panning over a static landscape. (For whip pans or tracking a subject, one can go much faster.) At 60 fps, one can do a 3 second pan over a static background. 30 fps would be 5-6 seconds. For the same reason, 60 fps can better tolerate handheld motion.

So which would I choose? It depends on the goals of the project and the specific scene at hand. But in general, I avoid 30p.

FWIW, I participate in various standards groups. People are interested in the current formats (720p60 and 1080i60) and future formats (1080p60 and 2160p60) as well as 24fps support, but I haven't heard a driving voice for 30p.

Edit: One additional consideration would be if your video will be transferred to 50 Hz versions. 24p can be easily sped up a bit to 25p with no quality loss. There are many tools for 60 to 50. Going from 30 to 50 can be more difficult. At least that's what European owners of early 5D2s reported.
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Old February 4th, 2015, 07:49 AM   #5
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
I didn't mean to be rude. It just seemed like a false dichotomy. George didn't provide a context as to why 24p was excluded in the original post.
I don't think that's what "false dichotomy" is. I have plenty of jobs in which I have to deliver in 30p, and that could be the case here. George might be delivering a piece for broadcast on a channel that is 720p60 (such as the local Fox station here) and might want to have some insight into the differences.

Quote:
FWIW, I participate in various standards groups. People are interested in the current formats (720p60 and 1080i60) and future formats (1080p60 and 2160p60) as well as 24fps support, but I haven't heard a driving voice for 30p.
That's because if you can get 60p, you wouldn't want 30. 1080p30 is this weird hybrid of compromise between the fact that the bandwidth for 1080p60 is pretty high, and yet you're not far off from 1080p30 with 1080i60 (because they are essentially the same from a bandwidth view outside of the interlacing). Even the Blu-ray spec supports 720p60 but not 1080p30 (though it does support 1080i60).

Frankly, 60-something is needed, which is why you still saw interlaced nonsense when the digital HD standards came alone. Hopefully, with 4K, they can finally put that to bed and we get 24/25p an 50/60p in this crazy world of ours.
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Old February 4th, 2015, 11:00 AM   #6
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

Hey, thanks for the replies.

My reason for the question has to do with my having a hard time "liking" what I'm seeing as video produced by DSLR's. There is just something about the image that bothers me. Have looked at dozens of videos on Vimeo from the 60D and other cameras like the 5D and the video has an odd look to it... at least to my eye.

Not sure if it has to do with the rolling shutter or the shallow depth of field but video from a DSLR looks different from what I will call "standard" HD/SD video cameras.. and I have used many of them.

That said, my understanding is 30P is the recommended frame rate for videos destined to be used on the internet either on a site like Youtube or as part of a web site... which could still mean hosted on Youtube these days. For the most part my plans for purchasing my 60D were two fold. To produce short clips to be posted on Vimeo to attract new clients for my DP services and for use in producing web videos for clients seeking such for their web sites. Both would entail using 30P and perhaps 24P on occasion (if I can wrap my head around that smeary image).

However, and as has been suggested, 30P does not appear, to me at least, to work well at all for full motion video to be played out on a monitor or TV set and that is where 60P would seem to be the format of choice.

This was the basis for my question. For those who are using DSLR to shoot full motion video to be delivered as a DVD (in SD or HD), were you opting to shoot at 60P even given the potential hit in aperture settings.
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Old February 4th, 2015, 11:46 AM   #7
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

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Originally Posted by George Odell View Post
For those who are using DSLR to shoot full motion video to be delivered as a DVD (in SD or HD), were you opting to shoot at 60P even given the potential hit in aperture settings.
I only ever shot 60p to conform to 24p for slow-motion. I have never had a client request 60p, though I have had a request for 60i.
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Old February 4th, 2015, 04:36 PM   #8
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

From what you're saying, I assume that you want more of a news/documentary/sports/reality look than the psudo-film look that people are striving for with DSLRs. Given that, 60p is likely your best bet.

Regarding 30p for the web, that might be somewhat obsolete information. Back in the day, few cameras shot 24p, 60 was interlaced, and bandwidth & decoding power sparse. 30p gave you progressive video at a reasonable rate. (Years ago, we did an amateur web series and we shot at 30p for those reasons. For videos with little motion, we skipped frames and delivered 15p!) These days, 24p is readily available and saves even more bits. 60p (at least at 1280x720) is now widely available in camera gear. So I think the rules have changed.

Another thing to consider is distribution. The web doesn't necessarily care what framerate you use. A given computer monitor isn't necessarily running at 59.94 fps. I don't know that YouTube or Vimeo allow it, but in theory, you could deliver 33.333 fps to a browser.

For BDs, DVDs, and broadcast, it's another story. They support 1080i60 or 720p60 directly. If you shoot at 30p, your frames will be doubled, which is fairly natural. For 24p, you alternate 2 repeating frames and 3 repeating frames, which is an odd gait. Of course, we see it all the time with films, so it works.

I have a theory as to why 24p is effective for film. Like IFC, it's "slightly off". Consider that one shoots at a high shutter speed for a strobing, hyper, amphetamine feel. One shoots high frame rate with a normal shutter for a reality feel. And if you want a sick, drunk or barbiturate feel, one uses a long shutter and even blends frames together to emulate the much longer shutter that you could get with a very slow frame rate. The 24 fps film look is "a little drunk" or tipsy for a dreamy, not-quite-reality feel. It helps us believe that we are in Gotham City, rather than in the stark reality of a Hollywood set.

Shallow DOF adds to that dream feel and helps the director force the eye to the most important location in the frame.

It could be that 24 fps, a 1/48 shutter and shallow DOF bother you. It could also be encoding noise on otherwise smooth areas (my least favorite aspect of DSLRs) or rolling shutter (my second least favorite aspect.) Many DLSRs have no anti-aliasing filter, which adds an ugly, digital grit to an image. (I bought the Mosaic Engineering filter and solved this on the 5D2.)

When deciding on 24, 30, or 60 fps, it would make sense to compare a well produced film (which will be 24 fps with moderate, rather than super shallow DOF) to a well-produced documentary or live broadcast. That would take amateur camera moves, the lack of an anti-aliasing filter, and too many layers of excessive compression out of the equation. You might choose a fairly neutral film, like a romantic comedy to avoid studying something with excessive creative color grading.

For me, the decision is fairly simple: 24 for a dream feel and 60 for stark reality. 30 as a compromise to meet a technical goal.
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Old February 4th, 2015, 05:34 PM   #9
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
The 24 fps film look is "a little drunk" or tipsy for a dreamy, not-quite-reality feel. It helps us believe that we are in Gotham City, rather than in the stark reality of a Hollywood set.
This is not quite true. We associate 24fps with the "not-quite-reality" and believability feel because we have been trained to do so over 100 years of cinema. 24fps was not chosen because of its look, instead it was purely a technical decision. It was the slowest rate you could run a 35mm stock at with believable motion and with good sound quality. You wouldn't want to run the costs of 35mm film at 60fps when 24 will do you just fine. Thus, it has always been a technical consideration.

For myself, I would never shoot 60i, so 30p is ideal in situations where you may be delivering 60i, because you can easily turn it into that. If you have to, you can also turn it into 720p60 as well. For anything remaining online or render file only, 30p is not a problem. 60p has superior motion and the blue doesn't destroy the resolution of your HD capture, so that is the most ideal format, so it really matters a) what the end of the production chain will culminate in and b) your own personal preference with the look.
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Old February 4th, 2015, 06:31 PM   #10
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

I agree that it was chosen due to technical reasons. That said, I think it works well enough on an experience level that it has stuck around.

Whether it's the dream feel or that we're trained is a matter of debate, but the comparison of hyped, real, and slurry "feels" seems objective, rather than "trained" to me. The "slightly slurry" concept works for me as dreamy. If the feel were emotionally "wrong", 24 fps would have been abandoned long ago.

Of course, opinions differ on the subject. It would be hard to prove that it's objective or trained, so it's probably best to just point out the views and let the reader decide.
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Old February 4th, 2015, 06:44 PM   #11
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

People love and get into their soap operas, and probably don't feel that the higher frame rate is a problem for getting into those stories. People enjoyed The Hobbit's higher frame rate, though it had its share of detractors. Some people cannot stand reading on electronic devices since they are so used to printed paper.

There's nothing "objective" about it. Trying to act like 24p is the be-all, end-all of a story-telling frame rate, is, frankly, ludicrous.
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Old February 4th, 2015, 10:55 PM   #12
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

Regarding The Hobbit, I saw it in 3D 48 fps at a top flight theater and didn't like the look. But I don't know that I can blame 48 fps.

I think the biggest problem was its handling of highlights. The grading was quite odd. The overly rolled off highlights had a very videocam look. That was far more dominant for me than the frame rates.

I thought the "flyover scenes" looked great at 48 fps. There was less judder even with fairly fast motion. It rocked.

Then they would cut to character scenes, and I was instantly distracted. The combination of blown highlights, 48 fps, and a 1/72nd shutter (a compromise for 48 and 24 fps releases) didn't work for me. I mentioned to my (non-technical, artist) daughter that it looked like a BBC docudrama and she instantly agreed. Was it due to 48 fps? Between the 3D, highlights and shutter, I honestly don't know.

Anyway, regardless of whether it's due to human perception, learned association, or a combination of the two, 24 fps is traditional for fiction and 60 fps is traditional for non-fiction. One can choose to buck the tradition, but I'd recommend doing it deliberately. For instance, if the style depends on fast pans and flyovers, 60 fps could easily be the optimal choice. But don't ignore that the vast majority of primetime dramas are shot at 24 fps, even though the broadcasting rate is 60. If that's the look one wants, then 24 fps is an expected ingredient in the recipe.
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Old February 6th, 2015, 09:18 PM   #13
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

Putting aside the artistic/theoretic merits of 24p vs 25/30p vs 50/60p, these days I can't stand the look of the 50p/60p video form the Canon DSLR's. It just seems so soft and the aliasing is quite horrible at times. It seems to suffer from a lot more compression banding and macro-blocking in 720p mode too.

This is the main reason I moved on from the Canon DSLR's - years after Panasonic, Sony, and even Nikon have added 1080 at 50/60p to their video-enabled range, Canon stubbornly refuse to move on from the dark ages. It might not be so much of a problem if the 720p was true, clean 720p, but unfortunately it is muddy and soft and looks very aged compared to other cameras, even when viewing it with 720p Vimeo compression.
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Old February 6th, 2015, 10:15 PM   #14
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

My C100 Mark II shoots great 1080p60.
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Old February 7th, 2015, 01:51 AM   #15
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Re: Which do yuu prefer: 1080/30P or 720/60P

So does any Sony or Panasonic camera released in the past three years.

Too little too late from Canon, for me.

Last edited by John Wiley; February 7th, 2015 at 01:59 AM. Reason: typo
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