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Old October 23rd, 2009, 09:45 AM   #1
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Is it just me that prefers to use 1/30 shutter when possible?

I keep reading time and time again about 1/50 shutter being the "sweet spot" and I also know everyone has their own aesthetics, but why do I feel that shooting at 1/30 and the every so slight blurring that gives over 1/50 gives a more "film" feeling to me? Now I read opposite that for some people 1/30 feels most like video to them over 1/50 and even 1/60. So besides the obvious situations where light Hz flicker happens or you just need a little faster shutter to get your f-stop where you want it, why wouldn't 1/30 when shooting 30fps be the obvious and most like the human eye for what the camera is recording? Doesn't it make sense that if you're filming X-FPS that if you split that up in to the equal shutter fraction you would get a more "normal" feeling of movement? I totally get why and the need for stopping the action quicker in certain situations, but lets say you're only shooting a scene of dialog at a coffee shop between two characters, doesn't 1/30 make the most sense if you're keeping the footage at 30fps and not changing this? What am I missing here? Maybe I still don't have a clear grasp of the significance shooting with a shutter double the rate of the frames per second and what that does to how we perceive footage during playback.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 11:52 AM   #2
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...why do I feel that shooting at 1/30 and the every so slight blurring that gives over 1/50 gives a more "film" feeling to me?
I don't know, but I can tell you that's the opposite feeling that I get.

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Now I read opposite that for some people 1/30 feels most like video to them over 1/50 and even 1/60.
The reason it feels like video is because of the shutter angle. Using a shutter speed equal to the frame rate results in the maximum amount of blur. Video is normally 60i, so with 1/60 you get the maximum blur possible. The effect adds with frame rate and interlacing to form three of the most video-like characteristics.

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Doesn't it make sense that if you're filming X-FPS that if you split that up in to the equal shutter fraction you would get a more "normal" feeling of movement?
Not to me.

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I totally get why and the need for stopping the action quicker in certain situations,
It's not about stopping action; that's a stills thing. It's about getting the desired amount of motion blur.

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but lets say you're only shooting a scene of dialog at a coffee shop between two characters, doesn't 1/30 make the most sense if you're keeping the footage at 30fps and not changing this?
If you're going for the video look, yes, that makes sense. But if you prefer a film look, 1/60 is the correct choice for 30 FPS.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 03:34 PM   #3
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In fact, one might choose 1/80 in 30p to give a bit more stutter to fake 24p.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 03:47 PM   #4
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I guess for me a super crisp look screams video and that's what I seem to get using shutters over 1/50. To me crisp, high DOF was always what TV shows using video looked like growing up whereas low DOF and a more liquid-like feeling is how I see film footage. That's why I always love 80's sitcoms where they used stock film footage for establishing shots, like an exterior and then went to the live studio footage and POP went the feeling and look and it felt like you were watching theater in-person.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 05:28 PM   #5
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I keep reading time and time again about 1/50 shutter being the "sweet spot" ... So besides the obvious situations where light Hz flicker happens
Actually with the 5D it's 1/60 not 1/50 - a couple times I've accidentally used 1/50 and ended up with a slight flickering from lights.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 05:35 PM   #6
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I am using 1/30th as much as possible. Only when there is too much light and I have not enough ND filter I change to a smaller time. I do that more on a intuitive base, I almost have no rational reason for doing that. Living in a PAL country I have to switch to 1/50th when it comes to artificial light and TV sets. I will try and shoot at 1/80th.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 01:18 AM   #7
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PAL Land again, I shoot at 1/50th all the time. From reading this it seems I should be shooting at 1/60th except when in artificial light. Would that be fair to say?

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Old October 24th, 2009, 03:14 PM   #8
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Double the frame rate and you get the "default" shutter angle of 180 degrees.

Look up shutter angle over at Wikipedia.
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Old October 28th, 2009, 12:50 AM   #9
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I've seen a good many digital video cameras that make a very choppy effect with higher shutter speeds.

Do what works. There are genre rules, but no rule that say you have to stick to one genre.
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