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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old May 11th, 2009, 03:41 PM   #1
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30p or what?

I quote from the XHA1 user manual page 40 in my manual, page 42 in the online manual.

"30F Mode Records in 30fps progressive mode and outputs signals converted into 60fps interlaced. Video output from the HDV/DV terminal will be in 30p."

Why does the camera record at 30 fps progressive convert it to 60i fps and then convert it back for output to 30p? My limited experience has taught me to limit the number of conversions for best quality.

Is the output then the industry standard 29.97 progressive or is it something else?

Why does Canon confuse this issue? I called Canon Tech support and could not get a straight answer.

Confused

Kent
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Old May 11th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #2
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I'm no expert but I think it's not so much a conversion to 60fps, 60fps interlaced is equal to 30fps progressive
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Old May 11th, 2009, 08:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent S. Jakusz View Post
Why does the camera record at 30 fps progressive convert it to 60i fps and then convert it back for output to 30p? My limited experience has taught me to limit the number of conversions for best quality.
I don't know why it does that but the effect on quality should be negligible since it's just splitting fields.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent S. Jakusz View Post
Is the output then the industry standard 29.97 progressive or is it something else?
It's standard 29.97.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent S. Jakusz View Post
Why does Canon confuse this issue? I called Canon Tech support and could not get a straight answer.
I wouldn't put that all on Canon. It's a confusing issue. People call the same thing by different names. 29.97i, 30i and 60i are often (incorrectly) used to describe 29.97 drop frame interlaced video. But not everyone is as anal about this as I am.

I haven't read that part of the manual in a while, but I suspect Canon are trying to give a fairly granular level of detail. With so much confusion on this topic out in the world already it's not surprising that Canon's statements scuff that up a bit more.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:04 AM   #4
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So?

So is there any difference between 60i and 30p on the XH-A1? because canon is not true progressive correct?
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Old May 13th, 2009, 11:57 AM   #5
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I think what it means is, to have your video output to TV in NTSC signal, the 30p stream has a field spilt to form a 60i stream (which is the NTSC standard). But when you are outputing thru DV/HDV firewire, it is still 30p.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 07:38 PM   #6
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So is there any difference between 60i and 30p on the XH-A1? because canon is not true progressive correct?
How much do you really want to know? (grin) Assume you're shooting at 1/60 or faster. At 60i the camera records one field every 1/60th of a second. At 30p the camera records 30 frames per second using the interlaced sensor. The fact that the sensor is interlaced is really of no real consequence.

What happens in the camera when you're capturing from it to the computer does not effect your final result of 30p footage in your NLE. After your footage gets read from tape, processed by the camera and fed down the 1394 cable into your NLE you'll have what you want to play with. Think of the process as a "black box". Truly, it matters not how it gets done. What you have in your computer is the 30p footage like you wanted.

Now that you've waded through the long description, the short answer is that if you shoot 60i, you'll have that in your NLE. Shoot 30p and 30p will show up in your software. How it does it isn't important. What you have is virtually the same as "real" 30p. The differences are not at all significant.

Go shoot what you want and enjoy!
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Old May 14th, 2009, 10:41 AM   #7
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I haven't done 30F but I shoot everything at 24F. It is exactly the same as any other 24p footage, you get 24 clean non-interlaced frames per second.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 09:28 AM   #8
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I asked this is after much study and experimenting. I continue to be confused and unable to get high quality output to DVD's for table top players. Thought I might start at the beginning of the entire process, film settings, and work from there. Frame rate is a basic setting and the confusion on just that subject is numbing.

Is there a resource that can answer the questions: I shoot nature, with a Canon XHA1, edit in Final Cut Express, output to DVD and desire the best quality regardless of file size, the projects are 30 minutes or less, what camera and edit settings will give the best results?

Being a prosumer, one man act involves a wide variety of skills which are highly complicated by engineering decisions that can adversely effect the end product. If a basic workflow were available it sure would save a lot of time and frustration.

Thanks
kent
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Old May 16th, 2009, 03:46 PM   #9
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You've got several things going on here. First, I know FCE doesn't handle Canon's 24F. I don't know about 30F. I doubt it will do that either. So you may be stuck with shooting 60i, which is fine.

However, when you go out for DVD, what compession settings are you using? Does FCE come with Compressor? If not, you may be losing some quality there. I always export my final timeline as an H.264 1920x1080, best quality. Then go from that to the m2v for DVD. Within the DVD settings on Compressor you have 3 different quality levels, and I always picke the top. My DVDS look great. However, they don't look as good as the original footage in the timeline or as good as the H.264 export because they are standard definition. The only thing that shooting 24F or 30F versus interlaced would have any significant effect on would be that you have to deinterlace the footage if it's 60i and sometimes you can get some funkiness there in terms of artifacts.

Another issue...if you don't have DVD Studio Pro (I don't think you get that with FCE), then you probably are using iDVD and you're not going to get as high a quality with it.
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