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Old August 17th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #1
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What is better 25p or 50i

I have a canon xl2 pal.
I am shooting a lifestyle cooking show and I would like to know what is going to be better 25p or 50i. I shot a horse story the other day for a network and the editor told me that one of my pan shots was not useable, it ws not smooth it was a bit jumpie and I WAS ON A TRIPOD. It was of a stud name post on a gate, I have not seen it yet I will look soon. I shot in 25p and it was an overcast and sometimes raining day.
thank you
John
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Old August 17th, 2006, 01:37 AM   #2
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I can understand your editor's reaction, John If you shoot in 25p you're only getting 25 different pictures per second onto tape. If you shoot in 50i you're getting 50 (half resolution) pictures onto tape every second.

So 50i will look a great deal smoother for shots that have movement in them - and this includes camera movement as well as subject movement.

What made you select 25p in the first place? Was it specifically asked for?

tom.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 02:08 AM   #3
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Hi John. 25p is an effect that is very similar to the 24p supposed film look. It's not really natural, but many people like it (including myself). However, it does require some care in shot setup to avoid sweeping movements of the camera or subject from left to right (or right to left). If you don't positively want this effect, you are better off shooting 50i which is more forgiving of all sorts of motion.

By the way, it sounds a bit strange that you are asking for advice here without even looking at your own footage. :)

Richard
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Old August 17th, 2006, 02:24 AM   #4
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I fell foul of this recently.

As a very new owner of an XL2 I was keen to see what 25p looked like. I was at Nuerburgring, the German Grand Prix track, last weekend filming classic sports car races at the Old Timers Grand Prix. Big mistake to go 25p!

Some shots are simply wonderful (ie those that don't pan or tilt) and actually give a lovely sense of speed (I was filming from the pit lane at times, so really close to the cars) but as soon as the camera moves, for example to follow a car up the track, it all goes nasty. Luckily I realised this when reviewing footage after the first day. Day 2 was all at 50i. The 50i footage is superbly crisp.

Fortunately, my client (actually a friend who pays me to go to these events. Nice one, huh?) wants a stylised look for the piece. He's got one.

Out of interest, whereas the NTSC version offers 24p with a recommended shutter speed of 48 to mimic film, does this mean that PAL users should have a shutter speed of 50 for the same result?

Ian . . .
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Old August 17th, 2006, 03:37 AM   #5
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NTSC folk go 24p because that really is the 'film look', but then again they're starting from a very odd base of 29.97 fps so whatever they change to involves a lot more compromises than the PAL conversion from 50i to 25p.

So 25p it is in PAL land unless your transfer2film lab insists on 24p. 25p sits nicely with the latest progressive TVs and DVD players, but do be aware that some cameras lose a stop or so in the switch over to progressive.

Me? I'm a dedicated follower of 50i, loving the smoothness of movement after years of shooting film at 24 fps and having to accept the movement judder. The 'having to accept' was purely on historic grounds of course - film was shot at 24 fps and projected at 48 Hz for economy reasons, nothing more.

tom.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 04:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Stark
I fell foul of this recently.

As a very new owner of an XL2 I was keen to see what 25p looked like. I was at Nuerburgring, the German Grand Prix track, last weekend filming classic sports car races at the Old Timers Grand Prix. Big mistake to go 25p!

Some shots are simply wonderful (ie those that don't pan or tilt) and actually give a lovely sense of speed (I was filming from the pit lane at times, so really close to the cars) but as soon as the camera moves, for example to follow a car up the track, it all goes nasty. Luckily I realised this when reviewing footage after the first day. Day 2 was all at 50i. The 50i footage is superbly crisp.

Fortunately, my client (actually a friend who pays me to go to these events. Nice one, huh?) wants a stylised look for the piece. He's got one.

Out of interest, whereas the NTSC version offers 24p with a recommended shutter speed of 48 to mimic film, does this mean that PAL users should have a shutter speed of 50 for the same result?

Ian . . .

Hi Ian,
I wanted the film look but I should have let the editor do it in Avid.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 04:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hunter
Hi John. 25p is an effect that is very similar to the 24p supposed film look. It's not really natural, but many people like it (including myself). However, it does require some care in shot setup to avoid sweeping movements of the camera or subject from left to right (or right to left). If you don't positively want this effect, you are better off shooting 50i which is more forgiving of all sorts of motion.

By the way, it sounds a bit strange that you are asking for advice here without even looking at your own footage. :)

Richard

Richard,
I looked at the footags and it looked fine, I am seeing it tomorrow at the studio. I also want the hi res pics and I thought that I could get both.
Thank you
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Old August 17th, 2006, 04:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
I can understand your editor's reaction, John If you shoot in 25p you're only getting 25 different pictures per second onto tape. If you shoot in 50i you're getting 50 (half resolution) pictures onto tape every second.

So 50i will look a great deal smoother for shots that have movement in them - and this includes camera movement as well as subject movement.

What made you select 25p in the first place? Was it specifically asked for?

tom.
Hi Tom,
So it is better to shoot in 50. I want the pics to look great. We are using very artie lighting well 50 be good enough for TV?
John
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hunter
By the way, it sounds a bit strange that you are asking for advice here without even looking at your own footage. :)

Richard
I imagine just like news ENG cameramen, John just handed over the tapes at the end of the shoot without having the chance/time to view them ? 50i is fine for television, that's what the vast majority of dv shoots for tv are produced on. At the end of the day technique and production values are what stand out more than the technical standard of the camera equipment. I've seen dv done by trained camera operators and dv done by researchers and producers. Just like 7up, the difference is clear (lol).

To get to the point, I shoot a lot in 25p and love the look, despite the sometimes jittery movement. But I only use it for things that demand a stylised look such as music videos or maybe the odd wedding. Bottom line is if you want a jitter free, bulk standard video look then shoot 50i, but if you like the 'cine' look of 25p and don't do too much panning (especially at tight focal lengths) then go for it.

Oh and as a footnote: Make sure any editing software/programmes you may use can fully handle progressive. I've had a couple of minor problems with my Casablanca software regarding certain effects and transitions being thrown by the frame rate.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 05:55 AM   #10
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So should you shoot in progressive scan?

OK, so seeing films in the cinema is akin to progressive scan in that you see each frame in all it’s glory, whereas interlaced video only lets you see fields, two fields making up each frame.
So the answer is yes, maybe, if you really like the film look and believe – as many do – that this neatly divorces your footage from the everyday (and therefore somewhat valueless) video, and imparts a look that people associate with Hollywood films.

By the way, it’s nothing to do with the NLE filters that allow you to add dust, hairs, gate-weave and visible splices, though some people do like to add film grain to add authenticity. If you shoot 50i (interlaced, normal video, I’ll call it) then at least you can fall back on this if your post processing to pogressive is not to your liking. Note: on some cameras that will mean selecting a somewhat pseudo progressive that’s variously called clear-scan or synchro-scan or cine-frame.

So should you shoot progressive scan? The mass of different systems employed by the camera manufacturers as well as the TV manufacturers means that I can only answer this one way – you must do your own tests with your camera, editing software and TV system. Remember that switching to progressive scan can sometimes mean that your camera becomes less light sensitive, even though there may be potential gains as regards resolution.

Another thing to remember is that if your camera’s stationary and there’s no subject movement, you’re very unlikely to see any difference at all between normal and progressive footage, even though the progressive image is indeed better. Once movement takes place however, the characteristic look of the progressive images start to become apparent. Is it for you? There’s only one way to find out.

One of the easiest ways to do this ‘should I / shouldn’t I film in progressive?’ test is to set your camera up on a tripod and simply walk around it pulling the pan handle, taping yourself a 360 degree panorama of your room or garden.

Take about 10 seconds to do the circle, and film it in the normal 50i mode and then in your camera’s progressive scan mode. Now it’s an easy job to connect the camera to your display device and see whether you like the look and whether you notice the resolution gains.

One advantage of shooting progressive is if you then import the footage into your computer, you’ll be able to choose individual frames without having the flicker of interlace to contend with, and you’ll also get to see what progressive does when you decide to stretch the clip to put it into slow motion, say.

Me? As I say, I’m not a fan of progressive scan. Trying to emulate a technology from years gone by does have its followers, but I for one fail to see how it helps artistically or technically.

tom.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 06:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
Me? As I say, I’m not a fan of progressive scan. Trying to emulate a technology from years gone by does have its followers, but I for one fail to see how it helps artistically or technically.

tom.

I agree to most of what you say, Tom, but actually interlaced video is also a technology from the past, invented purely because the available bandwidth was limited and 50 progressive frames was just not possible. Now, 50p, that would be a nice thing to have... EDIT: or 60p for you guys in NTSC land.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 07:06 AM   #12
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Keep in mind that if you put your camera on a tripod you turn off the stabilization
in the lens! If you had this on in your pan example it might have introduced
a jitter while the lens was trying to see where the motion was going.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 02:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen McLaughlin
I imagine just like news ENG cameramen, John just handed over the tapes at the end of the shoot without having the chance/time to view them ? 50i is fine for television, that's what the vast majority of dv shoots for tv are produced on. At the end of the day technique and production values are what stand out more than the technical standard of the camera equipment. I've seen dv done by trained camera operators and dv done by researchers and producers. Just like 7up, the difference is clear (lol).

To get to the point, I shoot a lot in 25p and love the look, despite the sometimes jittery movement. But I only use it for things that demand a stylised look such as music videos or maybe the odd wedding. Bottom line is if you want a jitter free, bulk standard video look then shoot 50i, but if you like the 'cine' look of 25p and don't do too much panning (especially at tight focal lengths) then go for it.

Oh and as a footnote: Make sure any editing software/programmes you may use can fully handle progressive. I've had a couple of minor problems with my Casablanca software regarding certain effects and transitions being thrown by the frame rate.
Allen Thank you for the tips.
I think I will go 50i. I am going to shoot some sample footage tomorrow and have a look in the Avid at work. I had a look at the footage they were complaining about and it was not too bad but I can see their point.
I will let you know how I go.
John
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Old August 18th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick
So should you shoot in progressive scan?

OK, so seeing films in the cinema is akin to progressive scan in that you see each frame in all it’s glory, whereas interlaced video only lets you see fields, two fields making up each frame.
So the answer is yes, maybe, if you really like the film look and believe – as many do – that this neatly divorces your footage from the everyday (and therefore somewhat valueless) video, and imparts a look that people associate with Hollywood films.

By the way, it’s nothing to do with the NLE filters that allow you to add dust, hairs, gate-weave and visible splices, though some people do like to add film grain to add authenticity. If you shoot 50i (interlaced, normal video, I’ll call it) then at least you can fall back on this if your post processing to pogressive is not to your liking. Note: on some cameras that will mean selecting a somewhat pseudo progressive that’s variously called clear-scan or synchro-scan or cine-frame.

So should you shoot progressive scan? The mass of different systems employed by the camera manufacturers as well as the TV manufacturers means that I can only answer this one way – you must do your own tests with your camera, editing software and TV system. Remember that switching to progressive scan can sometimes mean that your camera becomes less light sensitive, even though there may be potential gains as regards resolution.

Another thing to remember is that if your camera’s stationary and there’s no subject movement, you’re very unlikely to see any difference at all between normal and progressive footage, even though the progressive image is indeed better. Once movement takes place however, the characteristic look of the progressive images start to become apparent. Is it for you? There’s only one way to find out.

One of the easiest ways to do this ‘should I / shouldn’t I film in progressive?’ test is to set your camera up on a tripod and simply walk around it pulling the pan handle, taping yourself a 360 degree panorama of your room or garden.

Take about 10 seconds to do the circle, and film it in the normal 50i mode and then in your camera’s progressive scan mode. Now it’s an easy job to connect the camera to your display device and see whether you like the look and whether you notice the resolution gains.

One advantage of shooting progressive is if you then import the footage into your computer, you’ll be able to choose individual frames without having the flicker of interlace to contend with, and you’ll also get to see what progressive does when you decide to stretch the clip to put it into slow motion, say.

Me? As I say, I’m not a fan of progressive scan. Trying to emulate a technology from years gone by does have its followers, but I for one fail to see how it helps artistically or technically.

tom.

Tom Thank you I am going to try that in the morning I will let you know how I go.
John
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Old August 18th, 2006, 02:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Lohman
Keep in mind that if you put your camera on a tripod you turn off the stabilization
in the lens! If you had this on in your pan example it might have introduced
a jitter while the lens was trying to see where the motion was going.

Good point my stabilisation was on!!!!!
John
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