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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old October 16th, 2006, 11:30 PM   #1
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Can't decide between 60i or 30f

I'm going to need some expert advice on this. I'm trying to shoot a new pilot and can't decide between the 60 i mode and 30F mode in the canon.

The reason i even bring up 60 i is because the secondary would HAVE to be a smaller camera, as in, a z1. If the proj is shot in 60i, it'd be easy to mix and match footage and post would be a breeze..

However, the look of 30f is just so much better to the eye simply because of the progressive scan (or whatever you want to call it since Canon doesn't call it "P"). I think the sony does 30p as well, but what sort of a timeline would I be working in... Does native premiere 2.0 handle this? Will cineform?

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Old October 17th, 2006, 02:23 PM   #2
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What is the distribution medium for your project? TV?

If so, shoot 60i. There are no viable distribution mediums for 1080P and very few 1080P TVs exist. If you shoot 30P it may look good to you, but it will have to be broken up for broadcast. 60i also gives you the option for 3:2 pulldown to 24p and output to film.


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Old October 17th, 2006, 02:47 PM   #3
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Usually a TV show would be either 60i or 24p. Now this is a huge area of debate that could go on for hours on which format is bets. This is the sort of debate that we will never solve because there is no correct answer here. It all has to do with your style and the look you want.

30p on the other hand is not a very common format. You could use it but the network you are selling to might not like it done that way.

What type of show is this? Is it a reality show or a sitcom or drama? Reality shows, gameshows, news and talk shows are usually 60i or 60p. Sitcoms, drama, movies, big budget TV commercials and usually music videos (if they were ever shown anymore that is) are usually 24p.

Can a show go outside of this norm? yes of course it can but then your show is at the mercy of the content since the format will right away send up a flag in mind of those who watch it that something is different about the way it looks compared to other shows. It may work for some people and not for others.

I do not mean to imply that you should use 60i or 24p but that I would avoid using 30p.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 02:53 PM   #4
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If he's looking for that motion characteristic...is there harm in converting 30f to 60i? You should then have 2 fields that contain the same 60th of a second timeslice.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #5
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Although I've never shot 30p, I have commented before that the 2 documentaries I made with the DVX in 24p were cut into by the PBS broadcast standards people because they didn't like the "judder".. The picture looked very much like the hundreds I've done in the past in film to me, but to them it raised a flag...

For that reason I've shot all my H1 footage 60i... It's just safer, unless you are happy with having to explain yourself every time you send a reel...
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Old October 17th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #6
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Cole, I agree, go for 30f convert to 60i if so.

I think it also depend on the kind of movements you are planning. Dollying can be slight stuttering in in F mode. Slowmotions are done best in I. On the other hand, videoish look is also best achieved I.

It also depends on the post and codecs you are planning to use. Here in PAL country I can say XL H1 25f exported/converted to MPEG2 have an amazing look.
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Old October 17th, 2006, 07:13 PM   #7
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thanks for the response guys. Decided on 60i, because (i may be wrong about this), vertical resolution is lost in both the camera's 30P/F modes.

The thing about 60i is, as you guys said, it is the most accepted and used format out there, and we can always de-interlace later depending on the look we want for the show. That alone has convinced me to go this route.
Thanks for your input.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 07:43 AM   #8
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you lose about 30% res for frame mode...and 50% for deinterlacing.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rosen
Although I've never shot 30p, I have commented before that the 2 documentaries I made with the DVX in 24p were cut into by the PBS broadcast standards people because they didn't like the "judder".. The picture looked very much like the hundreds I've done in the past in film to me, but to them it raised a flag...

For that reason I've shot all my H1 footage 60i... It's just safer, unless you are happy with having to explain yourself every time you send a reel...
Documentaries on PBS usually would be 60i which is why they may have had a problem with it. PBS isn't the kind of network that would usually have the type of drama shows I listed above. If it is a documentary then yes 60i is the best way to go. PBS would have issues with 24p just the same as they would have issues if you went for a B/W look. Those guys just are not in the market for the creative look. That is why I asked in my earlier post what type of show and what network was going to show it.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 12:37 PM   #10
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We are looking to sell the show to travel channel , if that helps. Having said that, i've seen plenty of shows on TC that are shot on DVX's, and other 3CCD 1/3" ers.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 07:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet
Documentaries on PBS usually would be 60i which is why they may have had a problem with it. PBS isn't the kind of network that would usually have the type of drama shows I listed above. If it is a documentary then yes 60i is the best way to go. PBS would have issues with 24p just the same as they would have issues if you went for a B/W look. Those guys just are not in the market for the creative look. That is why I asked in my earlier post what type of show and what network was going to show it.
Thomas.. Boy, there is so much I take issue with in this statement I don't know where to start... First of all, there is no difference between televised documentaries and dramatic shows relative to "i" or "p" - I can't imagine where you even came up with that one...

Secondly, PBS, of all the outfits that broadcast nationally, tends to have more, not less, programs with a creative look.. I shot a one hour show in reel-to-reel VHS (B&W, by the way) years ago that no one else would touch - PBS aired it - the problem with PBS is antiquated broadcast standards at the engineering level, not programming decision-making at the executive level...

Finally, and certainly not least of all, the perpetuation of the "24p-makes-it-look-like-film and 60i doesn't" myth.. I've shot over a thousand films, mostly in 16 and super16, some 35mm, VHS (as mentioned) U-Matic, Beta SP, DVCAM, Digital BetaCam, DV Anamorphic, and now HDV... When projected in a theater an audience would generally not be aware of what format any of these were shot in.. as-a-matter-of-fact, one doc I made, shot in DVCAM on a DSR-300, won numerous best documentary and audience choice awards and when it was reviewed in Hollywood Reporter was referred to as "film originated"... It's how you shoot it, not some magic technical mumbo-jumbo...

In my case, I shot 2 docs with the DVX because I like to experiment and wanted to see if 24p was all it was supposed to be, and thought there was possibility for a film-out - as it turned out more festivals were projecting in video by the time I finished, so I didn't go to the expense...

But the point I was making originally is that 24p is not necessarily viewed by everyone as "looking like film" - many see it's inherent "judder" as looking like bad video...
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Old October 19th, 2006, 09:51 AM   #12
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For my purposes I actually prefer 30p to 24p. All of my intended display mediums run at 60hz...but, I like progressive more than interlaced. The motion artifacts just bug me in interlaced footage. But then I grew up with a 35mm camera in my hand too, so that may be tainting my view of it.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 10:14 AM   #13
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This is a useful thread.

Thanks guys.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 10:42 AM   #14
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I prefer progressive, maybe not for the lovely movements, it's more about the look of the interlaced movements, that I don't like. Many times you have to de-interlace anyway (however I don't think you loosing 50% in res). But progressive could be stuttering, and you then have to "smooth" in post instead.

But it all depends what you are doing in the specific shot; Slow mo, dolly:ing or pans could be a lot better in interlaced then progressive. And if you are cutting and doing post yourself - it doesn't really matter (my opinion), but for all of who hasn't shot over a thousand films (yet), I think that progressive is a easy way to a more cinematic look (my opinion again).

It's no big deal to mix and match, have done it a lot. I think XL H1 and the Digic handles both Interlaced and Progressive really nice.
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Last edited by Jonas Nystrom; October 19th, 2006 at 01:06 PM.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 07:11 PM   #15
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Jonas.. In theory you are correct, 24p (or "f" or whatever) can have a more cinematic look.. but, if the discussion is about creativity, don't you think that it is tying your hands creatively to not be able to do swish-pans, dollies and slow motion? Or how about panning with fast moving cars, horses, dogs or kids?

I wish that 24p in these lower end cameras looked like 24fps film, but for some reason that no one has explained effectively to me it doesn't... At least not in these situations... I swish pan all the time in film... (I like the NYPD look).

I've said many times here that I, too, like the look of 24p material - I have used it successfully, especially in commercials, where the "judder" - I do hate that word - is an interesting effect - but what I'm saying is that if you have to present your material to someone whose job it is to say "no", then I don't think you should put any stumbling blocks in your way..

Bottom line: If you're doing film-out, by all means shoot 24f... but otherwise be cautious and shoot tests and have them evaluated (as I stupidly didn't with the DVX and XL2) before committing to a whole project...

FYI.. I just got FCP 5.1.1 installed and I do intend to experiment with 24f when I get some time.. maybe it's better than the DVX, I don't know...
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