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Old December 9th, 2005, 07:28 PM   #1
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variable frame rate options

Are there any other cameras in this price range that do the variable frame rate?

I'm looking at this camera for the smooth half speed, probably ending up in widescreen SD for now.

Which leads to another question ~ is it better (quality-wise) to down convert when transfering the footage to the hard drive and then editing in SD, rather than editing all in HD and then downconverting the finished piece?

Or maybe I should just shoot in SD!

(who sounds confused?)
Robert Bobson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 9th, 2005, 08:28 PM   #2
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No other cameras in this price range, Unless you consider shooting 1080i with, say the Sony HDV cameras, then downscaling. This would not be such a bad option if all you want is a 50% slo-mo. 1080i would provide plenty of resolution to split into 60-fields-per-second, then use that as 30 progressive frames. That is, if you're only EVER going to stay in SD, and never want an HD master for the future.

However, the option to do speeds in-between is what really sells this camera, as far as variable frame rates are concerned. The ability to do 2, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 30, 32, 36, 48 and 60fps in 720p allows for a huge variety of looks, especially if your project is based on 24p. You can do 2x slo-mo, or 2.5x. You can also do 1.08, 1.25, 1.33 or 1.5x slo-mo. You can also undercrank at .91, .83, .75 or .08% normal speed. These, along with shutter speed adjustments can produce a huge variety of effects ranging from very subtle to outlandish.

It's better, quality-wise to edit HD all the way through the post chain, if you can. Color correction, compositing, titles and transitions will all benefit from the additional pixels and enhanced color space of DVCProHD. Then, when the project is finished, you down-convert to SD.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 01:49 AM   #3
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It's actually even more than that. For each variable frame rate setting, there are three different looks you can achieve. For example, if you shoot 12fps in the "24pn" mode, you'll get motion that's twice as fast as normal. But if you shoot 12fps in the "30pn" mode, you'll actually get motion that's 2.5x as fast as normal. And if you shoot 12fps in the "60p" mode, it'll actually look like slow motion (or, more accurately, step-printing) -- a totally different look. So each frame rate has three potential looks you can get from it.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 10:29 PM   #4
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Barry: What does the "pn" stands for?
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Old December 10th, 2005, 11:46 PM   #5
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The "n" implies "Native" mode, which means that it stores only the frames necessary. The other mode carries no suffix but is known as "Over 60" mode, meaning whatever frame rate you shoot is carried within a 60p data stream (which means that frames will be duplicated to round out the sequence up to 60 fps).

So 720/30pN means only 30 frames get written to the card, resulting in a lot more space efficiency on the card. 720/30p mode means that 60 frames per second will get written to the card, each frame being duplicated once. This mode will be compatible with the 1200A deck or with computer live-streaming capture or with the FireStore, since the data stream out the firewire port is always 100mbps. The "n" modes are for recording on the cards, although both modes can be recorded on the cards of course.
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