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Old June 14th, 2007, 07:26 PM   #1
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60i vs. 30p ANY AND ALL COMMENT!

Apart from the stylized reasons for someone electing to shoot 24p, could anyone/everyone please comment on the respective merits of 60i and 30p? What circumstances/purposes might there be to choose one versus the other? What might be some drawbacks/limitations for using one versus the other (later application/ versatility, etc.)?

ANY AND ALL PLEASE COMMENT!
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Old June 14th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #2
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30P and a funny story

I like 30P, and just used it for a reality demo requested by A&E. It was a relatively high-action scene and as the supervising producer for our company I had to fight with the directory who wanted 24P for the "edgy" look.

I didn't want the lower temporal resolution because I'd seen earlier footage from the HDX200 in 24P that was way to stroby on fast pans and action within the frame, even though the shutter had been set to fast speeds which is the "cure" for this problem.

Funny thing, this director was one of the 50 people chosen for "On the Lot" out of 12,000 who sent in films, and even managed to avoid the first cut, so she was no dunce but I knew that the fast action and whip pans wouldn't favor the slower frame rate.

The director stomped off the set, so I directed, shooting in the 30P that I wanted, totally bummed that I was limiting her edgy hipness. She was under the spell of 24P "hipnosis" and didn't realize that it is a tool great for some things and wrong for others. We stayed friends in spite of her unprofessionalism and continued our debate out the frame rates as applied to this show.

Now I bought both of my cameras that we used partially because they offered 24P: the XDCAM HD F350 and the HVR-V1. I doubt very much that I'd buy a camera that didn't have 24P, so it wasn't anything against the format, just it's applicability to a high-action reality show.

Then I came across an article about "On the Lot," the show that she was on. Let's see, it was EP'd by Steven Spielberg and airing on the edgiest of the Big Four nets, Fox. Surprise, it was shot in 30P for the "completely unique look" the DP got with it. Boy, I wasted no time in sending her the article!

Another director we shot a reality demo with recently (who has a great deal of reality experience) used 30P and I had specified the HDX900 (for great low-light performance and low grain when gained up) which of course has an excellent 24P implementation.

30P is great. It has that clean progressive look without interlace edge problems but doesn't stutter nearly as much as 24P. I came to like it when I had my JVC HD100.

The big drawback of 30P is that it does not transfer well to the PAL type 25P or 50i. So if NTSC and PAL are both needed, go 24P, which by the way is one of the reasons 24P is favored for network 1-hour dramas.

Also it obviously would be wrong if there is any possibility of eventual film transfer.

Tip
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Old June 14th, 2007, 09:56 PM   #3
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I personally like the look of 30p with my cameras. Just don't try any fast pans with vertical objects. On my first shoot I was out in the forest with lots of pine trees. They look slanted now :) I think the general public won't notice it unless someone points it out, but if you try and slow down any of the footage it will be a problem.

Also, about 99% of my stuff goes to the web, so shooting progressive helps. No deinterlacing in post.

Now... If you want slow-mo for any of your clips, shoot 60i and in post convert the video by splitting the fields.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 08:52 AM   #4
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Tip-- great...

Tip (thanks John also...),
Great, thorough "conversation" and validation of an intution from one more experience than I-- both the look and versatility of 30p.... More and more I think 24p has acquired a hype by those wanting to be "in"-- as the ordinary/catch-all mode for every occasion-- but for many reasons you mentioned, there are numerous limitations and drawbacks... it is certainly not for every, or perhaps most-- productions. There are limited/defined/stylized instances that truly beg for the "film look"... . Thanks much!

Requesting more specificity here-- if one's end production is going to be ONLY SD, for an SD DVD... would there be merit to shooting 60i (HDV mode) over 30p? Some of my clients are HD - but there are a few of these local gigs where the end is simply an SD DVD... (typically big-stage, multi-light dance productions) in which case I simplify the process, and keep my NLE lean by simply downconverting out of the camera (V1U downconverting setting)... and editing usual SD. Would you suspect the 30p out-of-camera downconvert would do as well (or better) as the 60i? Would there be benefits? (I know this is somethign I'll need to experiment with-- but welcome anyone who might have input here...)
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Old June 15th, 2007, 09:23 AM   #5
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I thought 30p would be the perfect mode when I didn't want the 24p effect. But I find myself using either 60i or 24p.

A new concern about 30p I just discovered (and correct me if I'm wrong) is that if I'm authoring a Blu-Ray disc, it doesn't support 1440x1080/30p. Strangely, HD-DVD appears to support it, but Blu-Ray seems to only support a 24P 1080 progressive mode.

I just confirmed this on the Wikipedia Blu-Ray Disc page

"...note 5: Both Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD allow coded video framerates of 24p and 50i/60i. HD DVD additionally allows framerates of 25p and 30p."
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Old June 15th, 2007, 10:25 AM   #6
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great info, craig, thanks for sharing it. i've been thinking about blu-ray, but i use 30P a lot. good to know there are issues....

30P is great when you're working in fast conditions. i prefer it to 24P. but you limit yourself once you choose it, in other ways.

30P advantages:
handles motion better
intercuts with 60i in the same timeline (although with the FCP6 format-agnostic timeline this may no longer matter)
greater flexibility in setting shutter speeds

disadvantages
the blu-ray compatability issue!
you pretty much eliminate the option of film-out, it's only useful for DVD or web delivery, so if that's even a remote possibility, you have to rule it out
won't work well with an HV20 as b-roll, which has 24P but not 30P
less film-ish than 24P, somewhere between the video and film look - this can also be an advantage, though....

that's all i can think of on the fly....
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Old June 15th, 2007, 12:25 PM   #7
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Agreeing with the comments above.

30p advantage with the V1:
Use it with 1/30th shutter speed and gain a stop of light, very handy for existing light interiors. I shot a series of interviews this way, which will intercut nicely with 60i.

60i advantage with any camera:
Best motion.

****
Film look is not just 24p cadence and motion. Film is also:
Wide exposure latitude (which we can deal with for video, but takes longer and requires more lighting, because we're lighting around that lack of latitude).
Shallow depth of focus (35mm adaptor, anyone?)
Really nice color (which with CC and grading we can approach with video).
Gate weave.

I'm not trying to rain on anyone's 24p party (much), but, so often I hear the same kind of "hipnosis" that Tip mentioned - that 24p is somehow the holy grail of video, now it looks like film.

*********
What I like best about the recent generations of prosumer cameras is that with 30p, black stretch, DSP and other tools, we can make really good looking video.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 01:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting this Greg.I had the same question and I shoot my first wedding tomorrow,debating weither to stick with 60i or shoot in 30p. I have been shooting in 60i because everything I have shot is fast action/pans in trees. Both30p and 24p look bad to me in what Im filming. I did try what Piotr suggested , shoot in 30p at 350 shutter speed and that helped with the fluttering background but it looks like I will stick to 60i when Im in the woods.
It seems to me that 30p and 24p are for closer shots in a controlled enviroment without a lot of actions
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Old June 15th, 2007, 06:55 PM   #9
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Blu-ray works fine with 30P

I've made several BD-RE discs using Roxio DVDit HD Pro that used only 30P video from three different cameras, the JVC HD-100, the XDCAM HD F350 and the Sony HVR-V1. In each case the Blu-ray discs played beautifully in the PS3 and the Panasonic free-standing player.

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Old June 15th, 2007, 09:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cash View Post
... shoot in 30p at 350 shutter speed ...
Wow, that's a fast shutter. Were you trying to do a slow-mo in post, hence the reason for the fast shutter?
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Old June 16th, 2007, 06:31 AM   #11
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Hmmm. Well that must mean it's transcoding the 30p footage into 60i, right? Because the spec doesn't allow it, and DVDitPro HD says that it will have to transcode it.

30p isn't a bad mode at all, it's great...and you can manipulate it and bring it to 60i without any problems. But as it is I don't think it can go straight to Blu-Ray for playback w/o transcoding.
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Old June 16th, 2007, 04:49 PM   #12
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Blu-ray

While it's true that all commercial Blu-ray movies are recorded as 24P, I don't think the specs are limited to that. See my above post, I've recorded 30P to Blu-ray many times, but remember that 30 might be described as 60i with matching fields, so maybe it's 60i that works with Blu-ray. But somehow my 30P does.

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Old December 29th, 2009, 08:41 PM   #13
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30P Blu-Ray works great

Also used 30p to master blu-ray disks using Toast Titanium. Works like a charm. Quality is awesome without interlacing of course.

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