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Old January 5th, 2009, 06:27 PM   #1
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What's the Best Format for Stock Footage???

This is less of an EX1/EX3 question than it is a general video format question, but I didn't see anywhere else to post so thought I'd start here. For several years I've been collecting stock footage at 1440x1080 60i. Why? Because that was the best my cameras could do.

Now I have the EX1 and EX3 and I'm wondering if I should switch to 1920x1080 30p. Why? Because I can easily convert to 60i and might even have less jaggies. Plus, it should convert better to the 24p formats. I realize that if I drop the resolution to 1280x720 I can even go 60p, but I don't think I want to do that (with all due respect to the Planet Earth folks).

I know the first question to ask when choosing a format is "who's your customer", but with stock footage it's hard to say. In fact it could even be companies working in PAL. Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks. (Oh, and most of my work is wildlife which usually don't give you a 2nd take to capture in another format.)
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Old January 5th, 2009, 08:45 PM   #2
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30p to me the worst format to shoot on or stock footage. Why? It can't be easily converted to PAL or 24p and to me is only really good for NTSC and is best suited for footage that you know will only be uploaded to the Internet.

I would say 1080/24p is the most universal format to use as it is easily converted to PAL and NTSC viewers are used to seeing it. High-end wildlife documentaries that were shot on film were more than likely shot 24 frames per second and not 30.

For the record I shoot most of my footage (reality shows, documentaries, events) at 1080/60i and really have no preference for 24p productions except when shooting narrative work. Take a look around stock footage galleries and see what format pops up most. That should give you the right answer.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 01:51 AM   #3
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Most stock libraries and agencies require footage to be either 24P or 25P. Interlace footage is not liked at all as it is very difficult to standards convert. 30P has a limited market and is not easy to down convert to 24P as you must drop frames. Without good quality frame rate conversion it has a stuttery motion that viewers are not used to seeing. 24P converts to 30P by adding pull-up, which viewers are used to seeing. It converts easily to 25P by speeding up by 4% which most people don't notice. 25P is accepted as is by half the world straight out of the camera, the other half you simply slow it down by 4% to get to 24P.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #4
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I just checked the top 10 video downloads for the last three months at iStockphoto. Eight out of the ten were either 30 fps or 29.97 fps.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 11:01 PM   #5
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And now just checked Pond5, their top sellers for the past month have almost all been 25 fps clips. I've been selling stock and shooting 30 progressive, I like the higher temporal resolution. But now I'm thinking 24 might be a more sensible approach. Thanks Adam and Alister for your thoughts. And of course thanks to Dan for thinking to ask the question in the first place.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 04:03 AM   #6
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Mark, don't read too much into those figures. The clips will have been selling for other reasons than framerate.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #7
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Thanks to all. I kind of knew it was a question with no easy answer. I'll contact a few of the stock footage sites and see if I can get a response from them. Assuming I can I'll post it. Thanks again.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 08:24 PM   #8
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I contacted Pond5 (as that's where I sell my own stuff) and they wrote back to say they prefer 30p, so that's what I'll continues to send them I guess.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 01:19 AM   #9
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Artbeats recommends 1080 30p. Progressive for sure over interlaced. 30p has more info than 24p and converts nicely to 60i. Also, progressive scales and compresses much better than interlaced - both for computers (internet) and TV.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 02:47 AM   #10
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At least from this we can pretty much say that P is an absolute must.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 05:34 AM   #11
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Yep. Though I personally think 25p is best since it converts into all formats well. Red Scarlett may be interesting since you could shoot all your stock footage at 1080p/50 and totally future proof it for a long time to come.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #12
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50P would be nice, but just as hard to get to 60P or 60i. I'm with Simon 25P, is the way to go as it is so easy to get to 24P and then 30P.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 12:25 PM   #13
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The whole system infuriates me. In the digital world there is no reason why we can't have totally worldwide standard framerates.

24p is useless IMHO. Working with it is like making a really nice pasta dish then throwing manure on it. Do people really like the 'pulldown skip' effect?

Why can't US televisions accept 25p and 50i either? Why do they artificially restrict them in this way? Its absurd. Grrrrrrrr.

Anyway yes, I agree with Alister, 25p is the way to go for the moment.
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Old January 10th, 2009, 01:04 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
Do people really like the 'pulldown skip' effect?
I've wondered the same thing, Simon. I've made comments, suggestions, asked questions. Based on their replies, you'd have thought I made some scurrilous remark about their mothers!
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Old January 10th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
Why can't US televisions accept 25p and 50i either? Why do they artificially restrict them in this way? Its absurd. Grrrrrrrr.
Doubt this will help but we feel you should be driving on the right hand side as well.
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