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Old May 17th, 2006, 06:39 PM   #1
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1080 24P vs 1080 60i for wildlife HDTV

I would be interested in some discussion of the pro/con for 24P versus 60i for 1080 HD capture of wildlife material that will be submitted to leading HDTV channels like Discovery Channel, National Geographic, etc. Obvsiouly it depends on the type of material, but some general discussion would be helpful.

We will be shooting wildlife in Prince Williams Sound, Alaska, with a bias towards marine life (marine mammals, sharks, sport fish, etc). We have the opportunity to capture HDSDI to HDCAM SR or disk for 90% or more our material and we are trying for a very high quality HD image.

There have been numerious posts on DVInfo and elsewhere on this topic, which are sometimes a bit inconsistent (and frequently make the point that content trumphs format!). The producer guidelines from National Geographic and elsewhere give some info, as well as sites like www.wildlifefilms.org. However, it would be useful to hear from those with direct experience. We have not contacted the channels directly at this point, since we don't need funding and expect to shoot over two summers (2006/7).

Clearly 60i is better matched to action sequences with lots of movement. But 24P seems simpler for distributing in different formats (including PAL or even film (unlikely, but who knows!)), although 2:3 pulldown for NTSC broadcast does aggravate the issues with motion at 24P.

Thoughts and experience appreciated.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 02:00 AM   #2
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Michael,

While I don't have much to offer in the way of advice to your question, (I will monitor this thread because I too would like to know) I just wanted to say that you have some great images on you site. Some of those stills are incredible. I only downloaded the one 'marlin to boat' video (140 megs but worth it), I'll show it my son tomorrow. He'll flip. The sunbridge makes for a great POV to shoot from (oh yeah, nice boat).

If NGHD doesn't buy in (or even if they do), you could generate some reasonably serious revenue with DVD sales through your site (by the end of '07 HD-DVD and Blu-ray will likely be everywhere).

Over on the H1 site, Steven Dempsey has been playing around with custom presets for hot outdoor lighting. They may help with that tropical sun. Also I wondered if you are using or have tried a polarizer filter??.

BTW, are you able to SDI into Avid through the breakout box of theirs???

Also BTW, nice life you have there!
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Old May 18th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #3
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Michael - I watched the 'active Marlin fight'. Just one note, if I may (please don't take it as being critical of your actual main subject film) - the PIP clip of the angler I feel is far too distracting, and I've always found it best to not include an overlay image if the main background footage is waving up and down - because it becomes unsettling to the eye.
A short static fade in and fade out of the angler may have worked better, or maybe to position the overlay clip in a different part of the frame, or smaller so that the fish doesn't almost touch the frame corner during the third jump.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 08:57 AM   #4
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Ken -- Thanks for the comments, yes we recorded most of the Cabo footage direct into the Avid Adrenaline HDSDI input. We were not using a polarizer on those shots, but it might have helped. Something to play with.

Tony -- Agree completely the PIP is distracting. Mostly we were trying to see how Avid handled it with the HDV artifacts from all the motion and such(those shots were done w XLH1). Not a final product.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 10:08 AM   #5
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Michael,

I just played the clip for my son and he can't get enough of it, wants more of the same. Now I'm going to have to download a couple more clips.

He's only nine but a was born with the 'fishing chromozone'.

Keep up the good work.

Ken
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Old May 19th, 2006, 03:26 PM   #6
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I have been thinking about this same subject of 24F (canon flavor of 24P)
versus 60i. I have always been a huge proponent of progressive frame
ever since I first viewed the 720P format.
I have never liked the look of interlaced 60i video vs. film which I love.
But I also think that 24P in video looks stuttered to my eye . . . unlike
film at 24P (yes, I am aware of the reasons). I actually like the
look of 30P better, but 30P isn't a good idea because of PAL's 25P.

I plan on buying a Canon H1 soon, and as we all know, it shoots
1080i as it's native format. Before the H1 appeared, I liked the idea
of shooting in 720P (60P) and then delivering in either 24P (or 25P).
Essentially, that gives me the ability to be always shooting in over-crank
for the purpose of producing smooth slow motion when I need it.

So, what is the answer? It seems to me that if I shoot in 60i I should
then be able to eventually produce clean 24P or 25P (or even 30P) from that
60i signal. The mechanisms to derive 24P/25P/30P from 60i, be it hardware
or software solutions, are always improving and now deliver very good results.
In fact, Canon (are you out there?)
could easily provide (or license) a software codec so that I could
render out clean 24-25-30P images on my desktop given enough time and storage capacity.

Unless I hear contrary compelling reasons I plan on shooting 60i.
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Old May 21st, 2006, 11:47 AM   #7
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I know this is hard to beleive but Im not a huge of fan of the digital film look. People can disagree with me but I think 60i has a more sureal crystal clear style and feel to it.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 03:16 AM   #8
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What camera you gonna shoot on??

Hi Michael,
Thought about the HVX200?? Gates do a housing for it too. Although I'm sure you want to keep the highest rez possible but for good 24P footage I would suggest 720p/24PN using this camera, no interlacing and a real nice feel to the image. Some movies have been made already with this configuration (that list is realy going to get longer as this camera continues to deliver). BBC were using it for the Olympics, I may be using it in the Maldives fr a shoot on Manta rays in August and a Shark documentary in Hawaii in September. I'm looking forward to getting the camera wet to see what it delivers.

Cheers,
Mark.
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