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Old February 28th, 2011, 06:41 AM   #1
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Selecting a frame rate?

Having always shot everything at 50i, way back from my Panasonic GS200 to my FX7 and the Z1's I hire now, I'm curious to know what people are using more often with all these tricky new cameras which have multiple frame rates to choose from.

Currently I'm shooting 1080i and deinterlacing in post. I try to keep any slow-motion to exactly 50% therefore one field can be changed to one whole progressive frame. Obviously I lose resolution doing this but after down-conversion the resulting DVD looks as scalpal-sharp as SD can be.

I'm ready to make my next gear uprage and all the cameras I'm looking at have multiple frame rates to choose from (1080p25, 1080i50, 720p50 etc). I was keen to hear from other people about what frame rates they are using for weddings and how they are mixing different frame rates. A few questions I have in particular are:

1) Do you change frame rates on the fly at weddings or do you pick something and stick with it for the day?
2) How often do you end up with shots where you think "I should've shot this at 50p" or "I really needed the resolution of 1080p here"
3) Has interlaced footage become a thing of the past for you or do you still use it? Why/why not?
4) Who is using software to get slow motion from 25p/24p footage? Are you happy with the results?
5) If you had to pick only one frame rate to live with for the rest of your career, what would it be?

I would also love to hear comments regarding induvidual cameras (eg I hear that the HMC150 is barely sharper at 1080p so you may as well shoot 720p50 all the time, and that the Canon DSLR's have much worse moire at 720p)

(edit) I don't want to hear peoples rants about 1080p50 being the future etc etc, I'm interested in how people are choosing their frame rates with the cameras which are currently available (and which are widely used for weddings - eg HMC150, DSLRs, NX5, etc)!

Thanks.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:52 AM   #2
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

Are you talking framerate or shutter speed?

Framerate. Your in Australia so you want to stick at 50i or 25p. There should be no need for you to go 24p as the look will be identical to 25p plus if you go 24p you need to start messing in post production.

We shoot DSLR here in the UK which is also PAL and we stick to 25p. Progressive just looks more filmic than interlaced.

We film in 1080p which is not the framerate but the resolution. If you start trying to mix 720p or even SD footage in with 1080p you will get a bit of a problem in how it looks. Shooting everything at 1080p means we have a lot of resolution to play with should we want to crop.

We used to use the FX1 and de-interlace in post
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Old February 28th, 2011, 10:41 AM   #3
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

For the smoothest, most natural looking footage what's wrong with staying with 50i John? Have you felt your brides and grooms are crying out for the staccato film-look of 25p? I haven't. I'll happily shoot 720/50p in the NX5 but at this resolution you lose the ability to quickly shoot 3 secs of beautiful slo-mo (12 secs on the timeline).
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Old February 28th, 2011, 10:19 PM   #4
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

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Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill View Post
Are you talking framerate or shutter speed?

Framerate. Your in Australia so you want to stick at 50i or 25p. There should be no need for you to go 24p as the look will be identical to 25p plus if you go 24p you need to start messing in post production.
I'm talking framerate. I know that Australia is 50hz; I also understand the differences between resolution and frame rate.

I was not trying to decide between 24p and 25p, That is dictated by your region or your final delivery format. What I am wondering is whether people are shooting 1080p some of the time then switching to 720p for scenes they know they will use slow motion for, or whether they prefer to shoot 1080p all the time and use software to do slow-motion, or shoot 720p all the time and sacrificing resolution so they have the option of slowing down anything they want to later on.

If you are always shooting in 1080p, how do you handle slow motion? What software do you do use in post? Or do you avoid it altogether? If so, what do you do if a bride specifically requests slow motion for particular shots?

Tom, I don't have a problem with 1080i right now, because all my cameras can shoot 1080i. However, I am looking at the DSLR's as B-cams and they do not have that option. The 3-second slow motion of the FX7 is pretty useless so I've never used it, but I'm sure it's come a long way on the NX5. What would you estimate the quality to be equivelant to? Better than 720p resolution? Better than SD? Almost 1080p? What format do you usually shoot in, 1080i or 1080p?
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Old March 1st, 2011, 12:35 AM   #5
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

Hi John

Just for interest I still shoot everything at 50i on the HMC82's ... Things often happen at weddings so quickly it probably is the "safest" format to use even if it's not as "filmic" ...All my photoshoots are done on stedicam so I tend to slomo the footage and with 50i there is no problem at all.

Of further interest, due to my 'puter being only a DuoCore 2.2GHZ machine, I transcode the MTS files with New Blue's Upshift to MPEG2 at 50mbps and make sure the GOP is set to just 1 so I don't lose any pic information. Also as 99.999% of the time the end result will be DVD and not BD, I let Upshift also convert the footage to progressive so once in Vegas, I don't have to de-interlace at all.

Now, this is my first set of cameras that CAN shoot in different formats... I haven't tried any others on an actual wedding but I wonder if others can offer some advice that might be better than 50 i

For now 50i causes no hassles and a good end result

Chris
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Old March 1st, 2011, 02:00 AM   #6
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

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Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
What I am wondering is whether people are shooting 1080p some of the time then switching to 720p for scenes they know they will use slow motion for, or whether they prefer to shoot 1080p all the time and use software to do slow-motion, or shoot 720p all the time and sacrificing resolution so they have the option of slowing down anything they want to later on.
That's what I'm currently doing. I'm in the US, and our standard fps is 30p/60i. I don't like the way either of those look, but I'm not terribly concerned about it since most of my delivery will be on the internet, so I shoot it all at 24p. But, with the shots I intend to capture for slow-motion, I do switch down to 720p. However, on my EOS, this means 60fps. So, what I do is export the entire 720p clip as an image sequence (Sony Vegas 10.0 Pro), and simply adjust my editing preferences to have imported images = 1 frame (in this case, TIFF format). Then I re-import the image sequence into the timeline at 24p. Voila, ghostless 24p slow-motion out of a 60p clip, and the option for frame-by-frame editing if necessary.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 02:05 AM   #7
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

John, the NX5's slo-mo selects 1/215 th sec shutter speed (though of course you can select a faster speed) and slows 3 seconds of real-time down to 12 secs of timeline-time. I generally use something like 6 to 9 seconds of that in the final film and as such the viewer only really has time to relish the beautiful fluidity rather than sniff about the resolution loss.

We have a thread on the NX5's slo-mo here:
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-nxc...o-mo-mode.html

So is it better than 720p resolution? No.
Better than SD? No.
Almost 1080p? No.

Sounds dreadful, doesn't it? But as a wedding filmmaker Im invariably delivering on DVD so the image degradation caused by shooting slo-mo when down-converted from the AVCHD is very difficult to spot on the finished DVD.

But the slo-mo is just wonderfully smooth! I can track around table decorations etc hand-held at a telephoto settings that will give me differential focus, and the best thing is that the first take is the perfect take. In the old days Id do that track (using the Z1) maybe 4 or 5 times to let me pick the smoothest track in post, and furthermore Id have to do it at wide-angle to smooth the bumps.

This 4x slo-mo means you can almost trip up as you circle the Rolls Royce badge and itll look like an arty intention. I just love it.

You ask what format do I usually shoot in, 1080i or 1080p. 1080i. The 1080/50p isn't part of the AVCHD specification, which is probably why the NX5 doesn't have the option.

tom.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 08:34 AM   #8
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

Hi John, your question makes more sense now.

We always shoot 1080p 25p. We always had trouble slowing down interlaced footage in Sony Vegas (thats all we use for slow mo) but the 25p stuff slows down much better for us. Thats if we use it and thats a huge if. We rarely use Slow mo these days and havnt actually used it for about 8 months if not more.

Our brides never request it, we make a point of showing them what we do and talking to them about what we do and no one has ever asked for slow mo. If they did we would probably send them to someone else as nothing we show indicates thats our style so instantly there would be a mis match between us and them.

If you know your going to slow something down, like the confetti for example or the walk down the aisle then we find that slowing the footage down is more than fine although if you want silky smooth then switch to the 720p 50p mode. Comes out great and the loss of resolution will go unoticed for most. If your outputting on DVD then it will be 100% unnoticeable but as we deliver on Blu Ray it does have some tell tale signs.

Now this is all in my experience. I do know that some software does slow mo a lot better than Vegas but also others do worse.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 03:01 PM   #9
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

For weddings, I shoot everything at 1920x1080 and 30 fps. If I want to slow something down, I use Twixtor and do it in post. The basic version of Twixtor won't work well on every single shot at every possible speed, but it does the job nearly every time.

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Old March 4th, 2011, 01:43 AM   #10
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

When someone says 1920x1080 and 30 fps I take that at face value - 30p. Right?
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Old March 4th, 2011, 07:55 AM   #11
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

Thats what I understand it to mean - fps means "frames" or "progressive" unless interlacing is specifically mentioned. Technically it can mean either but these days, with progressive video starting to become a lot more common with HD LCD displays, I assume fps to mean progressive.

I believe there is a change to the standards for the correct nomenclature though; whereas once it was displayed as refresh rate followed by either i (for interlaced) or p (for progressive), it is now the frame rate followed by either i or p. So what previously would've been written as 50i (25fps interlaced) should now be written as 25i.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 01:25 PM   #12
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

Yes. By "30 fps" I mean 30p.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 08:47 PM   #13
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

Hi all,

Just to add my two bobs bit I mainly shoot weddings with an Ex1R as an 'A' camera and a Nx5P as a 'B' camera. I shoot everything in 720 50p @ 100fps shutter speed. Never use interlace, don't like it.

I edit in Vegas 10 and do my slo-mos in post. This I find works for me.
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Old April 13th, 2011, 11:38 PM   #14
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Re: Selecting a frame rate?

I think this method probably works well for us in Australia - 720p50 allows perfect slow-motion, or you can just drop it onto a 25p timeline and have it drop every second frame to make it 25p.

Also, the fact that HD and Blu-ray are not huge here yet means that shooting in 720p for a final output on DVD is quite acceptable.
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