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-   -   What do you film at - and why? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-xh-series-hdv-camcorders/479503-what-do-you-film-why.html)

Philip Younger May 27th, 2010 10:48 AM

What do you film at - and why?
OK I was viewing another forum (Am I allowed to say that?) and saw a post which made me think, it's one of those questions you maybe should have asked a long time ago but didn't and now feel too much of a 'pro' to ask :-)

But as no one had responded to the poster I thought, hmm maybe it's a tougher question than I credited.

The question? What is the best to shoot at and why? 1080i, 720p, HD or SD 50 or 25 (60/30).

So what do you say? (me? I'm not clever enough to comment, I just got my head round which way to point the damn thing!)

Steve Phillipps May 27th, 2010 11:41 AM

As a pro the answer would tend to be "whatever I'm told to shoot at"! This will depend largely on where the film is to be used, some stations are on 720, some 1080, in the US it'll be 30P vs 25P in the UK. Some channels still want interlaced and some SD, usually for low end programmes. Shooting for the big screen it'll be 24P. Want slow motion, it'll generally need to be 720 as few 1080 cameras can go over 30fps.
There is certainly no best one to use. One thing that is fairly safe to say though, is that interlaced tends to look more like video and progressive more like film, so that's a fairly easy choice to make (again with an eye to what your channel/end user requires).

Chris Soucy May 28th, 2010 01:49 AM

As this is posted in the Canon XH forum, you can strike 720 straight off the list of possibles (as a shooting mode, not a delivery mode).

As for the other possibles - what do you want to achieve?

I hate the limitations 25p puts on my shooting and always shoot 1080i, but that is what I like and I can get just about anything I NEED from that, within the limits of the available software technology and the camera, and I can't say I'm exactly overjoyed by the limitations shown by either.

What do I want to shoot?

240 fps progressive, full 1080, then I could pull just about anything transmitable at any speed I so pleased.

Today? Nope. Tomorrow? Nope. Day after? Nope. Sometime soon? Yep.

BTW, why do you ask, if you've only just figured out how to point the camera?

If you're shooting for you, it is irrelevant, shoot what you want and like (within the limits the technology imposes).

If you're shooting for someone else, shoot (and learn how to shoot) what they want or else you're toast.


Steve Phillipps May 28th, 2010 03:29 AM

The problem with shooting 240fps and pulling say 25P out of it is that you'll have a shutter speed of at least 1/240th second, which would yield quite stuttery images, obviously you'd generally be using 1/50th for 25P.

Colin McDonald May 28th, 2010 03:42 AM

I shoot several different ways depending on what the footage is intended for - even standard def 4:3 if it is going to be incorporated in a Powerpoint or viewed on a data projector screen. I still use standard def 16:9 for stage events recorded straight to hard drive recorder for quick burning to DVD (it doesn't do high def). We have to manually change settings on our data projectors so I don't use widescreen unless it is justified for better framing of the subject. I tend to use 25P for my own stuff that some day I'll get to watch in High Def on the big telly that I keep promising myself to buy, and the more complicated projects where there is going to be more time to edit.

For domestic stuff I tend to use an HV-30 on 25F cine because I like the look it gives (and I'm usually disowned by my family if I try to take the XH-A1 with me).

Philip Younger May 28th, 2010 04:07 AM


I think I probably am a little more experienced than I made out :-) although my expertese is more with still photography which is my profession. I have been 'playing with video for about 20 month but with time gaps, so I have to go through a learning curve everytime I pick the camera up - yes I do walk around with the instruction manual tucked in the camera bag!

I asked because like you I personally shoot 1080i (I do have access to a Panasonic HMC151 which will also shoot at 720), I have never even thought to ask what I should be shooting at for say, different scenes/subjects or even - maybe - easier/quicker editing (quicker perhaps for rendering?). I tend to think that the highest number must be the best, so just leave it at that.

As I said, I saw this post on another forum which was unanswered and thought "That's a damn good question".

Panagiotis Raris June 8th, 2010 01:33 PM

it does depend; i have my XH A1 modified by Canon to shoot both PAL and NTSC; it was around $500.

for PAL tv, i usually shoot 50i or 25F 16:9 in HD, depending on whether they prefer progressive or interlaced, CINE1 color matrix.

for NTSC work, its 60i 16:9 CINE1 color matrix, or 30F if it will broadcast in progressive. to date ive only shot 2 or 3 bits in 30F.

for anything i want to slow down, i shoot 60i 16:9 HD, or 50i 16:9 HD, never more than slowing down to 25% and even that doesnt look that great.

for web content, its always 30F as most web is either 30 or 15 FPS, and always progressive.

Weddings, and the odd indie movie work its 24F, naturally.

all depends on what its for.

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