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Another format question

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Cade Muhlig
Another format question
on Apr 15, 2010 at 4:20:59 am

If done a lot of reading, just the EX3 makes it so hard to decide which format to roll with.
Lets just say you were the director for man vs wild, had a ex3, and had to decide which format to use. 24p, 30p, or 60i?

One disadvantage I saw is when switching to 30p from 60i I lost light.


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Don Greening
Re: Another format question
on Apr 15, 2010 at 4:50:21 am

[Cade Muhlig] "One disadvantage I saw is when switching to 30p from 60i I lost light."

Yes, indeed. Progressive needs more light than interlaced. To be honest, you're going to get as many messages of advice about what shooting format to use as there are shooting formats.

If I was shooting for "man vs. wild" I'd be phoning Discovery Channel and asking them what they want.

I shoot 1080 30p but I'm not shooting broadcast stuff. HD Pioneer Gary Adcock is quoted as saying that "Interlaced is a delivery format, not an acquisition format." Your choice of what to shoot is directly tied to what your client wants. If you're shooting for yourself then I would go 24p for regular stuff because it's easier to convert to 29.97p, 25p or 59.94i than 30p is. If you're shooting fast paced stuff like sports or racing then I'd shoot 720 60p.

- Don


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Rafael Amador
Re: Another format question
on Apr 15, 2010 at 5:59:24 am

[Don Greening] "Interlaced is a delivery format, not an acquisition format." "
Not exactly like that.
p1080 is always streamed as interlaced (psf).
When you record 30p1080 in your EX, the HD/SD-SDI output i60.
I stop shooting Interlaced long ago, but Interlaced still having its advantages.
For example If you want to slow down footage, i60/50 will work much better than p30/25.
In the end one or other option is about if you want progressive look or not.
For working, sure Progressive makes things easier.
rafael





http://www.nagavideo.com


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Cade Muhlig
Re: Another format question
on Apr 15, 2010 at 6:18:07 am

Why would i want or not want a progressive look in a documentary. I don't really see any advantages in interlaced anymore... technically or aesthetically.



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Rafael Amador
Re: Another format question
on Apr 15, 2010 at 6:52:28 am

[Cade Muhlig] "Why would i want or not want a progressive look in a documentary. I don't really see any advantages in interlaced anymore... technically or aesthetically. "
I'm not talking about this particular case.
I mean that whatever the format you choose, at the end of the day the only difference will be the picture look.
Like or not, interlaced will always looks smoother. Progressive footage try to get back this smoothness by shooting p60 or p50.
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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Cade Muhlig
Re: Another format question
on Apr 15, 2010 at 6:16:02 am

So 24p is easier to work with in post than 30p?
24p is so much different than what i usually work with, which is 60i. It might be a little to dramatic for what I do. I'm thinking that the jump to 30p will be more subtle.
We travel to extremes of the world to aid and tell people about Jesus. It needs to stay credible and realistic, because it is. Not overly color corrected or effected, or anything that would distract from what's going on. That's why I mentioned Man vs Wild. You hardly notice the production (though I know they do a lot).
So I guess this is more than about format, but any kind of other advise is welcome.



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Don Greening
Re: Another format question
on Apr 15, 2010 at 6:22:20 am

[Cade Muhlig] "So 24p is easier to work with in post than 30p?"

Not easier to work with. Just easier to transcode to different delivery formats than 30p. Formats that include PAL.

- Don



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Michael Slowe
Re: Another format question
on Apr 15, 2010 at 9:38:21 am

I have shot interlaced 1920 X 1080i on the EX 1 doing a 'making of' documentary whilst the feature itself was shot progressive on an EX 3 (with 'movie tube'). I saw both films at a cinema showing and could see no difference whatsoever. I think people make too much of codecs and formats: it's what's in front of the camera that counts together with how well it's shot and edited.

Michael Slowe


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Cade Muhlig
Re: Another format question
on Apr 15, 2010 at 9:27:12 pm

Eh, content is overrated.



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cowcowcowcowcow
David Burch
Re: Another format question
on Apr 15, 2010 at 10:56:23 pm

I have shot extensively in 60i, 60p, and 24p, and I would say that there are pros and cons to each. Interlacing, like it or not, is still the standard for broadcast, and is a requirement for anybody who still uses an old CRT (more people than the industry likes to admit, I think). That being said, progressive has the advantage of a sharper image, albeit more juttery. 24p also has some serious advantages if your final output is DVD. For instance, 24p can be stored natively on a DVD in a PsF format. This allows progressive scan DVD players to work as intended, and the lower frame rate means the same bitrate in your MPEG-2 compression will yield better results. However, the tradeoff is that you must use good shooting technique, or your footage will look juttery. That is, be sure you are following you subjects as closely as possible, and always use your framing to lead the eye to the important part of the shot (which should be moving within the frame as little as possible).

If you don't like the jutter of 24p, then IMO your best bet is either 720p60 or 1080i. 720 actually has a higher apparent clarity, since it boasts the same motion smoothness as interlaced without losing have the resolution. If your intended output is for Blu-Ray, this may be a good choice. If your project is headed for broadcast, however, you probably will want 1080i, since this is the broadcast standard for HD.

I personally do not care for 30p at all; the jutter does not look natural and there is no good way to get rid of it. 30p offers none of the compression advantages for DVD that 24p does, and unlike 24p it does not get a pulldown applied when being sent to an interlaced screen. The standard 2:3 pulldown applied by DVD players results in 2 progressive frames followed by 2 interlaced frames, and looks much smoother than anything 30p can produce. The only real reason I could see that anybody might want to shoot 30p would be if the only intended output was web distribution. LCD computer monitors are inherently progressive, and typically web video is compressed with a lower frame rate anyway. However, if web is your intended output, I see no reason to choose 30p over 24p.

The bottom line is, I would look carefully at the pros and cons of each format, and decide what to shoot in based on your intended output and what kind of look you are going for. For a film look shoot 24p. For a more realistic look I would go with either 720p60 or 1080i. Hope that helps!


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cowcowcowcowcow
David Burch
Re: Another format question
on Apr 15, 2010 at 11:01:53 pm

One more thing, since I saw you mentioned light gain. I'm not really sure why you had better light gain in 60i than in 30p, since theoretically your gain should be better with twice the exposure time (unless you had a shutter on). 24p, however, I can vouch for as having far better light gain than 60i, especially with the shutter off. I typically keep my shutter at 1/48, to mimic a film camera, and seem to have slightly more gain than I do in 60i. In very low light situations (a wedding reception, for instance) I will turn the shutter off and see an instant jump in light sensitivity.


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Cade Muhlig
Re: Another format question
on Apr 16, 2010 at 12:49:24 am

Awesome, thank you very very much for sharing your wisdom on this, it's worth money.

When I switched between 60i and 30p and saw the loss of light, I had the shutter on 180.



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Don Greening
Re: 16 x 9 SD output from EX-1 or EX-3?
on Apr 16, 2010 at 5:35:29 am

[David Burch] "I'm not really sure why you had better light gain in 60i than in 30p,"

Because that's the way it works. Check it out for yourself. If you have a camera shooting 30p @ 1/60th sec. shutter and then change to 60i with the same shutter speed it will always be brighter. There is a slight gain in exposure over the above mentioned shooting modes when shooting in 23.98 (p) @1/48th shutter because the slower the shutter speed the longer the light has to hit the sensors.

Addition: I just did a little test and interlaced has a 7% light gain advantage over progressive with my EX1R. If you change to 1080p 24 with a shutter speed of 1/48th sec. there's only a 2% light gain advantage over 1080p 30 @ 1/60th sec. shutter.

- Don



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Michael Slowe
Re: Another format question
on Apr 16, 2010 at 9:04:20 am

Cade, you are joking when you write "content is over rated" aren't you? Technicalities can get in the way of art.

Michael Slowe


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Rafael Amador
Re: Another format question
on Apr 16, 2010 at 9:37:33 am

[Michael Slowe] "Cade, you are joking when you write "content is over rated" aren't you? Technicalities can get in the way of art. "
Field order is always more important than a good story.
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Slowe
Re: Another format question
on Apr 16, 2010 at 10:46:00 am

Field order, yes I agree Rafael, otherwise you can't view it properly but I was taking issue over Cade's statement that "content is over rated". How can it be? Content is all surely?

Michael Slowe


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Rafael Amador
Re: Another format question
on Apr 16, 2010 at 11:30:51 am

I was joking Michael.
We see everyday amazing things made with cheap cameras or even with a mobil.
At the same time we see a lot of crap made with the best gear available.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Michael Slowe
Re: Another format question
on Apr 16, 2010 at 2:06:22 pm

Thank goodness for that Rafael, I couldn't agree more.

Michael Slowe


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David Burch
Re: Another format question
on Apr 16, 2010 at 7:20:42 pm

Couple of things on that. I agree that content is the most important thing (at least when talking about purely artistic forms of media, such as movies, TV series, etc.), but in my opinion one of the biggest things that distinguishes a novice artist from a master is how well the artist knows how to use the tools available. A master painter is one with expert brush technique. Ansel Adams made his photographs stick out with superb darkroom skills. It is no different in video or film. Regardless of what kind of camera one uses, a master will know how to get the most out of his or her equipment. In the case of the EX1/3, this means knowing exactly what frame rate to use, what f-stop, what kind of resolution, picture profile settings, and so on. The technical aspects of the camera are crucial to the artform, as much as using the correct brush stroke is to painting, or knowing music theory is to composing.

The second point I have is that, unfortunately, in this business not everything we do is purely artistic. Of course, I try to put as much of a creative touch as possible on my work regardless of the medium, but there is only so much one can do when shooting a business meeting :) Sometimes, all the client cares about is making sure the technical is flawless.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Another format question
on Apr 17, 2010 at 4:53:57 am

I agree with you David.
My job is to get the best picture and the best sound, but I will never say "content is overrated".
If you think like that, you may consider your self a video-technician, but not a video editor.
To make a perfect movie, in therms of picture and sound, is just a matter of reading and practice.
Creativity you can not learn it in the books. You have it or you don't have it.
For the technical problems, I have the COW. Wish I would have the same help for "contents" issues.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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David Burch
Re: Another format question
on Apr 17, 2010 at 6:03:34 pm

I agree completely...content is in no way overrated. I'm simply pointing out that there's more to the technical side than just working out problems, and that while content is the most important thing it isn't the ONLY thing. Knowing exactly what setting to use in a specific situation is part of the art as well. Video and film are visual mediums, and everything that affects how the final product looks is part of the overall creative process, be it lighting, shooting, editing, or deciding on a frame rate. :)


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Don Greening
Re: Another format question
on Apr 17, 2010 at 5:33:23 am

[Rafael Amador] "Field order is always more important than a good story. "

So what happens if you're shooting progressive? :)

[Rafael Amador] "Wish I would have the same help for "contents" issues. "

You do have the same help. Your friends are only an email or a phone call away.

- Don



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Rafael Amador
Re: Another format question
on Apr 17, 2010 at 5:41:46 am

Hi Don,
[Don Greening] "[Rafael Amador] "Field order is always more important than a good story. "
"

That's just the beer after the Lao New Year:-)
rafael

[Don Greening] "You do have the same help. Your friends are only an email or a phone call away. "
My friends just run away when I say "Have a look at..". LOL
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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Don Greening
Re: Another format question
on Apr 17, 2010 at 5:50:53 am

Well then, Happy New Year, Raf.

I buy my friends, that way they have to look at my work. Sometimes I pay them more money so they will agree with me, too. :)

- Don


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