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What format to shoot in on EX1?

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Jason O'Hara
What format to shoot in on EX1?
on Jul 13, 2012 at 2:35:04 am

I recently acquired a Sony EX1, and will be filming with both it and a 7D going forward on a project already underway.

Everything recorded previously for this project (25% of final film) has been recorded as HDV/60i. A couple of in-field cameras will continue shooting HDV on Canon HV20s, this footage will constitute about 10% of the final film. There will be both a theatrical and broadcast version.

Should I be shooting 60i or 30P on the EX1?

If I should be shooting 30P – should I be taking advantage of the HV20's 30F mode to better match to 30P? What is this exactly?

Any workflow suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks

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Don Greening
Re: What format to shoot in on EX1?
on Jul 13, 2012 at 10:28:36 pm

[Jason O'Hara] "There will be both a theatrical and broadcast version."

Broadcast versions can be both progressive or interlaced depending on the subject matter and/or the "look' of the project you're trying to achieve. Theatrical versions are traditionally progressive. Shooting the rest of your project is a decision that should not made alone, but is one reached by your team or at least those who came up with the project idea in the first place.

The purists will say that "interlaced is a delivery format and not an acquisition format. You can always turn your interlaced material into progressive and vice versa but at the start of any project there should be a general consensus on what format/framerate to record with so you don't get this question coming up in the first place.

Shooting 1080 60i is fine for a newsreel/video look and has good temporal resolution for smooth action and 1080 30p is good for everything else with more of a filmic look to it. Personally I'll shoot docs at 24p because it's easier to transcode later to PAL if necessary. I also like the look of 24p. Progressive looks a bit cleaner on LCD and plasma TV's and of course at the local movie theatre.

[Jason O'Hara] "should I be taking advantage of the HV20's 30F mode to better match to 30P? What is this exactly?"

Canon's 30F stands for "frame" mode and is essentially their version of progressive. it's more like shooting PSF (progressive segmented frame) rather than one complete frame of video every 1/24th or 1/30th sec. Your EX1 shoots PSF, by the way. Beware of the Canon "Cinema mode". I was given some footage from a newer Canon consumer handicam that was shot in 24p cinema mode. It turned out to be 24 frames in an interlaced 60i format and it looked awful. It's probably better to use 60i with those cameras and convert it later in post. But PLEASE do some testing with those cameras before you settle on a permanent shooting format.

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks

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