Hi! I'm new to filming, and could use some advice. I am filming with a panasonic hvx200 cam. My problem is that I can only find these rec formats in the menu: 1080 i/50i, 1080 i/25p, 720p/50p, 720p/25p, 720p/25pn, 576i/50i, 576i/25p.
How come I can not film in 1080p? And which format should i choose?
[Hans Martin Hanken]"How come I can not film in 1080p?"
Because the camera isn't capable of doing it. The cameras that are capable of doing it cost as much as a brand-new Audi. Instead, the camera shoots progressive scan as Progressive Segmented Frame, which at 1080 is basically interlaced video. One half of the progressive frame is recorded in one field, and the other half of the frame is recorded in the other field. Together, they make a complete frame.
[Hans Martin Hanken]"And which format should i choose?"
1080i/25p. I presume you understand this is a PAL video frame rate, and not a film frame rate.
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA
Just to clarify: The frame rates that end in "p" (e.g., 1080i/25p) do record true progressive images. They are only encoded in DVCPro HD as interlaced fields. Don't worry thinking that the camera is giving you interlaced footage; it isn't. It's true progressive footage, just in an interlaced package. Any NLE capable of handling DVCPro HD footage should be able to treat it as progressive.
1080 and 720 will both give the same "look". The only difference in the resulting image is resolution. You will get higher resolution in the 1080 image. If the higher resolution is not necessary, you can get more record time on your recording media by going with 720 native. On the other hand, I have heard some people report that they get slightly better results at 720 if they record at 1080 and then render at 720 in in postproduction. I am supposing that is because whatever they are using for rendering their final product does a better downconvert than the camera's internal downconversion. (Bear in mind that the camera is working with a native 1080 image coming off the chips; when recording at a lower resolution, the camera is downsampling the original image to give you the desired recording format.)
According to Barry Green, the best is 1080/24pA 60hz. You'll have 15% higher resolution but it's really relative.
But, if you want to use every possibility of the camera (like a little Varicam) you should use 720p25pn