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5D MkII Frame Rates

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Danny Grizzle
5D MkII Frame Rates
on May 31, 2010 at 6:02:17 pm

24 fps vs. 30 fps -- what are the pros and cons?

I've never wrapped my head around the arguments for 24fps being more "cinematic".

In fact, the opposite makes sense, and I am old enough to remember Douglas Trumbull's Showscan --70mm @ 60 fps.

24 fps was derived from original work by Thomas Edison. 16 fps was considered minimum to establish continuous motion (each frame being flashed 3x on screen). 24 fps was all about optical audio fidelity, not esoteric "cinematic" qualities.

Oddly, though I'm interested if 24 fps if it will get the job done with less consumption of memory and loading on CPU of my editing platform (MacBook Pro). Which is about the same reason Thomas Edison did the original research, to conserve resources - in his case, expense of film.




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Brandon Adams
Re: 5D MkII Frame Rates
on May 31, 2010 at 6:25:07 pm

It's nothing esoteric, it simply has to do with the audience's conditioned eye. Films have been shot/shown at 24FPS, reality TV/documentary and the like have been shot/shown at 30FPS. Thus when people see a narrative film shot at 30FPS, it hinders the suspension of disbelief because it reminds them of reality tv.

I once walked into a Circuit City and saw the latest Indiana Jones playing on one of their TVs in the front. I was very confused because it looked like a behind the scenes making of video, but there wasn't any making of, it was just the film playing. This was before I learned about the 120hz and 240hz marketing gimmicks, so the TV was messing with the frame rate. My point is that even with a cinematic film like Indiana Jones, when someone messed with the frame rate, I thought it was home video.

-Brandon


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Danny Grizzle
Re: 5D MkII Frame Rates
on May 31, 2010 at 6:55:08 pm

Of all the visual cues differentiating film and video, 24fps frame rate has got to be the most subtle. In fact, minor in comparison to monitor calibration issues such as contrast and ambient light surrounding the presentation display.

I'm having a hard time buying the assertions everyone makes about viewer conditioning and suspension of disbelief being keyed to 24 fps.

I'd be interested to hear from true believers in 24 fps about how they reached this conclusion. How has 24 fps been demonstrated to be superior to you? What empirical tests did you conduct?

I'm skeptical, not antagonistic. Part of my problem is my first exposure to all these 24 fps arguments came from a crowd of wannabe filmmakers, posers really -- kids with camcorders and no real journeyman skills either art or craft.

I recognize the persistent interest in 24 fps indicates my first impression may have been tainted by the source. But I've still not seen anything to make me come down on one side or the other 24 fps vs. 30 fps.


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Noah Kadner
Re: 5D MkII Frame Rates
on May 31, 2010 at 9:08:54 pm

If you see 60i and 24p on a the same monitor- preferably a very high end CRT broadcast monitor the difference in aesthetics is immediately obvious. One looks like a movie, the other looks like home video. that's something you either get or you don't.

But I'd say the fact that 99.9% of all dramatic TV and movies being shot digitally are at 24p speaks volumes. I mean no offense but we had this conversation about 8 years ago pretty good and 24p won out...

Today's arguments typically are more about is RED good enough or should I shoot in 3D, etc.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Learn DSLR Cinematography.


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Danny Grizzle
Re: 5D MkII Frame Rates
on May 31, 2010 at 9:11:30 pm

I didn't realize the 5D Mk II was 30i vs. 24p.


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Noah Kadner
Re: 5D MkII Frame Rates
on May 31, 2010 at 9:49:43 pm

For simplicity's sake let's say there are three basic frame rates- 24p, 60i/29.97 and 30p. (for those of you in PAL countries sub 25 for 24 and 50 for 60.)

The i is interlaced, the p is progressive. There's no such thing as "30i."

24p and 30p are your progressive frame rates- 24p is what nearly everything is shot at. 60i is standard "TV", 29.97 frames per second of 60 interlaced fields. Anyways- here's a lot more tech details. If you read everything on this page you'll understand the technical details:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/24p

If you then simply go to any electronics store and look at a TV showing the news vs. one showing any feature film you'll get the aesthetics differences.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Learn DSLR Cinematography.


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Danny Grizzle
Re: 5D MkII Frame Rates
on May 31, 2010 at 10:37:46 pm

I was being a smart aleck on 30i.

I'm still not moved by esthetic comparisons of nightly news vs. feature films. They are different animals on so many levels. Not least of which is typical feature multi-million dollar production budgets, guys who actually light scenes, and a workflow that involves more than 30 minutes in post. Not to mention every other variable in the world. In the past 15 years, since Plumbicons went away, I'd bet most TV station guys don't think about camera setup after the day a new camera is unboxed.

I frankly don't buy into the argument that there is a painfully obvious visual difference in motion artifacting. The 24fps vs. 30fps discussion seems to become mired in the kind of religious views once reserved for golden eared audiophiles.

This is obviously not a simplistic answer, but an issue with many dimensions. The aesthetic difference maybe less than world distribution, depending on objectives. Professional workflow maybe second in importance (because everybody is doing 24p).

The technicalities of standards conversion for distribution is what Charles Poynton addresses in the paper referenced on the Wikipedia page you cited. I met Poynton in the late 1980's when he spoke to the D/FW Section of SMPTE.

So, I take it that anybody who knows what they're doing shoots 24p. End of discussion. Why kick against the pricks? (That being a biblical reference, not a vulgar disparagement.)

Is the 5D Mk II 30 fps setting useful for anything at all?



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Noah Kadner
Re: 5D MkII Frame Rates
on Jun 1, 2010 at 12:40:03 am

What can I say- some folks still don't "get" 24p but gotta say they are a rare breed in 2010. Back in 2002 when the first prosumer DV 24p cameras were coming out it was like 50/50 but the times have changed as they say...

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Learn DSLR Cinematography.


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Danny Grizzle
Re: 5D MkII Frame Rates
on Jun 1, 2010 at 1:06:11 am

OK, OK... I've set my 5D on 24p, never to be changed again. Thanks for the input!




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Michael Sacci
Re: 5D MkII Frame Rates
on Jun 2, 2010 at 12:34:09 am

Now that is going to far, the question is what works better for what you are doing at the time. If I want smooth playback, for say sports or faster pans than 30 would be better.

Also if I wanted a nice light slow motion, I would shoot in 30 and conform to playback at 24. this will look a lot cleaner than slowing down something shoot in 24p.

There is a difference between you saying I don't get it... and when should I use it. If you want a cinematic feel, you really need it, but no one is saying you NEED a cinematic feel. There is not a right or wrong answer, but there is a what works for curtain situation and what doesn't.



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Bob Dix
Re: 5D MkII Frame Rates
on May 31, 2010 at 11:11:58 pm

Guess what, the technology is better than what it has ever been regardless of frame rate and cinemaphotographers still cannot get the focus right and ,boy does that show as incompetent on a large monitor in high definition and screen. our digital 70-100 foot screens "still don't get the colour right"Quote Chief Projectionist large cinema chain in Australia, film is still up there if the youngsters know how to throw a decent production on the silver screen.
And the TV out of the USA on our PAL High Definition TV's at times looks very poor, what's wrong with you guys in the US. I must say top sport does not suffer from the same professional sloppyness.
We have used the Canon 5D Mark II for 12 months now, and I must say the change to 25fps Broadcast has made it so much easier than altering it from 30fps in Premiere Pro. And the video looks sensational.

Freelance Imaging & Video
AUSTRALIA


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andy lewis
Re: 5D MkII Frame Rates
on Jun 2, 2010 at 4:53:34 am

24fps is important for the same reason that if you wanted to be taken seriously as a still photographer half a century ago, you had to shoot in black and white. Colour photography was for snapshots and advertising - art was in black and white. Except in this case - 24fps is for real cinema and 50/60i is for real life (and what could look cheaper and nastier than that?)

One consequence of the DSLR revolution will be that after a ton of cheap-looking 24fps films on youtube, people will stop associating the look (24fps and shallow DOF) with Big Cinema and we will have moved on.















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