Saturday, 16 June, 2007

24p or 25p for film on HDV

Most people who plan on using HDV for eventual film output choose camcorders that can do 24p or 24 progressive. To get clean field-free frames.

Not all camcorders can do 'real' 24p shooting. Sony's Z1 has a Cineframe mode thats not really 24p, but 60i 'packaged' as 24p. Other Sony camcorders like the new V1 can do 24p. Canon's XL-H1, XH-A1 and XH-G1 all do 24p as does the prosumer HV-20.

That's what you'll find at their web sites. But there's one gotcha in this. Only the NTSC version, or the US/Japan version that shoots NTSC 60i can do 24p. The European, and South East Asian versions that are built for PAL 50i can do 25p not 24p.

So the gotcha is that is you get a camcorder to do occasional 24p work, you're stuck with one that can shoot only NTSC in SD. Or 60i in HD. If, on the other hand you need a camcorder that's good for PAL SD or HD, then you cannot shoot 24p. Only 25p.

Cameras from Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, or even India will be PAL 50i camcorders that will do only 25p. Those from the US, Japan and other NTSC countries will do 24p but NTSC in SD.

What's the solution? Get two of them?

Not really. One workaround is to shoot 25p for film projects. Capture and edit at 25p. But 'conform' the final edited 25p film to 24p using FCP. The length will increase, and sound will get slower and slightly lower in pitch, but at least you'll have 24p without any motion artifacts.