24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

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James McDonagh

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24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostThu Feb 08, 2018 11:13 am

Hi guys,

I know this question could just lead to a chorus of "it depends on the client" and "it's your call" but what I'm wondering, for anyone who does freelance work, what is your go-to frame rate for each shoot? Obviously it always depends on the type of video you're trying to produce but when and how and why do you decide between 24fps and 60fps?
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Denny Smith

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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostThu Feb 08, 2018 5:54 pm

Well, 24fpsmis mainly for cinema type projects. For Everything else, I shoot 29.97fps here in NTSC land, as most of what I shoot noe is for broadcast use.
I use 60 (59.94) for slow monitor scenes. This is for delivery in HD.
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Scott Smith

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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostTue Feb 13, 2018 5:38 pm

....Keeping in mind that while "fps" is supposed to mean FRAMES per second, a frame is the same as a field in progressive scan, but it takes two fields to make up a frame in interlaced. However, many software and hardware manufacturers don't properly label this difference. So, if you are interlaced, one device may say 59.94, while another says 29.97, and they are the same thing. They really ought to - at the very least - use a capital F for frames and a lower case f for fields.

For example, to get Adobe Premiere to output a 1080 interlaced file playable on a Hyperdeck, you set your timeline to 1080i29.97 for the Hyperdeck to see 1080i59.94. So annoying that we can't have consistent standards for nomenclature. Adobe properly uses frames, while BMD uses fields for the same frame rate. Or, you could say they don't list frame rate, but field rate.

Or always do progressive, and you'll always be correct.
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James McDonagh

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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostTue Feb 13, 2018 6:08 pm

Scott Smith wrote:....Keeping in mind that while "fps" is supposed to mean FRAMES per second, a frame is the same as a field in progressive scan, but it takes two fields to make up a frame in interlaced. However, many software and hardware manufacturers don't properly label this difference. So, if you are interlaced, one device may say 59.94, while another says 29.97, and they are the same thing. They really ought to - at the very least - use a capital F for frames and a lower case f for fields.

For example, to get Adobe Premiere to output a 1080 interlaced file playable on a Hyperdeck, you set your timeline to 1080i29.97 for the Hyperdeck to see 1080i59.94. So annoying that we can't have consistent standards for nomenclature. Adobe properly uses frames, while BMD uses fields for the same frame rate. Or, you could say they don't list frame rate, but field rate.

Or always do progressive, and you'll always be correct.


Thank you for the information. I'll keep that in mind.

For all practical purposes: my selecting of 24 fps on the URSA Mini Pro will give me 24 FRAMES per second?
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Scott Smith

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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostTue Feb 13, 2018 6:29 pm

As a rule, 24 fps is always a progressive frame reference. At least I have never heard of interlaced 24 fps. 25/50 fps, for PAL or 29.97/59.94 for NTSC will depend on whether or not it is interlaced.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostTue Feb 13, 2018 6:43 pm

24PsF is 48i. Definitely an oddball.
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James McDonagh

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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostTue Feb 13, 2018 7:41 pm

Scott Smith wrote:As a rule, 24 fps is always a progressive frame reference. At least I have never heard of interlaced 24 fps. 25/50 fps, for PAL or 29.97/59.94 for NTSC will depend on whether or not it is interlaced.


So selecting 24fps on the URSA Mini Pro will give me 24 frames per second. Thank you for confirming.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostTue Feb 13, 2018 8:20 pm

FYI, I am good at general video knowledge, but not so good at Blackmagic camera specific stuff. I don't know exactly what the camera is outputting or recording. I am assuming it is progressive scan, when you say 24 fps, as that is generally true. As Howard pointed out, if it is 24 PsF it is (for all practical purposes) interlaced video. PsF essentially means interlaced at the exact same time, instead of interlaced at a slightly different time, but interlaced, nonetheless. So it is basically 24 Frames/s or 48 fields/sec., but with no movement between fields.

I don't know if anyone still uses 24 PsF. Maybe. But I bet it is still an available export choice on NLE systems.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostTue Feb 13, 2018 11:53 pm

On the Ursa Mini Pro, as with most newer cameras, the frame rate you select for project will be the base frame rate, the shutter frame rate you select, will be the recorded frame rate and the frame rate output the SDI connections. So if you set the camera to 24fps, it will output a 24fps progressive signal at the resolution you have set at the rear SDI port. The front SDI port will always be 1080p (at the frame rste set) even when recording 4K.

Older cameras like the Panasonic AF100 could be set to output a 24 PfS signal via SDI, instead of the normal output which was a 3/2-pulldown interlace signal. This was a work around to get a true 1080p24 output from a older SDI standard that only supported interlace or 720p output. The external recorder or monitor would then convert the 24PsF’s 48 segmented fields back to true 1080p24 with little loss.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostWed Feb 14, 2018 12:21 am

Denny Smith wrote:On the Ursa Mini Pro, as with most newer cameras, the frame rate you select for project will be the base frame rate, the shutter frame rate you select, will be the recorded frame rate and the frame rate output the SDI connections. So if you set the camera to 24fps, it will output a 24fps progressive signal at the resolution you have set at the rear SDI port. The front SDI port will always be 1080p (at the frame rste set) even when recording 4K.

Older cameras like the Panasonic AF100 could be set to output a 24 PfS signal via SDI, instead of the normal output which was a 3/2-pulldown interlace signal. This was a work around to get a true 1080p24 output from a older SDI standard that only supported interlace or 720p output. The external recorder or monitor would then convert the 24PsF’s 48 segmented fields back to true 1080p24 with little loss.
Cheers


So Denny, are you saying that the frame rate of the footage is dependent on the shutter angle as well? I think I heard this somewhere back in my early days of learning about core camera essentials. As in, if the shutter angle is at 5degrees when filming 24fps then you are going to get a very choppy image that will obviously be less than 24fps. Likewise the higher shutter angles will be smoother.

But to clarify: selecting 24fps on the camera with a shutter angle of 180 degrees will equal 24 frames per second footage.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostWed Feb 14, 2018 1:42 am

No, not shutter angle, that controls the shutter speed. You have two settings for frame rate, on is for the project (determines the timeline frame rate) and the other is camera frame rate. You can set the project to 24FPS and the camera to 48FPS and get a 2X slowmo effect. The camera also has a setting to match the project frame rate to the camera frame rate, which is normally used. I hope this is a little clearer.

Shutter angle determine the motion blur, and 180-degrees give a shutter speed twice the frame rate. They are however, tied together.
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James McDonagh

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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostWed Feb 14, 2018 6:27 pm

Denny Smith wrote:No, not shutter angle, that controls the shutter speed. You have two settings for frame rate, on is for the project (determines the timeline frame rate) and the other is camera frame rate. You can set the project to 24FPS and the camera to 48FPS and get a 2X slowmo effect. The camera also has a setting to match the project frame rate to the camera frame rate, which is normally used. I hope this is a little clearer.

Shutter angle determine the motion blur, and 180-degrees give a shutter speed twice the frame rate. They are however, tied together.
Cheers


Hi Denny. Thanks for the reply. I understand that the frame rate you decide to choose in post is a different option to the one that you choose in camera.

"The camera also has a setting to match the project frame rate to the camera frame rate..." I'm sorry but you've completely lost me there.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 6:06 am

See pages 83 and 84 in the Ursa Mini/Pro manual.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostThu Feb 15, 2018 10:24 am

Denny Smith wrote:See pages 83 and 84 in the Ursa Mini/Pro manual.
Cheers


Hi Denny there is no mention of frame rate on page 83 and a brief mention about "frame guides" on page 84 which is to do with SDI output and nothing to do with the recording frame rate.

Thank you for all your help so far but I don't think you understand what I'm talking about.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 2:10 am

You need to download the latest manual, here: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/suppor ... al-cameras :) Bottom of Pg 83 and top of Pg 84,discusses project and camera frame rates.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 3:18 am

IMO, 24fps is a legacy 'film' frame rate and even in NTSC land, I can't image why anybody would use it for Video based Delivery. Shooting 24fps Progressive is certainly not 'Cinematic' as traditional Cinema Projectors used a mechanical two or three blade shutter to cover pull-down and smooth movement. 24fps exhibited in a Cinema on a projector without a mechanical shutter would have been 'unwatchable', just like most amateur GoPro footage seen on Youtube today.

30-60fps is ideal for 'video' based delivery as lesser frame rates require the slowest of camera movement and shutter speeds for optimal viewer satisfaction.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 5:32 pm

Yes, I agree Craig, the faster the frame rate, the higher the shutter Spoed, and the smoother looking the video will be. I shoot most of my stuff at 29.97 or 59.94fps for cable TV delivery. That said, Sometimes, though, it is fun to play around with 24fps project rate, and shoot 48 or 60fps for slow motion effects, or go for some nice motion blur shots at the slower frame rate, with its slower shutter speeds.

It comes down to what you plan to use the footage for.
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Last edited by Denny Smith on Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 5:35 pm

Craig Marshall wrote:IMO, 24fps is a legacy 'film' frame rate and even in NTSC land, I can't image why anybody would use it for Video based Delivery. Shooting 24fps Progressive is certainly not 'Cinematic' as traditional Cinema Projectors used a mechanical two or three blade shutter to cover pull-down and smooth movement. 24fps exhibited in a Cinema on a projector without a mechanical shutter would have been 'unwatchable', just like most amateur GoPro footage seen on Youtube today.

30-60fps is ideal for 'video' based delivery as lesser frame rates require the slowest of camera movement and shutter speeds for optimal viewer satisfaction.


Hello, Craig. Thanks for your opinion.

I have a question regarding this. When you say that it was the mechanical shutters used in traditional cinema projectors that smoothed the movement of footage recorded at 24fps, does that mean that people watching DVD or digital versions of said films would see stuttering pull down and movement which was not smooth?

Also, what are you opinions of shows like Game of Thrones which are filmed at 24 frames per second and are broadcast exlusively via TV/digital and are recorded digital? Which regards to frame rate I never notice any stuttering drag...

I would be very grateful for your reply.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 5:35 pm

Denny Smith wrote:You need to download the latest manual, here: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/suppor ... al-cameras :) Bottom of Pg 83 and top of Pg 84,discusses project and camera frame rates.
Cheers



Thank you, Denny.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 6:07 pm

James, mechanical projectors film gate /shutter motion matched that of the film cameras, and when combined to the image latency of the human eye/brain, crest an illusion of motion, which our brains smooth out based on yiur visual experience. A 24fps digital system mimics this setup, but no real mechanical rotary shutters. Films that were converted for TV Broadcast, where converted to 24FpS at 48 fields for interlace Broadcast.

Up until the recent raise of progressive broadcast and video delivery, many video cameras, including the Panny AF100, Canon C100 and even the original BMCC which were designed for digital cinema work, would only output a PsF or 3:2 pull down interlace signal.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 6:22 pm

Denny Smith wrote:James, mechanical projectors film gate /shutter motion matched that of the film cameras, and when combined to the image latency of the human eye/brain, crest an illusion of motion, which our brains smooth out based on yiur visual experience. A 24fps digital system mimics this setup, but no real mechanical rotary shutters. Films that were converted for TV Broadcast, where converted to 24FpS at 48 fields for interlace Broadcast.

Up until the recent raise of progressive broadcast and video delivery, many video cameras, including the Panny AF100, Canon C100 and even the original BMCC which were designed for digital cinema work, would only output a PsF or 3:2 pull down interlace signal.
Cheers


That's good to know, Denny. Thanks.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 9:15 pm

I remember when Sony release their NEX VG20 S35/APSC video camera in mid 2012. People used to DSLR video or fixed lens camcorders could not understand why 24/25P looked so jerky. It was because the often overlooked camera (which even offered a clean, uncompressed 4:2:2 HDMI output well before the competition) actually recorded a true Progressive signal. For many, it was the first time they had witnessed the effect of 'standard' frame rates without field interlacing.

Many modern 4K TVs such as my Sony X9000B offer the 'Impulse' option to switch in a simulated mechanical shutter effect which offers multiple bursts of light per frame to smooth 24P motion. (at the expense of some screen brightness)
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostFri Feb 16, 2018 11:23 pm

Craig Marshall wrote:I remember when Sony release their NEX VG20 S35/APSC video camera in mid 2012. People used to DSLR video or fixed lens camcorders could not understand why 24/25P looked so jerky. It was because the often overlooked camera (which even offered a clean, uncompressed 4:2:2 HDMI output well before the competition) actually recorded a true Progressive signal. For many, it was the first time they had witnessed the effect of 'standard' frame rates without field interlacing.

Many modern 4K TVs such as my Sony X9000B offer the 'Impulse' option to switch in a simulated mechanical shutter effect which offers multiple bursts of light per frame to smooth 24P motion. (at the expense of some screen brightness)


Game of Thrones does not look jerky to me when I watch it on my bog-standard laptop.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostSat Feb 17, 2018 3:38 am

James McDonagh wrote:Game of Thrones does not look jerky to me when I watch it on my bog-standard laptop.


Nor should it but a very large screen can amplify any perceived judder. The Programme may be distributed in 24P but can you be sure all scenes are acquired at 24fps? They are a skilled crew so would employ appropriate camera movement, frame rates, shutter speeds and/or rigs to minimise scene judder or accentuate action. High frame rates along with faster than normal (180 degree) shutter may be employed in fight scenes for example (such as the Beach scene in Saving Private Ryan) and the Producers will have full control over the entire post production chain to ensure high quality Delivery. Resolve's 'Optical Flow' for example can be employed in Post to smooth out interframe aberrations to the point of making even 24P acquisition rendered to 12fps 'slow motion' look almost acceptable.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostSat Feb 17, 2018 10:28 am

Craig Marshall wrote:
James McDonagh wrote:Game of Thrones does not look jerky to me when I watch it on my bog-standard laptop.


Nor should it but a very large screen can amplify any perceived judder. The Programme may be distributed in 24P but can you be sure all scenes are acquired at 24fps? They are a skilled crew so would employ appropriate camera movement, frame rates, shutter speeds and/or rigs to minimise scene judder or accentuate action. High frame rates along with faster than normal (180 degree) shutter may be employed in fight scenes for example (such as the Beach scene in Saving Private Ryan) and the Producers will have full control over the entire post production chain to ensure high quality Delivery. Resolve's 'Optical Flow' for example can be employed in Post to smooth out interframe aberrations to the point of making even 24P acquisition rendered to 12fps 'slow motion' look almost acceptable.


How does this apply to my use of the URSA Mini Pro if I want to film on 24fps to get that cinematic look? According to your earlier post you suggested that there was a big difference between the 24fps that is shown in a cinema and that which is recorded digitally and shown on a TV/laptop.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostSat Feb 17, 2018 9:18 pm

It's a matter of technical requirements. I generally shoot 25P (which 'looks' similar to 24P but I'm in PAL land) and occasionally 50P where I want to prepare a shot for slow motion pre-edit. As 25/50 fps are multiples of our 50Hz mains frequency, there's no drop frame or sync issues. When I shoot in Japan where their mains frequency is 60Hz like the US, 25fps at 1/50th shutter speed (180 degree) will generally show sync issues under street lighting so adjusting the shutter to either 1/40th or 1/60th will avoid any sync induced light modulation. (pulsing flicker)

When I shoot at 25fps, I'm aware of potential judder on camera movement so I use a 1/50th or slower shutter and avoid fast camera movement. 24fps on the other hand is not a convenient multiple of 50hz or 60Hz but I'm guessing that modern digital cinema projectors are optimized to accept DCI at 24P so there is a good argument to suggest that if you know your material will end up projected in a cinema to a paying audience, 24fps might be an ideal acquisition frame rate but selecting 24fps because someone suggests it will look more 'cinematic' on Youtube is mostly a 'legacy issue' - a bit like Producers demanding Deliverables in ProRes when DNxHR might be just as acceptable.

Just be aware that 24fps sourced video material may not translate well to PAL based 50Hz countries such as NZ, AU, UK and much of Europe. Unfortunately, nearly all of the 24P US acquired material we see here in Australia on Vimeo, Youtube or Free to Air TV exhibits a dreadful cadence or lag in any camera movement. Speed Ramps, much loved by the Producers of US reality TV programmes can be particularly annoying.
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostSat Feb 17, 2018 11:34 pm

Craig Marshall wrote:It's a matter of technical requirements. I generally shoot 25P (which 'looks' similar to 24P but I'm in PAL land) and occasionally 50P where I want to prepare a shot for slow motion pre-edit. As 25/50 fps are multiples of our 50Hz mains frequency, there's no drop frame or sync issues. When I shoot in Japan where their mains frequency is 60Hz like the US, 25fps at 1/50th shutter speed (180 degree) will generally show sync issues under street lighting so adjusting the shutter to either 1/40th or 1/60th will avoid any sync induced light modulation. (pulsing flicker)

When I shoot at 25fps, I'm aware of potential judder on camera movement so I use a 1/50th or slower shutter and avoid fast camera movement. 24fps on the other hand is not a convenient multiple of 50hz or 60Hz but I'm guessing that modern digital cinema projectors are optimized to accept DCI at 24P so there is a good argument to suggest that if you know your material will end up projected in a cinema to a paying audience, 24fps might be an ideal acquisition frame rate but selecting 24fps because someone suggests it will look more 'cinematic' on Youtube is mostly a 'legacy issue' - a bit like Producers demanding Deliverables in ProRes when DNxHR might be just as acceptable.

Just be aware that 24fps sourced video material may not translate well to PAL based 50Hz countries such as NZ, AU, UK and much of Europe. Unfortunately, nearly all of the 24P US acquired material we see here in Australia on Vimeo, Youtube or Free to Air TV exhibits a dreadful cadence or lag in any camera movement. Speed Ramps, much loved by the Producers of US reality TV programmes can be particularly annoying.


Hi Craig, thank you for the reply but that has actually created more confusion in my mind than anything else. If you decide to answer my concerns if you could take them point by point that would be great. I appreciate all your help thus far.

1. Are you telling me that not only does 50hz and 60hz make a difference with regards the electronic frequency of the physical location's lights that you are recording in, but it also makes a difference what country the footage is then played back in? For example, I live in Ireland. So if I record my footage with 50hz PAL on my camera settings and then upload the file to YouTube it will look fine to people viewing it in other PAL countries but not in NTSC 60hz nations?

2. Doesn't selecting the recommened "flicker free shutter speed" on the URSA Mini Pro save the hassle of having to take all these different factors into account? For instance, the difference between 180 degrees and 172.5 degrees will be so negligable that it's not worth even talking about? It's better just to let the camera settings guide you...?

3. I'm surprised actually to hear that you generally shoot in 25fps. It appeared in your other posts that you viewed 24fps as so problematic to digital film making... is 25 fps really that much smoother and without judder?
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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostSat Feb 17, 2018 11:52 pm

James McDonagh wrote:
1. Are you telling me that not only does 50hz and 60hz make a difference with regards the electronic frequency of the physical location's lights that you are recording in, but it also makes a difference what country the footage is then played back in? For example, I live in Ireland. So if I record my footage with 50hz PAL on my camera settings and then upload the file to YouTube it will look fine to people viewing it in other PAL countries but not in NTSC 60hz nations?

That's possible, especially if they have their computer monitor synced to the default 60/120Hz, not 50/100Hz

2. Doesn't selecting the recommened "flicker free shutter speed" on the URSA Mini Pro save the hassle of having to take all these different factors into account? For instance, the difference between 180 degrees and 172.5 degrees will be so negligable that it's not worth even talking about? It's better just to let the camera settings guide you...?

Sure, if your camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed to sync with the light source, eg: a TV, PC monitor or a street lamp, then use that feature

3. ... is 25 fps really that much smoother and without judder?

No it's not as the difference is only about 4% but in my case, the HD camera and recording system I use offers a higher codec bit rate at 25fps than it does at 50P but after thirty years shooting commercial video, I'm experienced enough to be able to minimise the potential judder at 25fps and 25P is a commonly accepted commercial frame rate Downunder. I still often shoot 50i for improved motion rendering as you get two fields per frame. When de-interlaced back to 25P, it can sometimes look better then natively sourced 25P. In an ideal world, I'd simply shoot 4K DNxHR @ 50/60P

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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostSat Feb 17, 2018 11:56 pm

Craig Marshall wrote:
James McDonagh wrote:
1. Are you telling me that not only does 50hz and 60hz make a difference with regards the electronic frequency of the physical location's lights that you are recording in, but it also makes a difference what country the footage is then played back in? For example, I live in Ireland. So if I record my footage with 50hz PAL on my camera settings and then upload the file to YouTube it will look fine to people viewing it in other PAL countries but not in NTSC 60hz nations?

That's possible, especially if they have their computer monitor synced to the default 60/120Hz, not 50/100Hz

2. Doesn't selecting the recommened "flicker free shutter speed" on the URSA Mini Pro save the hassle of having to take all these different factors into account? For instance, the difference between 180 degrees and 172.5 degrees will be so negligable that it's not worth even talking about? It's better just to let the camera settings guide you...?

Sure, if your camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed to sync with the light source, eg: a TV, PC monitor or a street lamp, then use that feature

3. ... is 25 fps really that much smoother and without judder?

No it's not as the difference is only about 4% but in my case, the HD camera and recording system I use offers a higher codec bit rate at 25fps than it does at 50P but after thirty years shooting commercial video, I'm experienced enough to be able to minimise the potential judder at 25fps and 25P is a commonly accepted commercial frame rate Downunder. I still often shoot 50i for improved motion rendering as you get two fields per frame. When de-interlaced back to 25P, it can sometimes look better then natively sourced 25P. In an ideal world, I'd simply shoot 4K DNxHR @ 50/60P



Ah, I see. Thank you very much for the information. It's been very helpful :)
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Craig Marshall

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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostSun Feb 18, 2018 12:00 am

You're welcome, James McDonagh from Erin, the Emerald Isle.
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Scott Smith

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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostWed Feb 21, 2018 7:12 pm

I was for some reason avoiding personal preference on here. But i will say - I HATE 24p. Awful stuff, IMHO. It looks to me to be the bare minimum that the human eye can tolerate using persistence of vision to avoid a stuttering image, and oftentimes it isn't enough. Personal rant over.
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Denny Smith

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Re: 24 or 60 FPS for freelancing?

PostFri Feb 23, 2018 4:56 pm

If you,want a slower frame rate than 60, 29.97 works very well on 60Hz systems, down converts to DVD nicely and can be easily used in broadcast and internet streaming. If you want more motion blue, then open up the shutter angle, you do not have to remain at 180 degrees.
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