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24p / 25p or 50i


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#1 aquatix

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 11:15 AM

I just purchased the Panasonic HMC 151e,

and I am trying to decide what format should I go with underwater video.

I intend to shooting a documentary about my place's (Crete - Greece) divesites and marine life.
It think of making it available in both formats Blue ray and pal DVD.


I am trying to figure out what format is the most appropriate for better results.

I see allot of underwater footage is 24p. This format is Blueray compatible and produces progressive crisp images,
But will I strugle with panning (possible mount on a scooter), tilts and moving fish? Can it be fixed with shutter speeds? Can 24p be used in DVD pal? Used on a 25p timeline maybe ?(since there is no audio)


Another option is 25p which is pal DVD compatible, But I dont know if it is Blueray compatible? Can it be edited in 50i timeline?? (also shutter speed should be used or not?)

And last but not least is 50i, which I seem to get pretty nice results with the HMC 151( But allot of people say it is does not produce crisp progressive images and called it intelaced s$#@).


From what I know frame rates can also be used for directing a the viewers perception for what they see.
Eg.: 24p is used form film like. and 60i for the actual beeing there effect we get when watching sports.

Where does underwater documentary stand in your mind? and taking in mind the Blueray and DVD compatibilty what should I go for?


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#2 jonny shaw

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 12:23 PM

I have shot a stack of 25p and 50i both underwater and on surface and I generally find that 25p looks great on surface when doing interviews and landscape stuff but you are correct in the fact that you meet to do slow pans and be more 'cinematic' with your movements.
Underwater I prefer 50i, I just think it looks sharper but better for you to experiment and see what you like.

I would happily and do happily mix 25p and 50i footage together as they are both 25 fps, I wouldn't chuck 24p into the mix as well as you will start to have a few issues. You shouldn't have any problems burning 25fps timeline onto Blu Ray

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#3 wagsy

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 04:24 PM

Progressive looks better and most folks have a progressive flat screen TV or watch stuff on computer screens now days.

I am in the process of re making a DVD and it will be 25p (PAL)
The raw footage and edit is HDV 50i.
The 25p MPEG 2 DVD spec file straight from the timeline looks and plays great.

Shoot in 50i then you are safe but make the DVD as 25P and see how it looks.
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#4 emocean

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:58 AM

24p is supposed to give a more film like effect. For u/w stuff I'm not convinced of it's value and stick to standard frame rates.

#5 Nick Hope

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 10:20 PM

The official Blu-ray formats are shown on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray. At 1920x1080 the supported framerates are 24p, 50i and 60i. Sadly no 25p or 30p.

In general, PAL DVDs will only show correctly on TVs in PAL countries, but NTSC DVDs will display correctly worldwide. From what I understand (please correct me if I'm wrong), a similar incompatibility has sadly been carried over to Blu-ray. So many viewers' gear in the USA, Japan etc. may not display a 50i Blu-ray properly. However 24p or 60i will display worldwide. If you foresee American customers for your discs then you should bear this in mind. I have sold 1080-60i Blu-rays to a number of Europeans and they worked fine.

Also bear in mind that in your NLE you can accurately slow 25p down to 24p, or speed 24p up to 25p. Much better than re-sampling. But make sure you do it precisely so the frames match.

From what I understand, your camera is switchable between 50Hz and 60Hz scanning. If so then personally I would switch it to 60Hz scanning and shoot in 30p or 60i. I hate interlacing, and web-publication is important to me, so I would probably shoot 30p and convert/flag it to 60i for Blu-ray/DVD in the rendering/authoring process. Such a conversion should in theory be more-or-less lossless if done properly, but I have read that it may affect the colour.

It's really not an easy choice. If you're only interested in disc-publication and not web then maybe go with 60i instead of 30p. If you don't foresee having customers from NTSC-land at all then maybe just shoot 50i, and then your DVDs will look better to Europeans. If you have ambitions to license footage for film then maybe go 24p, but motion will be "steppier".

#6 aquatix

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 12:09 PM

The official Blu-ray formats are shown on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray. At 1920x1080 the supported framerates are 24p, 50i and 60i. Sadly no 25p or 30p.

In general, PAL DVDs will only show correctly on TVs in PAL countries, but NTSC DVDs will display correctly worldwide. From what I understand (please correct me if I'm wrong), a similar incompatibility has sadly been carried over to Blu-ray. So many viewers' gear in the USA, Japan etc. may not display a 50i Blu-ray properly. However 24p or 60i will display worldwide. If you foresee American customers for your discs then you should bear this in mind. I have sold 1080-60i Blu-rays to a number of Europeans and they worked fine.

Also bear in mind that in your NLE you can accurately slow 25p down to 24p, or speed 24p up to 25p. Much better than re-sampling. But make sure you do it precisely so the frames match.

From what I understand, your camera is switchable between 50Hz and 60Hz scanning. If so then personally I would switch it to 60Hz scanning and shoot in 30p or 60i. I hate interlacing, and web-publication is important to me, so I would probably shoot 30p and convert/flag it to 60i for Blu-ray/DVD in the rendering/authoring process. Such a conversion should in theory be more-or-less lossless if done properly, but I have read that it may affect the colour.

It's really not an easy choice. If you're only interested in disc-publication and not web then maybe go with 60i instead of 30p. If you don't foresee having customers from NTSC-land at all then maybe just shoot 50i, and then your DVDs will look better to Europeans. If you have ambitions to license footage for film then maybe go 24p, but motion will be "steppier".



Yes, the camera is frequency switchable giving you a broad range of formats to shoot. It is also capable of shooting 720 50p/60p. (progressive)
Although its not full raster at 1080 (I can't recall the exact resolution something like 920 or so...)
But is it stated that the chroma range is increased significantly (also cannot recal the resolution) when shooting in its 1080 (i or p) resolution rather than 720.
Which I find is a significant advantage regarding underwater shooting.

Yes its not an easy choice when it comes to frequency.
After some thinking and your advice I think I will prioritize for Pal DVD (25p) and Blueray (50i) since this is the main target market.


I know also that this is camera-specific , but what do you think of 720p?

Edited by aquatix, 24 January 2011 - 12:11 PM.


#7 Nick Hope

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 09:33 PM

I know also that this is camera-specific , but what do you think of 720p?

720p is attractive in some ways:

1. 50p or 60p can give you great slomo
2. 720-50p or 60p is Blu-ray-compliant so you can wave goodbye to interlacing :P
3. 720p is my preferred resolution for upload to YouTube because a) their 1080p is actually 540p with the fields duplicated, and b) more viewer's computers can play it smoothly

Did I make your head ache even more?

Personally I think I'd stick with 1080 and take all the resolution I can get.

#8 jonny shaw

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 01:24 PM

Totally agree Nick, 720p is a great distribution format, good resolution and smaller file sizes. But I would always shoot at the highest resolution unless wanting to do slo mo with 50/60p

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