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View Full Version : When is it desirable to film in 1080 vs. 720?



Lindenberg
08-19-2009, 01:32 PM
What are the steps to follow in figuring out what resolution is best to film in?

I know the final destination is important like Vimeo vs. HDTV. Then there is the 24fps film look. Next is there fast action and fast camera moves or a nature shot with clouds floating by.

Cranky
08-19-2009, 01:36 PM
http://dhd.discovery.com/guidelines/gallery/guidelines.pdf
http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/dq/pdf/tv/tv_standards_worldwide.pdf
http://www.pbs.org/producers/redbook/TOS_2007_Submission_8_20_07.pdf

Ben_B
08-20-2009, 12:04 PM
I like 720p on GH1 better because I can convert the 60p to 24p pretty easily, I don't have to remove pulldown, it handles motion better, and I get instant slowmo whenever I want.

elko99
08-20-2009, 12:37 PM
Such as...how exactly do you get easy slo-mo from 720/60p...are you using FCP or Vegas?

And, can you go a little more deeply into pulldown, and why the platform you're using eliminates the need to manipulate it?

Thanks for your response.

Ben_B
08-20-2009, 12:52 PM
720p you don't need to remove pulldown on Gh1...only 1080p/

To get 24p from 60p I usually just drop it in the timeline in FCP...works fine for most shots, although there are ways that avoid the occassional stutter on footage with lots of lateral movement...but I haven't had a problem with it. These other workflows are outlined on Jack Daniel Stanley's framerate sticky on top of this category.

To get slowmotion from 60p I use Cinema Tools and Conform to 24p. You should use a backup copy of the clip as this is a destructive edit, with no prompts to save, cancel, etc. Also it works best to convert slow mo if you shot 1/120 shutter and I use this when I know that I want slow motion, otherwise I shoot everything 1/60 shutter, which works out fine for slow motion (just with a bit more motion blur) and works best for normal speed footage.

Kerplunk
08-20-2009, 01:50 PM
Realize most here use FCP, but FYI: Premiere CS4 works pretty much the same -- just drop 720p into a 24p timeline.

Slo-mo is simply a matter of changing the clip speed to 40% for 1/60 - and is non-destructive. If you don't want something quite that slow, use 80%. Anything shot at 1/125 is butter smooth using this procedure.

At least this is what I've been doing and am satisfied with the results. Maybe there's a better way, though.

Ben_B
08-20-2009, 03:08 PM
I was referring to using the 60p as slow motion in 24p environment...I don't believe just dropping it in a 24p timeline and then slowing it down (in Premiere, FCP, or otherwise) actually gives you the appropriate kind of slow motion...you need to conform it (at least in FCS.)

Barry_Green
08-20-2009, 03:22 PM
FCS might require conforming, but in Premiere or Vegas you just have to drop the 60p footage in a 24p timeline and tell it to play at a speed of 40%.

Ben_B
08-20-2009, 03:26 PM
Cool. Somehow I think that would make me a little uncomfortable....what if I want crappy frame blended slow motion! :P

Kerplunk
08-20-2009, 05:59 PM
Forgot to mention that you should also turn off frame blending for the clip you want to slo-mo.

Revsta
10-13-2009, 03:38 PM
You could just take your 720p files, convert to 24p in Neoscene, then drop them in with the rest of your project right?

dvbrother
10-14-2009, 10:15 AM
When I first got my GH1, I initially thought the 1080p was worthless because of the Jello effect. After a few months of use, however, I've become friendly with 1080p. There is a discernible improvement in crispness and resolution. It's best when using a tripod and a shutter speed of 1/50 or 1/60.
For hand-held or anything with lots of motion, yes, 720p is the best.
I shot a short film last weekend with the GH1 (footage coming soon!), and shot it mostly 1080p, except for a few shots where I wanted the option of slo-mo. In one scene, I went hand-held and forgot to switch from 1080 to 720. I knew better, but in the heat of production, I just plain forgot. Well, luckily the content of the image is enough to keep viewers interested, but it does have a bit of the jello-y wobble to it. Doh!

Another option nobody talks about is shooting 720p30 mjpeg. My early tests with the GH1 had some really good stuff shot that way. I know 30p is more problematic to convert to 24p, but I really think the image quality is good, and there's less Jello, so that might be an option when doing hand-held run-and-gun stuff.

Those are my 2 cents.

BhambuNath
10-14-2009, 10:59 AM
The only time I will shoot 1080P is if I want to convert to film for theater release.

If it's just for viewing on the TV at home I will always be shooting 720P because I'm sure that 99.29% of people will never know or care if it is 1080P or 720P.

D90GH1_eric
10-14-2009, 12:53 PM
I have this strange observation that when using iMovie to import HD files, those that were shot in 1080/24 are only half of the size of those shot in 720/60, so the 720/60 that everyone loves will use up your storage space more quickly.

tflak
10-14-2009, 01:21 PM
This theoretically should not be true. According to Barry Green, the acquisition data rate is the same:

"The bitrate is fixed, 17mbps. A 1920x1080 frame is about twice the size as a 1280x720 frame (2.25x actually), but the 720p has 2.5x as many frames per second, so ... yeah, it all ends up about the same."

He knows far more about this than I do. Maybe I'm getting this wrong, but going by the info above your observation is kind of strange. Could be due to something iMovie is doing upon import.

D90GH1_eric
10-17-2009, 10:11 AM
This theoretically should not be true. According to Barry Green, the acquisition data rate is the same:

"The bitrate is fixed, 17mbps. A 1920x1080 frame is about twice the size as a 1280x720 frame (2.25x actually), but the 720p has 2.5x as many frames per second, so ... yeah, it all ends up about the same."

He knows far more about this than I do. Maybe I'm getting this wrong, but going by the info above your observation is kind of strange. Could be due to something iMovie is doing upon import.

I don't know. I posted this observation in quite a few places but no one directly confirms or points out what I or iMovies do wrong. BTW I am referring to the .MOV files that iMovie creates after a clip is imported. What program do you use? If you shoot a 10sec clip in 1080/24 and 720/60, after being converted by your program of choice, what are the file sizes? If iMovie is doing something funky, I may switch.

I do use 1080/24 and as someone said earlier b/c the resolution difference is obvious on the screen. When shooting in very low light, the 1080/24 video also looks cleaner than the 720/60, which seems to have more of those infamous vertical streaks.

Revsta
10-17-2009, 10:46 AM
Another thing. Go watch No Country For Old Men, and watch the scene where Josh Brolin is running away from the jeep at night from the crime scene, just before he's chased by the dog. The camera is all over the place, and if you ask me, if you shot that same scene on the GH1 and had Jello, and cut it the way they cut that scene, no one would care, because the shots go by so quickly that it's not an issue. Hell it might add to the drama of the shot.

Oedipax
10-17-2009, 11:31 AM
I was all 720 for a while, but I'm starting to prefer 1080 except in cases where the shot really benefits from 720 (lots of motion, or slow motion needed, etc). IMO the images just look nicer at 1080.

Essami
10-18-2009, 01:34 AM
deleted (started a new thread)

tflak
10-18-2009, 05:04 AM
I don't know. I posted this observation in quite a few places but no one directly confirms or points out what I or iMovies do wrong. BTW I am referring to the .MOV files that iMovie creates after a clip is imported. What program do you use? If you shoot a 10sec clip in 1080/24 and 720/60, after being converted by your program of choice, what are the file sizes? If iMovie is doing something funky, I may switch.

I do use 1080/24 and as someone said earlier b/c the resolution difference is obvious on the screen. When shooting in very low light, the 1080/24 video also looks cleaner than the 720/60, which seems to have more of those infamous vertical streaks.

I don't think either you or iMovie is doing anything wrong. It's just how iMovie handles AVCHD. From what I've read, iMovie converts to the Apple Intermediate Codes (AIC). Don't have a clue why file sizes would be different between the same length clips - 720p vs. 1080, once converted. Are your file sizes comparable prior to iMovie import?

I don't shoot 1080 and use Premiere (on Mac). So I am able to drop a 720p 60 clip directly into a 24p timeline without a transcode. With that workflow, the only time I'm taking note of file size is when transferring from the GH1 to my drive, and then upon export from Premiere as a finished product.

Nicholas Natteau
10-18-2009, 11:33 AM
If you have to shoot a talking head interview, would it not be better to shoot in 1080?
Even if its going straight to video, would 1080 not be a better option in situations where there is little movement (tripod) such as shooting interviews or still life?

- Nick

Martti Ekstrand
10-18-2009, 12:22 PM
Indeed, and if your final output has lower resolution than 1080 you can rescale for reframing and even add a motion like a pan or small tilt to it. Have a look at the commercial I produced and delivered a couple of weeks ago - all shot in 1080 25p. You find it in my link below and I have a thread in the gallery section with some notes on how I worked with it.