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I Love 24p

 

With most new cameras offering multiple frame rate options, the debate on which frame rate to shoot has been heating up. I recently found myself defending my choice to shoot video at 24 frames per second. The argument against it is the same one I've heard countless times. It looks too shuttery and things don't feel natural. When I stated that 24 frames per second feels more like film, they stated that the only reason film was originally shot at 24 frames is because it was the slowest frame rate they could use that created an “acceptable” picture that would sync with audio, and that it helped saved money on expensive film. I can appreciate that the initial reasons for shooting at 24 frames per second may have been purely technical and financial, and I admit that 24p can look shuttery at times, but I also believe that shooting in a style that minimizes this issue is also a factor in making a project feel more like film.

When I made the switch from 60i to 24p, I found an artistic quality in my shots that had previously been unattainable. I think the “surreal” feeling the 24p frame rate gives video helps to bring the viewer out of reality and into another world. I have no issue with 30p or 60i for reality shows, news, or sports, because it's supposed to feel like reality. Still, forums are filled with questions about what frame rate to shoot, and everyone answers the posts differently.

I know that Peter Jackson shot The Hobbit at 48fps, and I'm a huge fan, so I'm definitely curious to see how it feels when it hits the theater. Will it change the way movies are made forever? I doubt it. There's something romantic about the way film feels, and I still believe some of that magic is the the number of frames per second. Admittedly, I do use 60p for it's ability to get me great slow motion on a 24p project, but have never once used it for any other purpose. Maybe the whole world will disagree, and maybe I'm holding on to a dying trend, but until they stop offering the option, I'll still be shooting 24p.

- Greg Olson, Videomaker's Associate Multimedia Editor

October 22nd, 2012

Comments

Woody Sanford's picture

I have nothing against 24p, if I shot more indoor interviews or weddings I would be on board with you. I shoot mostly outdoor video and much of it nature and wildlife. 24fps gives me to much motion blur. Believe it or not I get the same with 60p in low light situations having to reduce shutter speed to allow for better exposure. So, 30p gives me the most latitude for my needs and I'm only out the slow motion to a point.

 

You could have added some technical advantages of 24fps in that its usually produces a smaller file size and does a bit better in low light, which can make a difference in details seen in midtones. But outside of the tech advantages I think the "Look" of 24fps can be mimicked well enough in post that audiences can't tell a difference. I think those that love 24fps have a valid argument tech wise but it is based on functional circumstances rather than a like for the look that can be applied across the board.

Rick Crampton's picture

Okay, so you like 24P . . .  but I wonder how your camera is coming up with 24P from what I suspect is a native 60P/i frame rate. I'd be curious to know if there is a camcorder out there which actually captures images at 24 fps. And then there's the question of your display, and whether it actually presents a 24 fps image from your footage . . .  or whether it repackages the 24 frames into 30 or 60 fps images; and if it does, how does that affect the viewer's experience.

 

Just to be sure, perhaps I should mention that when a 24 fps film is projected in the theater, it actually emerges from the projector as 48 IMAGES per second. I wonder if 24P video is treated in the same manner, and if not, what the difference perceived by the viewer might be.

 

None-the-less, if you are happier shooting in 24P, who's to argue. As we all know by now, whether we agree or not, there are a very wide range of personal preferences which influence one's choice in all things, including religion, politics, wine, and women.

 

Rick Crampton

Paul Malbec's picture

Yesterday I made the same question on other forum (VideoMaker is the best, but not the only one :) )

I'm making a documentary and started to shoot on 60 fps, but the output is too video.

So I'm trying to start on 24 fps.

 

And still the question.

Better? For documentary, at least?

 

Is there any software that transform from 60 to 24 in a bulk way? To continue shooting on 60 and depends on my needs to transform to 24?

 

Thanks and forgive my poor english,

 

Regards from Chile,

Paul

Paul, from Chile

Rick Crampton's picture

Paul - it's all a matter of personal preference. If you like the " look " of 24P, knock yerself out.

 

" Is there any software that transform from 60 to 24 in a bulk way? "

 

I 'spect that would depend upon the editing software you're using. A good quality edit software should allow you to shoot and edit in 60i, and then output in 24P. If so, that would be the most efficient way ( in terms of the amount of disc storage space ) to handle it.

 

Rick Crampton

Just like the famed Miyazaki on the future of 2D animation sayed something on the following lines:

"As long as people entertain themselves with paper and pencil in their basement I don't think hand animation will ever die."

Just look at our history of art and what we display today. There is no oppressive policy, tyranical subjugation to a current trend going on what we show in museums or teach in class.

Film is very young in comparison and is going through another phase in evolution that would likely be just a small step when looking back centuries in the future.

 

True, films are more massive than personal art projects but the human taste remains nevertheless. I love the look of 24fps and am not too afraid of it passing into history.