24P means it’s progressive


24P means it’s progressive scan (hence the P) at 24 frames per second.
30P means Progressive at 30 frames per second
60i means interlaced (the i) at 30 frames per second, or 60 FIELDs per second. 60i is standard for DV cameras now, but 30P and 24P are gaining in popularity due to the more film-like qualities they show. this is because film is shot at 24 frames per second and is inherantly progressive scan.

so what’s 720P and 1080i?

1080i is 1080×1920 resolution, interlaced
720P is 720×1280 resolution, progressive scan.

in many current HDV cameras that use 1080i, the camera actually records 1080×1440 and interpolates (or stretches) the pixels out to create the full resolution. this is similar to 4:3 DV verses 16:9 DV. both have the same resolution (720×480) but 16:9 stretches the pixels to create the widescreen look.

i hope i haven’t confused you more…

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