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Some cameras record 24p natively to tape, but other brands of cameras or decks may not be able to read the proprietary format. Canon comes to mind here with their 24p HDV.
Considering that most TVs can’t display a 24p-native signal, and that there’s no real need to edit as 24p unless going to film, recording as 60i makes sense since that will likely be the final delivery format anyway.
Hollywood movies are shot on film at 24 frames, but the DVD you buy will be NTSC 29.97 interlaced (60i). This is accomplished by adding “pulldown” to the 24p video to achieve 29.97 frames, by duplicating certain frames in the sequence. Use the frame advance button on your DVD player while watching an action scene (movement) from a Hollywood movie and go frame by frame and you will see the cadence, which may look like 3 frames of movement, followed by frame 4 being a repeat of frame 3, then 3 frames of movement, repeat, and so on.
Even though the video is being played at 29.97, it still has the LOOK of film to the viewer, which is quite different from the “you are there” look of a reality show shot on video at 60i. Sony is doing the same thing, as the 29.97 recording will have that 24p or 30p film LOOK while actually being 29.97 frames on tape.
Some editing softwares have the ability to recognize the pulldown and remove the extra frames to restore the original 24 frame sequence if you need to for some reason, but again, if not printing to film in the end, no need for a 24p workflow really.
By recording 24p as 60i, Sony is doing you a favor because you can edit normally without any headaches or jumping through hoops, but you still get the look you wanted from shooting progressive. So, just capture and edit in CS4 as “HDV 60i” and all is well.
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