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30p on XL2


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#1 Jonathan Kirsch

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 04:52 PM

Hi all,

At work, we have an XL2 (w/20x zoom lens that was purchased before I started) and I'm used to the DVX-100. My question is, when I shoot in 30p, it still has the "film" look of 24p, rather than the smooth "video" look of the DVX-100. I have never come across a camera that looks kinda grainy in 30p. Is this something I can correct in the settings, or does it have to do with the lens? I could give you all the settings I have now, but I don't want to take up space. Is there one that would be specific to this problem?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Jonathan
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#2 Jonathan Kirsch

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 05:27 PM

OK, I feel like a fool...did some checking and it seems I have to have it on 60i to get that "video" look. Seems weird, because with the Panasonic DVX-100 you get that with 30p. Weird.
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#3 Jack Barker

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 06:04 PM

If you are going to be seeing it on a TV, it's going to end up 60i ino matter what frame rate you shoot. None the less, if you had said that the 30p footage looked "stuttery," I would have understood better what the problem was a bit better, but there's nothing about shooting 30p that sould make it look "grainy" - that has to have been some other setting, perhaps too much gain.
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#4 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 08:48 PM

Hi Jonathan: I'm not sure if you're referring to a noise artifact ("grain"), or a motion artifact, or something else?

When your XL2 was in 30p mode, was its shutter set to 1/60th sec. for "normal" motion such as when using a 180 degree shutter in a film cam running at 24 fps? If not, one would expect to see odd motion, for example such as blurring if the XL2's shutter was instead set to 1/30th sec. while in 30p mode.

Or, if you're referring to video noise -- a random pattern of very fine specks & dots throughout every frame -- there are a number of possible causes for that, usually associated with a cam's electronic gain feature being activated. However, the XL2 is known for its ability to produce above-average looking and relatively low-noise SD video for a 1/3" cam, so I'd be surprised if shooting in 30p with an XL2 _requires_ a noisey or "grainy" result.

I don't know if the XL2 has some sort of built-in fake "film" look effect -- I vaguely remember it may have such a feature, but I might be mistaken. If it does have this capability, it can probably be turned off, possibly as described in its user manual?
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#5 Jonathan Kirsch

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 11:07 AM

Thanks for the replies, Peter and Jack.

My bad, Jack. When I said "grainy", I was not talking about the noise you see once you hike up the gain. I did mean a form of "stuttery", as Jack mentions...basically the way you can tell the difference between film and video...like when you can tell the difference between the image quality between, say, "The Cosby Show" and "Cheers".

Peter: In 30p, 1/60 and 1/30 were basically the same (except for how much light was coming in, so I'd compensate by changing the f-stop). Below 1/30 was VERY stuttery, as I would expect it to be.

I guess my new question is if I shoot in Canon's "60i" does it still record in 29.97fps? Doesn't 60i have to do with HD? I'm shooting SD. Does it matter?

Thanks for your help.

Jonathan
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 11:36 AM

Standard NTSC video is 60i (actually 59.94i) and since there are two fields per frame, that's also the same as 29.97 fps, but it's an interlaced-scan image, not 29.97P.
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#7 Jonathan Kirsch

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 12:21 PM

Thanks for the reply, David.

So if I'm bringing it into Final Cut Pro, any idea if I can use the regular DV NTSC setup? Or do I have to do some kind of pulldown? Will it look weird on my progressive computer monitor (don't have an NTSC monitor yet).

Jonathan
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 12:56 PM

The NTSC Canon XL2 is always recording 60i even if you capture in 24P or 30P. If you use 30P, then no pulldown is necessary -- it simply splits the "P" frames into two fields, 30 frames becomes 60 fields.

But if you shoot 24P, then it has to add a 3:2 pulldown to convert basically 24 into 60. Pulldown is the addition of extra fields in a certain order because simply splitting 24P into fields gets you 48, so you have to find a way of inserting 12 more fields every second in some subtle pattern.

But if you want to edit in true frames, you'd have to remove the pulldown and get back to 24P.

As for 30P photography, since there is no pulldown, you could edit either in 60i or 30P in FCP, or edit in 60i and then create 30P from the edited master (if you wanted to store 30P/480 on a DVD for example) as long as you kept track of the dominent field order (weren't accidentally creating 30P by taking the second field from one frame and the next field of the next frame).

There may be some advantages in converting the 60i recording back to 30P before you edit though.
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#9 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 01:01 PM

... if I'm bringing it into Final Cut Pro, any idea if I can use the regular DV NTSC setup? ...

I believe in FCP to edit video as progressive (not interlaced), one of the things you do is set the Timeline property for "Field Dominance" to "None".

I'm not an editor, and this isn't a post-production forum, but I'm pretty sure the above is correct for handling progressive video (24p, 24pA or 30p) in FCP. This is of course separate from issues concerning pulldown.
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#10 Jonathan Kirsch

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Posted 13 July 2006 - 09:28 AM

Thanks for your help, guys.

You've cleared up a lot for me.

Jonathan
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#11 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 02:34 AM

But if you shoot 24P, then it has to add a 3:2 pulldown to convert basically 24 into 60. Pulldown is the addition of extra fields in a certain order because simply splitting 24P into fields gets you 48, so you have to find a way of inserting 12 more fields every second in some subtle pattern.


The XL2 also has 2:3:3:2 pulldown for film out.
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 03:32 AM

The XL2 also has 2:3:3:2 pulldown for film out.


Please sign your posts with a real first and last name, or change your User Name to that. Thanks.
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#13 Jonathan Kirsch

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 05:08 PM

Hi all,

Sorry for continuing this thread, but I was looking back at it and I still had a question about the XL2...why the 30p on the XL2 is different than the 30p on the DVX-100. 30p on the XL2 has the "stutter" effect (right, Jack?) that 24p on the DVX-100 has (that film look). Any ideas why 30p isn't 30p across the board? Is it just a naming thing that is different with each manufacturer?

And thanks again, David, for the explanation of 60i.

Jonathan

Edited by Jonathan Kirsch, 14 August 2006 - 05:09 PM.

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#14 Jack Barker

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 05:54 PM

I don't know that they should be any different at the same frame settings. Sure, 30p has the look of film through the gate, but as far as I know, both cams should have that look - you're getting 30 individual frames every second. They should both look even more stuttery in 24p – 20% more stuttery, in fact. There are several differences in how the final product looks between the two cams, but I'v never noticed that one.

Edited by Jack Barker, 14 August 2006 - 05:57 PM.

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