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Old 03-20-2013, 12:03 PM   #1
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be
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Vacation Video Frame Rate - 24 vs 29.97

Has anyone used a 24fps rate for vacation video like a Disney Trip video? I've always used 29.97 for everything I do but I've always wanted to try 24fps because of everything I've heard about the "film look".

Any tips? Anything I should keep in mind?

Some questions/comments for starters:
--Does it work for a "vacation style" video or is 24fps usually reserved for certain other styles?
--I assume it will look odd if I try to combine my footage with the footage of someone else shot at 29.97 fps, but I don't think I'll be doing that.
--I will ultimately be making some blu-ray dvd's of the video, but I will also need to upload to Facebook/Youtube. Do those sites accept 24fps without ruining the quality?
--I have Sony Vegas, so I'm sure I can do the editing.
--I have done quite a bit at 29.97 fps so I understand the basics of shutter speed = 2x frame rate, keep iso at 160 multiples, turn down the contrast/sharpness on the picture style, etc.
--I don't want to mess something up for lack of knowledge and not have any usable footage. But on the other hand, this is not a family vacation trip. I'm actually going down next week as a chaperone for my son's band trip. Since I'm supposed to have a lot of free time on my hands while the kids roam the park (we'll see) I wanted to take this time to experiment photographically. So nobody but me will be dissapointed if the video doesn't turn out.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:38 PM   #2
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be
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hmmmm. crickets......
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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I'm no video expert but I have been shooting a lot of videos and experimenting with them while on vacation.

I actually shoot at 60fps and retimed it to 24fps using Final Cut Pro to get that film look. I guess this reasoning is that shooting at 24fps would look horrible if you're walking or panning without a camera stabilizer like a SteadiCam, etc.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:56 PM   #4
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Somewhat related -

Are you talking about making a bluray/DVD with menus and scene selections etc?

Have you found good burning software? I made a dvd last year and while I exported my video files in high quality, the burning program really, REALLY, brought the quality down.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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In no expert, either. But filming with your final frame rate in mind sounds like a good idea.
Now, if you are wanting any slo-mo effect, then I'd start with a higher frame rate.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:45 PM   #6

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I shot this at 24fps - The fewer the fps, the choppier the video. But it does have that "motion picture" look to it.

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Old 03-24-2013, 05:16 PM   #7
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I would generally stick to 30fps at the parks. Yes, 24fps gives you the cadence of film, but there is much more to making video really look like a film. Films generally have well designed stages, good lighting, smoothly moving dollies, and a professional pulling focus.

The biggest downside to shooting 24fps is that it doesn't handle motion well. When you pan a camera or shoot something moving across the frame, it gets ugly at lower speeds than it does at 30fps.

As you've noted, your shutter speed relative to your frame rate is important. Try to always shoot at double your frame rate. For 1/30 (or 1/60i), use 1/60 of a second. For 24fps, use 1/50. If you shoot with a faster shutter speed, your image will look jerky, kind of like it was filmed with a strobe light. You can get away with slightly slower shutter speeds if you really need to, but don't go faster.

That's why video shooters often use ND (particulalary variable-ND) filters. That allows them more control. If your shutter speed is fixed and you want a particular aperture for DOF control, your only options are adding/removing light (hard to do well shooting video at a theme park), adjusting ISO, and adding ND filters.

If you plan to convert your video to slow motion, shoot at 60fps. You can slow it down to 30fps in post production and get 2:1 slow motion. The same shutter speed rules apply as above, so you ideally want a 1/120s shutter speed when doing this.

Use a tripod. Shaky video is annoying video. You can shoot a little wide and the stabilize in post production, but that's a pain. Consider camera movements as well. Loosen your tripod head a little and then lean your tripod forward or to the side during the shot. If you have foreground, middle ground, and background objects, they'll move at different speeds when the camera moves adding a sense of dimensionality to your video. The effect is important enough in film that Walt invented a special camera for generating that effect when animating.

Never zoom while shooting video. Never. Just don't do it.

There is one time when I shoot video in 24fps. That's when I really need the extra light. Going from 1/60 to 1/50 gives you a 1/3 stop boost in light levels. Because shooting video is like shooting JPG, you don't have the same level of flexibility in fixing exposure issues in post, so every bit helps. Of course you can shoot 30fps video with minimal motion at 1/30s, but in those cases, you can make the same proportionate change to 1/24s for 24fps video.

There is a lot of interesting debate as to whether 24fps is really a "better" frame rate for movies or whether we've grown culturally acclimated to it and so it seems "right" to us. I'm in the latter camp. I did an experiment with a group of people at a TV that smooths motion (interpolating 24fps video to 120fps video). 8 people preferred to the 24fps to degrees varying from a slight preference to a large preference. 1 person couldn't tell any difference at all. Only 1 person preferred the 120fps video. I was one of the ones that had a strong preference for the 24fps video. From what I gather, Peter Jackson thinks that higher frame rate video is the future.
See my old Disney pictures and slideshows at http://photos.barbierifamily.org/Disney. Read my 2006 trip report at Mark's Photo Trip Report.
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