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23.98 to 29.97 or HBR30P Which is Better?
  • I have a shoot coming up that requires 29.97 footage. This is how they want the footage delivered.

    Preferred file specifications: Quicktime .MOV file Apple ProRes 422HQ Codec Frame rate: 29.97 FPS Audio: AAC 44.100 rate HD Dimensions:1920x1080

    I would like to shoot this video with the best quality possible. That being said I know 24p is the best setting for the GH2 and if I shoot in 24p I will probably use Moon T5 or Intravenous Boom. The question is would it be better to shoot the video in 24p and then use compressor to export to 29.97 or just shoot in HBR30p mode and be done with it.

    The patch that I would probably use is either Valkyrie TZ3 or Cluster X Nebula for the HBR30p mode. The video will consist of and interview and will also include car polishing with an orbital buffer.

    I read an article that stated that shooting in 24p is the best way to deliver to multiple formats. Please chime in with your thoughts and suggestions.

    Any and all input is greatly appreciated.

  • 11 Replies sorted by
  • I've had a few problems with the HBR stuff before. I was in the same situation and it macro blocked like all hell. Didn't grade well either but I might have just been screwing something up. Regardless I'll never use it again. I'd rather shoot 720/60, conform to 30 in a timeline and uprez to 1080 if I had to. But that could be wrong too! :)

  • 30p or 30i delivery? It makes a big difference. If you can deliver in 30i (or 60p), 24p acquisition will be just fine, and 24p serves as a universal acquisition format that can be converted to worldwide standards.

    If you need to deliver 30p, the only way to ensure the highest quality in the delivered video is to shoot 30p (or 60p, if you have a 1080/60p camera). Frame interpolation technology that could convert 24p to 30p is imperfect and will result in visual artifacts at least some of the time. There is some high quality frame rate conversion, but it is expensive.

    Shoot HBR 30p if you need in-camera audio, and Variable Movie Mode 80% if you can record the audio separately. VMM supports higher hacked bit rates than HBR 30p. But HBR 30p is also very good with some of the hack settings, if you are shooting under good light (ISO 800 or lower). Some hack settings for HBR 30p are lousy. HBR 30p hasn't received a lot of attention from most developers.

    I'd say to not sweat the differences in quality between 24p, HBR 30p, and VMM 30p. Just shoot HRB 30p. It matches the delivery format most closely and makes your job easiest.

  • @vicharris Thank you for your input and quick reply. I would also prefer to shoot in 24p due to the fact that Moon/Boom respond very well to grading and the quality is just awesome.

    @balazer Thanks for the quick reply... I am not sure if they want 30p or 30i? The video specs that were provided were for a local TV/Station and this is what they emailed me. The other reason why I was thinking about 24p as opposed to HBR30p is because they intend to use the video for other TV/Stations in other states as well as Youtube,DVD's etc.

    @balazer Being that I may have to export for DVD, Youtube, and other TV/Stations would you still recommend shooting at 30p?

    I performed a test in Final Cut Pro X with 24p Moon T5 footage and exported via compressor to 29.97, surprisingly the video looks pretty damn good. I thought I would have an issue with the sound syncing but it works perfectly. The video was just a talking head type of shot so I would know if the video was not in sync, the total length was just a minute and a half. I set all the settings in compressor to export at the highest possible setting.

    My plans for shooting videos was just for corporate type videos that would be posted on a webpage or youtube etc. So this request caught me off guard but I am more then happy to do it. I will not turn down any work if I feel that I can do it but if I feel it is over my head then yeah I would turn it down.

    Thanks again for your input.

  • If it's a local TV station, they probably mean 30i or perhaps they don't care. But you'd have to ask them to be sure. Even if they want 30i, you can shoot 30p and deliver it as 30i, and it will look correct. 30p is the best choice for YouTube.

    30p acquisition is suitable for all web delivery, and for U.S. (NTSC frame rate) TV, DVD, and Blu-ray delivery. It wouldn't be ideal for theatrical film exhibition, or for PAL frame rate TV, DVD, or Blu-ray.

    A talking head won't reveal the problems of interpolating from 24p to 30p. More significant motion will.

  • @balazer Thank you so much for your help I really appreciate it. I think I will just shoot it in 30p per your recommendation it will be much easier for me overall. I just want to clarify so 30p will also work for DVD's and Blu-Ray? Thanks again.

  • Yes, 30p acquisition is appropriate for DVD and Blu-ray delivery. DVD and Blu-ray don't support 30p natively. You'll have to write the output in 30i, but the conversion is clean and the video will look correct. The GH2 can shoot 30i, but 30i is a lousy format for YouTube.

    It's actually fairly common to shoot 30p and deliver in 30i. A lot of shows on TV are that way, especially documentary shows.

    And again, if you are interested in TV, DVD, and Blu-ray distribution outside of the NTSC countries (North America, Japan, Korea, Taiwan), 30p might not be the best choice. Quality conversion requires expensive hardware.

    I'd still recommend asking the TV station which delivery and acquisition formats they allow and which they prefer. Sometimes they only care about the delivery format, and sometimes they dictate the acquisition format also. National networks can be very specific about what they want. Local stations, perhaps not so much.

    Tons of info here, if you've got time:

  • @balazer Thanks again for your detailed explanation. I just noticed that you made the Cake 2.3 patch, too bad we can't get a patch strictly for HBR30p mode that rivals the quality of the 24p intra mode patches. This would be the best of both worlds.

    Based on your comments and also the fact that I live in the US, it really does not make any sense for me to shoot anything other then 30p for my intended purposes. I am glad that you have cleared that up for me. Thanks for helping me out I truly appreciate it.

    Best Regards

  • I shoot 30p most of the time, and 30p was my focus in writing Cake. I tried a bunch of other developers' settings for HBR 30p, and I was not satisfied with them.

    For 100% reliability and spanning in HBR 30p at 45 Mbps, use Cake 2.3.

    For 99% reliability and no spanning in HBR 30p at 65 Mbps, use Cake HBR Test 1.

    Up to ISO 800 or so, Cake 2.3 is very good. For ISO 1250 and high detail scenes, Cake 2.3's bit rate is not sufficient, and Cake HBR Test 1 is better. VMM 30p is even higher quality, with 80 Mbps and progressive encoding, but no sound. Actually the ISO numbers I quoted are with ETC mode on. With ETC mode off, you can go higher before the quality is impacted.

    Don't forget that HBR mode puts the progressive video in an interlaced stream. Your editing software must be told to interpret the video as progressive (or convert it to progressive), and do the editing on a progressive timeline. Output 30p for YouTube and 30i for the TV station.

    Test your hack settings and any conversion to be sure you are satisfied with the quality.

  • I will load your patches and try them out. The only patches that I tested to date were Driftwood and bkmcwd patches. Thanks again I will let you know how it goes... :)

  • @balazer

    Excuse me for my ignorance but what is VMM 30p? I have never heard of that before in terms of video specifications. I do not use ETC mode or any of the IA modes to shoot videos so the VMM 30p mode sounds very enticing. In terms of audio I use a Zoom H4N for audio and have a shotgun mike as well as a lavaliere mic so I can have the audio recorded separately. The video will consist of a short interview and then showcase what the product actually does. Basically a talking heads shot, and also a shot showing water spots, scratches, etc on a car that are removed with this product so basically wax on wax off. This is why I want something with the best quality, it is very difficult to see the very fine details of scratches, water spots etc on a vehicle. So my thought process is, shoot the video with the sharpest settings possible to capture as much detail as possible for the demo of this product.

    In terms of patches I did not have a chance to test your patch but I will probably test it out today. Thus far this seems to be the sharpest patches for HBR30p mode.

    1. Cluster X Nebula ( Reliable HBR30p mode - spanning tested for at least 1/2hr ) Sharpest
    2. Cluster X Drewnet ( Sporadic in terms of spanning reliability it really depends on scene ) Second Sharpest
    3. Valkyrie 444 ( Reliable HBR30p mode - spanning tested for at 1/2hr but not as sharp as Nebula/Drewnet )

    Anyway thanks again for your time and input....

    Update: 7/15/2013


    I tested Cake V2.3Cluster X Nebula/Drewnet and Valkyrie 444 TZ4 in the HBR30p mode for sharpness as well as testing the Death Chart.

    Here are my findings: Please note this is just my opinion on these settings based on the tests that I have performed.

    1. Cake V2.3 = Sharpest setting out of them all very close to Nebula but has the edge in my opinion. Recorded death chart for at least 10 minutes in HBR30p/24p mode so I stopped the recording.

    2. Cluster X Nebula = Second sharpest setting very very close to Cake 2.3 Recorded death chart for at least 10 minutes in HBR30p/24p mode so I stopped the recording.

    3. Cluster X Drewnet = Unfortunately the recording stopped on 2 different occasions when filming at a park with coconut trees swaying, cars driving by, people walking etc etc. Did not perform death chart test because of previous test.

    4. Valkyrie 444 TZ4 BETA = 3rd place as far as sharpness goes but still very good quality. Recorded death chart. The recording failed failed 2 times had to pull battery. In regards to testing outside I recorded a tree and filmed the frame with all of the tiny leaves blowing in the wind for 15 minutes without issue so I just wanted to throw that out there.

    Cake V2.3/Cluster X Drewnet/Nebula were all tested in the same fashion with the same subject matter etc. The only one that I tested differently was the Valkyrie 444 TZ4 patch. I forgot to bring the card with the me Valkyrie patch on that day.

  • I meant Variable Movie Mode.

    When you set the VMM speed to 80%, the camera records at 30 fps. All VMM recordings play back at 24 fps. You can speed those recordings back up to 30 fps in your editing software or using something like tsMuxeR.

    In the GH2's implementation, VMM 30p works just like 24p Cinema mode, except with the higher frame rate, a proportionally higher bit rate, and no sound. HBR mode is only slightly less sharp, if in-camera audio makes things easier.