24p Video - What is it?
Friday, November 4th, 2005 by Alexander Stevens
I've just finished production and post-production on 3 new programs about street racing for Discovery Networks International, all of which were shot in 24p HDTV.
If you look at the new DV and HDV prosumer camcorders that are coming out, many of them offer either true or simulated 24p recording as a key feature, and you may have wondered what that means.
The “24” in 24p is 24-frame-per-second video. Film runs at 24 frames per second (fps), whereas video normally runs at 30 fps. Shooting video at 24fps make it look more like film. In photographic terms, this is actually a slower shutter speed. Just like the streaks you see when using a slower shutter on a still camera, in 24p you get also get some motion artifacts. However, for some unexplained reason, these artifacts are pleasing to the eye.
The “p” in 24p means the frames are progressively scanned – just like a still or film camera, the entire frame is captured and shown 24 times per second. Normally, video is “interlaced”, where alternating halves of the frame are shown 60 times per second, with your brain putting them together. This solves some broadcast problems, but reduces resolution.
Combine the 24 and the p, and you’ve got great looking, film-like video. For that reason, lots of programs today are shot using 24p video, either in Standard or High Definition. Next time you’re looking for a camcorder, see if offers 24p or a 24p mode – it may make your videos that much better.