Digital video has come a long way in the last 10 years – even five years ago it would have been unthinkable to imagine normal cameras being able to shoot HD video. The ability to shoot video is now, more than ever, available to anyone who shows an interest regardless of their income bracket. For this reason, if one wishes to create worthwhile videos that stand out from the rest, it is even more important to have a basic understanding of digital video.

Digital video has come a long way in the last 10 years – even five years ago it would have been unthinkable to imagine normal cameras being able to shoot HD video. The ability to shoot video is now, more than ever, available to anyone who shows an interest regardless of their income bracket. For this reason, if one wishes to create worthwhile videos that stand out from the rest, it is even more important to have a basic understanding of digital video.

 

In digital video, an interlaced frame is half of an image, while progressive frames are full images. 60 interlaced frames is equivalent to 30 progressive frames. A progressive video is made up of many full, still images, like in movies. Television is not progressive, but interlaced; this is why when you try to “pause” a VCR tape, you can never get a completely clear image, but rather a series of “interlaced” horizontal lines. Major movies are shot at 24 progressive frames per second, with television shoots at 60 interlaced frames per second. This is why you can sense a slightly different “feel” when watching film as opposed to television, because the still frames are passing by at different rates. This slight difference may be invisible to some viewers, but it will nevertheless leave a slight change that no doubt psychologically affects the viewer.

 

For those who are dedicated to filmmaking on a smaller budget, we at Two Photography strongly endorse Canon’s Vixia line of HD camcorders, which are capable of full HD, progressive, at 24 frames. The HV20 and HF S11 are perhaps the best of these, depending on your needs. Sony also offers their Handycam line, with hard disk storage built into the camera. Be aware that all consumer camcorders use smaller sensors and lenses and will never approach the quality of HD on select dSLRs; however, be wary of these as well, since their technology is often unreliable at recording smooth movement. It’s always best to test the cameras extensively before making a decision.

 

Two Photography

 

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