Pinkbike High Frames Per Second (fps) video: 50p vs 25p

Feb 11, 2010 at 0:07
Feb 11, 2010
by Toby Nowland-Foreman  
 
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Pinkbike offers video up to 120fps, you don't see this anywhere else on the web.

As a digital videographer I showcase a lot of my work online, generally through flash video. Almost all the online video websites offer flash video at up to 30fps (frames per second). Now coming from little old New Zealand I use the 25fps standard. But a lot of the High Definition cameras these days can shoot up to 50 or 60fps, including mine. Meaning if you shoot at a high frame rate it gets down converted to 25 or 30fps depending on the site.

Here's a comparison between 50p and 25p video on the web.


When people hear 50p or 60p they automatically think "slow motion" and generally that is what I would usually use it for. Shooting at double the frame rate will give you a smooth half speed clip.

I just recently decided to shoot an entire video in 50p to test how the high frame rate would look, and how it would come across online.

50p definitely has a very different look to it than 25p and at first look you may think some of the shots are sped up, this is because we are not used to seeing anything higher than 30p on the internet. High frame rates are generally only seen on a TV. For years TV has used an interlaced signal effectively displaying 50 or 60 half frames per second, to our eyes this looks like 50 or 60 whole frames. And with the advent of HD and HDTVs we are seeing higher and higher frame rates.

Check out the comparison for yourself, (with an open mind preferably) and let me know what you think.

:
Here is the original 720p 50fps video:
Views: 24,629    Faves: 44    Comments: 34


And here is the converted 25fps video:
Views: 19,578    Faves: 20    Comments: 6


All props to Pinkbike for offering this service!

Toby Nowland-Foreman
Lock Stock Media

kiwihardtail.pinkbike.com
www.youtube.com/user/LockStockMedia
www.vimeo.com/Toby
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83 Comments

  • + 9
 thats pretty awesome but now pinkbike has to make it HD friendly like youtube!
  • + 2
 Yeh...come on Pinkbike... time to go HD
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Its really nice to see the difference so easily. I waited for both to load and played them simultaneously. I think the biggest difference I found between them was that the 50fps video had a lot more colour. On screens of this size and perhaps with my laptop too the difference in resolution was negligible. Cool to see anyway thanks.
  • + 1
 I saw a very big difference as well. I suddenly noticed the grasses in the forground etc and little things like that when he was at speed. Good riding too.
  • + 1
 Did the same as cranxwork and played both simultaneously. In terms of colour and overall looks the 50fps is much nicer, but it takes away a lot of the aggressiveness and raw action of the riding by smoothing it a lot.

That was a nice experience Smile
  • + 3
 Guys, image detail is down to the encoding used, not the frame rate.
  • + 1
 In the next pinkbike video change I'm going to make it so when you convert with 50fp it will additionally double the video bitrate also in order to keep smoothness and also video quality. Thanks for making this to show the difference.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 i did notice that when he was pushing the bike up, his wheels spun more naturally but usually people arent that picky unless told to do so. I'd say to support the 50fps files for slow-mo videos especially. but otherwise the difference isn't super obvious.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 weird:

I found the 50p was more pleasing on the eyes, more detail, looks nicer overall.

But when it came to the flowing scenes on the trails, the 25p was much more intense where the 50p seemed slower and again better detail.
  • + 1
 ^^ much prefered 25p
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Wo...... I have worked in broadcast video for 20 years, no one has mentioned why progressive and interlaced are used. In the "Old days" when we all watched Cathode ray tubes, interlaced was the preferred way of producing content "cos it was easy on the eye. Now that content is viewed on far larger screens which are not CRT's the world prefers progressive images. Progressive is associated with film and as Hipman says 24p is the done thing in North America and in the Uk its 25p (so US content is speeded up for us boys,and UK to north America vice versa. Anyway I am rambling.... the reason progressive looks great on the web is that it is eventually always viewed as a flash or 264 type file.The bottom line is that video whether shot in i or p will never ever look as good as film (or DSLR or Red...) is that the sensor size and the type of lens used will never give the depth of field that is required (will get a load of comments from the Letus users out there!) But guess what... the most important thing a film maker can remember is that what they are shooting is way more important than what they are shooting it on..... I leave with this point... It isn't very hip, but 1920X1080i still looks incredible....
  • + 1
 The sensor size for digital is getting bigger and already is bigger that 35mm for the top of the line units and therefor have better dop. Take a look at the sensor size options of the RED..35mm is way up in the corner.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a4/28k_RED_CAMERA.png
  • + 1
 Yea well that is just getting riculous. Who the hell needs a sensor that large. you could breath on the follow focus and pull focus. Think about the lenses. 90% of todays Lenses are ment to cover the super 35mm format. I highly doubt Zeiss, Angenieux, Cooke, etc are going to build leses for anything larger. I am a red owner and will indeed buy an epic as well w/ the super 35mm sensor. As far as the new camera to have i will put my money with ARRI's Alexa! RED is ok, but nothing beats an ARRI. Optical Viewfinder!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 5
 24progressive will always look better. even shooting on the DVX A, shooting in 24p looks amazing.
  • + 10
 I guess it depends on the "look" you want to achieve 24p is used in film and popular with independent filmmakers whereas 50 and 60p stuff is more of a TV style. I also noticed that certain styles look better in 50p than 25p and vice versa. It's very interesting and I'd love to do more tests.

P.S. I expected some people might dislike the 50p look as it's not often seen on the net, people love sticking to the old standards Smile
  • + 3
 Agree with you kiwi.
  • + 2
 shooting in 50fps just makes it look like all the clips of him riding are sped up
  • + 2
 72 fps is currently an experimental progressive scan format. Major institutions such as Snell & Wilcox have demonstrated 720p72 pictures as a result of earlier analogue experiments, where 768 line television at 75 Hz looked subjectively better than 1150 line 50 Hz progressive pictures with higher shutter speeds available (and a corresponding lower data rate).[4] Modern TV cameras such as the Red, can use this frame rate for creative effects such as slow motion (replaying at 24 fps). 72fps was also the frame rate at which emotional impact peaked[5] to the viewer as measured by Douglas Trumbull that led to the Showscan film format.

Even higher frame rates (~300 Hz) have been tested by BBC R&D from concerns over sports and other broadcasts where fast motion with large HD displays could have an effect with viewers.[6] 300 fps can be converted to both 50 and 60 Hz transmission formats without major issues.
  • + 1
 I had my own attempt at 60p which was shot from a 60i source, and fluid morphing slowed 24p footage into 60p as well. It kinda worked, I did it using wmvHD 9, instead of the typical 1280x720 30p format at 6000kbps, I dropped the res by half horz and half vert, and did 640x360 at 60p or fps and kept the 6000kbps. It seemed to work... here it is. Sometimes its smooth, other computers handle the framerate differently.

I had always known it was possible to upload the higher frame rate, but never gave it a try, it was a dirt jump video or something, buttery smooth, but I don't remember what it was.
  • + 1
 kiwihardtail, I think the higher framerate would be great when it comes to recording live events or whatever that will be posted here. Or use it when you're not doing a stylized video. 24p is great for bigger projects that will look good in the end, not just some weekend edit. I don't like 24p on everything, to me it's very annoying sometimes especially when the video is kind of bland. The only thing that sucks about using 50p or 60p is that the riding looks slow. Imagine of the EARTHED movies were in 60i, they would not look nearly as gnarly. Like in the video link I posted above, rider doesn't look all that fast... And I like the song choice dude, haven't heard a lot of dnb on pinkbike...
  • + 1
 I agree 50 and 60p are definitely suited to much different things than 24, 25 and 30p it was interesting to test 50p on an action shoot Smile might try a more handheld filming style next 50p test to see what that turns out like.
  • + 1
 radek I think the reason they choose to use 1080 60i and 720 60p as HDTV standards is because when you do the math, the data rate of those two are very similar.

1 frame (2 fields) of a 1080 60i clip is 2,073,600 pixels, that times 30 (for one second) is 62,208,000 pixels.

1 frame of a 720 60p clip 921,600 pixels, that times 60 (for one second) is 55,296,000 pixels.

What I'm saying is that you can carry 2 different kinds of signals that look just as good. In a 1080 60i timeline you can carry 1080 30p, 24p, 720 60p, 30p, and 24p. Obviously when it comes to cameras, you can design them to shoot anything...

"72 fps is currently an experimental progressive scan format" if you're talking about that for the camcorders like P2 or XDCamEX that would be cool, might only work if you set it as undercrank, sort of like having that option in shooting 60p you can have that option to slow it down automatically to 24fps or keep it 60fps. My camera cannot undercrank 60p footage, which sucks because I have 1 extra step in the transcoding process (Avid MC sucks like that).
  • + 0
 Wow you guys are talking a crazy language!! I will hopefully be starting a degree in Broadcast Operations in September - maybe then I should be able to decipher what has been written here. tup
  • + 3
 Haha, mate I'd get clued up on your shit for september then, Theyre going to expect you to understand all this from the word go! I think that you guys should stick to 24p for your internet videos, not because it looks better or worse, but simply because a large percentage of PB users will just be presented with a very jumpy video that they cant Enjoy. Our computers simply dont have the processing power to watch 50p. I've had to switch onto the multi CPU machine down here to compare the two video's, and not everyone with a slow computer has that luxury! Just my 2 cents.
  • + 1
 OK after a bit of reading up on this I can see what you're talking about - it's not actually as complicated as I thought. All I can say is just because you guys have all the equipment to run 50p doesnt mean the avergae pb user such as myself would have this too. However as long as this is an option for those with good enough PC's/quick internet then it can only be a good thing.
  • + 2
 I dont understand any of the above comments but I thought the 50fps looked better then the 25
  • + 1
 Part of being involved in digital is looking at the future and what will be stock standard in the months/years to come. Technology is evolving so fast, you simply can't sit by and do the same old thing every time.

All props go to pinkbike for offering something that isn't widely accepted as the norm and thanks to everyone who looked at this comparison and gave their opinion. I hope to keep testing out new and exciting things, I'll be keeping you all posted too Smile

Peace out.
  • + 2
 And thanks for putting together this article.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Higher fps will always be better in my opinion. You can always delete frames to give your movie a different look. I think it's pointless to start shooting footage at 24 fps when your camera is capable of 60+ fps at the same resolution. Reality doesn't have fps, and our eyes simply capture it as it is. Why introduce another bottleneck by using low fps footage?

On the other hand, if you're trying to save space, a 30 fps video will only take up half the space that a 60fps video will. If you are low on HDD space or bandwidth, then I'd support people filming at lower frame rates because the difference at 1x speed for 24fps and 72fps isn't all THAT much. (The difference is negligible when compared to the difference between 10 fps and 30 fps) For slo-mo, you can't really make compromises there- you just gotta stick with a high fps base footage. Lastly, if you have to choose between fps and resolution, choose fps right up until 30fps, then start increasing resolution up until 1280x720, then move up in fps until you hit 60, and then move on to 1920x1080. If you have thousands of dollars to spend on crazy cameras that shoot 2560x1440 @ 120fps.... well then I guess you have no compromises to make, congratulations and send me a sample of that glorious footage in 0.25x slo-mo
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hi mate - a fellow kiwi here. Hey - what was your process of turning the 50p footage into 25p? I'm looking at doing it, but am concerned about the resulting 25p footage not having the right motion blur as if it were shot originally in 25p. I guess the shutter speed has to be right. Cheers, James
  • + 1
 Hey man, to be honest I did no extra processing between the 50 and 25p footage. What I did was just instruct the sequence to render out at 25 rather than 50fps. The original footage was shot at a relatively low shutter speed so as to make it look more natural, if you wanted to get this effect in post production you could add some light motion blur filters. Feel free to fire me a direct message if you need any extra help James.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hollywood outputs its films at 24fps though shoots at various framerates. If they output to 60fps, they would need entirely new projectors and films would take up even more space. remember, you can always throw out frames - just can never create frames that never existed. I shoot mostly 60p in 720 HD on my interchangeable lens camera the Lumix GH1 which now goes for about $1200 and you can use pretty much any SLR lens ever made on it. I can also shoot 1080 in 24p/30i though for high speed action like mountain biking a higher frame rate in combination with a high shutter speed (eg 1/125 or 1/200 sec) will produce nice sharp frames with fluid motion. too high of a shutter speed with produce a slight flickr - which I will not get into why this is at this moment. used to shoot 16mm film and same thing holds true. high frame rates are great for when you want to slow down footage too. I always output to 30p even when I shoot 60p. if I slow down 60p to 30p or even 15p, the video still looks pretty smooth where as when you slow down 30p to 15- or anything slower, it looks quite choppy. 24p is best suited for static shots and slow pans - hence why you dont want to do quick whip pans in this mode. also a shallow depth of field looks great (achieved with wide aperatures and large sensors (like the hd-slrs) though means you have a greater chance of losing focus on your subject.
  • + 1
 "remember, you can always throw out frames - just can never create frames that never existed" - that is not stricly true, although you can obviously never create a true inbetween frame from scratch; techniques such as 3:2 pulldown are used to convert 23.97fps film into 29.97fps NTSC for example.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Looks good! I might have to try out something like that once I get my new camera. It takes some getting used to though - the 50fps looks almost too smooth and unatural to me, but there's no question that there is more detail and once I get used to it, I would probably end up liking the higher frame rate more.

One thing that puzzles me is that PinkBike supports up to 120fps, but almost everyone's computer monitor only has a 60Hz refresh rate (except the new 3D monitors). So how does that work?
  • + 0
 agree with this it almost look sped up to me
  • + 1
 Not to mention people's eyes see at roughly 30fps anyways... Also, it is possible to achieve roughly the same effect of the 50fps at 25 by blending multiple frames into one. It gets smoother at a fraction of the bandwidth requirement.
  • - 1
 Yeah I'm thinking that's why it looked unnatural to me - it's smoother than my eyes actually see, so it's not like reality. It is slightly more relaxing for the eyes to look at (seeing as the rider is a fast-moving object) though. I'd love to at least do a few tests with 50p, but the drawback is that I can only shoot in 720p, and I need 1080p for my master files.
  • + 2
 I can tell a big difference between 30fps and 60fps so I think the eyes can tell more. As for blending, i suppose you are talking about interlaced vs progressive, as that is really what interlaced is trying to do by inserting half of the next frame into the current one between scan lines. Since everything is going progressive trying to make interlaced out of progressive may not be the right solution, but interesting.
  • + 1
 The wagon wheel effect is one way to test the human vision system. This is the effect when a human sees a rotating spoked wheel to stand still or rotate backwards.
The first to observe the wagon-wheel effect under truly continuous illumination (such as from the sun) was Schouten (1967[4]). He distinguished three forms of subjective stroboscopy which he called alpha, beta, and gamma: Alpha stroboscopy occurs at 8-12 cycles per second; the wheel appears to become stationary, although "some sectors [spokes] look as though they are performing a hurdle race over the standing ones" (p. 4Cool . Beta stroboscopy occurs at 30-35 cycles per second: "The distinctness of the pattern has all but disappeared. At times a definite counterrotation is seen of a grayish striped pattern" (pp. 48–49). Gamma stroboscopy occurs at 40-100 cycles per second: "The disk appears almost uniform except that at all sector frequencies a standing grayish pattern is seen ... in a quivery sort of standstill" (pp. 49–50). Schouten interpreted beta stroboscopy, reversed rotation, as consistent with there being Reichardt detectors in the human visual system for encoding motion. Because the spoked wheel patterns he used (radial gratings) are regular, they can strongly stimulate detectors for the true rotation, but also weakly stimulate detectors for the reverse rotation.
  • + 1
 Question: Did you notice a difference between the videos? If you answered yes then the human eye can see more that 25fps Smile
  • + 1
 I probably mis-explained myself. The eye can see more than 60fps (because we can all see the difference - it has been proven that the eye can see up to 400fps in the right conditions). But if we were looking at that rider and we were physically there, we would never see it being that smooth.
  • + 0
 It's because a 1/50th second frame is shorter than the "retention" time in your retina, thus, the camera takes a more precise image with less blurring than you could see in person.
  • + 1
 No radex I wasn't talking interlaced vs. progressive. I was talking taking 2 frames and blending them together into 1 to get a smoother motion at half the framerate. Admitedly I never tried it but I figure it would work by giving somewhat of a mothion blur effect... I'd have to give it a try
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I didn't notice a huge difference in the video but it was probably helped that my netbook can't display that video clearly (much the same as trying to was BBC Iplayer in HD) it was very jumpy. If it were i be implimented i think it would have to be an option just like highquality on youtube.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Like the look of the wheels when he is pushing up in 50p.... Very Nice piece of work Toby. Keep it up.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 No there isn't. There is a reason everyone in Hollywood (including tv shows shoot at 24 fps (25 fps if you live anywhere in the world other then North America). 24 fps is what looks natural to the eye. The faster the frame rate the sharper everything is which sharper is not always better. The human eye reacts more like 25 fps. By increasing your frame you're making your footage look like "video". Which for years they've been trying to make video cameras look like film. Why would you want to take a step back and make your footage look cheaper?
  • + 1
 We try to shoot all product showcase and reviews at 60fps. When I'm looking at a product, i really want to see all the detail i can, so for something like products, this is a great reason to be able to use and show 60fps.
  • + 1
 The human eye sees more like 30fps, which gives it more realistic look, but 24fps looks a lot prettier and artistic. 24fps allows you to get some more image blur. Part of the reason video doesn't look like film is because of the lack of Dynamic Range, and depth of field (you can get a 35mm adapter that will give you more DOF).
  • + 3
 I think higher frame rate works best when your documenting a real live event and stuff like that, because its more smoother like the human eye sees, so its more like your there. But when you make movies, (fictional of mountain bike or whatever) I think I like the look of 24 or even 30 better, at least for now.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Definitely keep experimenting, but my initial impressions are that the video looks quite good. Just because people stick to what is traditional doesn't mean we should stay there.... just look at biking!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 PS Hollywood has been shooting at a 24 fps for almost a hundred years now, if they thought higher was better, don't you think they would have done something about it years ago?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 the biggest problem with this comparison is that its been converted into a flash video. Isn't all flash 12fps!? any ways my point is that once you make the flv you will lose a lot the quality and frame rate you had in order to make it have quick playback online.
Even avi's have variable frame rate to increase buffering speed or decrease file size while maintaining a good viewing quality.
I am sure if you had the original videos - quicktimes aren't too heavy but retain the true frame rate available for download then people would be be able to see much clearer difference.

and it is true film (hollywood and the rest) for the most part film at 24fps (only going more for slow-mo's and effects) and the end result in the cinema is always 24fps.
  • + 1
 No definatly not, almost no flash video is 12fps anymore unless you specifically make it 12fps maybe for a tutorial or a slideshow. If you have anything with any sort of movement 24fps is pretty much minimum.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Can you upload the videos to Vimeo and allow them to be downloadable so we can see the proper quality without it being converted to flash?
  • + 1
 getting there. very soon all your videos will magically be better quality, downloadable, ipodable, plus having all the frame rate ability.
  • + 1
 that sounds really sweet!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I suddenly have this urge to spend $6300 on a camcorder.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I think most people will agree its hard to describe the difference between the two but the 50fps was for sure much more pleasing to the eye, much more ... natural?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I need to go to New Zealand realllllllllly bad haahhaha
  • + 2
 i'm with you on this ))
[Reply]
  • + 1
 50p is cool and all that.. but actual hd support would be better rather then these downscaled videos you get
[Reply]
  • - 2
 50fps is quite nice but I hope people still respect the quality of the video as separate from the quality of the technology. Its all very well filming it in HD on a £3000 device with super slow-mo attached to a 15ft boom with a £250 microphone at the trailside but it doesn't immediately make the video any better.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 wow there is such a good diference, good thing this story came up on facebook since i`m becoming and filmer/photographer. This helps out alot.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 was the video filmed with Tapes or Digitally?
  • + 1
 Digitally, Filmed on the camera pictured above in DVCPRO HD 720 50p on P2 cards
  • + 1
 Kiwi, could i ask you a quicky, Can you somehow convert pal to ntsc or ntsc to pal?
Why do i need this? Me and my buddy have different standards ./
  • + 1
 You can do it technically but it's a very complicated conversion involving drop frames and pulldown ratios, unless your content needs to be played on a TV of the opposite standard I wouldn't worry about it because NTSC and PAL can both be easily viewed on the internet or on any computer.
  • + 1
 Do you have access to Compressor from the Final Cut Studio bundle?
  • + 1
 i dont, but my older brother (who's an expert at FCP dose) dose.
  • + 1
 If he uses a preset of the opposite standard (PAL or NTSC) then goes into the frame controlls you can convert PAL to NTSC or vice versa
  • + 1
 can that be done using QTP (Quick Time Pro)?
  • + 1
 Don't think so unfortunately Frown
[Reply]
  • + 0
 i honestly couldnt tell a difference. maybe if there were some slo- mo shots?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 haha im sure the 50p looks great but my computor cant take it:L
[Reply]
  • + 1
 soo what youre sayin is.... 50fps is better than 25?
  • + 1
 it depends on what style you want. both have their own pros and cons
  • + 1
 or how good your computer is, mines shit so the 50fps was all skippy, not good at all. but the 25fps want nice and smooth Big Grin
[Reply]
  • + 1
 agree- post some of the 60p footage at 25% speed - maybe some at 50% too
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hte 1st is the best!
[Reply]
  • - 3
 I'm not a big fan of the increased frame rates, they make it seem like your trying to speed up the video to make the kid look faster....
[Reply]
  • + 0
 this has been sped up
  • + 1
 No it hasn't, come round to my place and I'll show you the original files Smile
[Reply]

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