Yesterday’s seminar video shoot was not an ordinary one. There was a special request…
…to shoot in 1080/60i.
What’s so special about 1080/60i?
It’s not. Just that in Singapore, our video standard for full high definition is 1080/50i.
The difference is in the term “50i” and “60i”
Why should you care about 50i and 60i?
Whether you care about 50i or 60i depends on how it affects you when you buy your new High Definition video camcorder OR how it affects your video audience when you render your edited video.
If you search the web for an explanation of 50i and 60i, you will most likely get gibberish technical essays on frame rates and film industry talk.
In my 2-day Basic Videography Course, I get participants from all walks of life except for a few in the video production industry.
So in this post, let me explain in a way that highlights what matters most to you.
The 2 Different Worlds
First, you must know there is a world of 60i and there is a world of 50i.
The worlds are made up of individual countries.
In the old days, the 2 worlds are separated by the terms NTSC and PAL, acronyms for video standards.
Today, 60i is for the NTSC countries and 50i is for PAL countries.
Which system does your country use? Refer to this list of NTSC and PAL countries.
Search for your favorite handy camcorder from US Amazon and then search the same model from UK Amazon. The US site sells the camcorder that records in 60i and its UK counterpart sells the same model but records in 50i.
Does it REALLY matter?
For now, let’s forget about why the difference in the first place (otherwise I will go into techno gibberish), but be concerned with why you should care.
The TVs in the 60i world cannot watch videos made in 50i and vice versa.
That’s why I was shooting 60i yesterday… I had to deliver the video to the US!
Camcorders that Record Both 50i and 60i
All I had to do to shoot in 60i was to switch my camcorder mode from 50i to 60i. Not all camcorders can do that.
I ordered mine specially from Europe that can record in both systems. It’s the professional Panasonic HMC151.
But wait… this feature today can only be found in professional camcorders.
A few days ago, I reviewed and recommended the latest model that can do that… the Panasonic AG-AC130.
What if you shoot in 50i but want to deliver the video to US in 60i?
Simple. Just convert the video with a video editing software. I like using Sony Vegas Pro to convert videos.
WAIT… One More Thing…
The incompatibility problem mentioned above only apply to video playback on TVs and video playback with DVD/BluRay Players.
Otherwise the problem does not exist if the videos are played back with a computer or online… which is getting popular.
I hope my attempt to explain the difference between 50i and 60i in terms of what matters made some sense.
If you want detailed technical explanations, read “Microsoft Windows Media – Understanding HD Formats“.
There is more than 50i and 60i, such as 24p, 25p, 30p 50p, 60p, 72p and in the near future 100p, 120p, 300p… Read this article on Frame Rates.
Ok, I have to go pack my stuff for the weekend video shoot of a Celebrity Make-up Artist from Taiwan.
Videography and Web Video Production
Would you like to learn how to make your own video?
Ask me a question or subscribe to my “Learn Videography in 5 Days“.
The edited video…