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720 60P is nice for sports, but if you consider moving up to 1080, then interlaced is better for sports or fast moving topics, unless you are going for 1080P/60 but that has the drawback that it can't be delivered on BD-R.
I wanted to follow up my question. I experimented with using the highest frame rate available in progressive mode on my camcorder - 720p 60 fps. Normally, I was shooting 1080i 60fps for sports. I actually prefer the footage shot with 720p 60fps over the 1080i 60fps. I am sure that it is personal preference. That's my two cents.
720p60 is one of the most versatile of all the formats you can shoot in HD. It is especially practical for high motion shooting such as with most sports (except maybe curling........)
If you have a camcorder with 1080p60 (not interlaced 60 but progressive 60) then what Harm says is true....you CANNOT go directly out to BD-R. However, you can do the following:
- Reframe in a 720p60 sequence....this gives you the effect of potentially increasing the "zoom" of your camera and/or giving you room to pan around the image.
- Scale your 1080p60 footage sequence down directly to 720p60 during output to BD-R with no reframing or anything else.
- Scale your 1080p60 down to 480i60 for output to DVD. (720p60 and 1080p60 both down res to SD/DVD 60i very nicely for compatibility purposes)
Shooting in 1080p24 (or 720p24, for that matter) are not completely terrible ideas even for high motion sports, so long as you do a good job of limiting periphery motion INSIDE your video frame and your subject remains very constant in the same are of the frame. Where 24p falls apart on high motion stuff is usually due to things like fast pans across a subject or background objects.
On a lens with fairly shallow depth of field, the stuttering effect of 24p is even more reduced (or nearly unnoticeable) when motion occurs in the periphery or background of your shot. All you need to do there is keep the subject sharply focused and in the middle of your shot.
So point being, it really is MUCH easier to shoot high motion at higher frame rates like 60p or 60i, but shooting in an interlaced format can really paint you into a corner when it comes time to export your project to the web, a lower resolution format like DVD, stuff like that. Progressive translates between formats much more cleanly.
BOTTOM LINE: if you CAN shoot 1080p60, do it, but just know that you cannot go to Blu-ray with it unless you downconvert to 720p60 at some point. Otherwise, shooting 720p60 is usually your best bet for high motion.
Wow, Christian, thanks for such a well thought out answer. I so appreciate your sharing so much.