I recently bought a Sony HDR-CX700V camcorder able to shoot AVCHD 1080p60 (28Mbps) as well as 1080p24 and 1080i30(60i) in several flavors (24Mbps, 17Mbps, 9Mbps and 5Mbps). My distribution medium is generally Blu-ray Disc.
Is it worthwhile to shoot at 1080p60 knowing that it cannot be placed as-is on a Blu-ray Disc?
The short answer is : YES it is worthwhile to shoot at 1080p60.
I have read all the threads discussing 1080p60 clips until my head was spinning. I could not reach any firm conclusion on the best strategy.
Therefore, I made an extensive series of test, shooting at 1080p60, 1080p24 and 1080i30 (24 and 17Mbps) and burning them on a Blu-ray Disc in 1080i30, 1080p24 and 720p60 using first Encore then PPRo to convert (followed by Encore for the burning of course). I could not see any point in using 720p24 when 1080p24 and 720p60 were available.
I then view them on a 46" Sony XBR HDTV (1080p) with 120Hz using a Sony BDR360 Blu-ray Disc player as the source. The player converts all the clips to 1080p (including the 720p60 clips) to send them to the TV.
Of course I am unable to make side by side comparaison, just one after the other.
The results: all the clips look fine on the TV with no discernible difference in quality with the exception of the 1080p24 clips when placed on the Blu-ray Disc as 1080p24. In that one case, there are obvious breaks in vertical edges when panning rapidly in a diagonal. By contrast, When the 24p clips were converted to 1080i30 or 720p60 by either Encore or PPRO before placing them on the disk, they look fine on the TV with no artifacts. It could be that the 3/2 pull-down (or is it 2/3 pull-up) by the player is not as good as the Adobe Media Encoder. The Blu-ray Disc player has to do the conversion in real time while AME can take its time as well as do some frame blending to mask the artifacts. But this is only conjecture.
My conclusion: Always shoot at 1080p60 and produce a Blu-ray Disc at 1080i30(60i).
While 1080i30 clips look equally as good as converted 1080p60 clips there is no downside in shooting 1080p60. The small difference 28Mbps vs 24 Mbps is not significant.
May be, in the future, Blu-ray Disc will allow 1080p60 (or even 1080p30) such that today's clips could be used with hopefully some quality gain.
By the way, Premiere PRO CS5.5 now has a preset for AVCHD 1080p60 (even if this is not tecnically AVCHD) (yet).
But why bother shooting in 1080p60 than in 1080i30(60i) then? What does 1080p60 offer you that 1080i30(60i) does not?
I've read that 1080i30(60i) provides superior slow motion picture compared to 1080p60 and for that that reason the latter format should be avoided.
I also am shooting with my 700 at 1080p60. Want the max quality for future uses