4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 18, 2012 5:41 PM by the_wine_snob

    what are the time units dsiplayed in timeline?


      this might be a dumb question, but I wanted to time an event I taped with my sony hd camera.  i imported the clip into pe 9 and tried to judge the time by looking frame by frame at the timeline.   the units appear like this 01:30;25.    but the final two digits jump from 25 to 00.   what the heck does that mean?   are these frame units, seconds, a novel timekeeping system invented by adobe?    i realize a video camera is not a timekeeping instrument, so perhaps I'm asking too much...but now I'm curious... what are these units displayed in the timeline, and why do they jump at the increments they do?   set by my sony camera?  or adobe?





        • 1. Re: what are the time units dsiplayed in timeline?
          VDOSurfer Level 3

          No. It is the general standard in Non-Linear video editing. Adobe just continues to follow it. What the time code in your case means is 1 minute: 30 seconds: 25 frames. If it jumps from 25 to 0, it means that you have a PAL project created. For NTSC, it jumps from 30 to 0. This not just indicates the time, it also indicates the number of frames. And really this is as granular as you need to get in this big bad video world.


          You can use this to do your time keeping. I am guessing you don't need an accuracy of under 0.04 secs (25 frames per second - one frame in 0.04 secs).

          • 2. Re: what are the time units dsiplayed in timeline?
            the_wine_snob Level 9



            As VDOSurfer points out, that is SMPT (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) TimeCode. It is shown as hours, minutes, seconds and Frames, with the semi-colon separator for NTSC and the colon separator for PAL (those are the official separators, but some people just stick with the semi-colon). In film and video, the Frame is the smallest unit of time measurement, and is usually 1/30 sec. for NTSC, or 1/25 sec. for PAL. [Note: there are some exceptions, such as with 24 FPS material, where it is 1/24 sec.] If you need to easily convert to pure chronological time, pick up a calculator, like SMPTCalc, or similar.


            Good luck,



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            • 3. Re: what are the time units dsiplayed in timeline?
              screen_name_djk Level 1



              Just a tiny detail to satisfy my curiosity.   I’m using a Sony HDR-CX100 which shoots 30 fps AVCHD.   Is it really 30 fps?  I keep seeing references to 30 is really 29.97 fps for color.   How would I know?  My Sony manual says 60i frames… so, although I have the gist of it, the specifics are still puzzling.





              • 4. Re: what are the time units dsiplayed in timeline?
                the_wine_snob Level 9



                For most recorded footage, it is 29.97, though there are a few cameras, that really do shoot at 30 FPS. Using Interpret Footage, and looking at the FPS, should give you the real detail.


                Unfortunately, camera mfgrs. play a tad "fast and loose" with their exact specs. It is tough to get to the real answer, to the question that you are asking.


                Going back decades, stereo equipment mfgrs. used some "highly inflated" wattage numbers, and the consumers were first confused, and then a bit outraged. In time, they settled on more realistic numbers, and terms. Do you remember the RMS (Root Mean Square) wars with auido gear?


                Wish that I had a 100% accurate answer for you.



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