interlaced vs progressive : LUSENET : Shooting DV Films : One Thread

when shooting mini dv with an eye towards film transfer, is it preferrable to use the interlaced or progressive scan option. the camera i'm using is the trv900.


-- paul david (, December 02, 1998


The big question these days seems to be if *Canon's* progressive scan of 30 full resolution frames a second (though not a "true" progressive scan of 60 full frames a second) is better for film transfer than the traditional 60 fields a second.

The reason I mention this is that although I don't own a TRV-900, I've handled them at stores and talked to people who do own them, and, apparently, from my observations and the word on the street, Sony's progressive scan is only (a very jittery) 15fps. Basically, I think you'd be better off, just shooting normal video with the TRV-900.

Now if only someone could give us a solid answer on whether or not, Canon's progressive scan makes for a good film transfer...


-- Dave (, December 06, 1998.

I think it's a fairly safe bet that shooting in progressive scan on the TRV900 is *not* a good idea if you intend to transfer to film. Moving down to 24fps from video's 30fps (or 29.97) is one thing, but the Sony only does 15fps in progressive mode.

As for the XL1, although in theory it should be possible to get a better image from the 30fps frame mode, I haven't heard of any video to film transfer facilities that will work with this format yet.

- John

-- John Windmueller (, December 18, 1998.

You might want to check out It seems these guys can do high quality transfers of DV to 35mm or 16mm. They do prefer that you shoot in progressive rather than interlaced if your camera supports it. There web site has all the information including pricing.

-- Cory (, January 19, 1999.

Progressive Scan is a technology. Its best at 24fps emulating film and known as 24P for 24fps progressive scan. Sony's new HDW-700 is going to have that option for transfer to film. If film transfer is ulitmately what you are going for, then shoot with a PAL camera with progressive scan, such as the XL-1 or the Optura. There are of course many others, but those are two of the best 3CCD - 1CCD cameras in the business. So yes, it is preferable to shoot in Progressive Scan if one is intending to render to film! Brian

-- Brian Meade (, June 07, 1999.

I've been reading the threads, and Brian makes a great case for shooting progressive scan and 16:9. However...

It all depends upon which transfer house you'll be using.

If you're going to use DVFilm in Austin, they prefer it. Although please read their caveats. They advise no handheld shots, slow pan speeds, and limited motion. Is this the kind of film you want to make?

Sony Hi-Def in Culver City has a wonderful process that smooths 30 frame motion utilizing the 60 fields per second that shooting conventionally gives you. It allows for handheld, and handles motion remarkably well -- although fast pans are not advised. At this time, they strongly prefer no progressive scan and no 16:9. I've seen the results of this process and they're truly impressive.

The bottom line: carefully consider the motion you want to use/see in your movie.... and talk to the transfer house.

-- Jim Parriott

-- Jim Parriott (, July 08, 1999.

Interlaced vs Progressive

Regarding FilmTeam transfers ( we can transfer from progressive scan, frame-movie mode, or interlaced, made from any video camera, with excellent results. PAL is preferred over NTSC. Interlaced NTSC is preferred over progressive NTSC if your picture has a lot of hand-held shots or camera movement. For a picture with mostly static close-ups (i.e. dialog), progressive or frame-movie mode is preferrable.

If you're considering a video-to-film transfer, you should get a test made from a sample of your movie. Presently we are doing silent tests for about $250.


-- Marcus van Bavel (, July 31, 1999.

I don't know what anyone else thinks but I'm a bit confused about this whole subject. Some people say one thing and others say something completely the opposite. I think the confusion arises because of the NTSC and PAL thing. But let me get this right. If what I think the sum total of what is being said iss right then this is the story; For pal system, don't use frame record mode and for NTSC ssystem do use frame recoed made. Any thoughts anthis?

-- Mark Waldron (, December 15, 1999.

Bottom line: You making an action flick like me: lot's of camera movement, then shoot in normal mode.

Shooting a drama: static shots, then shoot in movie mode.

-- Kevin Hollaway (, January 05, 2000.

About frame movie mode and regular interlaced video... From what I have read, there are two cases. 1) you are using pal if you are then go with frame movie mode all the time.

2) you are using ntsc if you are then it depends on what you are shooting. shooting action, lots of movement-> use interlaced shooting relatively still subjects (people talking) -> use progr. scan

I just bought a pal canon gl1 (xm1 in europe). The frame movie mode just looks a lot more jittery when viewed on the screen. The optical stabilizer doesn't work nearly as good (or you just can't see it working). This mode gives you the impression of looking at a movie theater's screen because of this jitter. When you watch a movie at the movie theater the picture is so big that motion blur or not you still see things moving in discrete steps if they are fast enough. You usually don't see this on a TV screen though. You do if you use frame movie mode. I believe you shouldn't be too concerned with frame rates... just don't use 15 fps and you should be ok... Light is the most important thing. Also never believe screen captures comparisons on the internet!!! The look of the image on TV is totally different. I had a trv900 and gl1 to compare in the store and I dare anyone to tell the difference. One last line of wisdom, shoot beautiful people and your image is beautiful. Shoot ugly people and even a hdtv cam won't do!! :-)

-- cv (, March 05, 2000.

The sony trv900 Pscan is 15fps for NTSC and 12fps for PAL. It is too jerky looking.

If you reduce the shutter speed to 1/30 of your TRV900 while in interlaced mode, you will get a filmlooking take. Only the first field is captured. The seconf field is derived by copying the first one. The frames will be made from two identical fields. The result is more cinematic feel. A side effect when using this feature is reduction of vertical resolution/quality. Most noticable on near horizontal lines. If you like instant filmlooking takes, try it. A PAL TRV900 with shutter speed 1/25 will give better cinematic results becouse its 25 frame rate being closer to film speed and is better suited for film transfer.

An interesting article on this subject on

If your camera is NTSC shoot interlaced. The transfer company will do the rest.

But remember: when shooting interlaced the resulting film will be with less vertical detail/resolution.

Here is a company for film transfer and tips how to use the Canon XL1 when planing transfer to film:


-- Igor Trajkovski (, December 26, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ