November 23, 2016 at 9:46PM


1080p & 1080i

Well my camera has two options , one says 1080p and one says 1080i , i googled 1080p vs 1080i , couldn't actually understand what's going on , so i'm here to ask which one is better what should i do , for the time i chose 1080p "Sound Familiar :)"


1080i captures 540 lines at a time, usually "upper field" first (lines 1, 3, 5, 7... 1079), then captures the other 540 lines "lower field" (lines 2, 4, 6, 8... 1080). It is refreshed 60 times per second but only 540 lines at a time. That's not quite the full story but it will do for now.

With 1080p, all 1080 lines are captured at the same time. 1080p60 captures twice as much information as 1080i60. There's some extra stuff happening behind the scenes with 1080i60 that reduces interlacing artifacts but reduces resolution. So, 1080p60 generally looks better than 1080i60. The thing is, when HDTV was standardized, processing power and bandwidth weren't good enough to handle 1080p60, so there is no guarantee it will work on all systems and no broadcasts support it. On the other hand, computers and phones are all progressive scan, so interlaced formats look horrible on them.
You can also do 1080p at 24fps which is well supported but will need to be converted to 1080i for broadcasts. What I generally do, since I mostly do television work, is shoot at 1080p30 (in a 1080i60 CODEC), which produces a nice, clean image but reproduces well on 1080i and 1080p systems. Really though, most people going for a "theatrical" look shoot at 1080p24.

November 24, 2016 at 4:38AM

You voted '+1'.

Well ! i am going for youtube so i should work with 1080p , Right ? :)

Arsh DSJ

November 26, 2016 at 1:08AM

Yes, definitely! I suggest 1080p24 or 1080p30, not 1080p60.

November 26, 2016 at 8:52AM


Hey! So it is going to depend on what you are going for but what I will alway's say “NEVER INTERLACED”….of course if you must shoot 1080i or 480i or 576i for TV News type stuff then that is the exception. But for film production, short film’s or anything that you want to have an image that doesn’t look like crap SHOOT PROGRESSIVE! The “i” stands for interlaced scan and the “p” stands for progressive scan.

Here is my long answer which contains things which may prove to be important that you may not know and going into a video project knowing them is extremely useful!:

1920x1080i vs 1920x1080p is an interesting discussion but basically 1920x1080i is only giving you 540 horizontal lines instead of 1080 at a time. Interlaced scan 1080 will produce interlacing artifacts, you have probably seen these before on TV or whatever where the image looks like half of it has been “shredded” or it has teeth or their are weird line artifacts. This is because literally every other line is shown in “fields” so you are really seeing 50 or 60fields per second and only 25 or 30frames per second when seeing interlaced shot content. Obviously this becomes a problem because these fields are captured at slightly different moments in time and the field will NEVER match up 100% percent. It is just WAYYY easier to shoot progressive scan and avoid the mess that is interlaced scanning. Interlacing is an unfortunate relic of the past day’s when getting higher frame rates was not cost effective so using a high field rate as a pseudo high frame rate was used and was important, especially for thing’s where the film look would NOT be good like rugby, football, sports in general or news broadcasting

1080p24 or 1080p30 are going to be your friend and if 1080p60 is available and you like the look of less blur and don’t mind slightly more rendering and slightly larger file sizes go for that. But for short film’s and stuff that is supposed to have “the look” 24p is going to be your starting point. The motion blur of 24p with a shutter speed of 1/48th (aka 180º shutter angle) is part of the “magic” of film.

A lot of people will say "yeah but your footage will need to be converted to interlaced for broadcast TV” this may be true if it ends up on broadcast TV but the conversion is pretty simple. Both 1080p30 and 1080p60 convert to 1080i60 perfectly, in fact, many cameras shoot 1080p30 and output it as 1080i because certain recorders and cables don't support progressive scan stuff, same can be said for 25p and 50i.

Converting 1080p24 to 1080i60 is a little more difficult but IMO I can do this entirely on my MacBook Pro in Compressor. Basically, you use a process called “Telecining” to spread those 24frames/second over the 60fields/second.

In Europe (and PAL land) they shoot a lot of film at 25p because that happens to be their TV standard (25p and 50i) to and it is so close to 24p that the "look" is very similar (which is why I use 25p to "cheat" cameras that don't have 24p :D but that requires knowledge of some other things to avoid strobing and other things). Anyways 1080p25 is not supported on Blu-ray! So European filmmakers have two choices once they have completed a film shot at 25fps and plan to distribute on Blu-ray....
-Convert the 25p to 24p, this can be done by slightly slowing down the footage but it causes audio issues if you don't slow the audio down with it and for things like musicals slowing or speeding audio effects the pitch
-Convert or "put" the progressive scan footage in a 1080i50 container.
--1080p25 can be stored in a 1080i50 wrapper just like 1080p30 can be stored in a 1080i60 wrapper. You will see European blu-ray's of movies that are mainly European (and therefore were shot at 25p because they did not anticipate needing to distribute to other places) use 1080i50 but really it is 1080p25. You won't see any interlacing the way it is stored

(Not sure if you are in a country that is 50Hz or 60Hz so full disclosure: I'm an American so I deal with 60Hz NTSC content [30p, 60i, 60p, etc.] 85% of the time. If you live in Europe, Most of Asia save for Japan and some others, the Mid East, and parts of South America you are dealing with PAL 50Hz content [25p, 50i, 50p, etc.]. Your camera is likely set to your countries standard of 50Hz PAL or 60Hz NTSC, for more information google PAL vs NTSC and have fun :D! So if I mention 30 or 60i/p and you are a “PAL’er” and your camera only say’s 25 or 50i/p that is fine, just replace 30 with 25 and 60 with 50)

December 11, 2016 at 8:15AM, Edited December 11, 8:15AM

Nate O
Cinematographer/Video Editor

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