From RED Camera’s website
The advent of digital cinematography has opened up new creative possibilities for how motion is captured. This article explores the influence of high frame rate (HFR) video playback, along with the associated motivations and controversy, with an eye for what this might hold for the future of cinema.
Although modern cinema uses a 24 fps time base, early film was projected with a wide variety of speeds. Prior to the 1930’s, many silent films used just 15-20 fps, since this is when the illusion of continuous imagery begins. Then, with the advent of audio, frame rates were increased to the now-standard 24 fps, primarily because this was the minimum rate that would still produce acceptable audio when read from a 35 mm film reel.
In any case, the overall strategy was to use as little film as possible. None of the motivations were to maximize the viewer’s sense of realism — footage was just deemed “good enough” without being prohibitively expensive. However, with digital capture, we’re no longer bound by the same rules. Recent and upcoming productions are beginning to explore high frame rate (HFR) playback. HFR is already being used for sports and other HDTV broadcasts, and in cinema, Avatar 2 and The Hobbit are known productions targeting HFR release.
When compact discs were first unveiled, the initial reaction by record connoisseurs was that the music had too much clarity and lacked the familiar and characteristic sound of a vinyl record. This closely echoes the early feedback about HFR. Similarly, while low frame rates will always have applications, having the creative flexibility to use other frame rates is virtually always beneficial. Even though a record can be mimicked with a compact disc recording, the opposite isn’t always possible — and the same can be said for low vs. high frame rates. Although not everything necessarily needs HFR, it may eventually become another creative tool, similar to how shutter angle is used currently.
Although great progress has been made with improving spatial resolution — particularly with the advent of 4K cinema — temporal resolution also deserves more exploration, and has a similar potential to enrich the cinematic experience. After all, real-life imagery is effectively received by our eyes as unlimited fps, infinite resolution 3D footage; it’s our mind that processes this as a hybrid of video and motion-blurred stills. Higher frame rate, 4K+ footage gets us closer to that reality. To read the entire article Click Here.