As usual, I am part of a heated discussion over at DVinfo about video stuff (and you can ignore that note from the admin, who didn’t understand that I was talking about the HV20 format and not their semi-pro cameras when I talked about 3:2 pulldown). The opposing guy this time is the Grammy-winner Douglas Spotted Eagle, who I blogged about before. Douglas believes that 24p (inside a 60i stream, or a real progressive one) is not a consumer format and it should never be one. In fact, he claims that Canon made a big mistake by adding 24p on their consumer HDV camcorders.
Personally, I beg to differ and so do some others. I agree with Douglas that most consumer NLEs don’t have support for 24p yet (heck, not even Final Cut Express does), and it’s a format that looks bad if you try to shoot fast moving action, like sports. However, Douglas forgets a part of the consumers who are actually prosumers. Much like myself. These are users who would like some exotic features, who know what is what, but they are not willing to pay $3000 to get these features. Instead, the “sweet” spot seems to be at around $1500. Oh, wait a second. Isn’t that the price of most HDV cameras? And if Canon made a mistake to include 24p in their HV20, why is the HV20 the best selling HDV camcorder ever, with sales pushed exactly because of its 24p/cinemode support?
His reaction felt elitistic and pessimistic, rather than genuine concern for the consumer. As with any new feature that gets ‘downgraded’ and becomes a consumer feature, there will have to be a time of adjustment. And in fact, we are going faster towards the 24p adjustment in terms of consumer NLE software support rather than AVCHD support. Besides, both the new consumer versions of Sony Vegas Movie Studio and Premiere LE support 24p now (even if unofficially) and more will follow.
I don’t believe that every point-and-shooter should have access to 24p, because it indeed might confuse them, but prosumers should.
Here’s a chart on how I catalog video customers:
1. Cheapos: Digicams and cheap digi-recorders up to $200.
2. Point and shoot consumers: miniDV up to $800.
3. Prosumers: $800 to $2000.
4. Semi-Pro: $2000 to $10000.
5. Pro: $10,000 to $200,000.