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Solved Smartphone universally ignoring half the planet!!!

Smartphone universally ignoring half the planet!!! was created by MrVidTweaker

Posted 23 Mar 2020 21:51 #1
I have posted a few comments on this forum in other areas but this is a general topic, which may not be completely within the scope of the forums's intentions, but as a keen video editor, it's one that has frustrated me to a very very high degree. It directly affects my video editing hobby everytime I start a new video editing project, so I feel others may share my annoyance.

Briefly it is:
Why on earth, with the very high cost of modern smartphones, some with sophisticated all-whizz-bang features... does NO ONE make one that PROPERLY supports PAL 25fps video? It's infuriating. Obviously it's NOT so infuriating to those in 30fps-Land (USA etc).

Over the years I have migrated from top-end SLRs (Contax RTS, Nikon etc) using 35mm film (remember that?). In the more recent digital age I have taken advantage of, and have very much been an early-adopter of, the new technology which has revolutionised photography and photo/video production and editing. I even shelled out a small fortune for one of the first "serious" digital SLRs — the Olympus Camedia-1000L (does anyone remember that beauty?). I paid heavily for my mistake with that plastic nearly-£1200 disaster. My fault for buying it. I even penned a letter to the head of Olympus at the time, as the camera was, in my opinion verging on the unusable for anything other than a funky looking ornament on one's bookshelf, and should not have been released (at least not until sensible batteries could be developed that could allow it to take more than a few pictures before going flat). I digress... sorry.

I then migrated generally to video, less interested in stills, and have had some fantastic (at the time) top-end JVCs, Panasonic and Sony Camcorders. However, my passion for photography/videography was ultimately becoming a little marred by the fact that I wanted less bulky kit. I was realising that I was doing less piccie-taking because I didn't usually want to hunk tons of kit with me whenever I went out. This often meant that I didn't get images/videos of various outings etc. The solution, for me at least, was the emerging super-tiny digital compact cameras (that could also do video). Again, being an early adopter, I bought the first of the 'ultra tiny' cameras.. the Casio Exilim card camera (9mm think and the exact size of a credit card — they don't get much smaller than that!). That could do video in a stunning 320x240 pixels!! I can almost hear the groans of envy! I've still got it as a museum piece.

Seriously, over the more recent years I have gone for the top-of-the range ultra compact Sony DSC*** CyberShots. These are still extremely small and having worked my way through all of them over a ten year period, currently I own three Sony DSC-TX55 cameras because I realied that Sony would not be producing a model to 'top' that going forward. Now, I agree that these tiny credit-card technologically-wow cameras won't lend themselves to the greatest photographic creativity for a lot of people. However I have managed to create (although I say it myself), very good 1080p HD videos of which I am proud. The videos certainly belie the size of the equipment used to film them. More importantly, I never used to go out anywhere without one of the little Sonys in my pocket. It meant that I have captured video and stills of so much stuff that would never have existed as a permanent visual memory without the darling Sonys. I take my hat off to Sony for their wizardry in the Cyber-shot end of the market. Truly amazing little cameras.

...but then came along the invasion of Smartphones, firstly with cameras that were bit ropey... then they got better... then they had multiple cameras in them.. wide, standard and telephoto. Decent megapixel ratings, clever HDR and tools. The specs just kept going upwards. My little Sonys were increasingly being left at home, as the smartphones I owned got more sophisticated. Then, of course, naturally Sony backed away from the production of the tiny credit-card wonders because the market was undoubtedly shifting. Who wanted a tiny camera, when a quite good one was sitting in their phone adding hardly any size to it? We all have our phones with us no matter where we go. We'd even leave loved ones at home... but that smartphone is NEVER going to be left at home. No Sir!

...but there has, for me, been one MASSIVE problem. I have, again, invested in top-end smartphones (Samsung Notes, LG V30 etc) and some of these have cost nearly £1000. Their cameras are quite impressive considering there's just a tiny bit of glass on the back of a phone! The problem is:

Next problem: we use PAL 25fps in the UK.
Next problem: NOBODY cares!

I know that I can shoot in 30fps. But I don't want to. It gives artifacts when editing for PAL videos... I know, I have tried literally everything. I get excited when I come across software/apps that can convert, adjust fps etc. Promises of 25fps are not realistic. I have paid for several of the better known Android camera apps that profess to give us Brits (and Australians, and Europeans, and some Asians, and some Africans, a lot of people) a 25fps experience. The experience is not good. I even think that some of the (paid) apps I have purchased are doing little more than 'capturing' my smartphone screen at 25fps! Not what I want. I can honestly say that I have thoroughly investigated this, extensively tested the so-called 25fps footage. Mostly I am better off using the standard phone app on 30fps to be frank and forcing myself to look away when the footage appears on my 55" Sammy TV. If I do find myself with some smartphone 30fps footage I just try to use as little as possible and mix it in with my Sony 25fps footage. Not a good thing, and I try to avoid it as much as possible, but sometimes I have no choice.

I haven't got the Spielberg budget to 'properly' convert my 30fps to 25fps so all attempts with the usual PC software has likewise yielded poor results. Arguably the best results I have obtained after testing all the other methods is to just let MovieStudio have a go at it. It tries and seems to achieve similar results to all the 3rd party "solutions" I reckon.

So, I thought, the early stages of Smartphones only catered for 30fps folks. Okay, then that's the way it is, but surely in no time at all Manufacturers will supply smartphones with true (hardware based?) 25fps. I have just go to wait a bit...

....still waiting. It's 2020 and no sign of a single solitary expensive Smartphone which natively supports a 'genuine' 25fps. Obviously most people don't care — it must just be me, I am a freak with unrealistic needs. It must be that the UK, Australia etc. markets are so so very tiny that it's not worth giving them a video recording format their country is based upon? I absolutely know it can't be that difficult. All the (recent, for the last 8 years) Sony CyberShot credit-card sized cameras allow you just to select whatever frame rate you want from the setup menu (30fps, 25fps 24fps etc.). I have just purchased a stunning ultra-compact Sony RX100 VII and apart from being an amazing piece of technological genius (albeit rather expensive)... it naturally, at set-up, can be made 25fps or 30fps etc. no problem.

As small as the Sony RX100 VII is, I still will not have it with me all the time when I go out. It's small, but not as small as the CyberShots, and it's considerably heavier. When you add that to the absolutely necessary Smartphone when I go out and about, there will be times that the darling little RX100 VII will stay at home, snugly wrapped up in it's soft-lined case. Shame.

Okay, if there's anyone still reading this rant, I apologise. However, it does annoy me that NONE of the £1000+ smartphone manufacturers can be bothered to give us genuine 25fps PAL. They just keep taking our hard-earned dosh and continue selling us USA-focused-compatible smartphones locked into a 30fps video world.

So, apart from the other issues I am having with VMSP16... the above just adds to the frustration.

Phew. I am exhausted. I must rest...

Mr VidTweaker.
Last Edit:02 Apr 2020 18:59 by MrVidTweaker

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Replied by ericlnz on topic Smartphone universally ignoring half the planet!!!

Posted 23 Mar 2020 22:03 #2
I'm PAL but I don't share your concerns, or have your problems.

30 fps appears to be the world standard for phones, Gopro etc. With phones it's usually a variable framerate anyway. PAL and NTSC relate back to early TV days and DVD and now Blu-ray discs. Modern TVs will happily play 30 fps, as will PAL DVD and Blu-ray players. Discs are on the way out anyway.

I've used 30 fps material for PAL Blu-ray discs. I let VMS render them to 50i, usually with resampling on. I don't get artifacts. Sometimes movement may not be as smooth as true 50i (25fps interlaced). Exactly what problems do you experience?
Last Edit:23 Apr 2020 15:34 by ericlnz
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Replied by MrVidTweaker on topic Smartphone universally ignoring half the planet!!!

Posted 01 Apr 2020 20:52 #3
Hi Eric,
Thanks for your reply to my post. I do agree that the world is changing and that equipment can generally quite happily handle 30fps in the UK. Also, if I were to be making videos for use around the world I would opt to create a 30fps video as it's more or less the norm for most countries & people.

I should maybe not have used the word 'artifacts' in my post as I guess my issues are purely to do with 'fluidity of movement' within a 30fps video when it's played in the UK, a PAL country. It's easy to spot, and is most noticeable in left-right or panning movements. Even though pretty much all media playing and editing equipment can 'handle' all the different formats... to my eyes there's an (albeit small) drop in smoothness of motion.

Let's face it, the BBC broadcasts in 25fps and also 90% (a guess admittedly) of it's media produced in the UK is undeniably 25fps. If you analyse pretty much any BBC video that you might find clips of on YouTube, or your BBC recordings... it's invariably 25fps. If the difference was nil, then surely the BBC (and other UK or PAL based media companies) would have adopted 30fps by now?

I think that the universally adopted 24fps for movies is probably the way I will eventually go with my editing as that seems to be incorporated into 90% of photography kit these days (even smartphones). However, I am not at that point in my video editing just yet.

I think that the main gripe I have (and maybe I should have made that clearer) is that I sincerely feel that, with the high cost of Smartphones these days, I find it annoying and insulting that I can pay £1000 for such a device and the manufacturers can't even be bothered to supply me with the CHOICE to select the video format native to my country i.e. 25fps. They can cram in all sorts of wizardry into their smartphones, and indeed the built-in camera specifications improve all the time, with impressive features but the relatively simple option to give me 25fps (in the hardware - i.e. not forcing me to use a half-competent third party App to achieve 25fps) is totally missing.

I do fully accept your argument that these days the issue, certainly for most people, is not a major one. However, I am sure that no one in the UK would expect their Canon/Sony/Nikon/Fuji digital SLRs to be missing the 25fps feature? In all of these standalone cameras you get the choice. And even in small compact and mirrorless cameras (in the last ten years or so) I have not come across any camera that costs over £150 that wouldn't give me 25fps option? Therefore, it can't be an 'expensive' addition for the manufacturer surely?

I must confess however, that I do seem to be somewhat of a 'lone voice' in this area. So, maybe it's me, and maybe I am misunderstanding something — but I set my cameras to 25fps PAL HD, and so do my video editing in that format, but any piece of footage I use from my high-quality smartphones is, in my opinion, mis-matched with my standard footage. The conversion required that is made to that smartphone footage (when I render it out) is not as smooth where movement is featured — whereas my 25fps sections are as smooth as silk.

There's a new Sony Smartphone coming out (might be available by now) and there's a glimmer of hope from an initial review I read, that there may be an option to set it to 25fps. If that is the case then I absolutely know what make my next expensive smartphone will be....
Last Edit:01 Apr 2020 20:53 by MrVidTweaker

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Replied by ericlnz on topic Smartphone universally ignoring half the planet!!!

Posted 02 Apr 2020 09:59 #4
Bear in mind that the 25 fps you view on TV is most likely interlaced. So after deinterlacing you are watching 50 fps. 50 fps gives smooth sideways motion whereas true 25 fps (progressive) is for me jerky as is 30 fps. Modern PAL video cameras usually shoot 50 fps progressive instead of 5o fps interlaced into 25 fps.
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