Motion Cadence Is BS

Over the years, in the comments section of YouTube sample footage videos, we continue to run across viewers claiming the motion cadence of camera X, Y or Z isn’t cinematic. Motion cadence is a BS term – it has no meaning whatsover. Which is not to say that there aren’t factors that impact our perception of motion. If, like most people, you’re watching on a phone, tablet, laptop, desktop or television with a 60 Hz refresh rate, you’ll likely experience motion judder on 24 fps content. When it comes to acquisition, factors that influence judder include frame rate, shutter angle, panning speed, scene contrast, depth of field, the presence or absence of in-camera sharpening, the codec, sensor size, the OLPF, focal length and on and on. From the preceding, we note that the very same camera can exhibit very different levels of judder depending on choices made by the camera operator. Today’s high contrast, high resolution displays also aggravate the appearance of judder, particularly when playing HDR content. Another issue is stutter, where subject motion looks jerky, an artifact especially bothersome on OLED displays, a consequence of their instantaneous response time. We could master footage recorded at 23.98 to 24p or insert a frame of a squirrel once every second and these same individuals who consider themselves connoisseurs of cinematic motion would be none the wiser, so let’s put an end to this foolishness once and for all!

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