Phil Holland’s panSpeedCalc

We’ve spoken bunches about how the traditional 7-second panning speed rule for 24 fps with a 180° shutter angle (assuming 2K 48-nit projection) quickly falls apart on today’s displays with higher resolution, contrast and brightness. As it turns out, Phil Holland has just shared his new 𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗦𝗽𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗖𝗮𝗹𝗰 app, writing,

“Likely my last tool of 2022 as I’m filming well into ’23 as of next week. This is a panning speed calculator that can be useful when designing smooth, judder-free pans or even general camera movement. You chose the format, frame rate, focal length, and panning angle; and the tool does the rest.

Special and unique features are Suggested Panning Rates for SDR and HDR filmmaking, which is something I’ve been working on for a bit. Also, this tool provides some handy Framing Notes (wide, medium, and CU shot distances in imperial and metric) and an HFOV Visualizer. All guidelines, but not hard rules here, but useful if you’re in a situation where you need this info or if you work in controlled ways. Also spits out some format info for my VFX friends and those who need info on coverage.”

Of course, for fast-moving action, it’s not possible to pan slowly, which is why the future of cinema is variable frame rates, where the DP can choose to shoot at 24 FPS for slow moving or static scenes and at 48 or 120 FPS for action shots, with the amount of sharpness, blur and judder being adjusted in post using synthetic (or virtual) shutter. We still see some mocking high frame rate in the forums, but like it or not, this is going to be the industry standard moving forward.

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