updated 05:40 pm EST, Mon January 23, 2012
Captures imagery at 2xthe normal rate
Producer and director Peter Jackson may claim one of the first high frame rate movies to reach theaters. Jackson, best known for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is shooting The Hobbit using his RED Epic-X cameras at 48 frames per second, or twice as fast as the industry standard. Shooting at this faster rate reduces the blurring effect referred to in the film industry as strobing. The effect is most noticeable in action sequences, or when a camera pans and moves down a long hallway.
Much faster frame rates can help for more than just movement. When a movie is shot in 3D, it can help improve the perceived quality by reducing flickering or other effects.
The de facto standard for movies has been 24FPS since the 1920s. The higher 48FPS and even faster 60FPS has been made possible by the introduction of advanced but still reasonably affordable digital cinematography. That camera incorporates a 5K sensor and a high-end processor which actually can record at up to 120FPS, even at its full 14-megapixel resolution. This exceeds the quality of traditional 35mm film. A digital projector is needed to see the full benefit of the higher frame rate, although it's not needed to go to 4K or higher.
As he did with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Jackson is actually filming multiple movies at the same time, plotting There and Back Again. The Hobbit will hit the theaters this December. The sequel is expected to be in theaters December 2013. [via AP]