Amy Kaufman writing for the Los Angeles Times on James Cameron’s desire to shoot film at higher frame rates:
Faster what? As luck (or conference planning) would have it, Cameron explained the term to a roomful of movie exhibitors at CinemaCon on Thursday morning. In short, frame rates are the frequency at which images—or frames—are projected. Currently, the industry standard for projecting movies is 24 frames per second (fps). (Cameron reminded the auditorium that that standard is long outdated, having been established in 1927 when “The Jazz Singer” was released.) He wants to up that rate to 48, or even 60, frames per second.
To better understand what a faster frame rate would look like, watch a movie on a 1080p HDTV with a 120hz or greater refresh rate. It is not necessarily an apples to apples comparison, but it gets you close to what you should expect. Two good examples would be the blu-ray discs of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and District 9. Considering the high production values of the former, the audience gets a you are there experience; while the documentary film-style of the latter is well served by the higher refresh rate. It should be noted that Neil Blomkamp shot District 9 on the Red One camera and the Sony EX1 camcorder.
I could see why Cameron would want to pursue shooting 3D at 48fps or 60fps. It has the potential to look hyper-real and spectacular. But, it does come at a cost and not many filmmakers have the resources of a James Cameron. With 2D, I am less convinced it would work quite as well. Again, not necessarily apples to apples, but do a search on vimeo for the Panasonic DMC-GH2 at 60fps and 24fps.