The demands being made on the video production community to be able to provide solutions under a multitude of different scenarios have been met with the Canon XL2. It delivers 60i, 30p, and 24p frame rates (24p with 2:3 and 2:3:3:2, both with 1/48th second shutter speed).
60i (interlaced) is the standard video frame rate that has been in use for decades; it's what you see on your home TV, whether from a broadcast signal, rented DVD, or home camcorder.
30p, or 30-frame progressive, is a non-interlaced format -- the same as Canon's Frame Movie Mode -- and produces video at 30 frames per second. Progressive (non-interlaced) scanning mimics a film camera's frame-by-frame image capture and delivers spectacular clarity for high speed subjects and a cinematic-like appearance. Shooting in 30p mode offers video with no interlace artifacts.
The 24p frame rate is also a non-interlaced format, and is now widely adopted by those planning on transferring the video signal to film. But film- and video-makers turn to 24p for the "cine" look even if their productions are not going to be transferred to film, simply because of the "look" of the frame rate. As well, the shutter speed of 1/48th per second is the standard shutter speed that movie cameras use. The combination of 24p frame rate and 1/48th perfectly mimic a motion film camera.
24p with 2:3 pulldown produces video with the look and motion of film. (24p, used in conjunction with a cine gamma curve on the XL2, produces images that have similar tonal characteristics as film.) This mode is used when the finished video is to be converted to 60i so that video can be viewed on a television. 24p with 2:3:3:2 pulldown is used when the video is to be transferred to film. The 2:3:3:2 pulldown allows editing software to extract true 24 frames a second.