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Question about NTSC / PAL

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Zvi_Twersky
Question about NTSC / PAL
on Mar 19, 2007 at 12:12:28 pm


I am looking to buy my first professional camera. I know as a fact that some of my occations will need to be NTSC and some PAL. Is it worth the price to get a camera that can shoot both, or should I just shoot in one and convert it later in the editing process?

Thanks!



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epontius
Re: Question about NTSC / PAL
on Mar 20, 2007 at 2:43:33 am

Depending on what you are looking for...the new Sony Z1u is HDV or DV or downconvert HDV to DV and can shoot NTSC or PAL.

Erik




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Zvi_Twersky
Re: Question about NTSC / PAL
on Mar 20, 2007 at 2:53:49 am


Thanks for the reply. I didn't understand though what you answered. Maybe I didn't ask clearly.

I need to produce some of my videos in NTSC and some in PAL. Now there are two ways to do this:

1. Shoot in the format you need. (will need a camera that supports shooting either format)
2. Shoot in one format and then convert it to desired format in editing process. (don't need a camera that supports shooting in either format).

My question is... does it make a difference if I use a camera that can shoot both formats (NTSC or PAL) or if I just shoot, say in NTSC all the time, and when I need PAL, I can just convert it to PAL afterwards?

Thanks.



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Mike_S
Re: Question about NTSC / PAL
on Mar 20, 2007 at 9:29:33 am

NTSC to PAL conversions (and vice versa) are expensive to do well and are not as good as shooting and editing native in the format (at similar camera / edit quality) you desire.

Having said that, for standard definition output, a really good broadcast quality camera / lens package shooting either (onto digibeta) edited at full quality and professionally transcoded will outperform pretty well anything you do on DV (or HDV and downconvert to PAL / NTSC). The lenses and image processing are better.

There are also good DVCAM options (Sony's DSR 570 / 450, and no doubt options from e.g. ikegami) and no doubt an excellent DVCPro choices but I don't think any of these offer switchable NTSC / PAL recording, but the results will be good.

While the HDV cameras offer terrific value for money and HD on a budget, the limitations of the packaged lenses are there to see. These include not just in low light performance, image control and lens definition but also poor mechanical handling controls - e.g. very hard to get a decent smooth zoom start / stop. There are also the problems associate with heavy mpeg compression with complex pictures - waving trees in the wind in low sunlight on HDV ..?

So I guess it's a choice for you.




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Zvi_Twersky
Re: Question about NTSC / PAL
on Mar 20, 2007 at 12:27:23 pm

Ok, so just to make sure that I understand...

If a camera is able to shoot 30p AND 25p... does this mean it can shoot NTSC and PAL?

I know that NTSC is 30p (or 29.9) and PAL is 25p. So when I see a camera like the Panasonic AG-DVX100B, that it says it can shoot 25p and 30p... I would assume that this means it can shoot NTSC or PAL...

BUT, when I search in the net, I see that the Panasonic AG-DVX100B PAL and Panasonic AG-DVX100B NTSC are TWO SEPERATE cameras:

https://eww.pavc.panasonic.co.jp/pro-av/sales_o/02products/products/ag-dvx1...

In the link above, the Shooting mode for the NTSC says:
60i (525i) interlaced fields Progressive mode (30P, 24P or 24P advance)

and the PAL Shooting mode says:
50i (625i) interlaced fields Progressive mode (25P)

So I don't understand... Does this mean that the Panasonic AG-DVX100B has THREE different camera versions?? One that can shoot only PAL, one that can shoot only NTSC, and one that can shoot both?



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epontius
Re: Question about NTSC / PAL
on Mar 21, 2007 at 1:03:22 am

Sorry to confuse you... You didn't mention specifics as to what you were looking for, either ENG pro cameras or the more compact and less expensive cameras. The Z1u camera is switchable from 60i (which can be downconverted to SD NTSC) or 50i (which can be downconverted to SD NTSC). There are limitations as other posters have noted...it has a fixed lens, it requires more attention to lighting since the chips are higher density and smaller than that of other cams.
I don't see anything in the specs for the DVX100b that indicates that it is switchable between NTSC/PAL. These are excellent cameras, but most production houses and shooters are moving to HD for new equipment even though most of the work done is still SD. Future proofing yourself when making an investment in equipment is something to consider. You might look into the HD version of the DVX100...the HVX200 which can record to P2 cards or tape.
One other thing to consider is getting a camera that can shoot 1080p23.98 which is a so-called "universal" format that can be converted to PAL/NTSC SD relatively easily.

Erik



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Zvi_Twersky
Re: Question about NTSC / PAL
on Mar 24, 2007 at 1:35:17 pm

The DVX100b PAL can shoot also 50i, so I guess this would be what I can shoot in for later downconverting to NTSC..

Why do you only say "downconverted to SD NTSC"... Can't you downconvert to DV? Or is that not possible since with 50i I'm shooting interlaced and not progressive?



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Zvi_Twersky
Re: Question about NTSC / PAL
on Mar 24, 2007 at 1:37:27 pm

Also, what you said about HD I completly understand, but my budget won't allow me this for now.



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