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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old March 31st, 2002, 12:31 PM   #1
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Pal And Ntsc ???

I'm thinking about getting an XM1 that shoots PAL but I have a few questions for you folks out there in cyberland.

1. Do you think PAL looks more like film or is it just better for Film Transfer.

2. Are there a lot of name brand TV's that are PAL compatible. I don't want to have to spend a lot of money to watch my own movies.

3. I have a Mac with Premiere 5, AfterEffects 5, and Cleaner 5. Will any of these programs allow me to convert PAL to NTSC. What will I lose in this conversion process? I know PAL has a larger Pixel/Aspect ratio so does the conversion just crop it to fit onto NTSC, or does it shrink to fit. Also, are there problems going from 25 FPS to 30 FPS? Basically, what do I stand to lose in conversion.

4. Would anyone reccomend me trading my NTSC camera for PAL. I want a more film-like look, but I don't want to be massively inconvenienced every time I want to see my stuff on Television.


Thanks in advance for your help on this. I really appreciate it.

Chris
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Old March 31st, 2002, 07:17 PM   #2
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Howdy from Texas,

<< 1. Do you think PAL looks more like film or is it just better for Film Transfer. >>

There is some debate over this... one of our forum moderators, Joe Redifer, contends that the secret ingredient to the film look is the 24fps frame rate. With PAL video at 25fps, that's pretty close. My argument is that lighting is the secret ingredient to the film look, in which case I personally don't think PAL video at 25fps is the answer. But it's an on-going debate with merit to both sides.

25fps PAL video is considered by some to be easier to transfer to 35mm film -- see the "DV to 35mm Guide" in the Articles section at www.dvinfo.net/xl1.htm for a detailed explanation.

<< 2. Are there a lot of name brand TV's that are PAL compatible. I don't want to have to spend a lot of money to watch my own movies. >>

For a small, compact 5.6" LCD camera-mounted PAL monitor, try www.varizoom.com -- otherwise Sony, Panasonic and I think JVC all have PAL versions of their pro video monitors in 14" and 19" sizes at B&H -- www.bhphotovideo.com -- they're not exactly cheap.

<< 3. I have a Mac with Premiere 5, AfterEffects 5, and Cleaner 5. Will any of these programs allow me to convert PAL to NTSC. >>

I only know that you can do it on the PC with the Canopus DV File Converter or the Canopus ProCoder. Don't know about the Mac.

<< 4. Would anyone reccomend me trading my NTSC camera for PAL. I want a more film-like look, but I don't want to be massively inconvenienced every time I want to see my stuff on Television. >>

I think you should keep your NTSC camera and shoot in Frame Movie mode (if it's a Canon GL1) and concentrate on composition, exposure, and careful movement of the frame and within the frame. Combined with proper lighting, you'll go a long way toward making your video look less like video and more like film. But that's just my own opinion on this; not a concensus. Hope this helps,
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Old March 31st, 2002, 11:37 PM   #3
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Chris W,

Premiere will convert from PAL to NTSC. All you have to do is export your timeline as NTSC. Not difficult, BUT, your video will look jerky because what Premier does to make up the extra frames is just duplicate a couple of frames to make 30fps as opposed to 25. So what you have to do then is use a third party app like TMPGenc to smooth it all out again.

Basically it's a pain in the butt. I live in Japan and have a PAL XL1, and it is annoying not to be able to just make quick simple copies.

I agree with Chris, stay with the NTSC camera and concentrate on your lighting, composition, and exposure. The frame rate won't make that much difference to your video. Remember it's not how much you've got(ie frame rate) but what you do with it that counts.
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Old April 1st, 2002, 02:29 PM   #4
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Thanks

Thanks for your replies. They have helped immensly. Looks like I'm going to stick with NTSC.
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Old May 14th, 2002, 08:39 AM   #5
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Adrian Douglas, how much do the Canon XM-1 cost in Japan??
I live in Norway were it's just to expensive for me.
And it's so hard to find a used Canon XM-1.
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Old May 14th, 2002, 09:23 AM   #6
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With the yen as bad as it is at the moment, you won't get an XM1 cheaper here than you will in Europe. Also it can be difficult to get the PAL XM here. Something found out the other day, the Japanese version is actually called the XV1, go figure.

If you can, wait a few months and see if the new GL/XM/XV rumors pan out. If they do you should see a few second hand one popping up.

Last edited by Adrian Douglas; May 14th, 2002 at 09:45 AM.
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Old May 14th, 2002, 12:37 PM   #7
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has anyone actually done a test between two PAL and NTSC camera's to
distinguish the difference in look if there is one? That would solve the debate, wouldnt it?
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Old May 14th, 2002, 03:00 PM   #8
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"a test between two PAL and NTSC camera's to
distinguish the difference in look if there is one? That would solve the debate, wouldnt it?"

probably NOT! what looks good/better to me may not look good/better to you !

IMO go to a tape to film transfer house and look at their sample reel .. most will have PAL to 35 and NTSC to 35 .. some house specialize in NTSC or PAL to 35 ... i have seen digital film group NTSC to 35 and it is EXCELLENT. there is a movie being released called "the fast runner" shot on NTSC digibeta that they transferred to 35mm - once you see this you will NEVER again say that NTSC has motion problems when transferrd to 35!


http://www.lot47.com/thefastrunner/

http://www.digitalfilmgroup.net/index.htm
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Old May 14th, 2002, 05:54 PM   #9
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I would like to see this test done becuase im curious if theres a technical,
visual, DIFFERENCE between the two...not to determine which one looks better.

For example. one may shoot a slightly bit darker than the other, ect.
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Old May 15th, 2002, 11:55 PM   #10
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If you can wait a couple of weeks John Locke and myself will get together and do just that. I've been interested in doing this for a while and when John gets here from Korea, we'll put his NTSC XL1 and my PAL XL1 side by side and see what we come up with.
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Old May 16th, 2002, 11:11 AM   #11
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cool...

maybe you can post some mpgs on this site for others to look at when your done....or maybe a description of the test and side by side comparisons..
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Old May 16th, 2002, 07:02 PM   #12
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We'll document the entire test and I'll post some video somewhere. Chris might even put it on the his site somewhere.
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