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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old February 12th, 2012, 04:19 AM   #1
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XF100- converting NTSC to PAL in post?

Hi all,

I've looked through the forums and it seems that converting the XF100's NTSC to PAL in post (via Compressor?) will result in a loss of quality. How significant is this loss?

I'm in Afghanistan and there is nowhere in the country that can upgrade the XF100 to also have PAL.
It's also difficult to send/receive mail from here.

I've been shooting for a news agency that uses PAL and broadcasts to PAL countries. They have previously been able to convert my footage for me but recently asked if I'd be able to shoot in PAL.
As I can't, can anyone tell me the best way to convert XF100 NTSC footage to PAL in post? Would I convert each individual clip or export the whole sequence into Compressor afterwards?
If anyone has done this can they share their exact workflow with me?
Thanks in advance,
Elissa
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Old February 14th, 2012, 11:14 AM   #2
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Re: XF100- converting NTSC to PAL in post?

Hi Elissa,

I have only converted SD footage from PAL to NTSC, but here is what I did:

After editing was completed, I exported the PAL sequence to an avi file. Then I created a new NTSC project and imported the PAL avi file into this project, adjusted the frame size as necessary and exported again. The new exported file would then be an NTSC video.

Side by side comparison of the original PAL and the new NTSC footage gave a slightly visible difference in picture quality. But for me (non professional use of the video), it was acceptable.
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Old February 14th, 2012, 10:31 PM   #3
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Re: XF100- converting NTSC to PAL in post?

I did similar but the reverse... I edited NTSC SD from an XL2 in Premiere Pro and made both a NTSC and PAL DVD-MPEG with Adobe Media Encoder. I then used Encore to finish the DVD's.

I made the PAL version for a customer in the UK. AFAIK it worked fine.

I suppose you could use the same method but use any PAL format you like.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 06:28 AM   #4
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Re: XF100- converting NTSC to PAL in post?

Hi

If you are shooting for a news agency you have to be sure that they will be happy with the results. I'd suggest doing a test for them - using Compressor if you have Final Cut. In my experience the quality issues comes down a lot to 1/ what settings you use, 2/ who is viewing the footage, 3/ the purpose of the footage.

So, 1/ try out different settings until you are happy with the results, 2/ understand that different people have different tolerances to what is acceptable and what's not, and some people have different technical backgrounds. E.g. someone who is a real techie may simply disapprove of your footage without seeing it because it hasn't been converted by a proper standards converter, whilst others may just go by eye - if it looks acceptable then who cares how it was converted, so try and get an consensus, 3/ as your footage is for news, (and this relates to point 2) then those receiving the footage should be more accommodating when it comes to quality.

If Compressor doesn't cut it, you could try third party software like the Nattress standards converter plug-in for Final Cut - Standards Conversion | Nattress.com - I've used it and the results were acceptable to me, and more importantly my client.

Cheers,

Chris
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Old February 19th, 2012, 03:26 AM   #5
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Re: XF100- converting NTSC to PAL in post?

What exactly do you mean when you say you want to convert from NTSC to PAL. Outside the SD TV field these standards really have no meaning so I assume you mean that you are shooting HD at 30p or 60i. If you were to shoot at 24p then it's a simple matter to change the frame rate to 25p by conforming in Cinema Tools or equivalent. It's what they do with all the Hollywood movies when producing PAL DVDs. The 4% speed up is unnoticed except when you compare the running time of NTSC vs. PAL version.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 02:02 PM   #6
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Re: XF100- converting NTSC to PAL in post?

I recently had to do something similar. I work for an American company that wanted to make a training DVD for South Africa (PAL land).

I shot the whole thing in 1080/24p since that was much closer to 25p than 30p. I edited on a 720/24p timeline in Premiere so the frame size was bigger than either NTSC or PAL. Then when I was finished, I encoded a widescreen PAL DVD mpeg2. The very slight frame rate change from 24p to 25p was barely noticeable, and the DVD looked good, at least on my multi-region player.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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Re: XF100- converting NTSC to PAL in post?

Can you ask the agency if they have professional standards converters (ie. hardware)? The news channel i shoot for does. In fact many crews in the Americas shoot 60i and the Americas hub then converts for 50i broadcast.

Doesn't help you if they want to get it out the door quickly, but if they do a standards conversion through Compressor will take awhile (on my core2 macbook pro in any case).

PS - do you know Qais?
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