PAL Upgrade for NTSC Camera - Tech Question at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old February 11th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #1
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PAL Upgrade for NTSC Camera - Tech Question

I am about to send my XH-A1 in for a PAL upgrade.

One reason is so I will have 1/50 shutter speed while shooting NTSC.

I was just told by the Canon tech line that, yes, I will have 1/50 shutter speed and I will be able to use this speed while shooting NTSC 60i.

I just want to confirm this with someone who has had the upgrade and knows absolutely for sure.

Thank you.

And in case any one finds this thread while searching on how to get the upgrage in the U.S., here is the Canon phone number to call:
1-800-828-4040
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Old February 13th, 2008, 01:53 AM   #2
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Hi Jack,

no you won't have it.

It only works when you shoot with 50i mode.

The 1/50th speed is not available in 60I mode.

I would want to know the tech"s name if that is possible. Because my is not possible unless I change to 50i. BTW I bought it from the U.S and got it converted at Canon service center in N.J

It would be great if you can call them again to verified. I live in Germany at the moment , so it not Toll -free for me. The service Tech don't really know what they are talking sometimes. I was told the first time that the upgrade was possible by just downloading it on line. Only to later find out that one has to send it to the Service Center.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 02:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker View Post
I will have 1/50 shutter speed and I will be able to use this speed while shooting NTSC 60i.
NO that is incorrect. You will NOT have 1/50 when shooting in 60i.

1/50 is available ONLY when shooting 50i.

The 50i/60i upgrade does not change this at all.

Sorry but you were given the wrong information.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 12:37 PM   #4
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Thank you, you saved me $500.

As I look at the menus on the camera again, I have a revised question. When shooting HDV, what modes will I have 1/50 shutter speed in? Only the ones that it would be available in in PAL? Is this chart right?

1/50 shutter speed is available in the folowing HDV modes after the PAL upgrade when shooting in Tv mode:

----1/50-----1/120-----1/48------1/100-----1/60

60i-------------------------------Yes-------Yes
30f-------------------------------Yes-------Yes
24f---------------------Yes-------Yes-------Yes

50i--Yes-----Yes--------------------------------
25f--Yes-----Yes--------------------------------

(Does full Manual mode have the same restrictions as Tv mode?)

From my understanding of this, the PAL upgrade simply allows an NTSC camera to be converted to a PAL camera. The camera can shoot as either a PAL camera or an NTSC camera, and there is absolutely no crossover of any of the shutter speeds. Is this correct?

Thank you very much. We are shooting a documentary in eastern european countries. We are shooting for NTSC DVD, but we are looking for as many shooting options as possible with the camera.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 02:08 PM   #5
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Remember there is no PAL or NTSC in the HD world... just 50i and 60i.

There is *some* crossover between shutter speeds, but you can't get 1/50 in 60i nor should you want to. There is 1/48 available in 24F mode though. 1/50 is available only in 50i or 25F mode. Likewise, when shooting 50i, there is no 1/60 or 1/30, nor should there be.

Quote:
the PAL upgrade simply allows an NTSC camera to be converted to a PAL camera.
Well, the 50i upgrade adds an option in the Signal Setup menu to boot the camera into 50i mode. To switch back to 60i, you go back to the Signal Setup menu and reboot the camera. Same thing for cameras that are originally 50i. They can buy the upgrade too, and get the option to boot into 60i mode. In that sense there is no crossover -- the camera is operating either at 60i (or 30F or 24F) or it's operating at 50i (or 25F).

I think you should shoot for your primary market -- that is, 60i (or 30F or 24F if you want progressive) if you expect to sell mostly in North America. Transcode to 50i in post if you have a need to cover other markets. There's software available for doing that. Service bureaus exist for doing that.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #6
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Thank you, Chris.

Yes, we are shooting in HDV 60i for and NTSC world DVD. The biggest markets are North America and Japan, then Europe.

The problem is we are shooting in Europe in some places with very old flourescent lights. Last summer we shot HDV 60i 1/100. Everything came out very well. However, I was hoping there was a way to shoot 1/50 at 60i to save a stop.

We are making several trips this year, so I am investigating all options.

We were also going to shoot some segments in 30F, and I was hoping I could use 1/50 sec. for this.

We will stick with 1/100 when the lights make it necessary. Otherwise we will use the standard 60i, 30F and 24F shutter speeds.

Thank you again for clarifying this.

In general the camera is amazing and makes some things possible that are impossible with any other camera at this time (considering size, weight, functions and manual adjustments.)
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Old February 14th, 2008, 01:05 AM   #7
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interesting thread for me!
i have a NTSC XH-A1 and am in Africa. i shoot 30f HDV and have had problems with fluorescent light flicker. shooting in low light, the trade off between high gain quality loss to shoot 1/100 and having flicker is a tough choice. add to that the blur of slower shutter speeds and the stuttery motion when converting to PAL...
i am thinking of getting the PAL upgrade when i visit Canada in August and am wondering:
1) does 50i converted to 60i look smoother or is it the same deal as 60i to 50i (future options for videos)
2) does transcoding 60i to 50i with dedicated software look smooth (recommendations for software?), and thus eliminate the need for an expensive camera upgrade? i use compressor to transcode...
3) am i right to interpret that i can purchase the upgrade from Canon and then have it physically installed in, say, Winnipeg, with an authorized Canon service shop?
4) would shooting 60i as opposed to 30f make converting smoother?

PAL/NTSC issues are vexing. it's like being a mathematician and finding out 1+1 does not equal 2 in different countries...
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Old February 14th, 2008, 03:48 AM   #8
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I am not an expert, but I have converted a fair amount of NTSC to PAL and PAL to NTSC, some I have shot and some produced elsewhere.

60i to 50i and 50i to 60i have always giving me good results for viewing. But then, my goal was to get video to watch for it's content, not to produce for sale.

I have used Procoder on the PC. I don't know what is best on the Mac. TMPGenc Express also does an excellent job transcoding both ways for the PC.

I also have a hardware transcoder that works well, but again 60i and 50i.

I believe that interlaced 60i will transcode much better to PAL than 30F will. Progressive 30 frames to PAL is very difficult.

If you want to shoot progressive and also go to PAL it is much better to shoot 24F and speed up 4% to 25p. You can also do this the other way around, 25F slowed down 4% to get 24p. The sound also has to be adjusted 4%, and you can do this with a program that will maintain pitch or will let the pitch slide with the speed change.

That doesn't answer all your questions, but maybe it helps.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 07:15 PM   #9
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Hey everyone I am a video-editor / cameraman slash a few other things living in South America, Suriname .
We have NTSC as the broadcast standard here. The thing is lately I do a lot of work for the Netherlands where they work with Pal."Lately about 4 years"
Now If you want your video to look like PAL you have to shoot PAL
PAL is 720.540 NTSC is 720.480.
So when your converting NTSC to PAL you will always get a lesser quality video. (jerky movement and resolution lost)
When the NTSC footage is shot with an aspect ratio of 16:9. You get better a better looking video when converted to pal. Andnotice how I haven.t mentioned anything about framerates.Ofcourse they matter but dont forget about the framesize. With HDV you get 1080i for both pal and NTSC.
and they're are both 16:9.Widescreen Ntsc has a higher resolution then 4:3 format.
So I guess you could shoot HDV NTSC and downconvert 2 DV 16:9. and then convert to PAL .Beware about fast camera moves, tilts and pans.These shots are the first one to give away that you have been fooling around with your footage.

I hope this helps.
Now my question how much does the upgrade cost for the Xha1 from ntsc to pal and pal to ntsc ? I work with the PAL version
Thanx
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Old February 18th, 2008, 01:49 AM   #10
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U.S$500 in the states and 400 euros in Europe , and you have to send it or bring it to the Canon service center. I'm not sure about where or how much it cost down where you are ?
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Old February 18th, 2008, 03:09 PM   #11
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Thanx David,
No Canon center here in Surinam, North of South AMerica, bought mine in Europe. I want a second one , I'll probably order one from BH. And have it upgraded.
Do you know if there any canon service centers in Florida ?
Thanx
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Old February 19th, 2008, 01:43 AM   #12
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May I suggest that if you are looking for another. Go to one of our sponsor . Go to zgc.com and ask for Christine. Because they are in N.J and there is one Canon service center in N.J . Christine will do everything for you( send it to canon and upgrade and back). You just pay and they will send it to anywhere in the world to you.
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Last edited by David Chia; February 19th, 2008 at 02:51 AM.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 08:17 AM   #13
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Hi!
I live in Russia and consider buying NTSC A1 in US. There's no PAL or NTSC terms regarding HDV video as I can see. So if I plan shooting HDV 60i mostly will it play right on end-user HDV equipment in Russia/Europe? Is there any zonal restrictions as it was on DVD?

I'm new to HDV so maybe question is not quite correct, sorry
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Old February 28th, 2008, 12:05 PM   #14
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Pal is 25 frames per second and ntsc 29.97 frames persecond.
You might get jerky motion in your footage when you playback ntsc at pal frame rate.
framesize are the same in hdv.
16:9 at 1.333.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 12:53 PM   #15
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Oh, sure, if play 29,97 video at 25 framerate it has potential issues.
But what makes modern HD-DVD/BluRay players play 30fps content in 25?
I've already found that HD disks has zonal restrictions as DVDs do. But ONLY if you intentionally protect such HD. If disk is unprotected then why not for 30fps content to play normally on European HD players?

About displaing.. Lets say my LCD monitor has 60Hz scan frequency besides it works on 50Hz power supply. I think many modern LCD or Plazma TV sets are similar in that way. So if player gives 30fps signal and final device displaying it at 30fps -- there should be no problem.. Am I right?
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