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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 April 14th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #1
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Ntsc/ Pal?

I'm in the UK and have a Pal XHA1, but I seem to be doing a few jobs for American or Canadian companies. When I first got the XHA1 I thought there was a procedure that could be done to convert the camera to shoot both PAL and NTSC. Has anyone had this done, how much does it cost and how/where do I get it done?

Thanks.

Kathy
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Old April 14th, 2008, 01:07 PM   #2
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Hi Kathy,

yes, your UK Canon service center can do an "upgrade" to allow you
to choose between 50i (PAL) and 60i (NTSC).
It cost me (here in the US) $500.

Best

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Old April 15th, 2008, 08:49 AM   #3
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Is that an upgrade or a downgrade :-))
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Old April 15th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #4
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Thanks Vasco, sounds quite pricey. Has anyone in the UK had it done?
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Old April 16th, 2008, 04:09 AM   #5
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I'm hoping to get the upgr...eerrr... modification to PAL as i am living in Africa with an NTSC XH-A1. I'm sad that i have to carry the camera all the way back to Canada for the procedure, and sadder still that it is $500.
Anyone know why it is so expensive? and if this price will ever be reduced?
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Old April 16th, 2008, 05:33 AM   #6
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Can the conversion be done in post? Or would it mean shelling out for an equally expensive program to do it?
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Old April 16th, 2008, 08:19 AM   #7
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Hi Annie,

yes, you can do the conversion in post, but
the loss of quality is clearly visible (esp. in pans and
with moving objects) and the procedure is fairly slow.

You can try Atlantis ($195):
http://www.dvfilm.com/atlantis/ :
it does an excellent job, but (again)
you can tell that it is a conversion done in post...

Best

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Old April 16th, 2008, 12:49 PM   #8
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I've always done it in post myself. I did a shoot last week for an American company. As I'm shooting PAL, it might be harder for them to digitise the tape in. I used my old camera to digitise onto the guys laptop when I carried on shooting with the XHA1, so he had all the footage on his laptop by the end of the shoot.

I'm not sure if I made it clear, I still want to be able to shoot in PAL but I want the option to shoot in NTSC if I'm shooting for an American company. I got the impression this was an upgrade option when I got the camera. I believe the Z1 already does this?

I emailed Canon and I don't think they understood me, this was there response.

Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding your Canon product.

Please be advised that the European model XH A1 can not switch between NTSC and PAL video systems.

The NTSC video system used in USA camcorders is not compatible with the European PSAL systems. This is why the computer software and TV sets will be unable to play back the movies taken with an NTSC camcorder.
The Canon authorized service centers usually do not change the Video system of the camcorders.
However, even if it were possible, the transformation from NTSC to PAL system would exceed in cost the price of a new camcorder.



Not very helpful then. Guess I'll stick with PAL for now.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #9
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I don't know about native PAL A1s, but I would be very suprised if they can't do the conversion because the NTSC versions surely can be converted to shoot in both formats. Maybe you should ask the person who sent you the e-mail from Canon what this means:

From the Canon XH-A1 Brochure

"...A 50i/25F option is available, requiring modification at a Canon Service Center. Modified cameras offer the option of swithching to 50i or 60i capture in HD mode and PAL or NTSC compatibility in SD modes."
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Old April 16th, 2008, 07:32 PM   #10
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Kathy,

yes, the Z1 comes with dual-standard capability
straight from the factory (no upgrade needed),
and yes, I most definitely assure you that the A1
can do the PAL-NTSC thing as well, after "upgrade"
(or whatever you want to call that rather costly procedure
performed by Canon Service Center).
But the Z1 carries a higher price tag than the A1...

Best

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Old April 22nd, 2008, 01:19 PM   #11
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XH A1 Modification

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathy Stannard View Post
I'm in the UK and have a Pal XHA1, but I seem to be doing a few jobs for American or Canadian companies. When I first got the XHA1 I thought there was a procedure that could be done to convert the camera to shoot both PAL and NTSC. Has anyone had this done, how much does it cost and how/where do I get it done?

Thanks.

Kathy
Hi Kathy,

Just saw your post, I bought my XH A1 in the US so it's an NTSC model.

However, I took it to the Canon service centre:

Canon Regional Competence Center,
130 Centennial Park,
Elstree, Hertfordshire,
WD6 3SE

Tel: +44 (0)8705 143 723

And had it modified to rec/playback PAL & NTSC. The total cost including return shipping via UPS was 338GBP. There was a 7 day turn-around, but this varies depending on how busy they are.

If you're shooting a lot of stuff for the US, it's money well spent. Because as you've probably found out, transcoding is time-consuming, reduces the output quality and a major hassle.

Hope this helps.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 05:17 PM   #12
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Thanks Norman, thats exactly what I needed to know. I'll see if I get any more bookings from America. I'm actually not far from Elstree.

Thanks.
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