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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 May 13th, 2008, 02:31 PM   #1
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NTSC problem in PAL country?

I would like to buy a Canon XH A1 from the USA. It'll probably be a NTSC camera, while I live in Belgium (a PAL country).

Is this something I can fix in post? Or do I really need to go to a Canon store to make a change?

Thx,
Piet Deyaert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13th, 2008, 02:43 PM   #2
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You want a camera that shoots the format you will use most of the time

The XH-A1 NTSC shoots 24F, 30F, 60i;
The XH-A1 PAL shoots 25F, 50i

You don't want to make NTSC/PAL conversion part of a regular workflow.

There are two options:
1. Get a PAL camera
2. Have the PAL Boot Program added to the NTSC camera at a Canon Service Center (about $500 in the U.S.).

I don't know where in Europe the upgrade can be done or under what circumstances. But in the U.S. you can have PAL boot up (and PAL modes) added to the camera for about $500 as I said.

If you order from the U.S. and have the camera shipped, perhaps it's possible the retailer can have the upgrade done before the camera is shipped to you. I don't know if the upgrade would affect import duties.

I believe there are others in the European community who have experience with these matters and can give you specific suggestions.
Jack Walker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13th, 2008, 02:47 PM   #3
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I did that years ago in a misguided attempt to save money. I ended up buying a hardware converter (for almost the cost of the camcorder) and, still not satisfied, I bought the PAL version of the same camcorder. (Much later, I moved to the US. No wonder I have such an odd assortment of video gear.)

Also bear in mind that you will probably have no warranty whatsoever.

Don't be penny wise and pound foolish - buy the PAL model.
John Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #4
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Don't buy the camera in the US, it isn't worth it.

Yes, the initial price seems attractive, but add the time and hassle of having Canon convert it to PAL - I think it's around 500 - and you have to send it in to a service center - also add the sales tax you will pay in the US (never listed in the advertised prices) - and any duties you may have to pay if you are unlucky at the airport - and on top of it all the fact that you camera will have no warranty protection, and it's no longer such a good deal. While Canons are usually very reliable, you never know. Think Murphy's law.

Going to the US for accessories is very attractive right now - but buying the camera - I wouldn't do it. Prices for the XHA1 in the Netherlands and Germany are very competitive.

Happy shooting!
Bill Engeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 13th, 2008, 07:47 PM   #5
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Camera Purchase

I wonder what editing system you are using? Edius, for example, has no problem converting Pal to NTSC or vice versa. And the quality does not suffer. Simply download the tape to computer, open up a new project in one or the other formats, import the captured video and go ahead with it.
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