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Old November 9th, 2001, 09:23 AM   #1
Doconomus
 
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American needs help deciding NTSC or PAL

Hey guys, i need a second of your time:

I'm one of those crazy people that makes movies as a hobby and for classes at my university. I'm deciding on purchasing a digital video camera purely for movie making purposes, but I don't feel like blowing my meager funds into getting the wrong camera. I've narrowed my choice to the XL1 or the XL1(s); however, I am wondering if I should buy it as a NTSC or PAL camera. I use firewire and edit on Adobe Premiere 6.0 (which I've researched and heard has caused problems with NTSC cameras at 29.97 fps) on a Windows based P4 PC.

I've read posts by Stephenw in response to M. Pappas' statement in one of the other threads about PAL to NTSC (which was a great post) and I'm leaning towards just getting the NTSC and working in post. However, I'm really cool with getting a PAL camera and using the psuedo-progressive scan to achieve film-like affects. I desire to shoot my projects 16:9. Since I'm using the camera for movie making, if I ever want to transfer my projects to film, I would like to have the option.

Any advice would be more than helpful. I'm looking for options, if anyone needs more information to make a better judgement, feel free to ask! Once again I really appreciate your incite!

-- "Doc"
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Old November 9th, 2001, 07:09 PM   #2
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One thing you might want to consider is will your capture card capture PAL. Many cards sold in the US will capture NTSC only. If this is the case it may limit you to an NTSC camera. If your card will capture both and you are aiming to transfer to film, I'd go for a PAL camera and also read the article on the Watchdog about the DV to film transfer.
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Old November 10th, 2001, 12:09 AM   #3
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The DVStorm, RT2500 and Pro-ONE will all work with NTSC or PAL.

If you are planning on going to film or doing work for overseas, then go with PAL. Otherwise I would suggest sticking with NTSC for compatibility.

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Old November 12th, 2001, 01:32 PM   #4
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If I record on PAL and burn it to a DVD, will american DVD players be able to play it?
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Old November 12th, 2001, 01:41 PM   #5
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If a particular set top player will play both NTSC and PAL it must be connected to a multisystem monitor/television, which are not very common at all in the states.

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Old November 13th, 2001, 03:17 AM   #6
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Doc, if you plan on staying in the States, I'd just go for NTSC, it will save you lots of headache. You can convert NTSC to film just as you can with PAL, it's just that PAL is a little better because it's frame rate is closer to film and it has higher hoz res.


Who know, maybe with DV gaining popularity so fast maybe everyone will want to convert film to DV
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Old November 13th, 2001, 11:43 AM   #7
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Adrian:

Thanks for the advice. The thing that scares me about the NTSC is the problems I've heard about with Premiere 6.0 (my editing software) and capturing at 29.97 fps. It makes me nervous to think that I could have software and then get a camera and not have them compatible. I've been trying to discover if my Firewire will capture both PAL and NTSC to see if I even have the option to go with a PAL camera. Thanks!

Kyle "Doc" Mitchell
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Old November 13th, 2001, 08:16 PM   #8
skipro101
 
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Man, i am in the same boat and its so hard to decide.


I am buying the xl1 and a Dell computer and software

SO, I have the ability to pick software and capture cards etc to work with PAL,

BUT, I am making the film and VHS and DVD's to be played in the U.S.

What I need to know is, if I make a video using a PAL system, and edit it in PAL and then want to produce DVD VHS and 35mm Film copies of it, how much trouble is it going to be for me?

Can Adobe premire convert PAL to NTSC? If so, are there any side effects?


Thanks, Allen


PS-- Since I go onto the subject of computer hardware, should I get two harddrives? One set aside just for video?

How much video can a 40gig harddrive store on it?



Thanks!
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Old November 13th, 2001, 08:22 PM   #9
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The best tool I've seen for converting from PAL to NTSC or vice versa is the Canopus Format Converter.

If you are seriously thinking of going to film them you should go for the PAL.

Premiere cannot convert formats.

Definitely get a separate video drive.

A 40 gig drive can hold about 3 hours of video.

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Old November 13th, 2001, 08:53 PM   #10
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Skipro:

This is ironic: I had a lot of unedited tapes from various shoots on Hi8 and other formats that I needed to edit, so I decided to buy a new computer, you know the grand big outfit. I chose Dell (just like you're thinking about) and I had always planned on getting an XL1 for my upcoming projects - just like you. So, I bought the computer first to edit what I had and was looking for the camera second. Here is my experience with Dell - I remind you that you may have a more pleasurable experience. Dell IS a great computer company and continues to sell well; however, Dell was a headache for me.

After researching, I chose Dell and got the newest, biggest sucker on the market in terms of computers this summer. Well, I after some mix up in accounting and a few hours on the phone, I got my computer a few days later than expected. This was no biggy, but it was time wasted on something that didn't need to happen. I got the computer and it did not have the specifications that I had discussed with the representative on the phone. I explicitly asked for some features (like RCA inputs for analog video) that were not on the computer. So, I spent many hours - many hours - on the phone trying to get the computer I asked for. I was on hold for long periods of time and played phone tag for consecutive days on end with Dell representatives/deparments. Finally, one night after trying to get my situation resolved I spoke with someone who worked in their "resolutions" department per se - someone I should have been forwarded to in the beginning. I told him my situation and they finally fixed the problem sent me the hardware I had asked for originally: an external video capturing device which really isn't that good in my opinion: I couldn't capture avi's with it and I couldn't export videos out of Premiere (my editing software) with it. Needless to say, I was very displeased with the amount of time and effort I needed to get the components I needed that should have been there initially. I accept my responsibility as a consumer for this, I should have educated myself a little more with the company before I began this adventure!

So please, Skipro, research what you need and deliberately make sure that your customer representative understand explicitly what you want. Make it as clear as possible. Dell was a headache for me but it is a wonderful company for others (I have a friend who also uses Dell and is extremely satisfied but also didn't want all of the special features). Right now I'm shopping for the best place and camera for my future projects so I don't end up in the same situation again.

This post was not to disparage you or anyone from buying Dell; as I've said Dell is a good computer company. Also, I understand that this is a site for discussing the DV cams and not computers, but I figured that letting people know my experiences will help them to make the best decisions for themselves. And who knows, you may save yourself a headache!

As far as the 40 gig harddrive is concerned, you can get a few hours on it.

-- Kyle "Doc" Mitchell
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Old November 13th, 2001, 09:28 PM   #11
skipro101
 
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Guy,

Thanks AGAIN for helping man, your a life saver. {sometimes I just can find the info I want from FAQ's:}

So let me get this straight. Unless I want to project 16 or 35mm, there is no reason to get PAL?

I think ill just get NTSC. I mean, I dont plan on what im shooting to be played in a theater, and, I could always project it via a digital projector {granted that costs anohter 10k...}



Doc,

Heh, its more ironic than you think. I actualy called DELL to find out about adding things to a computer that wernt on their drop-down list online.

Its funny how you need to already have ordered something to get in touch with their technical support, so I was forwarded to this lady. I asked her what type of mother board DELL put in {since they didnt list it online, i wanted to check compatability} anyway, her answer was "umm, its a pentium". Im like, WTF! I mean, my 8 year old brother knows more than that, I dont care if this lady is the parking attendent, she should have at least common sense about computers! Arg!

I hung up...kinda mean but oh well.

I still plan on ordering from them :}



Now, since ive decided on NTSC {and alittle voice in the back of my head sais i might regret it} its onto computer/software.


How does this set-up sound?

Cannon XL1S
Shotgun Mic
MA-200
Filters {to make it look like film}
Pentium 4 1.7 gig
40 gig hardrive
80 gig hardrive
256 RAM
DVD ROM
Matrox RT2000 {comes with premier and firewire cards}


Am i missing anything?


Merci,
Allen
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Old November 13th, 2001, 10:44 PM   #12
Doconomus
 
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Allen:

Hey dude. That list of components looks cool. On the computer end, one thing I did do - which was a bit pricy - was I went 512MB PC800 RAM (the kind for the P4). This is certainly one thing I don't regret.

I'm anxious to hear how your XL1 works out. I'm shopping for one right now for my student dv movie next semester and I'm researching as much as I can.

-- Kyle "Doc" Mitchell
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Old November 14th, 2001, 12:40 PM   #13
skipro101
 
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Yea, I might upgrade later if I need to. I know how to get RAM very cheaply. so Im not going to have dell do it.


Heh, I still am not sure about PAL and NTSC.

Arg


good luck to you,
Allen
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Old November 14th, 2001, 03:03 PM   #14
Doconomus
 
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Allen:

As you probably know, the U.S. PAL version is not out and probably won't be for a while - it took 2 years I heard for the original XL1 PAL to come along to the States. You can get PAL from overseas but without the American warranty. I've called and spoken to sales reps and it looks like regular XL1 PALs are still available if you want to go that route. Personally, I'm thinking I may go NTSC . . . I'm still debating! I'm really worried about the transfer from camera to Premiere thing (the whole 29.97 fps getting out of sync after 8 minutes of recording through the software). Keep me posted man. Also, if your shooting ski videos, what are you going to do about cold extremities and the camera?

-- Kyle "Doc" Mitchell
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Old November 14th, 2001, 07:35 PM   #15
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America needs help deciding NTSC or PAL

Hey guys,

As the issue about whatever you should go with Pal or NTSC the answer is simple and direct.If you want to transfer to film and can get your hands in Pal equipment ,go for it without any fear.It's better than ntsc and it transfer to film much smoother .
On the other hand if you don't have any intention to transfer to film, go with ntsc.It will save you a lot of money in extra equipment(field monitor,pal vcr and pal/ntsc converters[if you want to make vhs or dvd copies in ntsc] for example).The quality of Pal is really superior but not much visible in a tv screen.And on the end of the day if you happen to decide about a film transfer you can still do it and w/ very good results even if you use NTSC.The big deal about pal is that the transfer is easier and has more lines of resolution.But NTSC can look as good as Pal on the big screen if you take care of shoot w/ the right camera settings.(the biggest difference between shooting w/ a Pal xl1 and a NTSC xl1 to transfer to film is,if you use Pal, shoot it in frame movie mode,if you use NTSC, shoot in normal mode(interlaced).

So, don't think too long,if you know you want to transfer get Pal,if you know you probable will not get NTSC.That's all you should consider basicaly.I have a Pal xl1 and the difference in a tv screen is not all that.

Hey Allen,

your set up looks fine,just make sure to pick the right shotgun mic.Nothing is more amateur than bad sound.If you can afford get a sennheiser 416 or audio-technica 4073.If you're short of money try their little brothers, sennheiser ME67 or audio-technica at835st.I also heard good things on the Azden sgm-2x(and it's a bargain).

Hope this helps guys,
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