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Old May 1st, 2005, 12:47 PM   #1
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Any disadvantages to buying a PAL vs NTSC for use in the US?

Considering pluses and minues between PAL and NTSC XL1's. I am aware that it will not be able to play back on a American television, but are there other compatibility problems or other equipment problem that I might run into.

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Old May 1st, 2005, 01:35 PM   #2
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I wouldn't do it unless you really want to project your images and have the best resolution. And 25P.

And offcourse, technical, PAL is the better of the two, but I think you really will have much problems sometimes to convert everytime. Of course, it's up to you, some people have done it in the past.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 03:22 AM   #3
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We had the same choices to make, because I am flying again to USA/Canada for filming this year. In the end we chose to buy all Pal XL1s equipment. We have TV monitors, video recorders, PCs etc already set up in USA to play both Pal & NTSC.

The film will be for TV, and also DVD sales. The main reason for going for the Pal version is because there is a much larger sales for the PAL version than the NTSC video (for the subjects we are shooting) so it was wiser to use PAL equipment (plus the added quality benefit). We will work entirely in Pal while filming in Canada and USA, and then prouduce some NTSC quality copies for the USA sales, but the majority will be Pal versions for UK and mainland Europe, Sky TV etc.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 05:57 AM   #4
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Usually it is not adviced to go with PAL in an NTSC country. For some thoughts
on what those problems are:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=43887
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 12:15 PM   #5
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I can maybe see some problems in using Pal, especially if you intend to sell the finished product ONLY in North America and need to convert everything, but certainly not if you intend just to film in USA. Playback and editing should be no problem on any PC system, and if you want to playback through a video recorder or TV screen, it is very easy and cheap to find a dual-version system or to buy a European version TV to plug into. If you are converting to DVD it shouldn't matter either.

I can't see myself having any problems with lighting or external monitors, and should be able to find a simple work-around if it crops up.

What are all the "etc,etc," Rob? Just in case I've missed something inmportant that I hadn't considered.
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 01:19 PM   #6
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Too bad that other companies aren't following Sony's lead with the Z-1 where you can choose either PAL or NTSC. I'm thinking about getting a Z-1 just so I have the PAL ability for a project in South America.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 05:52 AM   #7
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Tony: the etc. etc. was to indicate that more problems could exist. As others
have pointed out you will have problems turning the footage into good looking
NTSC (although this is much easier than NTSC -> PAL!) for DVD publishing
for example.

Sometimes you can have problems with warranty as well (depends on where
the camera was bought etc.).

I just can't see how any of this can be worth the hassle. These camera's are
phenomenal already, with high resolutions. You really gain nothing by using a
PAL camera in NTSC country, especially if the camera has 24p already.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 04:08 AM   #8
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I understand fully what you say, Rob, and would not have bought extra Pal equipment if I were selling the finished product mainly to USA, and that might be the case with James, but as stated the large majority of our sales will be via the Pal-orientated UK/European market, and TV, so PAL was the obvious choice.
Using Pal equipment for a major shoot in USA was of course then the wiser option because we didn't want to convert all the tape from NTSC to Pal.

Some of the sales are already commissioned for the USA market, but as this will only be a minor section of our total sales compared to Europe, we will need to convert some Pal to NTSC.

We will also be using a back-up small NTSC 3CCD camera, which will be doing some of the shallow water underwater shoots, but film quality and colour tends not to match land colour shoots anyway, so we may get away with the colour matching. However, I'd prefer to get an underwater housing or Ewa bag for the XL1s Pal camera if I can, so as to save the hassle of trying to convert any of the underwater footage from NTSC to Pal.

So I think in our case, we have made the right choice in choosing Pal to film a major project in USA & Canada this year.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 06:24 AM   #9
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In such cases it indeed might warrant to use another standard, or get a
multi-standard camera (like Z1). Another option would be to get an HD
camera and downsample that [24p to PAL is no problem, framerate wise].

However, most people who ask these kind of questions mainly "want" a
PAL camera (just) for the "higher" resolution. In that case I would not do
this.

If however your product is intended for the PAL market then it will be a
much more logical choice indede (if you can work with the restrictions).
Another option might be to get a professional company do an NTSC to
PAL transfer.

This happens all the time for things like american TV shows that are being
aired here. I never have a feel that these look wrong or anything. So it
seems to be possible to do a good NTSC to PAL conversion (at least for
the big boys).
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