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Old January 15th, 2002, 03:26 PM   #1
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Flicker in PAL image in US

I found flicker in my PAL video image which I created with XL1S PAL.

All the outdoor images with natural sunlight and indoor images with a relatively strong desk (halogen) lights have no flicker.

The images under florescent (worst) light, or a weak 75W tungsten bulb show some flickers.

It is the PAL problem, not XL1's.

PAL has 25 fps vs NTSC's 30 fps.
In lower frame rate, you can see more flicker.
Film has even lower 24 fps.
Power cycle of 120v /60 is also contributed to flicker in US.
Europeans watch TV as much as americans do and they don't
complain about flicker. Their power is 220v/50

I am not an video expert, but I can see PAL images have more details and better color representation comparing to NTSC images from XL1S NTSC.

I can view PAL images on Adobe Premire with some image degradation and the $460 13" JVC TMH 1375SU multi-format monitor with no image degradation.

Most people in US would not want all the hassle to deal
with PAL image, such as buying a PAL monitor and converting
to NTSC in which the video quality is degraded somewhat.

I don't need to convert my PAL image to NTSC. I would give my PAL image to my friends in AVI, or Quick Time format. Computer monitor handle both PAL and NTSC.
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Old January 16th, 2002, 05:55 AM   #2
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The XL1s has a flicker reduction function for shooting TV screens and computer monitors, try playing with that when shoot under the flouros.
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Old January 16th, 2002, 04:12 PM   #3
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I am talking about flicker in PAL

I viewed PAL image on a multi-format PAL/NTSC monitor and
I noticed some flickers in the PAL video image.

I will try XL1S scan timing feature, but I think this feature is to
reduce the flicker problem on PC monitor image.

Someone suggested LCD or LPD monitor to avoid flicker in PAL image. because LCD does not need any scan timing.
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Old January 16th, 2002, 08:00 PM   #4
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Hello ANewXLUser. Just some questions on the flickering image quality you are seeing. How bad is the flickering exactly? Do you see the flickering on the computer monitor, or in your Quicktime or other movie format files? When it comes to the image degradation in Premiere, was this becase the footage was in PAL? What's your thoughts on PAL now that you have a PAL format XL1s? As you've seen in the Soderbergh thread, I too was considering a PAL format XL1s but have postponed the purchase so I can learn more before making the actual investment. Thanks for your help!
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Old January 17th, 2002, 04:33 AM   #5
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I own a PAL XL1S (since I'am in europe) and I've seen no
flicker what-so-ever. Not on my PC when viewing the footage
and not on any TV i've displayed the footage on. There are
a number of sources that can produce flicker:

- changing settings on the camera to extreem
values (like shutter speed etc.)
- shooting under high flickering lights (like fluorescent
lights -> you need special dimmers/power convertors
to fix this as i was told)
- shooting a monitor/tv or having such a thing
cast "light" on your scene.
- converting the PAL signal to a NTSC signal might
introduce flickering as well if done wrong

ANewXLUser needs to tell us when this footage happens,
if it was *RECORDED* this way or if it happens during
playback (on the computer as well as on a TV?).

Like I said, i've not seen any flickering in my footage
at all!

Are there any other PAL users that can join in on this?

Hope this answers some of your questions!
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Old January 17th, 2002, 09:10 AM   #6
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ANewXLUser....flicker prob

I've been shooting with my PAL XL1 for nearly 3 years. I've shot in Australia and New Zealand(both PAL countries) and in Canada, The States and Japan and the only thing close to what you are experiencing was from panning to fast when shooting wakeboarding in Frame Mode from the back of a boat(too much movement).

I've viewed the footage with everything from Sony Broadcast Monitors, consumer TV's, on a PC monitor using Premiere 5.1 and 6, and various web delivery formats. All i can suggest is check your camera settings, you can adjust almost everything on the XL1s, if still no joy, get it checked by Canon.

katelins....PAL queries.

I've recently started shooting with the web in mind and the XL1 is proving to be an awesome camera, however unless you are planning to travel to a PAL country, or you are aiming for transfer to film, I'd stick to NTSC for the US. The difference between PAL and NTSC in a Mini DV camera isn't really noticable. I've seen them side by side on Sony Broadcast monitors and you can't pick the difference. DV is compressed at 5:1 so any quality difference is realy lost there, I suppose at 1:1 there would be a difference, but remember we are talking about a $4000 Prosumer camera here, not a $120000 Sony HD unit.

I'm my opinion you can't go wrong with the XL1s for web production, you've got a fantastic base product, an ever increasing accessory range, and the support of thousands of users through boards like this.

Hope I've been helpful
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Old January 17th, 2002, 12:58 PM   #7
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Answers to Katelins

Q1: How bad is the flickering exactly?

A1: Under the florescent, or weak 75 watt tungsten light,
flickers were noticeble and annoying. By opening iris wider and
using lower shutter speed, I was able to reduce flickers, but
they were still there.

Q2: Do you see the flickering on the computer monitor, or in your Quicktime or other movie format files?
A2: I viewed them on 13" JVC multi-format monitor, I can see flicker. And I captured them to Premire 6.0 in PC and viewed them in Premire in avi format. Less obvious in PC monitor.

Q3: When it comes to the image degradation in Premiere, was this becase the footage was in PAL?

A3: I can see the choppy diagonal lines when I viewed them in my PC monitor in Premire. Same thing was happened when I did on NTSC image. I am not sure the video quality was degraded when I captured the image from DV tape to Premire and saved them in .AVI format, or not. I was asking about the capturing the image in the different format other than avi, but I have not seen a good answer yet.

Q4: What's your thoughts on PAL now that you have a PAL format XL1s?

A4: As of now I don't owned PAL XL1S.
I just borrowed my friend's PAL XL1 for 2 days and took some
picures and did some experiments.

The 99% image looked great with no flicker.

I am going to buy one soon. Not a gray market stuff, one year UK Canon warrenty from zgc.com.

Many experts said that the PAL video quality was not really notieablly better. I was wondering if there are 20 % more vertical resolution and 4:2:0 sampling in PAL, I should be able to see the difference.

From my short-term amateuristic experiment, I found that the images from an old XL1 PAL were better than the images from a new XL1S NTSC. I can say I like PAL image.

Even after editing PAL image in Premire and save as AVI file,
I can see better color and more resolution in PAL images on MS Media Player's small 3" x 4" video image in my PC monitor.

I really appreciated all the advices from the video experts, but I just believe what I see.

If you often need to convert PAL image to NTSC for any reason,
I recommend use NTSC in US like other people said.

Even if some software tools such as Canopus' DV Format Converter can do the job, the video quality will be degraded somewhat. Visit canopuscorp.com and you can see some samples. You have to use Canopus editing system to use this add-on software.

Good luck!

Last edited by Steve Kim; January 17th, 2002 at 02:10 PM.
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Old January 17th, 2002, 09:36 PM   #8
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Hello there. Thanks for all the info and insight. For the web, that is completely reasonable about the image quality between NTSC and PAL, afterburnerDV. But I would like this investment to go a long way, and that means keeping my options open for tape to film transfer. So in this regard, I understand that PAL is technically better. With your experience editing PAL footage on the computer in NTSC countries, do you think it is as much of a problem as some people suggest? Is it really a "hassle" or that much more costly? I don't plan on converting from PAL to NTSC either.
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Old January 17th, 2002, 10:42 PM   #9
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Editing PAL image in US

It's just matter of click on different button "PAL" in the
intial screen in Adobe Premire 6.0. That's it.

It's all same no matter you edit PAL or NTSC.

By the way, viewing video image in Premire is quite good.
Quite comparable to viewing it on a professional monitor.
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Old January 19th, 2002, 02:23 AM   #10
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Spot on!

You won't encounter any problems until you come to output for local viewing. I use JVC (Victor here in Japan) multi-format SVHS and an NTSC SVHS video machines for this job. All my editing is done in PAL and if I need to do a NTSC copy I convert a copy of my master file to NTSC using Motion Perfect then print it to tape.
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Old January 19th, 2002, 12:37 PM   #11
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Adrian,

I'm not familiar with "Motion Perfect". We usually send PAL tapes out of house for conversion. Not the cheapest process, so a piece of sofware that might be save us some costs is helpful. Details?
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Old January 20th, 2002, 07:44 AM   #12
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Motion Perfect isn't the best way, especially for the commercial work you do Ozzie, but for making a copy for the surfers and snowboarders I work with to watch on their TV it does the job.

FOr more info check out www.dynapel.com
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