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Old June 27th, 2015, 11:41 PM   #1
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Shooting in NTSC or PAL? - Hong Kong client, Shoot in PAL and NTSC countries

Hey guys,

I'm originally from Canada, so traditionally I've always shot and am comfortable in NTSC

I am now doing a job for a company in Hong Kong (PAL)

However the shoot will take place in both Hong Kong (PAL) and Japan (NTSC)

Im assuming I should shoot in PAL, but will I run into a lot of problems in Japan? The primary location for the shoot.

In addition, I was hoping to shoot 60p slow-mo, rather then 50p slow mo....

Im also assuming its not a good idea to shoot both.... NTSC and PAL?

Not quite sure what the strategy should be. Your help would be appreciated!

Thanks
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Old June 28th, 2015, 02:02 AM   #2
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Re: Shooting in NTSC or PAL? - Hong Kong client, Shoot in PAL and NTSC countries

I think your question is only applicable in the case that you are planning to rent the gear locally. If not and if you will use your own gear, you would use PAL I think.
The next question that comes up with me is what format did you agree on for delivery with your client?
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Old June 28th, 2015, 05:35 PM   #3
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Re: Shooting in NTSC or PAL? - Hong Kong client, Shoot in PAL and NTSC countries

Simplest answer is to ask the client - what do they want it shot in? Which covers you.....

But assuming it's for use in Hong Kong, the answer surely has to be "PAL"? Normally you'd always produce to the format of the "home" client, unless they specifically request otherwise, would be my feeling?

And strictly speaking, I suspect you really mean "50Hz framerates" or "60Hz framerates" - "PAL" and "NTSC" really don't have any meaning in the HD and UHD worlds - they really only apply to standard definition systems, and the analogue versions at that. If that sounds pedantic, then I know of one case where someone was asked to shoot "PAL", and did exactly that. They shot 576i/25. A big complaint later followed along the lines of "but it's not in HD!!" with (I think) threats not to pay. But they had done exactly what they were told to, so let it be a lesson in using the correct terminology.....

Moving on, then I'm assuming that you're most likely thinking of 1080p/24 ("NTSC") or 1080p/25 ("PAL"), and as far as the slo-mo comment goes then it really shouldn't make much difference. Shoot at 60fps, output on a frame-frame basis and there will be a slight difference in speed (24/60 or 25/60) but it's unlikely to make a lot of difference.

As far as shooting in Japan, then an issue you may run into is as regards flicker with certain types of lighting if you shoot with any 50Hz based format. But that should be able to be overcome by adjustment of camera shutter speed - whilst maintaining the 50Hz based framerate - it's not necessary to change framerates.

And systems based on 50Hz avoid a lot of the complications of 60Hz systems as far as timecode goes. No such thing as drop frame or non-drop frame timecode. But at the end of the day, shoot what the client requests, and apart from framerate that applies to SD, HD (720p, 1080p, or 1080i), or even UHD.
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Old July 1st, 2015, 07:16 AM   #4
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Re: Shooting in NTSC or PAL? - Hong Kong client, Shoot in PAL and NTSC countries

thank you both for the reply. it's really appreciated. having only shot in North America, it was never a question I had to face. I've realized it may happen more often in Asia and Europe.

In any case, I will be shooting PAL, since it is the standard deliverable in HK.

Thanks again!
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Old July 4th, 2015, 07:18 AM   #5
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Re: Shooting in NTSC or PAL? - Hong Kong client, Shoot in PAL and NTSC countries

depends where your going in Japan.. half is 50 hz the other half 60hz .. although the TV system is 24/30p nation wide.. crazy but true.. Tokyo and north is 50 Hz .. Nagoya and Osaka are 60 Hz.. I would shoot 25p.. and just watch for flicker south of Tokyo.. then just go with 1/60th instead of 1/50th.. shutter.. easy .. just have to remember the Hz changes.
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Old July 11th, 2015, 07:11 PM   #6
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Re: Shooting in NTSC or PAL? - Hong Kong client, Shoot in PAL and NTSC countries

It's even worse than that - I've known buildings in Tokyo where they ran on 60Hz for their computer installations because in the old days they had to buy computers with 60 Hz power supplies from the US so they put in banks of motor generators and generated their own 60Hz power. And it made it easier if they ever needed to move equipment between Tokyo and Osaka.
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Old July 16th, 2015, 08:17 PM   #7
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Re: Shooting in NTSC or PAL? - Hong Kong client, Shoot in PAL and NTSC countries

Must have been a while ago.. they don't have that now thankfully.. but very strange a country with two different cycles .. !
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Old July 17th, 2015, 12:52 AM   #8
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Re: Shooting in NTSC or PAL? - Hong Kong client, Shoot in PAL and NTSC countries

Speaking of strange, for as many high-tech products they manufacture, I've been surprised at how they are in the dark ages in some areas. Ever buy a car there? I bought a few and it's quite a process going from line to line and the guy will remove the staple, shuffle the documents, tell you to pay some fee, then stamp here and there and re-staple. Go to the next line, first thing the guy does is take out the staple, shuffle the docs, take some more money, stamp, re-staple. About 5 times. And you can't complete the deal until you've been given a parking sticker, which means going to the police station and filling out a form and give them a map and dimensioned diagram of your parking space for the vehicle. A cop will come out about 3-5 days later and measure the spot before you can get the car. Want to pay a utility bill with a credit card automatically? Fill out a big form and expect to wait 2-3 months for that to get processed. But yet you can pay all phone bills at any Seven-11 and many other convenience stores. Some tasks are just made overly complicated that everywhere else I've been is just really simple.

But yeah, I'd shoot it in 25P.

Mark
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