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Old January 29th, 2006, 02:55 PM   #1
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another PAL vs NTSC question

i've seen it asked on other threads, why not get a PAL camera and take advantage of the extra resolution? but apparently the extra resolution gets lost when putting it on a DVD (compressed? down sampled?), and the only thing PAL is better at would be blowing up to film, where the extra resolution would actually matter.

fair enough. but what's been nagging me is, hollywood movies, with infinitely higher resolution than DV, get put on DVD all the time; presumably they must be losing an absolute TON of resolution in the transfer (think of an IMAX movie). and yet, they look far, far better than any DVD i could shoot and edit and create. how can this be, if they all end up being exported to DVD at the same resolution?

and bearing that in mind, wouldn't it make more sense to get a PAL camera anyway and convert to NTSC in post, even if you have no intention of transfering it to film? isn't extra resolution ALWAYS a plus?
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Old January 29th, 2006, 05:47 PM   #2
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partial answer

"fair enough. but what's been nagging me is, hollywood movies, with infinitely higher resolution than DV, get put on DVD all the time; presumably they must be losing an absolute TON of resolution in the transfer (think of an IMAX movie). and yet, they look far, far better than any DVD i could shoot and edit and create. how can this be, if they all end up being exported to DVD at the same resolution?"

this is because they are starting with much better cameras and using higher grade computers to do the compression, so their source material/footage is going to be considerably greater than anything prosumers could create, meaning even compressed, their footage is going to still look incredibly better....

I use a PAL camera because of networking with other people
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Old January 29th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #3
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Well for one thing, resolution isn't the only factor in making something look good on a DVD.

Regarding converting PAL to NTSC; it can be done with software like DVfilm Atlantis, Grame Nattress' standards conversion plug-in for FCP, or even an application like Vegas. However you will be into lengthy renders on a big project, and you will need twice the hard drive space (for the original PAL and converted NTSC). And beyond that, you are going to lose some quality in resampling both the frame size and frame rate.

If you really think PAL would be useful then consider the HVR-Z1, which is the only camera which can be switched between both NTSC and PAL (the XL-H1 can also be factory modified to do this at extra cost evidently). But of course if you get the Z1 you will probably want to shoot HDV if you're interested in the highest possible resolution. But I chose the Z1 solely because I had a big PAL DV project and needed a camera/deck, but didn't want to purchase any PAL-only gear.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 06:01 PM   #4
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again partial

"Regarding converting PAL to NTSC; it can be done with software like DVfilm Atlantis, Grame Nattress' standards conversion plug-in for FCP, or even an application like Vegas. However you will be into lengthy renders on a big project, and you will need twice the hard drive space (for the original PAL and converted NTSC). And beyond that, you are going to lose some quality in resampling both the frame size and frame rate."

Canopus Procoder can convert from the timeline to PAL or NTSC as needed with no big change in rendering time....
I use it all the time to send videos to the US
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Old January 29th, 2006, 06:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quito Washington
Canopus Procoder can convert from the timeline to PAL or NTSC as needed with no big change in rendering time....
That's interesting.... I use Macs so no experience with that system. However, the point is that it's going to complicate the process to use a format different from the dominant one in your country. For example, I can shoot NTSC, connect my camcorder directly to my DVD recorder via firewire and burn a DVD with no computer involved. Or I can give a mini-DV tape to anyone else to use. Or I can capture footage, edit in FCP and dump right back to tape with no rendering at all unless using effects.

If your camera is PAL-only here in the US it's going to be somewhat limiting. But the Z1 is one way to have your cake and eat it too...
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Old January 29th, 2006, 06:27 PM   #6
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PAL country

"However, the point is that it's going to complicate the process to use a format different from the dominant one in your country. For example, I can shoot NTSC, connect my camcorder directly to my DVD recorder via firewire and burn a DVD with no computer involved. Or I can give a mini-DV tape to anyone else to use. Or I can capture footage, edit in FCP and dump right back to tape with no rendering at all unless using effects.

If your camera is PAL-only here in the US it's going to be somewhat limiting. But the Z1 is one way to have your cake and eat it too..."

yes, but thats why I was limiting my comments to the fact you can render PAL or NTSC from the time line with Procoder....
am in Darwin, Australia so the whole country is PAL here, so networking is not an issue...
so all the things you can do, I can do as well, but i can also, in procoder, do a batch render at a 1 minute to 1 minute ratio of a PAL copy and a NTSC copy and end up with two master DVDs to use for copying...
shooting PAL in the US, and only being able to shoot PAL, would be a nightmare, totally agree with you, looking at the Z1 a lot now
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Old January 29th, 2006, 10:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quito Washington
this is because they are starting with much better cameras and using higher grade computers to do the compression, so their source material/footage is going to be considerably greater than anything prosumers could create, meaning even compressed, their footage is going to still look incredibly better....
ok, that makes sense. the reason i was asking about using PAL in the US is because i read on some site (i forget the name) a guy saying he converts his PAL footage to NTSC and it looks better than NTSC alone. but if footage shot at a higher resolution (film, HD) looks better even when compressed, then why aren't ALL our cameras capable of PAL resolution or better?
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Old January 29th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #8
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money

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Heneberry
ok, that makes sense. the reason i was asking about using PAL in the US is because i read on some site (i forget the name) a guy saying he converts his PAL footage to NTSC and it looks better than NTSC alone. but if footage shot at a higher resolution (film, HD) looks better even when compressed, then why aren't ALL our cameras capable of PAL resolution or better?
because you can sell a lot more entry level cameras at 3.5k and then sell ones that can do the PAL thing for another 2 or 3k on top of that...considering how many entry level consumers will just want a camera that takes great NTSC and not worry about the PAL option, its a more cost efficient way to the end goal, which is to sell more product...
to convert from Pal to NTSC on a timeline you just change the 25p to 24p and extend the sound 4% (and the oppposite to go from NTSC to PAL)
its all money, its the same as why don't all cameras have XLR jacks as XLR jacks can get better sound? it would add on another 1k to the camera... and most ppl would not use them that are iin the target market...
and NTSC is not as HQ as PAL, but NTSC is the standard for the US (which is why you can't buy PAL video tapes or DVD and play them on NTSC DVD players or VHS players..)...the whole system would have to be configured to play PAL....
money
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