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Old December 20th, 2005, 10:46 AM   #1
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Selecting a PAL or NTSC camera

Apologies for posting yet again on PAL vs NTSC comparison, but I haven't been able to find a concise answer, and it's worth $300 in potential hardware savings, so I want to be specific... :-)

I am looking to buy a Optura 600 / Panasonic NV-GS250 -level camera. I'm preferring the 600 due to better low-light capabilities; I figure it'll come in handy when filming indoors and during evenings. However, a PAL version is $1100, while an NTSC version is $800. I need to know whether an NTSC version would be good enough. Here's my background:

- I live in the US, but will move back to Finland in abouy 18 months
- I plan to move all content to DVD, since messing around with tapes is a pain
- I am not planning on spending a lot of money on editing software; I'd prefer to use Pinnacle Studio 8, since I got a license to it with my PC video card
- I plan to view the video from DVD only -- no fumbling with video cable from tape recorder
- I want to view the DVDs on a regular PAL TV, and using a (data) projector
- I am a bit of a quality nerd, so I don't want to see a whole lot of quality degradation

Any advise would be highly valuable. Thanks in advance!

//markus
Markus Ahonen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 20th, 2005, 12:21 PM   #2
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I would take the PAL version, because if you will soon move to Finland and will not move back to USA after that too soon, the NTSC would have no point. I think it's easier to live with PAL in the US a bit instead of living in Finland with NTSC for much longer time. As far as I know, NTSC -> PAL conversions are more complicated as well and won't end in very good results.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 12:29 PM   #3
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In 18 months time you may well have realised that Panasonic's don't do well in low light, and you may be ready to change..
Only kidding (a bit) but NTSC DVDs you'vre made will play well in PAL Finland, whereas PAL DVDs only play in the odd one or two NTSC players.

PAL has better resolution and few PAL people ar as bothered by 24 progressive scan as NTSC people are. If you go PAL right now you'll miss a lot of audience participation. You can convert your footage to NTSC but then you'll have worse quality than if you started out shooting NTSC.

I always recommend people buy the kit to match the local standard. So do that and sell the cam before you leave, buying a PAL model in 19 months time.

tom.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 02:22 PM   #4
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More on PAL vs NTSC

I discussed this with a friend of mine who sells home cinemas in Finland, and he said that nearly all modern TV units on sale in Finland (and Europe for that matter) are multinorm, so whether the DVD is NTSC or PAL shouldn't make much of a difference. Obviously, there's the little degrading of quality, but that should be it.

Any objections? Or first-hand experience?
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Old December 20th, 2005, 05:00 PM   #5
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Sorry, I didn't notice you are going to stay in the US for about 18 months. In that case, you should go for the NTSC model, because after so long time you will probably want to upgrade as well.
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