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Old July 25th, 2004, 10:28 PM   #1
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if possible: better to choose PAL or NTSC GS400?

Hi everyone.

Okay, this debate rages on re: any cam. But I'm trying to understand this once and for all. Especially in light of peculiar situation posed by GS400 16:9 procinema model...

I live in North America and the objective for me with the GS400 would be to make some low budget indie films... the procinema mode is great. We are looking to get more than one GS400 for a multicam shoot - XL2 is out of our budget, etc. and we've already got DVX100 etc.

So should we opt for PAL GS400 as an import to get:
- higher resolution since PAL is higher than NTSC
- Procinema PAL is 25 fps instead of 30 fps so it more looks like 24p ie. film-like.

Okay, I know if I ever render out to play on television via mini-dv, I lose the resolution advantage I've gained by "downsampling" to NTSC for playback.

But what if I keep my project in my NLE in PAL format all the way and then convert out to an mpeg2 from PAL source? Sure, the mpeg2 is NTSC but would mpeg2 from PAL look "better" than from NTSC source?

Our films are likely to be screened at premieres around Toronto via digital projector and I know a lot of them take NTSC/PAL inputs - so PAL cam would allow us to screen our films in PAL and thereby project at higher resolution/25 fps...

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 04:09 AM   #2
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"...low budget indie films." For MPEG2? Is your DVX100 a NTSC version? If it is, why would you want to mix NTSC and PAL footage? Where's your target, N.A. or PALsville? Is your MPEG2 target going to be viewed on a TV? A PAL TV?

Re: "Our films are likely to be screened at premieres around Toronto via digital projector."

If that's the case then find out if these projectors are PAL capable. But if you use PAL, you'd pretty much have to leave it as PAL, otherwise you are going to lose resolution and timing when you convert to NTSC. I don't understand why you want to bother with PAL when Canada's broadcast system is NTSC; and I don't understand why 25P would give you a film look. Film look how?
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Old July 26th, 2004, 12:21 PM   #3
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Re: if possible: better to choose PAL or NTSC GS400?

<<<-- Originally posted by Mark Kubat : Hi everyone.

Okay, this debate rages on re: any cam. But I'm trying to understand this once and for all. Especially in light of peculiar situation posed by GS400 16:9 procinema model...

I live in North America and the objective for me with the GS400 would be to make some low budget indie films... the procinema mode is great. We are looking to get more than one GS400 for a multicam shoot - XL2 is out of our budget, etc. and we've already got DVX100 etc.

So should we opt for PAL GS400 as an import to get:
- higher resolution since PAL is higher than NTSC
- Procinema PAL is 25 fps instead of 30 fps so it more looks like 24p ie. film-like.

Okay, I know if I ever render out to play on television via mini-dv, I lose the resolution advantage I've gained by "downsampling" to NTSC for playback.

But what if I keep my project in my NLE in PAL format all the way and then convert out to an mpeg2 from PAL source? Sure, the mpeg2 is NTSC but would mpeg2 from PAL look "better" than from NTSC source?

Our films are likely to be screened at premieres around Toronto via digital projector and I know a lot of them take NTSC/PAL inputs - so PAL cam would allow us to screen our films in PAL and thereby project at higher resolution/25 fps...

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks. -->>>

If you already have DVX100 why would you get GS400. DVX100 is better than any consumer camera plus on DVX100 you have true 24p mode. Forget GS400 and use DVX100.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 09:22 AM   #4
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chris i think hes saying hes lookin for a second cam..

if thats the case i would suggest a DVC30 considering it has teh colour reproductions and phase controls similar to teh DVX.. so matching colours and calibrating the cams to work hand in hand is a no brainer

on top of that, the juicy zoom on the DVC30 and RGB processor will be more beneficial for your projects in the longrun..
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Old July 27th, 2004, 10:11 PM   #5
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One thing I want to know if anyone figured it out.

Do you think PAL format has better picutre in each frame?
Since the data rate on DV is the same for NTSC and PAL ( I suppose), then do you think more date rate is used on each frame of PAL format since it has less frames per second?

I think Mark wants to be sure about this point.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 12:48 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Kaku Ito : One thing I want to know if anyone figured it out.

Do you think PAL format has better picutre in each frame?
Since the data rate on DV is the same for NTSC and PAL ( I suppose), then do you think more date rate is used on each frame of PAL format since it has less frames per second?

I think Mark wants to be sure about this point. -->>>

Yes, data rate is the same. But PAL has the higher pixel count per frame.
So the "actual picture compression quality" should be the same.
Here is an easy simplified calculation:
NTSC: 30x720x480=10,368,000
PAL: 25x720x576=10,368,000

But there is another difference between PAL and NTSC DV:
the color sampling format for NTSC is 4:1:1, while PAL uses the format 4:2:0 as it is also used in DVD MPEG2 compression.
Hm, I'd like to see a direct comparison of these both.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 02:00 AM   #7
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>Do you think PAL format has better picture in each frame?

Each and every frame has more pixels because there are 94 more horizontal lines making up each, so yes, the PAL resolution is greater. The system is about 15 years younger.

The frame rate should in theory make NTSC look smoother. PAL is showing 50 different pictures per second - NTSC shows 60. But compared to the cinema's 24fps both are incredibly smooth. Both are capturing everything that happens in front of the camera, in real time - whereas film cameras have shutters to allow pull down and this means only half of everything is recorded.

tom.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 06:47 AM   #8
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That is what I imagined.

Nowadays, some DVD players and projector can work with both NTSC and PAL, so what I do is to buy the DVD titles according to the originated country of the title, for example, buy Led Zeppelin DVD from U.K.. I think that is one of the smarted thing to do for appreciating the way the creator intended to distribute. It is so bad in Japan that most of the titles created for Japanese market is modified by Japanese distributors (like compressing audio) without notifying in the sleeve or most likely not even letting the artist know. If the artist wanted to express the most dynamics in his music, he would not use compressor or limiter and spend a lot of his time to get the maximum dynamics. If I were the artist or the engineer who spent all of the effort to do that and the distributor alter it, I would be pissed. However, this is very common in the titles distributed in Japan as "domestic distribution" even for the western titles. So, I don't trust Japanese entertainment companies espcially like Sony.

I got off the track a bit, but PAL 25frame with interlaced video is something I would really wanna see some day.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 07:12 AM   #9
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The 50Hz flicker rate is annoying to some and many TV sets sold in PAL countries are able to be switched to 100Hz. This simply shows each frame twice, but removes a lot of line twitter at the expence of making moving objects look rather more jerky. The cinema gets away with a 48Hz filicker rate simply because the picture is bigger and a lot less bright than a TV at home.

tom.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 07:02 PM   #10
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wow, I'm learning stuff here

Kaku and Mr. Jefferson have nicely elaborated my question for me - this is more the conversation I was hoping to get at rather than people suggesting I stick away from gs400 because I have access to dvx100 - I don't have access to it 100% of the time...

now there is post from mikhail about the "staccato" nature of pal procinema mode? based on shutter speed?

I know too from having seen enough DVX100 4:3 footage that the high gs400 effective pixel count, even though on 1/4.7" chips, is certainly nothing to sneeze at. The GS400 is such a high resolution newer camera - I think it stands up to DVX100 quite well!

In fact, I predict Panasonic's eventual answer to Canon XL2 will be to re-release DVX100 with 1/3" effective 700K x 3CCD on native 16:9 at the price of the current model - depending on what impact XL2 sales have will determine timing of this...

So, folks, if I do chromakeying - 4:2:0 sampling of PAL will make life easier for me?

I have regular access to DVC30 and my footage is comparable in quality to comparison clips used by Kaku - the DVC30 is great cam but not as much resolution - I think GS400 is definitely superior from what I've seen of footage!

What happens in mpeg2 compression?

If I have pal dv and go to NTSC mpeg2 for NTSC DVD is there any way it will "look" superior to "NTSC-dvsource-to-NTSC-mpeg2" DVD? Or does going from pal to ntsc automatically mean you throw out the extra resolution? Even in mpeg2? Is my question clear?

thanks!
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Old July 28th, 2004, 08:30 PM   #11
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Re: wow, I'm learning stuff here

<<<-- Originally posted by Mark Kubat : If I have pal dv and go to NTSC mpeg2 for NTSC DVD is there any way it will "look" superior to "NTSC-dvsource-to-NTSC-mpeg2" DVD? Or does going from pal to ntsc automatically mean you throw out the extra resolution? Even in mpeg2? Is my question clear? -->>>

Definately it will look not superior!
There are two major reasons why:
1. you have to do a frame rate conversion from 50Hz to 60Hz
2. the resolution must be interpolated from 720x576 to 720x480

As long as you are not using any quite expensive professional converters, I can't imagine that the conversion results will satisfy you.


<<<-- Originally posted by Kaku Ito : I got off the track a bit, but PAL 25frame with interlaced video is something I would really wanna see some day. -->>>

Hm, take a trip to Europe, Kaku! I guess there you could also have some great biking experiences! ;)
As far as I can say the image quality of European PAL-TV broadcasts is much better than any NTSC program I've ever seen here in Taiwan and Japan (I didn't talk about the program's content! :)).
Seems European people care the image quality much more. The "trashy" footage I see here on the TV sometimes shocks me quite a lot! I don't want to imagine the picture quality in N.A., as their NTSC slightly differs from the Japanese version and the bandwidth seems even less, as the signal's voltage range is smaller.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 08:37 PM   #12
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Re: wow, I'm learning stuff here

<<<-- Originally posted by Mark Kubat : So, folks, if I do chromakeying - 4:2:0 sampling of PAL will make life easier for me? -->>>

If you need a quite good visual example, take a look here.
As far as I know DV PAL has 4:2:0 format, DV NTSC 4:1:1.
But MPEG2 (as for DVD) has 4:2:0 for both PAL and NTSC.
Anyone may correct me, if I'm wrong with this!?
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Old July 28th, 2004, 08:40 PM   #13
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Andreas,

Now you are getting into how we talked about audio quality. Very much in depth. Don't mind taking a trip to France because the chairman of LaCie asked me to visit him in France sometime. Accroding to him, LaCie firewire hard disk drive D2 has a rack mount option because I requested. Anyway, European cared enough about the image, so PAL is introduced it seems.

Most of the programs in Japan are trashy period. There are some good ones, but rare. They tell lies, don't even study enough.
One difference in NTSC format in NA and Japan is the black level, 7.5IR and 0IR respectedly. That should give you the dynamic difference quite a bit.
Do you realize the Japanese voltage, 100volt is same as North Korea? We are as behind in the power source as North Korea. Most of the recordings in South Korea sounding better than Japanese because of this reason. Just can't make the equipment work steady with 100volt.
What a shame.
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Old July 28th, 2004, 08:42 PM   #14
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Re: Re: wow, I'm learning stuff here

wow, that is a good one.

<<<-- Originally posted by Andreas Winkler : <<<-- Originally posted by Mark Kubat : So, folks, if I do chromakeying - 4:2:0 sampling of PAL will make life easier for me? -->>>

If you need a quite good visual example, take a look here.
As far as I know DV PAL has 4:2:0 format, DV NTSC 4:1:1.
But MPEG2 (as for DVD) has 4:2:0 for both PAL and NTSC.
Anyone may correct me, if I'm wrong with this!? -->>>
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Old July 28th, 2004, 08:56 PM   #15
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I come from New Zealand where we have the PAL standard and I really noticed the lower vertical resolution that NTSC offers when I visited the USA for a while last year.

Improved electronics has reduced the color problems intrinsic to NTSC but nothing can fix the lower resolution.

I find that with improvements in the resolution of TV sets, the traditional single-scan (50/60Hz) sets with larger (29"+) screens produce displays where the horizontal scan lines are quite visible (even with my aging vision).

The double-scan (100/120Hz) sets solve those problems nicely -- while also eliminating any 50Hz flicker that I saw someone here complaining about but have never experienced myself.
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