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Old November 12th, 2003, 12:54 PM   #1
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DVX100 PAL vs. NTSC

Hi All,

I'm looking at the DVX100 for my next camera purchase. I've shot some footage on a rented NTSC unit, and have been very impressed with the results. (I'm shooting music video - want to get a nice quality , filmic look)

A friend mentioned that I should see if it comes in a PAL version, to take advantage of the higher vertical line count - and Voila - it does...

I'm just wondering if anyone has any ideas about pros and cons of getting the PAL vs. the NTSC version.

I will be capturing thru FireWire, editing in FinalCut, After Effects, and My own editing software. I probably will be viewing only on computer monitor except for final out to NTSC for Videotape, Quicktime, and DVD.

Other than needing a PAL video monitor for studio use, and also for on-set monitoring, is there anything else that represents a stumbling block in taking the PAL approach with this Cam? It sounds like it should be an easy way to get higher res images with everything else that i love about the NTSC version I've used... Is there a downside?

Thanks in advance for any ideas... thoughts.... suggestions...

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Old November 12th, 2003, 01:06 PM   #2
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This subject is aborded frequently on this board and you should be able to find several thread about the pros and cons by using the search tool. But if you don't plan to playback your footage on a monitor, I think that your main concern should be the warranty. Usually, service centers in the NTSC land doesn't do any type of repair on PAL units. You may be forced to ship your camera oversea for maintenance.
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Old November 12th, 2003, 02:35 PM   #3
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Warranty... yes... important

I hadn't thought of that.

If I buy the DVX100 PAL from a place like B&H in NYC, wouldn't I have a U.S. warranty? Also , if I buy from B&H, how IS service accomplished.. are there ANY PAL service places for Panasonic PAL equipment in NY? or at least in USA?
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Old November 12th, 2003, 03:34 PM   #4
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Short answer: if you're producing PAL video, use a PAL camera. If you're producing NTSC video, use an NTSC camera.

From your post it sounds like you'll be mastering in NTSC. If that's the case, getting PAL makes absolutely no sense. Yes, PAL is a little higher resolution, but when you convert to NTSC you'll be:

1) introducing motion artifacts
2) converting from 4:2:0 over to 4:1:1, which would leave your effective color sampling at 4:1:0
3) throwing away that extra bit of higher vertical resolution anyway

An NTSC video from an NTSC DVX100 is going to look much better than an NTSC video from a PAL DVX100.
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Old November 12th, 2003, 03:48 PM   #5
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Hmmmm

Sounds like i should actually stay away from PAL, then :-)

Thanks for weighing in...

Just out of curiousity, why is it that I hear so much about people shooting on PAL for the extra resolution even when their final out will be NTSC? Are they just nuts?
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Old November 12th, 2003, 04:33 PM   #6
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I don't know of anyone who shoots PAL for NTSC release. Maybe they would shoot PAL for PAL release, and also convert to NTSC, but I don't think I've ever heard of someone endorsing the idea of shooting PAL specifically to release on NTSC...

A few years ago there was some buzz about shooting PAL for film transfer, because PAL is higher vertical resolution and because the 50i frame rate converted down to 25 frames easier than the NTSC 60i frame rate would convert to 24 frames.

Nowadays, with the DVX and SDX and VariCam and CineAlta shooting legitimate 24P, that's become basically a thing of the past.
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Old November 12th, 2003, 04:56 PM   #7
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Yes, Barry's hit the nail squarely on the head. The advent of affordable and accessible 24P in NTSC-land has made the pain and significant expense of PAL an unnecessary maneuver.
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Old November 13th, 2003, 09:04 AM   #8
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Warranty

Hi All,

Just wanted to mention that as far as warranty, Panasonic US assured me that if I buy in the US from an authorized dealer, a PAL camera can certainly be serviced in the US.

It does appear though, that because of the color sampling issue going from 4:2:0 to an effective 4:1:0 , I'd lose alot of color info, and PAL may not be a good idea for me.

Thanks so much for all the help.
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Old November 13th, 2003, 11:05 AM   #9
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Even with 24P now available, wouldn't it still be worth the inconvenience to go 25P PAL for the extra vertical resolution if you're planning/hoping to blow up to film?
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Old November 13th, 2003, 01:23 PM   #10
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"24P now available, wouldn't it still be worth the inconvenience to go 25P PAL for the extra vertical resolution if you're planning/hoping to blow up to film?"

YES .. if that is the plan you shoot PAL dvx 100 , edit it .. then transfer to FILM .. then use FILM print to make NTSC/PAL video's ...

if you are hoping - shoot NTSC ... if you look at all the dv25 hand size camera movies that made it to the BIG screen this year ( got released) they PLANNED it ... now i'm sure there are many that planned to go to film and didn't BUT IMO there is a HUGE difference in ATTITUDE when one plans vs. one hopes. i find more projects succeed with PLANNING vs hoping.
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Old November 14th, 2003, 01:43 AM   #11
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I don't think it is so senseless to get a PAL camera in NTSC land, at least as some people have painted it here.

You get more vertical resolution, approx 100 lines more REALLY counts. The 4:2:0 sampling yields better color in my opinion.

I recently purchased an XL1se(PAL) having been a DVX100 owner, and having used the NTSC XL1s before. I am VERY happy with it. Basically if you are going for film blowups, go for it. Even if you resize to NTSC resolution, you still have the sharpness in the image of the 100 extra lines. The color looks much better than the NTSC XL1s, and it is at least up to par with my NTSC DVX100. Even though the DVX still yields slightly sharper images(possibly because of the REAL progressive CCD's), the XL1se yields more deep film-like colors than the DVX without any post-work.

I usually record in 25fps frame mode, and slow the footage down to 24. This is a 4% reduction in speed and is not noticeable by the GRAND majority of people, maybe some experts can tell the difference. I sure as hell can't.

I mean, it would be nice to have a 24P DVX with the 100 extra lines of resolution, but if you weight the considerations for film blowups, the 100 extra lines ARE worth it.

Just my opinion. I thought i'd post it, because I am totally in love with the DVX100, but I am still impressed with the advantages you get in a PAL camera, knowing what a relative poor performer the NTSC XL1 is.

Juan
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