PAL FX1 with NTSC FX1...can they play nice? at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old January 5th, 2008, 06:29 PM   #1
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PAL FX1 with NTSC FX1...can they play nice?

Ok, can't decide whether this belongs here or in the Premiere section...
I live in the UK and obviously have a PAL FX1. Now, I have recently seen a really good deal on an NTSC FX1 that someone is selling here. They are both to be used for weddings and I use PPro CS3. The big question is will I be causing myself more headaches than it's worth? I can see myself having to convert the framerate of all the B cam footage to 25fps before even beginning to edit. I've never worked with 29.97fps footage before and it scares the hell out of me...too used to a nice round number! lol
Also, could the conversion process cause problems with syncing up the audio?

Perhaps I'm overcomplicating things, just trying to get my head round it.

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 07:25 PM   #2
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Any advice is appreciated.
The NTSC stuff will have a lower vertical resolution (480 vs 576) and when the frame rates are converted you may see such artifacts as a sort of thumping or notching of motion, shot transitions happening between fields, and blurrier colours as NTSC is 4:1:1 and PAL is 4:2:0.

The conversion process often involves deinterlacing before converting, so the NTSC footage will always look different to the PAL footage unless you deinterlace that and perhaps distress the colour some way.

IMHO, the time spent doing standards conversions and jiggling in post to make the PAL stuff match will blow the doors off the minor difference and will not be doing justice to what a couple of PAL cameras could do.

Remember - PAL: Pictures Always Lovely, NTSC: Never Twice the Same Colour (and for good measure, SECAM: System Essentially Contrary to American Method).
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Old January 5th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #3
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I hadn't thought of the colour (color ;-)) space conversion. Although, I would be shooting and editing in HD so that should eliminate the vertical resolution problem right? That leaves the framerate conversion. Tough call when I could get a second FX1 for just 600. I guess my instictive fears are true and I might very well pay harshly for it in the long-run...in time spent converting and cursing.
I think I just wanted someone to tell me 'Hey, no probs...convert the framerate and it will blend in beautifully!' lol
Should have known that framerate conversion is sometimes a necessary evil, but one that should never be by choice!
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Old January 6th, 2008, 04:44 AM   #4
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I hadn't thought of the colour (color ;-)) space conversion. Although, I would be shooting and editing in HD so that should eliminate the vertical resolution problem right?
Right - both 50i and 60i flavours of HDV are 4:2:0.

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wanted someone to tell me 'Hey, no probs...convert the framerate and it will blend in beautifully!' lol
Well, there is a rare situation where one could shoot 24p and have it transmogrified into 25p, but not with the Z1/FX-1 as the CineFrame 'Fake 24p' mode in 60i settings does strange things...
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Old January 7th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #5
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Just find a really good deal on a PAL version and be done with it. You'll drive yourself nuts converting frame rates and trying to match the two cameras. The time you lose doing that is not worth the small amount of money you save between buying a second hand NTSC or PAL version.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 06:46 PM   #6
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Yes, I seen sense in the end. Can't believe that I was actually considering hours of converting files which have already taken hours to capture, just to get to the the edit stage! Money blinds reason!
Your absolutely right, any benefit gained financially in the short-term would have cost me dearly in the long-run.
Happily, I spotted a nice little Sony HC1 which allowed me to easily stay within budget and get a nice wide-angle lens and tripod to boot!
Thanks guys.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 08:31 AM   #7
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In your shoes I would avoid mixing PAL and NTSC FX1 cameras. Too bad it isn't a Z1, because the Z1 can switch!

However, if you insist on getting the camera, consider editing with Sony Vegas 7 or later. Using that application, I have shot material in 60i* and released it in both NTSC and PAL standard definition DVD. Vegas is really great at doing this type of resampling.

*In the HD world, the term NTSC is not applicable because it is not bound by the NTSC color space or resolution.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 09:47 PM   #8
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You won't ever get smooth motion converting 60 fields to 50 fields -maybe nobody will notice, but it won't be smooth. You can only get smooth motion in multiples e.g 60->30, or 60->20 etc and only if the display (or broadcast format) will have an equal or multiple refresh rate of the final encoding (e.g film 24p cannot playback smoothly on NTSC (60i) but for PAL (50i), it always playback smoothly after the 4% speed up ->25p).
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