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Old November 4th, 2001, 04:53 AM   #1
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What's up with Texas? A South African in Houston, Texas.

Originally from Joeys, now living in Houston, TX, but should be back in SA around Dec '02 and ready to shoot some wildlife-related doccies. In the meantime I am looking forward to seeing the Boks come to town and kick some Eagles butt!

Been in the film & TV biz for about 15 years. Jack of all trades (read as my Varsity Degree! lol). Started off as a pro stuntman (about 24 credits) got hooked on video and done pretty much everything from P.A. to Owner/Director of production company doing commercials (on Beta - not 35). Been traveling the US with wife and cats from South Africa in a RV. Married in RV in Vegas (apparently 1st couple to do so, got to check with Guiness) now holed up in Houston. Keeping busy developing TV projects (4 weekly series' and 1 special - now in need of Producer to sell/market.)

Looking at buying an XL1S or similar, however, my dilemma has been whether to buy an NTSC for the next year or a PAL and deal with the extra price and always having to convert while I'm still in the US.

Got a budget of $6000 but hoping to streeeeetch that out to include ENG package AND NLE system, maybe impossible. XL1S alone is coming in at about $3500.

For those of you in SA, what's the current price in Rands for an XL1S and a MAC G4 with FCP 2?

Can one shoot NTSC and edit/output PAL and/or visa versa on FCP?
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Old November 4th, 2001, 08:06 AM   #2
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Guy, as I understand SA uses PAL. Your best bet is to buy a PAL camera and convert to NTSC if you need to. Converting NTSC to PAL you will lose quality as PAL has 625 hoz lines and NTSC only has 525.

As for editing, it is best to keep everything the same standard then convert the finished product. If you try to mix frame rates in the same timeline, you'll either
a. crash your NLE system
or
b. get all kinds of crazy artifacts or maybe africats (sorry couldn't resist it)

I don't know if FCP can convert PAL to NTSC and vise versa. If you find some software that does this well please let me know as I'm in a similar boat. I'm using a PAL camera in Japan, which uses NTSC

Last edited by Adrian Douglas; November 4th, 2001 at 08:18 AM.
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Old November 5th, 2001, 09:23 PM   #3
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Hi Adrian,

You're right. This whole dilema about PAL/NTSC gets a bit much, I have so much else to figure out, Ha! Ha! The thing is I hope to make the camera work while in the US and I'm sure there will be those occassions where a client wants me to go and shoot something and then just hand off the tape, expecting a "professional Beta SP" type format and I don't know if handing over a mini DV tape will cut it, let alone one that's PAL. Maybe I'm just getting caught up in all the small things?

It will be my first camera purchase and I want to make the right choice. My poor wife had to wait 7 years and follow me from Africa, Ha! Ha! Guess ultimately you gotta think which is the most practical situation and just dive in, I'm almost there, hopefully in a week or two! Can't wait, got so much to shoot!

Got to hit the shower, as I said to Chris, I'm working as a grip on a "Taylor Golf Clubs" commercial with Mark Weir, Tom Lehman and my countryman Ernie Els and it's 5:30am calls and 7:00pm wraps, so goodnight good friends and look forward to becoming a more "hands on" participant in the DV world.

Chris, thanks for the Watchdog and this great forum and for the advise and Adrian, if I find out anything about the PAL/NTSC editing thing, I'll let y'all (that's Texan) know.
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Old November 5th, 2001, 11:33 PM   #4
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<< 5:30am calls and 7:00pm wraps >>

Ahh, production... I live for days like this... they just fly by, before you know it you've done fourteen hours on the set and then you sleep reeeaal goood that night. Have fun!
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Old April 8th, 2002, 01:30 AM   #5
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Hi Adrian,

It's been a while. I finally receive my PAL XL1s tomorrow, man, I'm giddier than a teenager going out on his first date! Since last chat, I've found out that you cannot convert formats in your NLE, pity. There are some relatively inexpensive converters out there, but you have to be careful and check the quality/resolution.
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Old April 8th, 2002, 10:51 AM   #6
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Hey Guy,

Glad to hear you finally getting your camera. It's like being a kid at christmas again. I suggest you don't pee before going to bed so that way you will wake up nice and early and go down and open your new toy before your mum wakes up.

I also found a place here in Tokyo that will convert a minidv tape from PAL to NTSC for 1800(US$13). I don't know what the quality is like but I'll give em a go.
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Old April 8th, 2002, 11:03 PM   #7
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there is a way to use FCP and convert to and from NTSC and PAL by importing and exporting through quicktime. If the projects are not too long and your not expecting broadcast results it works fine. If you want broadcast results find a good Post House that does conversions. The conversions are pricey but the results should be ver good. the table top units are fine for rough copies and such but do not expect broadcast quality.

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Old April 8th, 2002, 11:19 PM   #8
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Hi

Will get you a Rand's price today for the XL1s. I originally bought my XL-1 from Canon direct, they set up a Prosumer Division to cater for the "professional" this meant about a 15% discount. When last I looked thay has closed the division, will check.

Will also give you the Rand=$US rate.

Andrew
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Old April 9th, 2002, 12:44 AM   #9
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Hi Adrian,

I was so excited last night I spent 4 hours on this board reading everything, until I had to force myself to bed at about 4:00am! After taking my wife to work, I was back in bed at 9:30 am and was happily shooting this crucial scene for a wildlife doccy which included a grasshopper running in slo mo along the beach in this sexy bikini when I was disturbed by someone banging on the door of my Land Rover. Fortunately I came to my senses and by the time I got to the door I managed to stop the UPS guy before he drove off!

So now I'm an official card carrying member! IT'S BEAUTIFUL!

As for that converter, it doesn't sound like it will be broadcast quality, but you can't go wrong for $13.

Jeff, thanks for the tip about quicktime, I'll check it out. There are Standards Converters out there, B&H sell the Samar for about $400, but the resolution is only 300 lines and Markertek sell the TenLab converters for between $550 - $790 but still the best resolution is 400 lines. I went to Industrial Audio & Video here in Houston and coverted about 45 mins of PAL Betacam footage onto one 60 min miniDV for about $50 incl. the tape so guess what I'll choose in the future.

Hey Andrew, thanks for the offer, but I've already made the big leap. I tried a few places in SA and the best price I got was R44 000.00 from The Camera Guy. What was enticing about his offer was a one year on site warranty. That is, if I had any problem he would supply me with a backup while the camera was being serviced, very cool! However, his service was sketchy. I was all set to make a committment and was waiting for one last clarification from him, but after 3 days I had to e-mail only to be told he had gone away for a week, leaving me out to dry and him without a sale.

I am interested in the price of NLE systems. My two options are a Mac laptop with FCP3 or a PC laptop with Avid Xpress DV 3, if you know of any sites in SA I can visit to check prices I would be much obliged.
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Old April 9th, 2002, 02:21 AM   #10
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Guy,

Sounds like your wife will be getting jealous of the XL1, better buy her a dog.

I wouldn't expect broadcast quality for $13. The only reason I need to convert is if some of the guys I shoot want a copy. I can do it in Premiere but it's pretty jumpy. When I get the Mac, maybe FCP will do a better job.

On the NLE side, are you sure you really want a laptop. If you do, I'd go for the G4 Ti Powerbook/FCP or AVID. PC laptops aren't know for their battery life, and editing will drain it quicker than a hippo sinks in the mud. I'm lucky to get 1.5hrs out of my Dell Inspiron. Also a lot of the PC laptops stepdown the processor speed to save battery power. Mine goes from 700mhz to 500mhz as soon as you unplug the power.

Maybe Ken could give you more info about the TiBook as he has one.
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Old April 10th, 2002, 02:43 AM   #11
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Hiya Adrian,

Interesting about the PC laptop power, definitely worth checking out. I'm very interested in a Mac, especially since Avid will soon bring out the Mac version of Express DV 3, thus giving one a great choice between that and FCP. Problem is, the Mac's a little too rich for my blood, maybe Ken can point me in the right direction?
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Old April 10th, 2002, 02:55 AM   #12
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Guy,

They are pricey, especially when you live outside the US and you just popped for a new XL1s.

I've got Premiere 6.0 on my Dell and it works OK, but it's slow. I've just been using it for in the field preview, connected to an inverter plugged into the 12 outlet in our Prado.

I'm heading over to Mac/FCP soon and in the future I might look into AVID, as I want to increase my DV skillset.

I had a play with a Ti Powerbook the other day, it was a 667Mhz one and it's a far cry from the Dell in every respect. It only had Photoshop 6.0 on it but it was much faster and smoother than the poor ole Dell.
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