NTSC or PAL cameras??

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mnwtucker, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. mnwtucker macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008
    Hi, I'm thinking about purchasing the Canon HV30 when it becomes available in March.

    If I buy it from the U.S. (I'm in the U.K.) I will make a substantial saving. My question relates to formats. I know that the US/Euro formats are NTSC and PAL respectively. Although I can get a PAL model through U.S. suppliers, NTSC models are going to be easier to get hold of. However, as I will be importing the video to my Macbook Pro, editing in iMovie/Final Cut express and subsequently writing to DVD or posting on youtube, with playback through LCD/Plasma screens. It's highly unlikely that I'll ever output directly to a CRT display.

    Should I still go for a PAL format camera or will the NTSC be fine for my purposes?

    Hope that make sense. Thanks in advance for any help, advice.
  2. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    If you want to create DVDs that play on PAL players/TVs in the U.K., I'd go for a PAL camera. If you are producing exclusively for the web (or other computer-based devices), then it doesn't really matter - you can get the cheaper NTSC model then.

    One thing I don't know is how widely DVD players and TVs installed in the U.K. accept NTSC-formatted disks. I know it would be a problem the other way around (i.e. trying to play PAL material in a US player). If NTSC material is widely accecpted in your country, then the NTSC camera may work fine for you - however, you may sacrifice a little bit of video quality as the picture is converted from NTSC to PAL (due to lower resolution of NTSC and conversion of frame rates).

    - Martin
  3. cmcbridejr macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2007
    Alpharetta, GA
    I am an American, but I went to film school in London for 5 years.

    Being in the UK, I filmed all my projects in PAL, and then I had to later convert to NTSC when I moved back to the US in able to watch them here.

    Well, the conversion is certainly not perfect, as there is a pause every minute or so during playback to catch up to the right frame count.

    So, my advice would be to use whatever format is best for where you live, which would be PAL. Proper playback is worth the few extra bucks.

    Besides, doesn't PAL have slightly better quality since it is 25 fps at 625 lines versus NTSC with 24 fps and 525 lines?
  4. mnwtucker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2008
    NTSC or PAL???

    Thanks for the help with this. I think I will be going for a PAL model.

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