NTSC/PAL difference

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    • #39788

      I’m new to higher end camcorders and have been looking around and have noticed PAL and NTSC. I have read some articles telling the difference of the two but am still somewhat confused. How are the two types of cameras different? Thanks for the help.

    • #171674

      If you live in America and other parts of the modern world, Your TV is NTSC.
      If you use a PAL camera and try to play it on an NTSC TV it won’t work. Two different signal types.

      Basically, that’s the gist.

    • #171675

      Thanks for clearing that up for me

    • #171676

      NTSC has a full screen resolution of 720 x 480 and a frame rate of 30fps
      PAL has a full screen resolution of 720 x 576 and a frame rate of 25fps

    • #171677


      I’ve met two professional shooters who swore by the PAL version of Sony’s PD150/170. I worked with one on a high profile doc, doing interviews on DC’s Capitol Hill (Barbara Boxer, John Conyers, etc.). He works for a company in NYC but is based in L.A. The other is an Austrian who shoots ethnic docs in Alaska and Thailand and lives in Thailand. They both claimed (no connection between the two) that they see a dramatic difference in quality when their video shoots are converted to film. i.e., PAL they said was far superior in quality to NTSC. I have not done a direct comparison myself. At one point, due to my discussions with these gentlemen, I was tempted to go the PAL route, though I live right here in the U.S. At the time (3-4 years ago), it was pricey for a setup to convert PAL media (e.g., minDV) to NTSC media (e.g., minDV) at the highest quality.

      REGARDS … TOM 8)

    • #171678


      I heard that from a filmmaker as well, that PAL was getter than ntsc for transferring to film. Actually he said "used to be". Apparently, the big quality improvement was that PAL’s 25 FPS translates to film’s 24FPS a lot better than does video. However, this guy now uses the new NTSC cameras that record in 24P. He said those are his new favorite, because not only does it convert directly to film without figuring out what to do with an extra frame, but he can also watch the output on his American monitors and TV’s, a really nice feature πŸ™‚

      To answer the original question, NTSC is the American standard in video. Most of (not all, mind you) the rest of the world uses PAL. I think of it as the video equivalent of the S.A.E./Metric system of measurement.

      If you live in North America, Buy NTSC.

    • #171679

      Please find very brief article here:

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