HD Camcorders; PAL vs NTSC, 60p vs 50p ? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-20-2013, 12:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Whilst researching a new purchase, I've noticed that a great many Camcorders, and I'm talking mid-range Sony and Panasonics seem to have a multitude of different model numbers to cover different regions; some PAL and some NTSC.

The NTSC versions generally support 1920x1080 @ 60i/60p, 30p and 24p and the PAL versions 1920x1080 @ 50i/50p, 25p BUT NOT 24p.

It seems that the PAL version of 24p for those users is only served up as the half-frame-rate 50p of 25p, giving PAL owners much less flexibility.

From the above observation, and based on the fact that most HDTVs can display frame rates or 50, 60, 25, 30, and 24 is there any point buying a PAL version of a camcorder at all only to miss out on the availability of a 24p setting?

The research involves most of the new run of Sonys and Panasonics;
Sony HDR-PJ430VE (PAL)
Sony HDR-PJ430V (NTSC) - supports 24p
Sony HDR-PJ650VE (PAL)
Sony HDR-PJ650V (NTSC) - supports 24p
Sony HDR-PJ660VE (PAL)
Sony HDR-PJ660V (NTSC) - supports 24p
Sony HDR-PJ790VE (PAL) - this actually has a "special" 24p Mode to support 24p, but none of the others do.
Sony HDR-PJ650V (NTSC) - supports 24p

Panasonic HC-X920M
Panasonic HC-V720M
Panasonic HC-V520M

For the Panasonics, it's not clear if the PAL version supports the same frames rates in the Digital Cinema modes.

Does anybody know more specifics on the Sony implementation of 24p and whether I might as well import an NTSC version for more flexibility?

Thanks,

Greg
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-20-2013, 06:45 AM
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Hi Greg - having lived in the UK, the US and continental Europe, I would not import a US NTSC camcorder just for 24p. Yes, you would gain 24p (and probably 60p) - but you would lose the ability to output your video straight to your PAL television set via HDMI.

If you need 24p output on a PAL camera, Sony is your best bet. Whatever else can be said about Sony, they are pretty much the only manufacturer that makes the effort to built "world cameras" such as the £999 PJ790VE (and the pro FS100E) with both 24p and 25p frame rates.

Cheers,

Bill
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-20-2013, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply, Bill.

So what you're saying is that most manufacturers don't offer the flexibility of all frame-rates on all formats then? That seems lame when most consumer DLSRs and Digicams offer the full selection for a few hundred bucks. My 4-year old Canon DSLR has ALL of the possible frame rates available with no mention of PAL or NTSC in the manual.

Also, aren't most TVs these day's multi-system (i.e. both PAL and NTSC) so there is no incompatibility like in the old CRT days? Surely if a TV shows 1080, 50p and 1080, 60p, then it will happily display output from both a PAL and NTSC HD Camcorder? I'm in Australia, by the way, and they have the same (or very similar) PAL system here as the UK, but I though that HDMI output was agnostic of these regional "standards".

My main fear of importing is that of the "grey market".

Cheers again...

Greg
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-20-2013, 09:29 AM
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If you live in a 50 Hz country then buy a 50p camcorder, it is the most flexible frame rate of them all, you can convert it to 25i, 25p and 25p with 0.5x slo-mo. You do not need 24p. It is very unlikely you will need to film out as film is almost dead. If you ever need to convert to 24p then just slow it 4% down, no one will see the difference.

Choosing between 60p/30p and 24p is a nuisance, you need to know beforehand what your delivery format will be and shoot accordingly. With 50p you do not need to worry about this, just shoot everything in 50p with 1/50 shutter and you can keep it as "video look" or convert to "film look" with no loss of quality.

P.S. U.S. equipment is rarely multi-standard. European HD-Ready means that it MUST support 50 Hz, 60 Hz and 24 fps rates.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-20-2013, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_maso View Post

Thanks for your reply, Bill.

So what you're saying is that most manufacturers don't offer the flexibility of all frame-rates on all formats then? That seems lame when most consumer DLSRs and Digicams offer the full selection for a few hundred bucks. My 4-year old Canon DSLR has ALL of the possible frame rates available with no mention of PAL or NTSC in the manual.

Also, aren't most TVs these day's multi-system (i.e. both PAL and NTSC) so there is no incompatibility like in the old CRT days? Surely if a TV shows 1080, 50p and 1080, 60p, then it will happily display output from both a PAL and NTSC HD Camcorder? I'm in Australia, by the way, and they have the same (or very similar) PAL system here as the UK, but I though that HDMI output was agnostic of these regional "standards".

My main fear of importing is that of the "grey market".

Cheers again...

Greg
In the US there is only 720P60 ( ABC, FOX, ESPN etc) and 1080i60 HD TV shows . The only DSLR style cameras with 1080p60 is the $12,000 Canon EOS-1D C, Panasonic GH3 and Sony A series SLT like the A99.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-20-2013, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jogiba View Post

In the US there is only 720P60 ( ABC, FOX, ESPN etc) and 1080i60 HD TV shows . The only DSLR style cameras with 1080p60 is the $12,000 Canon EOS-1D C, Panasonic GH3 and Sony A series SLT like the A99.

Hi, thanks for the feedback. I guess I'm not talking about TV Broadcast standards, more about what the panels themselves are capable of displaying. Pretty sure that most can display all combinations - certainly those sold over here.

And as for DSLRs; understood about 60p/50p, I was more referring to the inclusion of "NTSC" 30p and "PAL" 25p but not to the exclusion of 24p, which is ubiquitous in most consumer products, whether sold here or overseas.

Either way, from what Bill has advised, above, which is practical advice, I guess the outcome is that if I'm to mix DSLR and Camcorder footage, I'm best off not using 24p as available on the DSLR and instead move to a combination of 50p and 25p to ensure compatibility. Which is a shame - I don't understand what the technical or cost restriction would be on Sony and other manufacturers to exclude 24p from the repertoire of their enthusiast devices.

Thanks all for your input.

Greg
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