Difference between the "PAL" and "NTSC" model

This Blog is about the HF100 "PAL" model (which I own) so keep in mind that my experiences with the "NTSC" model are just secondhand from what I've read on the web.

I've put PAL and NTSC in quotes because unlike the (old) television standards the image resolution of HD is identical in both worlds.

Nevertheless there's still a difference in frame rate. The HF100 "PAL" model records 50i or 25p while the "NTSC" model offers a 60i and 30p and also a 24p frame rate. The latter was added to offer a slower cinema like frame rate which the "PAL" model automatically has. The 24p of the NTSC model is not a "real" 24 fps recording as it is derived from 30 frames per second. Motion will not appear as smooth as if recorded with 24 fps natively. Don't ask me for details I never comprehended this matter completely.

Another difference is that the AV output ports will deliver 720x480@30fps on the "NTSC" model and 720x576@25fps on the "PAL" model.

I've heard that if you use a "NTSC" model in a PAL country (or the other way around) you will see the light flicker on your indoor recordings because the frame rate and the mains frequency do not match (50Hz vs. 60Hz). Otherwise photo cameras with movie mode record 30p worldwide so maybe this is just a problem with interlaced recordings. I don't know.

1 comment:

Ethan T said...

FYI, the 24fps mode of the NTSC model is actually recorded as 60i using a 3:2 pulldown. It's possible to apply reverse telecine to the resulting file and yield the original 24p data, but this takes post processing and is generally annoying. For this reason I generally shoot in 30p and it looks enough like film that I can't tell the difference.