Buying a camcorder in the US and using it in the UK

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I'm hoping someone can offer some advice on using a Us purchased camcorder in the UK. I understand that NTSC and PAL differ, but what practical difference does it make.



1) Will a DVD recorded on a US camcorder play on a UK DVD player

2) Will direct playback from the camcorder work if connected to a TV that is NTSC compatible

3) Is it just a question of differing picture quality ?



HOpe someone can help here, my attempts at Googling have just produced very techie stuff which hasn't helped much



Thanks in advance

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,230moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irwells View Post


    1) Will a DVD recorded on a US camcorder play on a UK DVD player



    Personal recordings should work ok as they aren't region encoded. I assume here you're talking about a camcorder that records onto a DVD and if so I wouldn't recommend buying one of those. If it's one that records to tape, HD or SD then you'd capture DV footage into imovie or whatever you use and author the DVD later.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irwells View Post


    2) Will direct playback from the camcorder work if connected to a TV that is NTSC compatible



    Yes.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irwells View Post


    3) Is it just a question of differing picture quality ?



    Nope, NTSC and PAL have different frame rates. If you do want to convert the video to PAL, you could run into issues like audio sync or changes to the audio pitch.



    If you decide to stick to NTSC, you will have issues mixing the footage with PAL stuff if you have any. If it's just for shooting home movies, that probably wouldn't matter.



    Make sure to get a universal power adaptor btw.



    If this is going to be a camcorder for regular use in the UK, I would recommend just getting a UK camcorder. Is there a reason for wanting to buy one in the US?



    The reason to not get a DVD based camcorder is that it doesn't record DV but mpeg-2. This is not an edit format so if you needed to chop stuff around, you have to convert back to DV, chop then author to mpeg-2 again.



    If you don't plan on editing footage much then that wouldn't be a problem and there are ways to edit the footage anyway that aren't much longer than capturing.



    Tape = real-time capture

    DVD = rip DVD + convert to DV - not quite 'ripping' as it's unencrypted but if you close a DVD on these camcorders, which you will have to before reading, you'll have to use similar software to extract the file.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irwells View Post


    I'm hoping someone can offer some advice on using a Us purchased camcorder in the UK. I understand that NTSC and PAL differ, but what practical difference does it make.



    1) Will a DVD recorded on a US camcorder play on a UK DVD player

    2) Will direct playback from the camcorder work if connected to a TV that is NTSC compatible

    3) Is it just a question of differing picture quality ?



    HOpe someone can help here, my attempts at Googling have just produced very techie stuff which hasn't helped much



    Thanks in advance



    It depends totally on your goal. What do you want to do with the video after shooting it?

    I live in the UK which is a PAL region - and I use the Canon HV20 NTSC version.

    The US camera shoots in 60i - 30p and 24p.

    The European camera shoots in 50i and 25p.



    If my audience was broadcast television, my US camera would be a problem.

    If I am making videos for the Internet and home use. It really does not make much difference.

    I saved a lot of money.



    That said, using 24p (my personal favorite) requires a lot more messing about than the 25p equivalent.





    C.
  • Reply 3 of 6
    irwellsirwells Posts: 2member
    Thanks for all the feedback so far.



    I've been looking at the Sony 810, which has 8GB of internal memory as well as the dvd drive.



    THe machine would mostly be used for stuff to pass round the family (hence the DVD). I might occasionally edit stuff (hence the idea about the 810).



    My real worry is whether dvds recorder on an NTSC machine will play back ok on UK DVD players.



    Hope that clarifies things.



    Any more advice gratefully received



    Ian
  • Reply 4 of 6
    carniphagecarniphage Posts: 1,984member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irwells View Post


    Thanks for all the feedback so far.



    I've been looking at the Sony 810, which has 8GB of internal memory as well as the dvd drive.



    THe machine would mostly be used for stuff to pass round the family (hence the DVD). I might occasionally edit stuff (hence the idea about the 810).



    My real worry is whether dvds recorder on an NTSC machine will play back ok on UK DVD players.



    Hope that clarifies things.



    Any more advice gratefully received



    Ian



    If they are NTSC DVDs they may work or they may not. Not everyone has region-free DVD players.

    If they are DVD RAM disks or DVD+Rs some players don't seem to like them.

    and finally If they are 3" disks, you can't use them in slot loading players.



    I'd advise against this kind of camera.

    Get one that records to tape, or direct to memory cards.

    All video really needs editing. So get a camera that works with iMovie or something similar.



    C,
  • Reply 5 of 6
    zinfellazinfella Posts: 877member
    The first thing to do is check the warranty restrictions for the brand that you are interested in. Many camera manufacturers only warranty the camera in the country that it was sold, which means that other countries may not honor the warranty should you need service. Some manufacturers are even worse about warranty service, and yes, that's possible.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,230moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irwells View Post


    I've been looking at the Sony 810, which has 8GB of internal memory as well as the dvd drive.



    THe machine would mostly be used for stuff to pass round the family (hence the DVD). I might occasionally edit stuff (hence the idea about the 810).



    That one uses mini-DVD 1.4GB discs. These won't work in any slot-loading machine (every Mac other than a Mac Pro). They might work in a tray-loading DVD player as they'll just be smaller DVDs.



    To connect to a Mac, you can hook up the USB port to read the disc but Apple doesn't include mpeg-2 decoding so you'll run into issues trying to get the movies onto your computer:



    http://discussions.apple.com/thread....88&tstart=1512



    If you can close/author the disc and you have a tray-loading drive, you can probably manage it. USB transfers might not be so good as you usually need a driver. If the drive does mount, it's likely it will use a FAT filesystem so your recordings could be split into chunks and again in mpeg-2 format.



    If you have an Intel Mac, you should be able to do the transfer via Windows - Parallels etc will depend on driver support too though.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by irwells View Post


    My real worry is whether dvds recorder on an NTSC machine will play back ok on UK DVD players.



    It depends on the DVD player and the way the discs are written. I've used NTSC discs in UK players before and some work fine but others play back all green. You need both an NTSC compatible DVD player and TV - some of your family members might not have both.



    Also bear in mind if you bring back an item worth more than £145, you have to pay something like 4.9-14% import tax (legally anyway).



    If you just need a cheap camcorder, there are a few in the UK to choose from:



    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=53HJ

    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=4ZFQ

    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=4YQ2

    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?Quicklinx=4ZFR
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