Shooting NTSC to go to PAL

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the Jan, 2007, issue of
Larry’s Free Monthly Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

Last month, Matt Pennington asked what was the best way to go from NTSC to PAL. Thomas Fritscher, from Germany, responded with:

From my experience, 30p is the worst way to shoot if you’re going to PAL, unless you want your footage to run significantly slower in PAL. This is because there is half as much motion information recorded compared to 60i which makes it harder to interpolate the frames to go to 50i.


If you don’t mind the 4% speed up I would recommend shooting in 24pA (the “A” being important!), remove the advanced pulldown, conform the footage to 25p using Cinema Tools and then importing into a 25p PAL sequence to resize to 720×576. This will give you very good quality 25p PAL which is 4% faster than the original, but since no one knows the original, hardly anyone will notice.


If you don’t want the 4% speedup, or need interlaced video, shoot 60i and use Nattress or Compressor 2 to convert to PAL.

I forwarded Thomas’ comments to Matt, who wrote back:

Very interesting, I’m glad I didn’t go with 30p like I had originally planned!


But I took your advice and just shot 24p (not 24pA) and I’m sending the master to a local place to convert to PAL. Because I’m doing this for a contest I want it to look the best it can – and I’m at least happy to say we shot the remaining footage this past weekend and the rough edit is looking good. By the way, the Gradient Wipe is my best friend.


Thanks again Larry.

Larry replies: Thomas, thanks for writing and, Matt, you’re welcome.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Larry Recommends:

FCPX Complete

NEW & Updated!

Edit smarter with Larry’s latest training, all available in our store.

Access over 1,900 on-demand video editing courses. Become a member of our Video Training Library today!


Subscribe to Larry's FREE weekly newsletter and save 10%
on your first purchase.