NTSC vs PAL or How To Get The Highest Frame Rate for Your Slow Motion Video

NTSC vs PAL - Video Broadcasting Standards

Before buying your camera, think about this:

Do you like making slow motion videos?

If so, how do you know the camera you wanna buy offers the advertised frame rate in video shooting mode?

That's silly, you may say. If the manufacturer says it shoots 60 fps it must be so, right?

Not necessarily.

Most of the new consumer cameras launch first in USA and then in Europe and Asia. So the technical specs you read are usually those available in North America.

Now, there are some manufacturers that specifically build cameras for the USA market or for Europe. And this is reflected in the camera's settings: some shoot video in NTSC standard and some in PAL.

When I bought my Sony HX9V I was surprised to find out I didn't get the 50 fps as I expected... coz I bought it here, in Europe. Boy was I pissed!

Which leads me to the point I wanna make with this post:

Make sure the camera offers both NTSC and PAL

Or simply buy the NTSC camera. That's coz you'll get a higher frame rate with NTSC - multiple of 30 fps. Whereas with PAL you get 25 fps - or multiple of 25 for high speed.

PAL NTSC Map - NTSC Countries - PAL Countries

I assume most of us who buy cameras, don't watch much of the footage on TV, nor do we broadcast it. We download the videos on our computer and watch them or start editing. So I  guess it's more important to have a higher frame rate than it is to have video that respects the local broadcasting standard. At least that's my case.


Do your research and find out whether the camera allows you to switch between NTSC and PAL. If it doesn't, buy the camera from Amazon.com to be sure you get the North American standard.

I'm curios to find out if the new Sony action camera offers only 100 fps in HD mode for the European market (as opposed to 120 fps in HD for NTSC). That would be lame...

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