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Shooting NTSC in a 50Hz (PAL) Region

Photo Moment - December 07, 2018

If you're traveling to a PAL region, where the power cycles at 50Hz vs the 60Hz in North America, you'll get flickering in any shots with artificial light. Here's how to correct for it, and what to do when you can't.

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This is the only video I've found that properly explains what do to when mixing PAL/NTSC shooting and regions and it makes sense now where I was still confused after every other video. Thank you!
Thank you! You might enjoy this video then, as well. It gets really deep into the numbers behind it.
I am getting flickers in my s1 at 125fps i n india. What can I do ?????
Watch this video next:

It has been a while since this was published but I was hoping to still find an answer.
I understood almost everything, thank you very much for the clear explanation.

However I am wondering about something. In the end you explained what to do with a GoPro; the instructions of setting up the camera are clear. However the example you used was using a 30p timeline. What would happen if I use a 24p timeline and drop a 25p PAL clip on there? Would the difference be visible and cause problems as well?
The flicker appears (or doesn’t) at the time of recording. Adding it to a different frame rate timeline won’t change the flicker. But you will notice skippped frames / stutters if you go from 25fps to 24fps. You could simply slow it down to 96% speed so it plays every frame (25*0.96=24)
So there is no safe way to shoot 120p in a PAL region even with 1/250 or 1/200 shutter speed?
Correct; assuming conventional lighting that you have no control over. Watch this video for a complete answer:
I live in Australia and I shot video in NTSC 24p and cell phones are all NTSC in PAL regions and that’s what we get. All my iPhone’s are NTSC.
Wow I had no idea… here’s a conversation I just had on Twitter about this
Great video. There is also weirdness when going from 30p to 25p you end up with blended frames a lot of the time. We see this a lot in the UK with US made shows being broadcast here.
If the show was shot at 24p then they just speed it up to 25p, which can also be jarring especially with theme tunes lol.
HELP- i bought Sony PAL camcorder on ebay and seller sending me Canon saying it works both PAL or NTSC...i know it impossible and camcorders runs either european or american format...please some body tell me are any camcorder can run both ( it used and i guess they want to send some ancient shit)
Most camcorders you can choose between PAL and NTSC, what are you on about?
My Canon EOS M200 mirrorless camera can do both, and so can my Sony AX53 camcorder.

As for your eBay issue, if you bought a Sony and they sent you a Canon then start a return or open a dispute with eBay.
Thank you!!!!
at last. i found the amswer I was looking for. haha thanks a lot. + 1 sub
Great. Never new all this, I live in NZ (Pal) Region and have Mavic Pro2 And hero 7 and have always struggled with timeline settings and camera settings. Didn’t even know I could change my Hero7 to Pal as it was set on NTS..needless to say I’ve always shot with 30& 60 on hero and 30 with the MAVIC. Always wondered what good 25FSP was on Mavic as it never matched the Go Pro. My Videos always looked like a bad amateur...Now i know 25& 50 here I come...Hopefully I can become a not so bad amateur :)
Fantastic Video......all related factors for optimal video rendering, served like a buffet...flicker free, stutter free, frame!
Can we please stop talking about NTSC and PAL? They don't exist anymore. Gone. Dead.
What exists are frame rates.
Sure… unless you work in broadcast. Then they’re still relevant.
Well i still can't remove anything with my house light
Does that mean you can’t remove flicker? Is it an LED light? Some cheap LED bulbs have a flicker that has nothing to do with Hz. Many LEDs actually turn on and off very rapidly. It’s a way to save costs. But it’s a disaster for photo and video. Look up “pulse width modulation”; pretty sure that’s what will explain it all to you.
Thank you that was brilliant.
Thank you!
this only proves the bullshit behind 180 degree rule in digital world
how so? 180d in digital is still significant. The shutter angle/speed not only is important when aligning with electrical frequencies, but also changes the look of the shot dramatically.
@PhotoJoseph for utube for example, maybe best frame rate is 30fps because most people are having monitors with 60hz; but if you are in a pal area, and use 180d rule, the lights will flicker, so your video will look bad. to correct that you shoot at 1/50s, which is not 180d rule. got it now?
I practically learned all the setting for the GH5 with you!!!! thanks I love your channel!! I have now also the G9, but i can set in in MOV in FHD 24fp so i can get VFR in 24.... only 30fps... I dont know why, do you?
thanks! You said you can but did you mean you *can’t*? Please re-write your question so I can fully understand it, thanks
Yes is CANT... sory my english is not so good! Its because im in MOV?
Thank you. thats a big topic to explain, but you've helped me a lot.
very informative, you cleared some of my doubts, thank you 🙏🙏
One thing I didn't understand is why a 30p timeline was non-negotiable for you? If we are talking web delivery then why not just shoot 25/50 and deliver 25? It's gonna play just fine from YouTube no matter where you are or what screen you're on.
True… and I don't remember when I did this what the reason was; this was a while ago. But there are any number of reasons this could be important to someone so regardless of MY reasoning, the info is useful to many.
Exactly what I was looking for. Very nice & precise information. Will experiment with nntsc in India (pal) 😊
I’ve shot a bunch of NTSC video in India. Definitely have to watch out for this! If you’re really interested in the technical side of this, watch this video next:
Should I shoot everything in PAL if I live in a PAL country or not?
In general, yes, that’ll make life easy for light flicker and/or if you’re broadcasting. If you can’t decide after watching this video, here’s another one to watch:
Hey Joseph thanks for the video! Was just wondering if you could change the region on the G9 at all ie PAL to NTSC?
You can not. That’s a GH feature, sorry.
PhotoJoseph no worries and thanks for replying so quickly!
Yikes 🤔 The Red flicker free calculator says "None" for any frame rate above 120 with 60Hz (North America) power or 100+fps with 50Hz (Europe/Asia) power. Also, the calculator's code treats input as integers and just ignores decimal values without even rounding - so the correct input is 30 fps, not 29. When shooting high-speed, the frame rate can be any whole multiple of the lighting power frequency.
I don’t recall when I figure out that the red calculator treated 29.97 like 30 but that was definitely annoying. I did a follow up video that’s much more in depth that you may enjoy
​@PhotoJoseph Thanks for the follow up video link. Very detailed explanation 👍
Guys please suggests me PAT OR NTSC which one is better for gopro hero 7 black
great explanation
Useful video thanks, glad I watched it before buying 50 Hz lights! When working with the safe shutter angles e.g. 108, 216, 324 at 30 fps would different shutter angles result in different looks? Would the higher shutter angle like 324 let in more/less light or provide more/less blur for example?
Lower shutter angle is the same as higher shutter speed. So if you’re shooting 30fps at a 10d shutter, that’s 10/360 x 1/30. I’ll let you do the math. So that will freeze the shot making no motion blur. Remember that motion blur is good in video. 180d shutter is ½ open do in a 30p shoot that’s 1/60 second exposure. Slow for still photography but perfect for video. So stay as close to 180d as you can, unless you have a creative reason to go higher or lower.
@PhotoJoseph Cheers, that's good to know! I own a GH5 so I guess, in theory, shooting at 60 fps with a shutter angle of 216 would be flicker-free, have improved continuous AF plus a more natural video look with some blur?
WTF? Those seams like a 60's theories with the You Tube 📹 era and flat screen TV 📺
I don't know what you mean by your comment, but flicker is real. Watch this video for a very in-depth explanation
That was enormously helpful. Especially since I live in a PAL region and was getting excited about shooting 4k 60p footage with my new cam. I'll now watch be able to get around the problem with your advice. Thanks a ton!
Awesome, glad to hear that!
Hi Joseph. Really a useful video, thank you very much for your explanation. 
Somehow I understand it completely because I also struggle with the same problems.
I've done shutter speed correction and slowing down footage just like you. 
Only figure out shutter angle from this video though. New things I've learnt from you so let me thank you again.

I am just a hobbyist videographer, mostly shooting my kid growing up. Therefore I'd just keep it simple by switching between PAL/NTSC in all of my cameras.
And I just knew from your video that G9 can't switch region, so thank God I didn't buy that camera.
I'm travelling to Japan soon and to keep it simple I will just shoot both PAL and NTSC and produce 2 separate videos (east & west Japan).
But there's still one problem that grind my gears, guess what? iPhone! It only shoots NTSC.
I am using Panasonic GX9 (and GH6 when it comes out), Sony A6400, GoPro Hero 7 Black and iPhone.

You know kids are unpredictable and iPhone still is the most used camera to capture spontaneously.
So it looks like I need to limit my iPhone usage in east Japan to compensate this single problem.

Wish you the best luck for your channel Joseph.. !!
Try downloading filmic pro for your iPhone. May give you more control. Also, since you enjoyed this video, watch this one next. Super techy on shutter angle and light flicker:
Some city in Japan use 50hz instead of 60hz. but the video standard of Japan is NTSC. So how NTSC works on 50hz?
Wow I just had to look that up. 50Hz in Eastern Japan, and 60Hz in Western. Go figure. Watch this video to fully understand frequency, flicker, and how to avoid it:
Really useful, thank you. I have to use ntsc on the Sony A7 to get 24fps and I live in a PAL country. Loved the way you explained everything, I wish you a nice growth on YouTube.
Thank you!
Thanks for a great video!
Hi, Im thinking about buying a camera in Japan, which is restricted only to ntsc, but it is a lot cheaper(a6500). Should I not buy it because of the fact that it doesn´t have PAL? My country is pal, but i have used 24,30,60 fps and never seemed to have a problem
If you plan on shooting under artifical light then you could experience the flicker problem described here. So I'd definitely recommend getting a camera that is for your region.
Great Explanation. So with a G9 NTSC Camera the workaround works for 30/60p in 1080/4K for PAL region but not with 180p. Is that correct?
Correct. As long as you can set the shutter to 1/50 or 1/100 you’re fine.
This was really helpful! I’m moving to Africa to teach film and capture stories and I’ve been thinking a ton about this and then your video came out! Good timing!

Now I have a question. Is the difference in frequency due to the lights and how they’re made or are they due to the voltage?

For example, if I brought lights from here in the US NTSC, but they can handle 220v, would those be on the same frequency as lights that I would buy there? Can I mix different lights (NTSC & PAL)? What if I use a step down converter? Would that change the frequency of the lights?
Hey Joseph, the calculator on Red's site doesn't go above 120fps. Any extra ideas on how we manage VFR high frame rates like 180 or even 240 on the GH5s?
I assumed that to mean you can’t do high frame rates at these odd lighting situations, since it says “none” for safe settings. Do you think that’s wrong? Ah yeah… the calculator goes to 400. Put in something over 400 and it says “Frame rate must be an integer between 5 and 400 fps”. So I think that’s right. 120fps may be the highest under 60Hz lighting.
Good to know. Thanks Joseph.
I just got a GH5 yesterday and was going through the set up. I live in Australia so should I set it to PAL or leave it on NTSC? I set it up to use shutter angle and have that set at 180.
Australia is a PAL region
​ Hi Allen I have a GH5 I live in Australia and I have the camera set on NTSC so I can get the higher frame rates and I did get light flicker when using a 180 degree shutter angle
So now I use a 216 degree shutter angle @ 30FPS and all is good
I am very curious if using so called hack on European cameras that switch between NTSC and PAL also works on American Panasonic cameras too. I have G7 in EU and also using it in "service mode" (hack) because I do like to shoot in 30 and 60 fps but then the shutter speed can be challenging with fast moving objects under the bulb.
I don't know anything about hacks, but any camera that can switch between PAL and NTSC makes this problem go away (assuming you don't mind shooting in an alternate format to what you're used to).
I think Peter McKinnon made a video himself of getting rid of the flicker in post, but copying the video in post, and offsetting one of the copies by 1 frame.... something like that anyway, (but I now think this won't work with a slow rolling flicker)
That video was about the neon light — yeah I don't think that would work here. If it did, he would have done it for his Dubai video.
PAL 1/50 or 216º. NTSC 1/60 or 180º with artificial light
If you're shooting PAL at 25p or 50p in a 50Hz region, you should be able to shoot at any shutter angle/speed. You don't need to go to 1/50th or 216˚. Same with NTSC; if you're shooting 29.97 or 59.94 in the US, any shutter speed/angle will work. Well technically 30 or 60fps, but honestly I shoot 29.97/59.94 at 180˚ shutter and have never seen a flicker. I suppose it's just unnoticeable most of the time. And yes if you're shooting 30p in a PAL region then 216˚ is what works (or according to the calculator, if you calculate 29.97 for PAL it's 208.8˚ so I'm guessing the variation is subtle enough to go unnoticed).
This makes me cry. Miles uploaded a video last week regarding this topic and I thought I would not be effected. How wrong I was. Now that I know the issue any night video I shot is rubbish with flickering and banding. My US videos are great because I set my GH5 to NTSC and I have been using 30 and 60 frames per second for most footage since then. My footage is all from South Africa, Malaysia and the UK and they are all in PAL regions. Imperialistic Americans! Ughhhh. :-) So the question now is what other options are available to fix this. In my Paris videos the flickering source is very localized (Even the spell checker said the word localised should be spelled wrongly as Localized - 'Muricans). Miles suggested that you could duplicate the timeline and move by one frame and mask. This is a very annoying issue and any further insight to kind of fix this would be very good! Thanks for the awesome work you do and if you think we don't appreciate it you are wrong. Here is the video from Miles -
I wish I knew an easy fix. If the offset trick works, that's great, but I'm assuming it does not since Peter didn't do that on his Dubai video, even though he showed off that trick on a neon sign video a while ago so he's clearly aware of it. I'll certainly try the offset trick when I edit mine, since I definitely do have some of that flicker, but I don't have high hopes. And thank you for the kind comment. Good luck… sorry I don't have anything better for you
Very good information, thanks for sharing. On the iPhone, download SwiftKey Keyboard for free, and it gives you a decimal point in the numeric keyboard. I don't know how Apple could have overlooked this basic concept. SwiftKey is very nice and costs nothing.
Pal is 50Hz not 25Hz
Sorry I was going off the camera settings — NTSC 30.00Hz and PAL 25.00 Hz. But you're correct; the actual power delivery is 60Hz and 50Hz.
The U.S. uses 120v and 60hz not 110 and you state in the video, should of done a quick google search to fully understand the topic your explaining.. Broadcast is actually 60fps divided into 2 interlaced frames... These interlaced frames are just below 30fps so as to include the audio signal within the limited bandwidth of old cable tv
No, the US is 110. And video is 29.97 for sound, yes, which I said. 29.97p is not two interlaced frames; old interlaced TV is but not progressive video.
​@Terry Odlum OK I did a little more digging. The system started at 110, and eventually moved to 115 then 120. If you even look at the back of something that's powered for our system only, you'll see it listed as 110-120V requirement. Even if you just google "US voltage", it lists 110, not 120. But yes you are correct, it does appear that technically it's run at 120 now. (I don't mind being corrected; I just don't appreciate arrogance like Zack laid down — if you're going to correct me, do it politely, don't tell me I "should of" [sic] researched something. The amount of effort that goes into these videos that so many people disregard completely is enough to make you want to swear off youtube). And yes, TVs were originally 30 and dropped to 29.97 for color (IIRC it had to do with audio sync, but that may be wrong); as I mentioned in the video that was a topic that was out of the realm of this discussion, but I did acknowledge that. Even European power is listed as varying from 220 to 240 depending on where you look, but that's actually an important part of this — it's variable. As for interlaced; yes that's the way it was (and still is for anyone broadcasting that way) but I'm talking about shooting 29.97p, which is most definitely not interlaced. No dSLR or dSLM to my knowledge shoots interlaced anymore; for that you have to go back to handicam and old video cameras. As to the 30 vs 60Hz and 25 vs 50Hz, I guess looking at the camera where it's setting is 30.00Hz for NTSC and 25.00Hz for PAL is where my mind went. You're right that 50 and 60 is the mains frequency. Ultimately thought the information is correct. If you want to shoot NTSC video in a 25/50Hz region (or vice versa), you have to adjust the camera. Thanks for the information (and thank you for being polite).
(Yes, I kept saying 25Hz and 30Hz when in fact the power systems are 50Hz and 60Hz. I was basing that off what the camera says in the settings, so I stated it incorrectly. But the solutions here are all still accurate)

If you're traveling to an PAL region, where the power cycles at 50Hz vs the 60Hz in North America, you'll get flickering in any shots with artificial light. Here's how to correct for it, and what to do when you can't.
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