View Full Version : GH1 PAL versus NTSC

06-27-2009, 03:13 PM
Maybe this can eventually belong in the FAQ but having now brought my GH1 twins back to good old PAL land, UK I am eager to let on about some experiences I've had now back from Taiwan.

Under bright PAL 50hz electric lighting, with an NTSC camera you may only shoot at the following shutter speeds: 1/30, 1/50 and 1/100. So the best setting for indoor shooting with a NTSC in PAL land is to put the camera on M or S priority in the creative movie mode - don't rely on the fully automatic mode. As the GH1 NTSC is 60hz, at other shutter speeds you will get a mismatch between the frequency of your lights and the camera, resulting in flickering bands across the image. Personally, I shoot at 1/30 most of the time anyway, especially indoors where low light ability is an issue.

Japanese menus. Having had the English G1 beforehand, I was used to the menus so this did not present a problem for me. Most of the menu options have an icon and are self explanatory from the icon & option selection. The external camera controls are obviously all in English and do not present a problem at all. The only tricky issue is with the more obscure shooting options deeper down in the menus, such as AF/AE lock behaviour, and a few other minor settings. But absolutely not a problem in all practical use.

Then there are the more well documented differences...

24p instead of 25p... you need to make sure you do pulldown in Compressor to avoid the interlacing artefacts.

No recording limit unlike the PAL cameras (thanks to EU's stupid tax law).

Faster slow mo in 720p (60fps instead of 50).

I have updated one of my GH1s to the version 1.1 firmware, and the slow shutter is a nice addition but it still suffers from 'mud' just as before.

Noel Evans
06-27-2009, 03:51 PM
Japanese menus.

Find someone who can read Japanese, most cameras out of Japan have a language option.

06-27-2009, 04:16 PM
The GH1 doesn't. The Japanese one cannot be switched to English no matter how deep you dig in the menus.

06-27-2009, 04:16 PM
Who shoots full auto anyway?

Noel Evans
06-28-2009, 04:00 AM
The GH1 doesn't. The Japanese one cannot be switched to English no matter how deep you dig in the menus.

WOW that sucks. Too bad for the English speakers in Japan I guess.

06-28-2009, 04:50 AM
Its not too big an issue when using the camera, but it's a bit like Panasonic's stance on the 3rd party batteries. You can smell the stench of anti-competitive behaviour all the way to the north pole.

It shouldn't matter where you buy your camera, or where you buy your batteries - it should work with you... the point about Japanese only menus is understandable from Panasonic's business point of view, to stop black market imports which dodge tax, and damage sales in the international market.

I once thought that surely Panasonic make just as much profit on the domestic model as they do on the international model so why does it matter which one we buy?

Unfortunately they have to spend more to market and ship the international model, so don't want those items left on the shelf whilst everyone laps up the expensive marketing only to import the Japanese version.

But you are literally being discriminated against if you live in Japan and only speak English, I'd be surprise if the authorities let Panasonic get away with it in the future, it isn't right from an ethical point of view, and is one of the reasons I have a distaste for big corporations, who have all the control, the customer none.

I am definitely keeping my Japanese GH1, however I still have one for sale as I bought two. By the way, apparently the 'gold' version isn't available in Europe or the US. Is the Red version available in the US? That gold version was out in Taiwan also, might become a bit of a collectors item.

06-28-2009, 07:41 AM
I believe I read that only the black body is available in the US.

06-28-2009, 07:48 AM
By the way, apparently the 'gold' version isn't available in Europe or the US. Is the Red version available in the US? That gold version was out in Taiwan also, might become a bit of a collectors item.

pixmania.com, a very well known supplier and http://www.simplyelectronics.net/search.php?keyword=gh1 seem to have the gold version... why would you think the opposite?

06-28-2009, 11:06 AM
Because Panasonic only have the black and red models featured on their website. Sorry, my mistake.

07-20-2009, 06:14 PM
Hi ! I went to Germany on vacations and was able to buy a Lumix GH1 on a store called Saturn. But I have some questions regarding PAL and NTSC. Yes the camera is PAL, you have the option to also configure it to do analogic output in NTSC, but the recording is in PAL. I have also installed the PHTOfunSTUDIO HD (sw that comes with the camera) on the NTSC version and it can not download the video I recorded (because it is PAL - I will probably need to reinstall it selecting a PAL country and them download what I recorded). I have tried to do some AVI recording and, since it is not PAL nor NTSC dependable, woks fine but I assume does not have the same resolution I can get under AVCHD.

Considering that in Brazil we use PAL-M (completely different from PAL) and also NTSC, what will be better for me to do :

- In a trip to US, sent the GH1 to an authorized dealer and have it "converted" to NTSC ? (will it be possible ? will it be not very expensive ? microcode only ?).
- Install the PHOTOfunVIDEO PAL version, download the files and somehow (suggestions ?) have it converted to NTSC in another program and use this another program to generate a NTSC DVD ?
- Install the PHOTOfunVIDEO PAL version, download the files and edit it on PHTO funVIDEO, generate a final PAL video and then convert it somehow (suggestions ?) to NTSC ?
- Just live with PAL, since I have a DVD player at my house that also plays PAL, but be limited to bring my PAL DVD video to my parents house and can not show them my videos ?

Any suggestions are more than welcome.

Thanks and regards,


07-21-2009, 08:46 AM
Because Panasonic only have the black and red models featured on their website. Sorry, my mistake.
Well I have a gold one ( ordered in France ), even though I ordered red. I thought of returning it, but the desire to go out and shoot was bigger than looking like a girl. Anyway I cut my hand while doing some real run n gun filming at the weekend and covered it in my own blood, so it looked a bit more blokey for a while!

Any suggestions are more than welcome.
Just shoot in AVCHD 1080/720 and create a PAL compatible video. Then if you need to create a Region 1 DVD ( NTSC ), you can use something like MpegStreamclip ( freeware ) to create 24p files from your master and then make your DVD. Not the most elegant way of doing it, but it will get the job done. Search on the forum for 25-24p conversion, I'm sure there are plenty on here. Hopefully I've understood you correctly

08-01-2009, 04:55 PM
Im gonna buy my GH1 soon, so I started to think if I should choose PAL or NTSC ver. NTSC means true 24fps, 60fps in 720 for slower slow-mo and no 30-minutes limitations, but needs the pulldown removal. Does it affect the image negatively? I mean - if I will remove the pulldown on my computer then will I be able to see a difference between PAL and NTSC image? Are there any other differences? I think I will shoot in both PAL nad NTSC land...

MR Fanny
08-01-2009, 05:38 PM
so for my application which will mainly be for the web, NTSC in PAL land will do just fine? I just have to check my shutter speeds when shooting under certain lights. Right now the only thing swinging me to get an NTSC model the fact that it comes in red and thats the only colour i want which isn't available here in Australia...ha silly logic really. Is 60 over 50 that noticable in slow mo as i plan to shoot alot of dancers.

by the way what adaptor did you buy for your zeiss? It looks like i will be travelling down the exact same setup as you, sever case of copy cat syndrome.

08-01-2009, 06:37 PM
60 over 50, quite a lot of difference. 10 extra frames every second is a lot, and when halved in speed = 30. You could then take another 15% off and reach 25 - still a 'smooth' slow mo, but even slower. As for the Zeiss adapter I got mine from Hong Kong, made by RJ Camera (JIN Finance). It's all metal, well machined. Can't go wrong.

08-06-2009, 04:08 AM
but needs the pulldown removal. Does it affect the image negatively? I mean - if I will remove the pulldown on my computer .

What do you mean by "pulldown" on your computer ?


08-06-2009, 06:42 AM
For pulldown see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecine

08-06-2009, 09:29 AM
Hi Commanderspike, I used your ebay link, but it appears as ebay UK and under another name... magicianbunny ?

And I see that the buy now option is not available anymore ?

I am looking for a GH1...heck, so is everybody right?
Shipped to Miami.
Don't care if it is Japanese menu, as long as NTSC... but I can not afford us$2.600 as the other sellers are asking... any ideas ?



08-06-2009, 09:35 AM
Hi Pedro. I have sent you a PM with some answers. Cheers - Andrew

(Magicianbunny is my girlfriend in Taiwan)

08-06-2009, 02:05 PM
When I read all this academic discussion, I beging to wonder, maybe GH1 will be to big for me, maybe I should wait for Nikon or Canon which very probably hard working on their proper response with even better camera. I don't know why Panasonic choose to complicate so much this product with various standarts.
Or maybe some people here are really "looking for trouble" with all these differencies between PAL and NTSC 3.58.
I just wander and hesitate.


Martti Ekstrand
08-06-2009, 02:48 PM
Errr, this is not a "academic discussion"...

There are two major frame rates in the television world; NTSC with 29.97 fps and PAL/SECAM with 25 fps. Panasonic thankfully opted to make a GH1 PAL version in order for it to be usable for television in a majority of the world's countries (84% use PAL or SECAM). Canon, Pentax and Olympus on the other hand only make 30 fps vDSLR cameras which really causes trouble outside of NTSC countries. Then Nikon is the odd man out with it's 24 fps cameras which is the cinema standard.

08-28-2009, 03:18 PM
I live in PAL-land, but am expecting to shoot (and live) in the U.S. in the next year, so I'm trying to get this decision right. Basically, I'm trying to figure out which camera is the "least bad" under the wrong kind of electric lights.

I have read commanderspike's useful post at the top of this thread listing the modes available with an NTSC camera under 50Hz electric lighting. Seems like it can be made to work. But does anyone have any concrete information on what modes will work with a PAL camera under 60Hz lighting?

10-28-2009, 08:35 PM
all very interesting and confusing, alas i am new to all of this and something of an ignoramus... anyway,... my question is:

Should I get a pal or ntsc gh1?
My use will be to make short films/animations, filming model sets and nature and compositing cgi stuff. I live in the UK, or 'pal' land I suppose.

I like the idea of slow motion, and it seems that the 'workflow' involves recompiling all of the footage in various ways (very confusing).

Am i best off getting the pal model? I thought I heard that bluray hd was 24p...
but burning to dvds (more likely) then 25p, and internet video... God knows.
Apologies for all this floating, I've been reading up on the Gh1 for weeks but am finding everything a bit contradictory, if only in the sense that my brain is tying it's self in knots. Any advice very appreciated... The ntsc one is also available for $1200 from Made in Japan online which is pretty good (unless it comes in japanese which I can't figure out)


Many thanks for any tips, interesting forum and lots of knowledge on hand, looking forward to some of this stuff making more sense.


10-29-2009, 01:41 AM
The Japanese model has the menu only in Japanese.

10-29-2009, 02:36 AM
If you live in the UK then go for the PAL model. You will be saving yourself a ton of grief. If you know that most of your work is going to 24p then retiming to that from 25p is a relatively easy step. I would say only go for the NTSC model if you really know why you need to. Hope that helps.

10-29-2009, 09:35 AM
thanks guys...
Grief is definately something I am keen to avoid... Pal it is then.
All the best,