8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 2, 2014 10:58 AM by James Fernald
James Fernald Level 2 Level 2 (315 points)

I have a 8 year old sony handicam from europe so it shoots in pal. For uploading to my mac, will it also take my old NTSC tapes? I'm pretty sure some of the tapes I've uploaded were shot in american on ntsc. How do I know if a dv tape was shot in pal or ntsc?


MacBook Pro (13-inch Early 2011), OS X Mavericks (10.9.1)
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (31,575 points)

    best to my knowledge, miniDV camcorders are 'hardwired' to one standard.

    means: for PAL-tapes you need a PAL-camera, for NTSC-tapes a corresponding cam.

    For sure, your Mac/iMovie accept any standards...

     

    miniDV is a 'dying' format, you should get used cameras for lil' money, although it is recommended to use for playback the cam you used for recording.. but if this isn't optional...

     

    And, no, there's no 'label' outside a tape indicating what format was used.

     

    There were rare devices claiming to playback both standards, but those create a non-standard signal which in 99% cases create issues on import...

     

    search eBay for some <50$ devices, optics can be broken, you just need 'player'-functionality....

  • James Fernald Level 2 Level 2 (315 points)

    I actually have the camera and it works fine for playback.The odd thing is it seems to be playing both regions! Anyway, the strange thing is when it's uploading to IMOVIE it's playing fine in the monitor in the camera, but in IMOVIE in the import window, it seems to miss a frame here and there, but very inconsistently. So it can take a 3 minute clip fine, and then suddenly it jumps frames for a few scenes..

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (31,575 points)

    James Fernald wrote:

    ... it seems to miss a frame here and there, but very inconsistently. ...

    those 'all standard'-devices deliver a non-standard-compliant signal.. via analogue, to a tube-tv, that was no problem.. digitally, via firewire, it creates 'issues' ...

     

    again: best practice would be two designated PAL/NTSC devices...

  • James Fernald Level 2 Level 2 (315 points)

    So it doesn't hurt to put a PAL tape in a NTSC device?

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (31,575 points)

    James Fernald wrote:

    So it doesn't hurt to put a PAL tape in a NTSC device?

    No, probably you'd hear some 'wooshes&swishes', when the mechanics try to catch the signal from tape. Worst case. you get no signal at all. best case, you get a signal, but iMovie starts to act 'iffy'...

     

    best to my knowledge, PAL and NTSC use dfferent angles on the helical scan recording.. so, electronic and mechanics will search and loss the signal every second.. yepp, that could 'stress' the mechanics, but I don't think it will kill the cam.- Nor the tape.-

     

    Just try ..

  • James Fernald Level 2 Level 2 (315 points)

    Is there anyway to upload my raw footage from dv tapes to an external HD but not stored in IMOVIE? I think after only 8 tapes (100 gb) Imovie is acting a bit slow. But I need to upload the tapes both for safety and to edit them. Can Imovie hold unlimited amount of movies?

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (31,575 points)

    James Fernald wrote:

     

    Is there anyway to upload my raw footage from dv tapes to an external HD ....

    The Manual says ...

    http://help.apple.com/imovie/mac/10.0/?lang=en#mov3fa25bae7

     

    The import is a lil' more than just shuffling bits ...

    iMovie creates a database.

    So, import via iMovie to some extHDD and unplug it after processing.

     

    Or, use QuicktimeX to import from cam/via firewire ... no iM involved.

    the .dv get copied to haddrive, but you have to 'import' to iMovie anyhow (creating database, stuff)

  • James Fernald Level 2 Level 2 (315 points)

    Cool, but when I plug the extHDD back in and open Imovie to import yet another tape, will Imovie be able to handle it?

    Thanks!