Can I operate 60fps with 60p Hz

Video tip: When should I film with PAL and when is NTSC required?

A brief historical overview of why the PAL and NTSC television standards were introduced in the first place: Television standards define the form in which the image and sound data are transmitted to the recipient. Among other things, it was important here how many images per second (frames per second; fps) can be transmitted. In Germany, analog color television has been broadcast in PAL format since 1967. This has a refresh rate of 50 Hz and can reproduce 50 fields or 25 full images per second. In America, however, the NTSC format is used with 60 Hz and thus 60 (59.94) fields or 30 (29.97) full pictures per second. These different frequencies resulted from the alternating voltage applied in the countries, since the network phases were used as a trigger for the interlace in the transmission of fields.

As a normal camera user, you don't necessarily need to be interested in the technical aspect. Precisely because most modern playback devices can cope with both standards. The only thing that really matters to us is which frame rate should be used when. With many cameras you can choose between various recording modes that record at a different frame rate depending on the resolution. Sometimes, especially with action cams, a distinction is made between PAL and NTSC. In principle, this only makes it clear that the respective frame rates are either a multiple or a factor of 50 (PAL) or 60 (NTSC). The same resolutions with different frame rates can also be selected. This means that 1080p can be recorded with 25 images but also with 30 images per second. The frame rates of PAL are multiples or dividers of 50 (25fps, 50fps, 100fps), those of NTSC are multiples or dividers of 60 (15fps, 30fps, 60fps, 120fps, 240fps)

Which mode is the right one for what? It all depends on what the recordings are going to be used for. If you want to cut a video together with other recordings, it is important that the frame rates match or are multiples or divisors of each other. Otherwise pictures have to be added or subtracted in a complex process, which can lead to jerking in the picture or to asynchronous sound. For example, if you made your recordings in PAL with 25fps but also 50fps, and want to cut a film from them, that's no problem at all. The video editing program can then easily remove every second frame from the 50fps recordings. Recordings with NTSC frame rates (30fps, 60fps, 120fps) can be combined just as easily.

The number of images per second is also related to the image quality. The higher the image quality, the fewer images can be recorded per second. And the more images recorded per second, the lower the image quality. However, this partly depends on the bit rate when the recordings are written to the memory card and can thus be compensated up to a certain point - if the camera can offer such performance. In general, camera pans and fast movements look smoother and softer at a higher frame rate. In addition, with more pictures you have more leeway for subsequent slow-motion effects. On the other hand, 24 frames per second with their slight jerking are part of the so-called "Hollywood film look" (another part is the bluish color grading) and are therefore still used in the film industry. So before you start recording, you should think about what effect you want to aim for with your production. Need sports coverage

For example, you don't necessarily have to run a GoPro in PAL just because you are using the device in Europe. Because that means that videos can only be recorded in 25 or 50 fps. On the other hand, if you set it to NTSC, 30 and 60 fps are available. If you don't want to play your video on an analog TV or burn it as a PAL DVD, you don't need to limit yourself to lower frame rates in today's digital age.


Basically, PAL and NTSC as standards have long since become obsolete, but the different frame rates when recording video material have held up to this day. Therefore you still have to be careful with how many pictures per second you are filming. If possible, you should choose either PAL or NTSC right at the start of your project and know what to do with the video at the end. For example, if you want to burn a DVD that should also play in the neighbour's player, then choose PAL. But if it is a video for YouTube or should only be played on the computer, you can also use higher NTSC frame rates, since movements with more frames per second appear smoother.