What Is The Difference Between NTSC and PAL modes in a camera?

Updated Mar 26, 2023

Reported In


  • Basler scout
  • Basler ace


  • Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX)

Issue Details

Which mode of my camera should I use in my application NTSC or PAL? 


These modes are associated with analog cameras. For standard analog cameras, the lines of the CCD are interlaced to increase the perceived image update rate. This means that the odd-numbered rows (the odd field) are scanned first. Then the even-numbered fields (the even field) are scanned. The two fields make up one frame. 
Comparison Chart
AbbreviationNational Television System CommitteePhase Alternation by Line
Video Bandwidth4.2 MHz5.0 MHz
Sound Carrier4.5 MHz5.5 MHz
Bandwidth6 MHz7 to 8 MHz
Vertical Frequency60 Hz50 Hz
Horizontal Frequency15.734 kHz15.625 kHz
Color Subcarrier Frequency3.579545 MHz4.433618 MHz
Analog cameras are low in cost and easy to interface with a standard analog acquisition device. Therefore, they can solve numerous applications at an attractive price. However, Industrial digital cameras are the popular choice for machine vision, scientific imaging, and automated test systems. If you already have an analog camera system, NI makes it easy to migrate to digital. If you prefer analog cameras, NI offers several options below to help with your applications. Please ref. the related links section to know more.