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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old March 17th, 2005, 03:21 PM   #1
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z1U vs. z1E?!

Hi!

I have a question to ask, no one at the other SonySupportCenters could help before. Please, tell me the difference between the Sony HDV camcorder model HVR-Z1E the HVR-Z1U. I know that the suffix E stands for Europe and the suffix U stands for USA, but what is the difference since both model have both PAL and NTSC modes, or are they are the same model and suffixes are only for logistics? If not, please tell me where I can find out ALL and EXACT information on differences between the HVR-Z1E the HVR-Z1U.

Regards,

Maxim R
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Old March 17th, 2005, 04:07 PM   #2
 
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No difference at all. They are designated as U, E, N, J, A for the various markets and warranty support.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 04:43 PM   #3
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What about 110V/220V? Is the Z1U 110V and the Z1E 220V?
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Old March 17th, 2005, 06:07 PM   #4
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Yes, 110 vs. 220 issue! Or more...?!

Hi Douglas (spotted the eagle)! Yes, I am also interested in 110V/220V issue. I am planning to buy the Z1 in the US (coz it´s cheaper), what happens when I bring it back to Europe? Can you think of any other problems one may encounter while travelling with the Z1 between the EU and the US and using it in both PAL and NTSC environments? (I have heard about play-back problems...).

BTW, if you attend the NAB, can you bring your HDV book so that I can buy it from you directly? (it would be too expensive to ship it to Europe from the US, I guess. And I am going to the NAB anyway...)
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Old March 17th, 2005, 06:55 PM   #5
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I was just comparing the Z1U vs Z1E power supply.

From Sony Europe's webpage:
Power Supply: AC-VQ850 (AC Adaptor/Charger)

From Sony USA's webpage:
Power Supply: Supplied AC-VQ850D professional battery charger/power supply

similar except US market carries the 'D' designation.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 08:53 PM   #6
 
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As you've discovered, the powersupply goes both ways.

Maxim, the HDV book will be in the NAB bookstore, and we'll likely have some there too, for the HDV sessions we're teaching.
You might want to sign up for the Vegas Users Group event, even if you're not a Vegas user...
http://www.vasst.com/nabparty.htm
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Old March 18th, 2005, 05:39 AM   #7
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I believe the differences are:
(1) mains power plug.
(2) menu defaults (e.g. U & J would have 1080/60i as their default, whereas the others would have 1080/50i as their default).
(3) warranties.

P.S. Douglas - there is also the model P which we have here in Australia.
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Old March 21st, 2005, 05:50 PM   #8
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The manual for the Z1U says that in order to watch your tapes on a television directly from the camera's video outputs, you must have an NTSC system. The manual specifically states that this is true regardless of whether you recorded in 50i or 60i. I'm not sure if that only applies to the composite & S-video outputs, or to the component output as well.

While I haven't actually seen the Z1E, it seems reasonable to guess that it wouldn't have this limitation. Otherwise, nobody in Europe could view their tapes from the camera! (Unless they have NTSC-compatible televisions). So perhaps there are differences in the video playback / monitoring hardware. It would also be a reasonable assumption that they also supply different cables and/or adapters for their market regions (like a SCART adapter for U.K).

I shall be travelling to Europe in 2 weeks, so I'll be sure to experiment with this. I'll even bring my Canopus DV to Analog converter, which supports PAL. I want to know what it takes to view the PAL shoots on a PAL TV with my Z1U.

I would also imagine that the difference for the charger is nothing more than the prongs on the connector, because it supports up to 240V.
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Old March 21st, 2005, 07:37 PM   #9
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Playback NTSCvs.PAL on Z1U

Hello Jay!

So, if I understood it right, the Z1U will playback if connected directly to a NTSC TV-screen, even if the source tape was recorded in PAL mode (50i), correct? In other words, the Z1U can play back PAL MiniDV tapes on NTSC screens? Is it possible to say then that the Z1U can convert NTSC signal to PAL signal...? If yes, it should be able to convert the other way around too, don´t you think? In other words, if I had the Z1U, I could have taken my old MiniDV PAL tapes and convert them to MiniDV NTSC tapes with the help of the Z1U?

Now about PAL-Europe; if I understood you right, you are suspecting that Z1U would not be able to play back neither PAL(50i) nor NTSC(60i) MiniDV tapes if connected directly to a PAL screen? Consequently, the Z1E maybe is not able to playback neither NTSC nor PAL tapes if connected directly to a NTSC screen?

Am I thinking right or am I too tired today...? Please, let me know, Jay. And one more thing, when you go to Europe, please experiment to connect your Z1U to a PAL screen and see if you can watch your NTSC tapes. Likewise, if you record with your Z1U in PAL mode, would you be able to see it directly on a PAL screen, and then same tape on your NTSC screen when you get back home. By the way, the latter you can even do now, try to record a little in PAL mode and then see if you can see it on your NTSC screen. I would be VERY grateful if you could do that and tell me the results, please!

I have written dozens of mails to Sony in the US, Europe and even in Japan in order to find out about the differences between Z1U and Z1E, NO ONE has answered yet! One Sony place has answered though (I quote it):

“Maxim,
There are production issues between models designed for released in the US and other areas outside of the USA which generally concern what is permitted in the distribution area.

We certainly share and appreciate your enthusiasm for SONY products. Unfortunately, our product engineering data is both proprietary and confidential. We cannot share our development designs, either past or present, with anyone outside of our company….”

That was their answer, can you believe it!!! I can’t. No answer, they say it is a secret, put in other words. (How can it be? Am I totally misunderstood, or is it me who doesn’t understand something here…)

So, please, if it is not too much to ask, make those experiments, and please let me know ASAP, because already in the middle of April I was thinking of going to Las Vegas to buy the camcorder.

PS: do you know where I can find on-line manual for both Z1U and Z1E
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 04:26 AM   #10
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I’m in the same situation as Maxim and also would like to know whether there are any PAL playback issues/limitations with the Z1U version (I intend to order from Zotzdigital). In an HVR-Z1U brochure that I downloaded there are tables on the “Recording, Playback and Down-Conversion Formats” and those tables looks exactly the same for the 60i mode and 50i mode (apart from the frame size statements and refreshrates). I hope this means that there shouldn’t be any PAL playback problems but I don’t know and I would very much appreciate if someone could shed some light on this.

On the specification page the following is stated as regards S-video Input/output and Component video output respectively:

On the specification page the following is stated as regards S-video Input/output and Component video output respectively:

S-video input/output: Mini-Din 4-pinx1, Y: 1Vp-p, 75 Ù unbalanced, sync negative, C: 0.286 Vp-p (NTSC), 0.3 Vp-p (PAL), 75 Ù unbalanced.

Component video output: COMPONENT OUTPUT jack, Y: 1 Vp-p (o.3 V, sync negative), Pr/Pb (Cr/Cb): 525 mVp-p (75% color bar) input impedance 75 Ù.

Does the above information help to determine whether PAL playback is possible?

Regards

Hans

P.S I'm sorry for the strange sign for Ohm. It looks right when pasting but seem to be convereted on posting.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 11:10 AM   #11
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I was not suggesting that the Z1U can play PAL mini-DV tapes and convert them to NTSC for playback. But, I can experiment to find out. In the next few days I'll record something in PAL with the Z1U, then, as you suggested, attempt to play it on my television here in USA. To record in PAL, I believe it means I must use the 50i selection in DV mode, not HDV. (As I understand it, HDV is neither PAL nor NTSC; the only real difference in HDV mode is the field/frame rate.)

> Now about PAL-Europe; if I understood you right, you are suspecting that Z1U would
> not be able to play back neither PAL(50i) nor NTSC(60i) MiniDV tapes if connected
> directly to a PAL screen? Consequently, the Z1E maybe is not able to
> playback neither NTSC nor PAL tapes if connected directly to a NTSC screen?

Your first question is exactly what the Z1U manual states. When I go to Europe, I shall attempt to overcome this limitation by using a Canopus ADVC 100 bidirectional DV to analog converter (which supports PAL and NTSC, but doesn't cross-convert). Connecting to the 1394 connector will bypass the analog video hardware in the camera. The ADVC 100 should then produce a PAL signal suitable for watching on the PAL television. (Again, the ADVC 100 to my knowledge does not convert PAL to NTSC or vice-versa, it only converts between DV and analog [bidirectionally] in the original source format). So it means that with a PAL television, the ADVC 100 will probably only be useful for playing back PAL recordings. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out with all 50i recordings (both DV and downconverted HDV) through the 1394 port.

Hopefully that didn't sound like gobbledy-gook. As for your second question, I can only speculate. It sounds logical, but I don't know...

I'm not aware of any online version of the user manual for the Z1U (or any of the other Z1 models). I suspect that the questions we are asking are exactly the reason why Sony doesn't offer electronic copies of these manuals. The consumer FX1 and FX1E models don't have dual capability (PAL+NTSC), so they don't have any issues about publishing those manuals online.

Also, I bought an inexpensive adaptor for connecting composite and/or s-video to a SCART connection on a PAL television. I think the adaptor is purely a mechanical solution (i.e. doesn't convert NTSC to PAL, simply allows a physical connection). But, it'll be essential for my testing.
http://www.svideo.com
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 04:08 PM   #12
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Virtually all PAL televisions made in the last 10 years can also play native NTSC (except through the antenna input). So, if your camera outputs NTSC, a modern PAL TV will show it happily and you will be none the wiser.
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