Why not NTSC and PAL modes? at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z7 / HVR-S270
Handheld and shoulder mount versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old November 29th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #1
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Why not NTSC and PAL modes?

I hate to say it but trust Sony to do it again... Perhaps the Z1U was too good to be true...

The main reason we bought one for my former employer was that it could shoot both PAL and NTSC in DV or HDV modes. We had offices in different parts of the world and investing in a single camera and setting it for the required final output need made a lot of sense. A training video in India would be shot in PAL, one for Mexico in NTSC. In the field we could also double shoot just by changing tapes and camera setup.

My company also shoots all over the world and though I have been looking for removable lens capacity (not necessarily to add other lenses but to use a Microscope adapter) and so was quite excited by the potential for the Z7, I think I will have to stay with a Z1U so I can still match my clients needs (I have clients in Europe and North America).

Perhaps, since the cameras are not yet released or finalized, someone with some Sony pull could get multi-system functionality back in. I really doubt that Sony has separate assembly lines for the U and E versions, so there must be an easy way to set the camcorder do both PAL and NTSC (or 1080p 25 and 1080p 30). The player/recorder they are introducing does have this capacity (as does the rather old DSR-20 DV recorder).

Any thoughts?

Cheers
David
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Old December 8th, 2007, 05:52 AM   #2
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I'd love to see this return, too. I bet Sony thinks its too much of a "luxury" for the under 10k range...
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Old December 8th, 2007, 09:27 AM   #3
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The crazy thing is that the new XDCAM EX (a little more than I can afford but still under $10K) does do both PAL and NTSC... but it doesn't have a removable lens! Sometimes at Sony it looks like the right and and left hand never meet :-(

Cheers
David
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Old December 28th, 2007, 02:30 AM   #4
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that is terrible news. One of the things that makes the ex1 stand out from the hvx and one of the best features of the z1. crazy to miss it out. having a world camera these days is fantastic.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:31 AM   #5
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Couldn't agree more - just silly these days not to make a world camera. I take it will shoot all framerates in HDV? (just not DV)
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Old January 27th, 2008, 08:32 AM   #6
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I've heard from Sony guy that HVR-Z7 and S270 have NTSC/PAL switch menu as "optional" hardware upgrade.
Not all users need this menu. This option is good I think.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 03:18 PM   #7
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Kenny, I've heard a similar thing, that a hardware upgrade to the camera will be made available so that those who need an NTSC/PAL capable camera can have one.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 03:19 PM   #8
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yeah it's a send it in to Sony prime support and its a free upgrade. why didnt they just do it in the factory?
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 01:27 PM   #9
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yeah it's a send it in to Sony prime support and its a free upgrade. why didnt they just do it in the factory?
Boggle.

And there was I, all set up to accept the ghastly fact they were going to charge for it, and now it turns out that the reason this major selling point is NOT included as standard is to prevent Tech Support calls.

Well, big thumbs up for Sony if they're not charging for it. Perhaps they should publish the fix in a non-official way like the EX-1 Back Focus adjustment. Those of us feeling competent enough can do it because we want/need it. Those of us shy of such work because it isn't compulsory won't ever find the info.
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Old February 3rd, 2008, 01:33 PM   #10
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Matt,
I got the impression from them that it is slightly more than a software update...god knows what though!!
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Old February 5th, 2008, 01:27 PM   #11
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I'd be willing to pay extra in the aftermarket to enable such features. We're used to that in cars. "You'd like the auto alarm. Oh, we'll "install" it for you."
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Old February 6th, 2008, 05:42 PM   #12
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My first thought was that it stops the PAL markets from importing the camera from NTSC markets thus getting it at a cheaper price and causing Sony distributors in the PAL markets to loose business.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 03:15 AM   #13
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My first thought was that it stops the PAL markets from importing the camera from NTSC markets thus getting it at a cheaper price and causing Sony distributors in the PAL markets to loose business.
In the UK at least, there are some very strange tax laws that mean that camcorders are taxed less than VCRs on import. However, the definitions of these categories mean that if a camcorder can record video from outside (like FireWire record, video inputs), it's no longer a camcorder, it's a VCR. That means an extra 200-400 of tax.

I think this law still stands (hence JVC's 100 and 101 models) and a slight price bump in the UK (and that's on top of 17.5% 'VAT' sales tax).

@ Phil: if it's anything like DVD players, it would be more cost effective for Sony to make one camera for a global market, then restrict functions via software for individual market wrinkles. Sometimes a whole button would disappear (or in some cases change colour and get renamed). Thus the aftermarket for FireWire 'dongles' you could plug into a EU 'neutered' camcorder which updated the software/firmware and provided a faux button that was present on other world models.

IIRC Canon wants to charge 500 extra to switch on multi-region, where the Z1 had it from the get-go which enthused me to it - the feature has since won me work (and made some other jobs much easier).

Not sure if I want to say goodbye to my new toy for a week or two having just bought it. Maybe there could be a sort of 'drop-in clinic'... <joking>
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Old February 20th, 2008, 08:36 AM   #14
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Wow... I hadn't visited this thread in a while since there didn't seem to be much reaction to my original rant.

Now there is and probably some action too. That is good news though I agree that if it can be done without sending to Sony, that would be great. Remember the secret color bars on the VX1000. They were always there but Sony didn't tell anyone how to access them. Only authorized service people had the secret (a combination of button presses).

Cheers
David
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Old February 20th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #15
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Wildly speculating until we hear from Sony.. I suspect it is a software change. In the old days it would be an upgrade to an EPROM but today I suspect they use Flash memory.

The VX1000 had a special connector that only Sony service centers had the gear for (except for some magic remote control, now discontinued, that gave access to most internal settings).

For upgrading the Z7 I wonder if the trip to Sony service is needed because the only way to upgrade the internal program is via some special connector. That would be too bad as most DSLRs can do it via their flash memory card system and you would think that technology could easily be implemented on the Z7 since it has a flash system, albeit an add on.

Cheers
David
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