Here are the issues I have with my HVR-Z-7 Camera. 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 July 15th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #1
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Here are the issues I have with my HVR-Z-7 Camera.

1. All Scan Function Missing
This continues to be a big problem whilst shooting.
The “All Scan” (Under-scan) is an essential feature that’s missing from the Z7. It’s a pro feature that’s on the older Z1 and A1E cameras. The omission of the All Scan feature by Sony has serious operational implications.


2. ENG Lenses Compatibility
Z7 12-pin lens connector will not control professional ENG lenses.
I have tried to control my Canon broadcast lens on my Z7 plus a Fujinon lens on colleagues Z7. Neither of them controls the zoom lenses as advertised.


3. Timecode Problems
Timecode advances 15 frames.
Timecode advances 15 frames after camera power down, i.e. 15 frames are missing. The missing frames have also manifested in between shots without switching the camera off.

This is a problem when editing as Avid etc. requires un-broken timecode for batch capturing.

Also, timecode from Flashcard cannot be read by Avid or Adobe Premier Pro.
Timecode records and plays from flash card but, exports individual clips at 00.00.00.00 when imported in edit suites.


4. No timecode or Display Output on Video Outputs
Page 83 of operating guide states “You can select outputs to which display information, such as timecode, is outputted”.

Information is only displayed on output, i.e. a monitor, during the menu selection set-up. When the selection menu is closed, the display information disappears from the external monitor.


5. Display Set - Too many icons displayed in the viewfinder.
We need the option of selecting each of the icons to NOT to be display in the viewfinder/LCD? They really clutter up the screen.

Why have a 4:3 icon when we can see were shooting in 4:3

When the gain is 0db, we don't need a '0db symbol in the display.

The same goes when zebra is selected, another icon appears. We don't need an icon as we can see the zebras.

I have been waiting for ages to hear from Sony Pro Europe with regards these issues.

Any thoughts folks?
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Old July 15th, 2008, 11:05 AM   #2
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The LCD is a full HD image. No need for underscan. Just set the safe area marker to your choice 80% or 90%.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 01:39 PM   #3
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I think you are looking for stuff to complain about. For some reason a lot of people have nit-picked this camera to death, failed to read the manual and generally did not learn how to use it properly. Me? I love the camera and cannot see one of your complaints as worth complaining about. I bought 1 in April and just purchased 2 more.

Bruce
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:06 PM   #4
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I agree, compared to my XH-A1 that I just sold to buy the Z7, the Z7 is a jewel. It is immediately clear that it is a camera made by people who have a huge experience in professional ENG-camera-production, from the lay-out of the controls to the studiness of the construction and the quality of the viewfinder: this is a lot of camera for the price. Don't get me wrong: I do not say that the XH-A1 is not a good piece of equipment, on the contrary, the image quality is just superb. But if feels and handles like a consumer camera, while the Z7 is a professional tool. I never had focus problems, the rolling shutter does not bother me at all and the CF-cardreader works perfectly with my computer. Very strange that it draws so much criticism...
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:27 PM   #5
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Luc I was convinced early on that people just thought this was another auto camera, like the 2100 and 170s. Although they were both fantastic cameras, you could get away with much more auto settings. The Z7 needs to be learned and that has really taken me some time. Many of the problems and issues that people had, were related to just not reading the manual through and getting to know the camera.

Bruce
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Old July 15th, 2008, 02:31 PM   #6
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I was going to buy the Z1, but why should I? The Z1 is a five year old design.

Yes, the Z7 is more expensive and I'm not particularly interested in a removable lens, but it is a new design with a new interface and better circuits.

I love the simple things - the histogram, the spirit level indicator, the peaking WITH zebra, the bullet proof feel, tape AND CF, good mic etc etc.

My clients still like tape but also the ability to record CF during tape change is fab. I can take 'photographs' with my camera as well as point and shoot...
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Old July 15th, 2008, 05:55 PM   #7
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I love my Z7 and it is streets ahead of the V1 it replaced, I have done several demo's to uni's in the north east and they think it is a great camera for cross over from Dvcam to HDV with tapeless and tape back-up.

Ok I still cant get the compact flash to read into final cut but that is down to my mac systems and Im now using avid media composer for quick turnaround jobs so it isnt a problem.

It will be one of the classic cameras and as Bruce says you need to spend some time with it and treat it with the respect it deserves.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 06:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
I love my Z7 and it is streets ahead of the V1 it replaced, I have done several demo's to uni's in the north east and they think it is a great camera for cross over from Dvcam to HDV with tapeless and tape back-up.

Ok I still cant get the compact flash to read into final cut but that is down to my mac systems and Im now using avid media composer for quick turnaround jobs so it isnt a problem.

It will be one of the classic cameras and as Bruce says you need to spend some time with it and treat it with the respect it deserves.
Gary I myself am getting pretty fed up with fcp not keeping up with the technology. I am still toying with switching over to Premeire Pro for the mac. It has some pretty cool features that fcp does not. I am already using Encore for my dvds and it is 100% easier and much faster to author than Studio Pro. I have been a strong supporter of Final Cut for years, but I need to make decisions that are going to make my life easier and FCP is not going in that direction.

Bruce
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Old July 16th, 2008, 02:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce G. Cleveland View Post
Luc I was convinced early on that people just thought this was another auto camera, like the 2100 and 170s. Although they were both fantastic cameras, you could get away with much more auto settings. The Z7 needs to be learned and that has really taken me some time. Many of the problems and issues that people had, were related to just not reading the manual through and getting to know the camera.

Bruce
The whole fun is indeed in using the cam in full manual, as I do. It took me hours of R.T.F.M. to find even the smallest details, but hey, isn't that part of the fun with new toys for boys?
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Old July 17th, 2008, 10:24 AM   #10
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Z7 underscan issue

Reply to Jonathan Richards; The LCD is a full HD image. No need for underscan. Just set the safe area marker to your choice 80% or 90%

Johnathan, you are wrong about the about the Z7 underscan issue.
Here is a quote from Sony's Product manager.

"With regards to the question about the scanning of the display, then I can confirm that you are correct and that you cannot see all of the image on the LCD display. Apparently this is down to the structure holding the LCD panel in place and that it overlaps the active pixels on the LCD. So although the LCD panel is displaying all the picture, the pixels around".the edges are obscured from view."
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:09 AM   #11
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Sony Z7 Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce G. Cleveland View Post
I think you are looking for stuff to complain about. For some reason a lot of people have nit-picked this camera to death, failed to read the manual and generally did not learn how to use it properly. Me? I love the camera and cannot see one of your complaints as worth complaining about. I bought 1 in April and just purchased 2 more.

Bruce
I can't understand why you are so defensive about the Sony HVR-Z7 camera; it really does have some serious issues to be resolved. I will report to the forum the results following a meeting with Sony on 24th July.

With regards your patronising attitude, take a look at my website and you’ll see the level of Television/Film work that I’m involved in. Feel free to post me a link to your own website; it’s always good to know the proficiency of people who post comments on forums, don’t you agree?

Best regards

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www.peteburns.com
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #12
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Easy does it fellows -- on this site we debate the issues, not each other.

I close accounts when it starts getting personal... just an FYI.
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Old July 17th, 2008, 11:45 AM   #13
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Pete I am sorry if you took my reply to be patronizing. I did not mean it that way.

Bruce
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Old July 17th, 2008, 12:49 PM   #14
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Pete, what do you use your Z7 for?

It looks like you've got plenty of high end credits where I thought you'd use better cameras.

Even though you have issues with the camera, are there some good things (over the Z1) that you like?
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Old July 17th, 2008, 04:21 PM   #15
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HVR-Z7 Update

Bruce, your apology is accepted. Short “email bites/postings” of can often be misread.

Jonathan, with regards cameras, the cameras listed on my website are the ones I own. When production companies require other formats I hire them in as required; as most of my colleagues do.

With regards your question about improvements over the Z1?
The general control layout makes more sense and the addition of a real “iris feel” on the lens makes life easer too. Having said that, Z1 and Z7 footage look similar, unless shot in low light conditions; then Z7 then wins hands down.

For your interest, I bought the Z7 when they first came out to use as a B-Roll camera. When the Z7 is set up properly, material shot with it cuts really well against DigiBeta.

I’m told that Sony doesn’t want users to be passive, especially on a new build camera like the Z7. It’s not nit-picking, its important feedback to them. I posted my original thread to DVi to see if other people have similar issues with the Z7.

As I said previously, I will report back to the forum after Sony’s product manager meets with me on 24th July.
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