Hi there - Sorry if this isn't the right place to post about a Z1 problem but I've scooted around the site a bit and can't find anywhere else that deals with Sony cameras...
So the issue at hand is that the timecode on my Z1 has stopped turning. I"ve tried to reset it according to the manual but it ain't happening. Does anyone know what might be wrong with it?
Also, given that I now have two tapes with no timecode -what's the best way to put timecode on the tapes so that I can edit on FCP? I have another camera PD170. Can I re-record onto that? Should I use Firewire or S-VHS for best quality?
I haven't had this issue with either of my Z1 or V1 cameras. Have you tried using the cleaning tape? And do you have access to another HDV device to check if the timecode is actually on the tape. You may just need your cameras tape transport adjusted. If cleaning doesn't help you may need to bring it in for a servicing.
As for using the PD-170, you can set the Z1 to downconvert and copy over to the PD-170 by connecting firewire between the cameras yielding a letterbox, crop or squeezed DV copy that should have new timecode on it. In the Z1 menu find REC IN OUT, then find ilink conv and set to ON for DV before you connect the firewire/ilink cable.
"Should I use Firewire or S-VHS for best quality? "
Firewire is the best solution (digital). S-VHS is video only and it is analogue.
For many reasons I'd suggest you get a deck like the Sony HVR-M15U deck for around $1800.
You may have a record problem, playback problem, tape problem. Having a deck will not only help you verify what's what, it'll save you wear on your camera as a playback device as well as something you can dub to if need be.
If it's a record problem or tape problem you'll see the issue on the deck too. If it's the camera with a playback issue, the time code will be fine playing from the deck.
You can try running a cleaning tape in the camera as Mike suggests. No more than 10 seconds since this wears the heads too. Try another tape and do a test recording. If both tapes have a problem then it's likely a seriously head clog or maybe a bad head. Some head clogs aren't cleaned by cleaning tapes so that still doesn't make it a head absolutely. At that point you do need to have the camera serviced as Mike notes. You would be able to dub from camera to deck to give you a new good tape.
Just thought I'd add some detail. The deck can really help you figure out what's up and do HDV to HDV dub as needed.
[Liz de Planta]"
So the issue at hand is that the timecode on my Z1 has stopped turning."
Could you specify what you mean by this? What do you see, if anything, where the timecode numbers should be on the camera's LCD display?
Is it possible you're looking at User Bits instead of timecode? I don't set Ubits, so on my Z1 if I hit the TC/U-bit button I see a row of zeros. The TC is there and can be seen by toggling the button again.
Thanks for your responses. It is, as David said, that I knocked the User bits button on the menu under the screen - and as, like him, I don't set User Bits either, it was reading 00000000... Silly but really frustrating! Thanks for all your help.