HVR-Z7U timecode workaround
by Ian Fritzsche on Nov 16, 2011 at 9:40:41 pm
I believe I just found a way to jam-sync the Sony HVR-Z7U to timecode from an external source for use in multi-camera shoots, and I wanted to share what I found. I did some web searches for this previously and came up with nothing helpful, so hopefully this will be able to help someone else. It is already possible using a procedure in the manual (see pg. 87-88) to jam-sync several Z7U cameras together using i.LINK/FireWire, but I wanted a way to sync to house timecode. This is what worked for me:
You need a Sony camera that has both timecode in and DV out. I used a DSR-570, however, they may be other cameras (or VTRs) that also meet this specification. This may also work for other HDV cameras not having proper timecode inputs.
First, you need to feed house timecode into the 570 and set it to lock on to the external timecode (choose Preset/Free-Run). “EXT-LK” should show on the LCD display. Next, insert a tape and start recording. This will output video with embedded timecode from the DV port. Insert the tape you plan to record on into the Z7U. If there is no tape, or if you eject the tape, the timecode will be lost. Connect the DV out port on the 570 to the DV connector on the Z7U using an appropriate cable. Then choose TC Run>Free Run and TC Make>Preset from the TC/UB set menu in the Z7U. You should also select DF or NDF. Once this is complete, choose TC Link and click "yes" to synchronize. The Z7U will then begin chasing the timecode coming from the 570, and continue to free-run after being disconnected.
Please let me know if anyone is able to reproduce this with similar or differing equipment.