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Interesting discovery...differences between capabilities of NEX-7 bodies

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by roundball, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    In continuing to ramp up for video on the NEX-7, I've discovered there's apparently a difference between what I "thought" were 2 identical NEX-7 bodies I have...they appear to have different video capabilities.

    In reading, I noticed a reference to look at a label on the bottom of the camera to check it's video compatibility.
    One NEX-7 says compatible 60i...the other says compatible 50i.

    At first I wondered if one may have been built prior to some later firmware update, but they are both at the latest firmware level and the video related menu's are different between them.

    At any rate, for the heck of it I fired off an Email to Sony Support asking them to clarify how they can advertise one specific camera model, but sell different versions of it without clear up-front disclosure...asked them what they're going to do about it, etc...let you know what they say.
     
  2. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    If I'm not wrong this is the difference between "PAL" and "NTSC" formats (European and US formats) - actually it's quite a meaningless distinction these days - back in the old days you couldn't put a PAL videotape into an NTSC machine or vice versa, but now all that's left is a difference in frame rates in this digital age.
     
  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    What quezra said. :thiagree:
     
  4. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Well, this is the reply I just received from Sony Support:

    I understand that you are concerned because your two NEX7 cameras have different markings.
    An NEX 7 camera with 60i-compatible marking means that it is released in countries that use NTSC color system like the US. While an NEX7 50i-compatible camera is released in countries that use PAL color system. It is possible that your 50i-compatible NEX7 was released for another country.

    The only difference between your two NEX7 cameras is the record setting for AVCHD video and the type of television that you can use to playback this video format. If you record a video using the 60i-compatible camera, you will need to play it on a television that uses NTSC color system. On the other hand, videos recorded on your 50i-compatible camera needs to be played on a television that uses PAL color system.

    As for playback of your AVCHD videos from both cameras using a computer, you will just need to make sure that you have a software that supports AVCHD format (.mts or .m2ts file extension). We have the Sony PlayMemories Home software that supports this type of video format. If it is not yet installed, you can download and install it on your computer by clicking on the link below:

    http://support.d-imaging.sony.co.jp/www/disoft/int/download/playmemories-home/win/en/index.html

    The actual record settings of the camera cannot be changed by means of a firmware update. With regards to other settings and compatibility with accessories, rest assured that both cameras are the same.

    Thank you for choosing Sony.
    The Sony Email Response Team
    C457
    Joyce
     
  5. demiro

    demiro TalkEmount Regular

    120
    Mar 2, 2012
    roundball, did you purchase both cameras from a US retailer, or privately? Not sure it really matters ateotd, but if you bought them in the US from an authorized retailer they should obviously be US versions.
     
  6. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    The only problem of this is if you want to intercut footage from both cameras. You may have to manually correct for the framerate difference by either stretching the 50i clips or shortening the 60i clips, depending on which frame rate your timeline runs.
     
  7. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    We've got some smart people, glad your getting your questions answered.
     
  8. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Both here in the US, June and October 2013...one from Amazon, one from Gadget Circuit in New Jersey.
    Registered both with Sony for warranty with serial numbers business as usual, downloaded firmware updates for both business as usual, never noticed anything different about either one of them.

    Then getting up to speed / reading about basic video concepts and operation I noticed in the Sony "handbook", page 94 (File Format) and page 95 (Record Setting) a footnote entitled:

    Checking your camera for 60i or 50i compatibility...see label on bottom of camera.
    On the model & serial number label, in print so tiny I had to get a magnifying glass to read it, one says 60i compatible, one says 50i compatible.

    1) My current lack of knowledge in this area naturally raised questions in my mind about whether this was an issue to be concerned about or not...from the point of view of thinking I had two identical, completely, functionally interchangeable camera bodies;

    2) And am annoyed at what I feel is a pretty laid back / don't care attitude from Sony Support about it.
     
  9. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    777
    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    I would definitely go back to the supplier from which you purchased the 50i version. Make sure it was not specified as a "Grey Market" item - Meaning it came from outside the country. If it was indeed supposed to be a US mode camera, the supplier should be the one to exchange it for a real US camera.
     
  10. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    "Don't care attitude from Sony support"? What should they do? If it was specified to be a NTSC camera, then go to where you bought it and complain. If it was not specified which video standard it had when you bought it and if you didn't ask, well, then it might be your problem.

    But really, is it a problem? How much video do you shoot? Where do you view it? Do you intercut it? Because nowadays, mixing PAL and NTSC is not an issue at all for most users.
     
  11. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Thanks...I'm beginning to get the sense from a few replies that it's not going to be a major issue for me...for sure, I have no plans / goals to become a "videographer" who might have high volumes of videos for TV viewing, etc...and even if I did, I'd at least have the one 60i capable camera that could do those.
     
  12. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    I'll see what I can dig up about that transaction...however, I was under the impression that so called grey market items usually had no warranties, and would be identifiable by the parent company via serial number...but it registered fine with Sony's warranty registration system, which even includes listing the place of business where it was bought, etc...
     
  13. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Oh, it's becoming clear "its my problem"...LOL.

    After buying one NEX-7 from a place of business here in the US, then buying a 2nd NEX-7 from a place of business here in the US, I think the "test of reasonableness" is that it would be reasonable to conclude, that a reasonable individual, would reasonably expect, that a second "identical product" purchased here would in fact actually be identical.

    No different than if I bought a new make & model Chevrolet automobile here in the US with it's known required emission controls designed in...and 3 months later bought another one of the same make and model again here in the US from a different Chevrolet car dealership...it would be reasonable for me to assume it would be identical to the first one...not from some other country around the world without emission controls.

    Hopefully, in actual practice it'll be a non-issue as some above have already suggested...just annoyed with all the information I provided to Sony's registration process...including S/N and place of purchase here in the US...that their system didn't then at least raise a flag / ask a question about it being a 50i version, etc.
     
  14. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    No reason to do that. Some people deliberately import cameras with different frame rate options for some projects which are published around the world, so it's quite common that such cameras are registered at Sony US.

    Of course it's strange that you got a different version at the same store. Was it a used one? A grey market item? Anything like that? Because it shouldn't happen with a new one, but when the price was substantially reduced, I don't see why they shouldn't sell it.
     
  15. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    No, two different stores...both here in the US...both brand new cameras...nothing out of the ordinary.
    1st was through Amazon, then when I checked for the 2nd camera a few months later Amazon was out of stock at the time...so I Googled, found some other places, picked one, and bought the 2nd NEX-7...registered it with Sony, etc.
     
  16. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    143
    Dec 13, 2013
    You can't switch them? I thought I saw an option to reboot my A7r into NTSC mode somewhere. Didn't because I don't really care, but the option was there...
     
  17. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    I haven't seen such a reference, and it sure seems Sony Support would have mentioned that if it was an option.
    Leaves me with the impression that it's hard wired, with Sony Support even saying it can't be changed via firmware update.
     
  18. rdfisch

    rdfisch TalkEmount Regular

    180
    Nov 13, 2013
    Northern NJ
    Rick
    IMO the Sony reply was on target, concise and accurate not to mention well written, polite and prompt ... in a word, professional. They even refrained from reminding you of the risks of buying gray market or from a non-authorized dealer.

    I can't tell you how many times I have contacted other companies on technical issues only to get irrelevant responses from people that clearly don't understand their own products ... the reason I usually dread "tech support" ... I consider it a last resort and look to forums like this first. It's nice to know Sony gets it.

    The only thing I could possibly fault Sony for is not having a big "PAL" or "NTSC" sticker on the outside of the box (or was there ?). I suppose they could use different model numbers.
     
  19. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Ya this sounds like a dealer issue, not Sony's.

    I've emailed companies and gotten completly useless/pointless responses. At least Sony directly answered your question.
     
  20. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    1) I did not buy it as a "grey market product"...it was displayed on the website through a Google search the same way the one was displayed that I previously bought through Amazon, and never had a thought about it being anything other than a normal item...still have no reason to believe differently...it just unfortunately is a 50i version, instead of a 60i version;

    2) I've just finished going over every square inch of the Sony box that the NEX-7 arrived in and there's not any mention whatsoever of 60i, 50i, PAL, NTSC, or anything of the kind.