Sorry about that, but Raspberry Pi Foundation/Trading can't be held responsible for 3rd party reverse engineered versions of their products not working.
I don't believe there were any deliberate changes in the camera connections for the PiZero, but the 3rd party version obviously connected things up in a subtly different manner to the official camera modules, and the PiZero has made their assumptions invalid.
With a bit of research it would probably be possible to modify the 3rd party product to work, but that would require someone with a moderate amount of electronic knowledge and some time on their hands.
Two random thoughts on this if you were wanting to investigate. My first guesses would be that it is either a power or I2C issue.
If it is power, then something is going to be shorting the power rails out, and that won't be good long term for your Zero. So on power up measure the voltage between the two connections at the far ends of the cable. These are a ground and the 3.3V line, so a meter should read 3.3V. If not, then something is shorting the power rails out.
Regarding I2C, if there is a subtle difference in the pull-up arrangements than it could delay the Pi booting up as it probes the HAT, potentially by several 10s of seconds. Have you really left your Pi that long before concluding that it isn't booting?
There was a minor firmware misconfiguration that may have incorrectly caused this, but you can bypass the HAT check anyway by adding "force_eeprom_read=0" to /boot/config.txt. It would be worth adding "ignore_lcd=1" too, just to make sure it doesn't try talking I2C to a non-existent display.
If that does work, then the corrected firmware config went in on 13th June
, so "sudo rpi-update" would get it (obviously on a different Pi as you can't boot the Zero).
Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi Trading. Views expressed are still personal views.
I'm not interested in doing contracts for bespoke functionality - please don't ask.