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Old May 3rd, 2010, 10:13 AM   #1
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Anyone with a Sony XR550 ?

Im considering one of these for an extra camera to work with FX1.. I want to be able to control it via a lanc connection though and i didnt seem to find any lanc connector on it.. Does anyone know if it can be controlled this way ? The manual says it has an A/V Remote connector near the power but then it also lists this connector as being used to connect the standard yellow/white/red AV cable.. So im wondering if i have a basic lanc connector like this one..

NEW LANC Remote Zoom Control Controller - eBay, Remote Controls, Camcorder Accessories, Cameras Photo. (end time 31-May-10 22:06:39 AEST)

Will it work with the XR550 ?
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 10:49 AM   #2
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You will need one of the newer A/V connectors to access the LANC control. Sony tripods have them as well as some other vendors.
Manfrotto | 521PROILANCAV Remote and Adapter Kit | 521PROILANCAV
comes with the adapter. I bought a Sony tripod and took the handle off to control my XR500.

Ron Evans
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 11:13 AM   #3
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Thanks Ron.. The ebay link i was looking at seems to have the connector also.. Could you take a look at it and let me know if it looks to be the same plug ?

At first i just want to get a cheap lanc because my goal is to buy a pan tilt head also and take apart both remotes and build them both into a little box for easier control.. So if i destroy something cheap in my first attempt it wont be that bad..
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 11:31 AM   #4
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Yes it looks like it has the adapter cable.

Ron
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 11:42 AM   #5
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excellent, i was starting to wonder if Sony had abandoned LANC control..

Are you generally happy with the camera ? I have been trying to find some footage online and havent found that much really.. Do you know of any links ?

Thanks again for your help.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 12:58 PM   #6
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Randy -

Sony has had the LANC "hidden" in the A/V jack since the HC3. EVERY Sony that is compatible with their Sport Packs has it in there. It was an "undocumented feature" till a few people started to stir the pot and hacked it... started here and on the skydiving forums... I think I was the first to crack it, but it's somewhat common knowledge now.

Yep, that little jumper cable will interface the LANC. The LANC advertised isn't terribly high quality (but then again at that price... you can't expect a lot), it will be a bit mechanically noisy as it's built very "plastic-y", but it works, including the variable zoom (which is unique at this price!). Sony makes a basic LANC with the A/V connector for about $10 more though... try searching for "Sony AV2".

There are a couple clips posted here, should be down this thread a bit, they look excellent. I believe Robert Young is the DVi member posting - just scroll down, enjoy Hawaii!

Try searching YouToob... there's quite a few short clips, including many complaining about a "blue dot" and some other image abnormalities under certain conditions with the active OIS. An inexpensive lens hood should help or eliminate the first one (or a slight zoom in) from reports, not sue about the strange jello effect I saw in one clip... it wasn't RS, something else odd, but I doubt you'd run into it.

Keep in mind the CX550 and XR550 are pretty much the same sensor block as last years cameras (500/520), with a new "wider" lens, and a few tweaks, so footage from those should give you a fairly decent idea of what to expect.

I don't have one yet, but will pick one up one sometime to upgrade an XR500, which is a great little camera.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 01:41 PM   #7
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Thanks Dave.. Im glad LANC is still available as its one of the main reasons i am looking to get this camera, its going to be used as an extra alongside FX1 and Z1.. I did have one thought however.. If you use the AV connection for LANC remote is there anyway you can still run an AV monitor also ? Isnt it using the same plug ?

I was hoping to run a pan and tilt head and the LANC and a small LCD from a bit of distance so hopefully that could all work at the same time ?

That LANC remote im looking at may get replaced but i just wanted to start with something cheap so i can hack it open and try building it into its own box or even creating something myself if i can learn enough to program a PIC controller.. I did like the variable zoom though..

Also i was looking at the CX550.. Do you know if the only difference to the XR550 is no hard drive ? I need to record about 6 hours max in 3 -5 segments at a time, then i can transfer it all off, so as long as i could record that much footage in 64gb i could probably consider that and save a few $$'s.. The other oddity was the XR520.. Besides lack of SD compatibilty i couldnt see any difference to the XR550.. Do you know any info on these models ?

Thanks for the help.

EDIT: i just found another post talking about connectors which breakout the AV into both LAN and video.. I found some links to products also, Would you have any idea on the cheapest option for ready made ? I found a link to studio1productions with the adaptor for $49.. Besides DIY is that the cheapest ? Also did you ever publish the DIY instructions for it ?
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:04 PM   #8
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As an expensive solution look at the ikan ikancorp.com: Small LCD Monitors, Teleprompter, Fluorescent Video Lights, & more

Ron Evans
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:08 PM   #9
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Randy -
If you're handy with a soldering iron, you should be able to hack the jack and get both LANC and A/V feed - I tested this on the SR11, and it worked, I'd presume it still does, although I'd have to find my old test harness to confirm 100%. I've got the pinouts, you have to sacrifice a cable, the cheap Chinese ones are acceptable "plug donors". There's an adapter cable on ebay that has all the inputs/outputs if you don't want to hack your own.

The only apparent difference between the CX and XR550 this year is the flash vs. HDD, and the corresponding slight size and weight difference - because of the higher bitrate, the 64G will get you roughly 5.3 hours at highest setting, but you can always use the MS Duo/SDHC slot for additional recording capacity. Of course the HDD gives you more headroom/storage.

The XR520 (and the XR500) were "last years" models - so quite similar in many respects.

The OIS has been tweaked from the 500/520, so it will be a bit better on the 550. I'd expect a few other minor tweaks in the firmware/software with some improvements.
The menu seems to follow the CX500/520 which was introduced "mid model year" last year.
The 550 has a new 3.5 LCD vs. a 3.2 in the 500/520.
550 also adds access to more manual control (shutter/iris) vs. the "mostly auto" limited manual control of last years models.
The other BIG change is the lens - the 550 is roughly the equivalent of the 500/520 with a .7 WA lens mounted, and you'll lose on the tele end of the range.

Look at the lens range equivalents and see whether that will affect your choice. While I plan to pick up the CX550, I'm keeping an XR500 around because of the lens range issue until I'm "sold" on the new range - I've got a Sony P&S that has a "wider" lens than last years model, and I'm really mixed on it - wider is NOT always better I'm finding. OTOH, I often found myself mounting a .7x WA on the earlier lens range to get the field of view I wanted, so maybe it will work out fine!


EDIT to your edit <wink>. I think the cheapest adapter I've seen was around $30 on eBay - a bit much for some plastic and wire considering the Cheap A/V cords can be had under $10, and the rest of the parts are cheap too - particularly if you're DIY'ing it. I've got the plans here somewhere... if you get to that stage, I can hook you up. I stopped short of publishing as I ran into a couple oddities with some LANC controllers where some obscure functions acted strangely... plus I was atempting to get mic INPUTS in the bargain (for the older CX's that didn't have them... the 550 has all the I/O), but all the critical stuff worked fine.
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