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Old October 29th, 2006, 02:58 PM   #1
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Canon ZR-1000 Zoom Remote Control

Have any of you used the Canon ZR-1000 Zoom Remote Control? Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Keith
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Old October 29th, 2006, 07:45 PM   #2
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The ZR-1000 works well.

See the review at:
http://www.dvinfo.net/canon/articles/article63.php
The review is XL1 focused, but it works with the GL1 also.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 02:25 AM   #3
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Yes it DOES work well.

However, I have now superseded this with a Frotti 521Pro which has a Manual Focus override. This allows me to achieve fast AUTO focus, and on release of the button, it returns to Manual Focus. The result being that I am "snapped" to the correct focus. For me this is a benefit when doing interviews or needing to obtain/establish sharp FOCUS in a hurry. PLUS using this snap focus, in conjunction with it's "zoom" rocker, set to MF adjust, I now use it as easy way to make the most of the DoF rack-focus-ish type of effect that our camera can produce.

Give the 521Pro some thought, before you DO put your money down on the Canon ZR1000. Yeah? It is the Manfrotto 521PRO that has this function - PRO - make sure it has this after the numbering. Not just a "P" - which is for a Panasonic!

Other points in its favour are:

* A completely removable LANC cable! This means I could easily plug in a much MUCH longer LANC cable without the need to make a cable junction. However the cable that comes with it is still twice as long as the Canon.

* Both plugs are right-angled! How easy was that - eh?

* The connecting cable IS a curly! This keeps it out of the way.

* Largest clamp range I've experienced!

* User definable zoom speed.

What it doesn't have that the Canon DOES, is:

* Physically separated ZOOM and FOCUS adjust. To toggle between the 2, with the Frotti, I need to remember to click OFF the Manual Focus.

* Onscreen status displays ON/OFF

* ± REC SEARCH

* 5 User Preset Speeds

Here's a more than decent close-up

http://www.libraprobroadcast.co.uk/p...-521pro&cat=56
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Old November 6th, 2006, 01:25 AM   #4
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Thank you Graham and Don. Most of my filming is wildlife. Being able to zoom and focus rapidly and smoothly while panning is important. Being able to switch to manual focus easily, without jiggling the tripod, would be quite helpful in situations where the camera cannot decide what to focus on (such as the branch in front of or behind the subject). The 521 has some good features.

The VariZoom VZ-Rock Remote looked pretty interesting also.

I will do some more research. People who use a contrlloer seem to really like them.

Keith
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Old November 6th, 2006, 02:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Wiggers
Most of my filming is wildlife. Being able to zoom and focus rapidly and smoothly while panning is important.
Keith - please give me a "cut" edited situation where you would want this? Where would you want a zoom<>focus<>smooth-pan as part of the finished video? I can understand you wanting this available when capturing to video critters that NEVER stand still or NEVER go in the correct direction. But where would you WNAT to see this adjustment on the final video? My point is if speed is the issue then USE the manual focus ring rather than a LANC; use the zoom toggle/LANC or if you have one a ZOOM ring and pan when you want. This WHOLE action you'd cut out anyway - no? My point is that to use the quickest way to ZOOM in; the focus ring to ZAP a critter quickly, getting past those dang branches and pan when I could! So for me the order would be:

1 - Wide Angle

2 - Zoom in HARD!

3 - FOCUS HARD using the ring but if I had time use the override

4 - Zoom/Pull out and pan for framing

This is ONE way, but none of this "process" would be kept for the final? Unless I wanted to implant in the minds of viewer as sense of urgency, immediacy, speed, wildness and SURPRISE!!! If this IS the case then doing all 3 things at once is demanding for a LANC controller. I know I can't ZOOM and FOCUS simultaneously with my XM2 - it wont let me. But I can pan and zoom. And I can even Pan and focus.

As an observation which I've made watching wildlife BBC pros filming critters, on my tellie, they have big weighty machines with BIG tele lenses and even BIGGER lumps of tripods anchoring down this kit to the sides or backs of Land Rovers. They have levers and manual rings all over their cameras. BIG hoods or at least big eyepiece covers - I kinda think that they would find using a "controller" a bit of a challenge - yeah? But I could be very very wrong.

Be interesting to hear or get some input from somebody as to the pros and cons of using LANCs etc for filing wildlife?
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Old November 6th, 2006, 08:42 PM   #6
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Graham,

You are right. In the final production I rarely use a zoom. Occassionaly it works well, but I keep them at a minimum. I try to avoid pans if possible, but sometimes those critters just will not stay in the same field of view, and of course you want to watch an episode of a monkey troop traveling through the tree tops or birds flying by or large mammals on the move. And yes, I am envious of the equipment used by BBC and Nat'l Geo, but you never see all of the people they have carrying all of that equipment. I have had guides who swear they would not want to be their porters again! On the rare occassion that someone carries my carbon fiber tripod, they express great delight as to the light weight. I keep the head extension down, but the tripod is still subject to some jiggle when I move my hand to push the little MF button, and again when I touch the focus ring and again when I let go of it. And just then, the critter will move a bit and be out of focus, or the camera will refocus on another object. Since often these little guys don't hang around a long time, I want to get sharp images quickly.

I am hoping that I can focus, and either keep it in focus or readjust again faster and smoother with a remote. So then, I will have some footage that is still. Often times all I need to do is "lock" the focus so the camera does not keep seeking. If I could do that by just a light touch on a remote, with no jiggle, half of the problem would be solved. Could I manually focus on a monkey running through the tree tops? I might have more trouble than the camera in that case. It would depend what was crossing tin the foreground. I will have to give it a try.

Thanks.

Keith
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Old November 7th, 2006, 12:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Wiggers
In the final production I rarely use a zoom. Occassionaly it works well, but I keep them at a minimum. I try to avoid pans if possible, but sometimes those critters just will not stay in the same field of view, and of course you want to watch an episode of a monkey troop traveling through the tree tops or birds flying by or large mammals on the move.
Yeah, I kinda guessed that would be your working practices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Wiggers
And yes, I am envious of the equipment used by BBC and Nat'l Geo, but you never see all of the people they have carrying all of that equipment. I have had guides who swear they would not want to be their porters again!

I keep the head extension down, but the tripod is still subject to some jiggle when I move my hand to push the little MF button, and again when I touch the focus ring and again when I let go of it.
Oh yes! Nice kit! I'd like to see some examples of your setup. The MF button for me is a thing of the past now I use the PUSH focus button.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Wiggers
I am hoping that I can focus, and either keep it in focus or readjust again faster and smoother with a remote. So then, I will have some footage that is still. Often times all I need to do is "lock" the focus so the camera does not keep seeking. If I could do that by just a light touch on a remote, with no jiggle, half of the problem would be solved. Could I manually focus on a monkey running through the tree tops? I might have more trouble than the camera in that case. It would depend what was crossing tin the foreground. I will have to give it a try.
I don;t think you are going to be happy using a readjusting focus with a remote - I may very well be incorrect - but I don't think so. Focus LOCK-on yup! Tighter focusing, with branch fuddling is gonna make you mad! I would be reaching for Focus ring. This happened to me yesterday - see example attached.

G
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Canon ZR-1000 Zoom Remote Control-capture0017.jpg  
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Old November 7th, 2006, 10:11 PM   #8
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Graham,

It looks like it is still warm in London. The Mute Swan and the leaves have a summer look yet. We just picked up friends at the airport. They spent three weeks in Wales with the last few days in London. They enjoyed your warm weather. We are currently experiencing some serious flooding here in the northwest (north and south of Seattle).

I guess I will have to try a remote to see how I get along with the focus. I am cautiously hopeful. I appreciate your comments.

I am anxious to read reviews on the new XH A1. It sounds like we will have to have focus dead on with Hi Def.

Keith
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Old November 8th, 2006, 01:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Wiggers
It looks like it is still warm in London. The Mute Swan and the leaves have a summer look yet. We just picked up friends at the airport. They spent three weeks in Wales with the last few days in London.
Yeah, it's kinda weird the climate. That still - sorry about the residual interlace - was taken at around 3:00pm and the Sun was getting beautifully low and bathing the Lake with these Indian Summer type colours. I love this camera!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Wiggers
I guess I will have to try a remote to see how I get along with the focus. I am cautiously hopeful. I appreciate your comments.

I am anxious to read reviews on the new XH A1. It sounds like we will have to have focus dead on with Hi Def.
You are welcome. And I understand you have picked up on my cautionary comments - yeah? Good. I still would like to know IF there is a more handle zoomie/focussie type gizmo that would service the needs of us "Critter-Hunters"!

.. and yes .. the A1 would be the way I would think I wold go. But by the time I may afford it there could be further offerings.

And YES<>YES to the need for substantial focusing techniques. There ARE other requirements for going the HD route, least of which is the need for my style of editing to have a PC that has DUAL DUALs to cope with my mad way I edit on Vegas!!
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