Anybody here thought about moding the XL2's remote to improve the zoom function? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old November 13th, 2004, 01:24 AM   #1
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Anybody here thought about moding the XL2's remote to improve the zoom function?

I'm always trying to find ways to improve my gear and customize it to fit my needs. Right now I'm thinking that this remote control in combinaison with the stock lens might be awfully handy for crane shots needing a combinaison of physical movements (pans/tilts) and optical movements (zooms).

But the thing is, the remote's fine to set the proper focal length prior to shooting with a crane but there is just no way as it is to use it on the fly. The speed is fixed and there is no feather in/out capabilities.

Anybody here with a bit of electronic know-how thinking it would be possible to modify this remote in order to either slow down the zoom speed via infra-red so it is not that obvious when zooming, or create a new infra-red control device altogether, maybe using parts of this remote, just for zoom and rec/pause functions, maybe with variable speed and feather in?

Is this a good idea or am I just digging too far?

I know there's the ZR-1000 for more precise handless focus/zoom control but the wire is too short for crane use, and I like the idea of using infra-red for this. Plus the ZR-1000 is kind of expensive.

I'm just looking for this to improve on crane and maybe steadicam shooting control. Does the infra-red technology limits the possibilities here or is there a way to slow down or speed up the signal in order to get a variable zoom speed?

I'm kind of thinking out loud about ways to effectively control the zoom and maybe focus as well at a distance without paying big bucks for it, since this is for very specific usage. If anybody wants to join in, feel free to add your 2.
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Old November 13th, 2004, 10:17 AM   #2
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Just a couple of quick comments...

<< the ZR-1000 for more precise... control but the wire is too short for crane use >>

Simply add an extension cable, no problem.

<< Plus the ZR-1000 is kind of expensive. >>

Actually it's one of the LEAST expensive, compared to other controllers such as VariZoom or Zoe.
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Old November 13th, 2004, 11:26 AM   #3
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Well what I should have said is it's too expensive for a device I might only use 1-2 times per shoot, and often not at all. Plus I admit, I went a little beserk on accessory buying and now I'm completely broke. ;-)
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Old November 13th, 2004, 12:15 PM   #4
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David,

Once you get spoiled to the use of the Varizoom control for crane shots, you'll want to use it on the tripod handle as well. If you end up with a steadicam rig, it will be indispensible there also. The pro version has a knob on the side that allows you to set the zoom speed, much like the thumbwheel does on the XL2. I think you would definitely get your money's worth out of it. The only time it wouldn't be useful is for handheld shooting.

=gb=

p.s. did you receive the adapter yet?
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Old November 13th, 2004, 04:25 PM   #5
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Greg, does the Varizoom have feather in/out capabilities? I might check that out, and had I had lots of room in my budget I know I would have already bought it, but right now I squeezed every penny I had for my next production and everything else I could want will need to be home made, even if it's just a temporary thing.

I didn't receive the adapter yet but it shouldn't be long. It says on USPS' site that it cleared Canadian Customs so I guess I should get it early next week. I'll let you know.
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