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Old December 4th, 2002, 10:07 AM   #1
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Varizoom Stealth Issue

I recently bought the Varizoom Stealth, and I am occassionally having these problems during zooming in:

On a very slow crawl, the zoom is 'jerky'... like a pulsing instead of a smooth zoom. It doesn't happen very often, but does on occassion.

Other times the crawl does not stop when I let go... it keeps crawling. I can stop it by quickly tapping the lever to zoom out, but often that results in an obvious brief 'zoom out' instead of simply stopping it. This only happens during a slow crawl... never if I am zooming at higher speeds.

The camera is a PD-150, fairly new, with no problems with the manual controls on the camera. I bought the Stealth from a dealer on eBay that specializes in factory second Varizooms.

Is Varizoom selling known 'bad' units as blemished ones? I really couldn't see any blemishes on this one.

Any ideas or input?
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Old December 4th, 2002, 10:18 AM   #2
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No, Varizoom wouldn't, but how reputable is ebay. Less and less reputable everyday in my opinion. Fraud cases are way up and ebay seems powerless to stop it. Buyer beware.

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Old December 4th, 2002, 03:52 PM   #3
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I'd contact Varizoom. Varizoom has a pretty good reputation and they might be interested in this problem. I guess it is also possible that these unit might not even be Varizoom's.
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Old December 4th, 2002, 09:06 PM   #4
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Howdy from Texas,

<< Is Varizoom selling known 'bad' units as blemished ones? >>

No, not at all. VariZoom would never do that. However, the Ebay person you bought from might be selling bad units. You were told they're "factory seconds?" That raises a red flag right there. It's always best to spend the extra $2 and purchase new items directly from the manufacturer or one of their reputable authorized dealers. Contact VariZoom and see if there's any repair option available to you. Good luck,
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Old December 4th, 2002, 10:09 PM   #5
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VariZoom

Doug,

Chris Hurd brought this post to my attention. The StealthZoom is new model less than a year old so your control is under warranty. Call Tom McKay at VariZoom at 888-826-3399

VariZoom will repair it or replace at no charge.


We sell off some demo units from time to time that may have a scratch or may look just like new but have been used.

We of course would never knowingly sell a bad or defective unit. Before jumping to such conclusions I wish you would contact our customer service.

Tom
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Old December 4th, 2002, 10:31 PM   #6
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This problem sounds like an "EBAY" problem and not a problem with the merchandizing practices of the manufacturer (Varizoom).

I just checked and there is a Varizoom for sale on Ebay right now at less than half the price for a new controller. Supposedly in perfect condition. The picture they have is for the wrong model though (whoops)... but, still, if a person can get a perfectly good item and also save over $150 it would seem foolish to pay the extra money...

Except that it sounds like the chances of getting a bad deal on Ebay increases all the time. I've never bought anything from Ebay and consequently haven't been burned OR saved a fortune. But, as they say, you pay your money and you takes your chances. But why sell a "perfectly good" Varizoom so cheap?

It sounds like this thread will have a very happy ending though, since the good folks at Varizoom might cover the repair under warranty. That alone pretty much tells you what kind of outfit Varizoom is running. A solid, reputable one.

Unknown sellers on Ebay? Now that might be a different story. Funny the way so _many_ people use Ebay though. I have some stuff I would like to sell but am afraid of getting scammed in reverse. My sister, on the other hand, loves Ebay. <grin>

Ed
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Old December 5th, 2002, 02:21 AM   #7
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Thanks to all...

To clarify, the seller on eBay has been selling many of this, as well as other, Varizoom models.

No half price deal, I assure you... but a good value if it was a demo or had some cosmetic issues (like this one was supposed to be).

I have bought many items on eBay... including my PD150, which I bought for $2700 + $25 shipping - brand new in the sealed box. I do try my best to research the feedback of a seller, as well as look at the type of items the seller has sold in the past. So far, I've been pretty lucky in my experiences. I even bought a car on eBay!

I just wasn't sure if this is a "normal" defect, or if Varizoom might be letting rejects slip out of their hands. I did NOT assume that Varizoom made a practice of this... hence my post. I was simply asking to see if anyone else might have had, or heard of, this experience. For all I know, an occasional stuck slow crawl might be considered normal.

I will say, however, that the StealthZoom is a great piece of equipment, and a great investment. I can not imagine operating a camera without one! It definitely can help anyone capture footage in a much more professional manner.

Thanks Chris for your contact with Tom... and thanks Tom for the invite to call.

Just another example of what a fine BBS we all enjoy here!
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Old December 5th, 2002, 11:57 AM   #8
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You even bought a car on Ebay? Man, I have to get with it. My sister has been telling me what I'm missing out on, but I refused to listen to her... Of course my luck regarding these kinda things is less than exemplary...

Then too, my Varizoom Stealth works... <grin>

Maybe I am not searching properly on Ebay? I didn't see any items other than the used, half price, VZ-Pro controller...

A car????

Ed
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Old December 5th, 2002, 01:11 PM   #9
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Somewhat OT - but ebay related

I've been buying and selling stuff on ebay for over 3 years.
It's a far cry from a business, but more like selling my outdated "gear", and buying items personally for cheap.

I have never been burned, in over 50 transactions.

Recently I just picked up a Compaq pocket PC for my sons b-day and he and I couldn't be happier with it. It was 1/2 the cost of retail compared to Best Buy/CompUSA.

I just sold enough stuff to buy a used GL1 (and did) in the last week. The GL1 was in top condition, and it ended up being 30% less than the "going price" plus it included a wide angle lens, filters, soft case, 5 batteries, and everything that comes new in the box. I saved well over $500 on a single purchase. The guy I bought it from was working in TV and wanted to upgrade to a XL1s (the reason he was selling it) as his personal camera.

I ended up making friends with this guy, we exchanged work via DVD, found out he has similar interest, knows his way around prosumer DV cameras, and he will end up on one of our upcoming shoots this summer as a cameraman.

There are bad apples out there everywhere, ebay does not have any exclusivity to deadbeats. I'm in agreement with Chris's philosophy that he runs this site by, when buying retail.

Check people out, ask questions, feel them out, but don't blindly bid on something, and you won't get burned 99% of the time.

99.9% of the people on ebay are doing the same thing I am. It's the .1% you need to watch out for (just like retail).

My 2 cents, and no offense to anyone.

Rgds.,
Dan
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Old September 26th, 2003, 09:16 AM   #10
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Update

Well, I finally took the time to call Tom McKay at Varizoom... what a great experience!

Tom offered to replace the unit... which was the purpose of my call... but also offered a move me up to the Pro model for a modest charge (an offer I couldn't refuse).

The Pro model is incredible. Yes, it is much larger and "beefier" than the Stealth... and more capable, as well. I hooked it up for a quick check, and it's a peach!

Although the Pro models can not replace the size of the Stealth, I would recommend them to anyone who wants a solid (kinda indestructible, really) unit.

I would also recommend the Varizoom company, in general. Once again, a great experience - Thanks Tom!
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Old September 26th, 2003, 02:54 PM   #11
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Glad to hear how this worked out, Doug -- Tom McKay is indeed a great guy. Thanks for the update,
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Old September 30th, 2003, 09:04 AM   #12
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There's a lot of talk on this thread of E-bay being the culprit in this case, but I'd like to assure Doug that his experience with the VariZoom controllers exactly echoes mine. I tested both the Stealth and the Rock for Computer Video magazine (October 2003 issue) and received some rather abusive emails from My McKay who questioned my suitability as a tester. Because of this I had both controllers independently tested and wasn't surprised to see they discovered the same faults.

tom.
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