Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders

Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders
AVCHD for pro applications: AG-AC160, AC130 and other AVCCAM gear.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 26th, 2013, 10:25 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wilmington DE
Posts: 98
Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

Has anyone bought the newest ProZoom for the Panasonic video cameras from Studio 1 Productions?

I am looking at getting one but would like to have some feedback before pulling the trigger. They have it priced right at only $99.95.

Zoom Controller - Panasonic Zoom Controller For Video Cameras

Rob
Rob Taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 26th, 2013, 11:10 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

I've never used that controller but over the last 10 to 12 years I've done some business with Studio1 Productions and they were a good bunch of folks. IIRC the person I worked with was named Dave. Don't know if he is the owner but I always had good success with the various stuff I got from them.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2013, 02:55 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wilmington DE
Posts: 98
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

Hi Don,

Well after reading this review

New controller for Panasonic Cameras from Studio 1 Productions

I went ahead and ordered one. I post my thoughts on it once I get it. Should be here on Monday.

Rob
Rob Taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2013, 04:12 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

Good deal. Post a review so others know about it. Good or bad!
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2013, 05:19 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wilmington DE
Posts: 98
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

I received the ProZoom for the Panasonic video cameras yesterday and I have spent the last two days working with it.

It is well built and works great. I like the larger focus and zoom knobs as it allows me to have a finer control of the focus and zoom. I really can't find any complaints with it. It is priced at only $99.95 which is a steal. I don't know how they are making any money with it at this price.

It is a nice size, not too big or too small.

Rob
Rob Taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 5th, 2013, 11:37 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

Rob,

It does look a bit home-made, but I am intrigued by this unit. It looks to have good, solid, robust buttons for the zoom.

How does the zoom work? It seems as if you move the dial from "12 o'clock" to one side or the other, and it starts zooming at the given speed without a return to "0", i.e. it's not a spring dial. I can see this being very useful, as with the traditional rocker-style Lanc controls it is easy to slip and mess up a constant speed.

This one seems to get round that by not returning to 0, meaning you can set it to a speed and let go, and the zoom will stay either until the end of the range or when you 0 it. I'm assuming that if you need to sligthtly speed up or slow down the zoom you just twist the knob a bit to the left or right? The review seems to suggest that's the case. I'm curious how that works in real life, how good it is.

I don't really need focus or iris, but this seems to be cheaper than some zoom-only controls!

I'd love to hear how it actually works, and/or see it in action. My Libec zoom must've taken a bash, as it has a life of its own sometimes now, and tries to zoom in when you don't want it to! Hence my need for a replacement, and maybe something different.
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2013, 04:06 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wilmington DE
Posts: 98
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

Mike, the zoom control is not a spring dial. You can turn it and let go of it and it will stay zooming at the speed you set it for. For me, I like that. I have blown shots in the past using a rocker spring loaded switch, where the slightest pressure change would change the zoom speed.

When you return it to the center position, which stops the zooming, there is a center detent so you know you are at the center.

I have used it this past week and I have no complaints with it. The larger knobs does allow me to get a finer focus and zoom speed, plus it is easier for me to work with.

You might call and ask them if they are planning on coming out with a zoom only model with record/pause.

Rob
Rob Taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2013, 08:12 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

Rob,

Many thanks for the feedback. It looks as if there's a lot less trial and error with this device. What camera are you using?

I've worked out that the problems with the Libec controller are at very slow speeds - slower than those possible with the camera's rocker or top handle zoom controls. It's as if the signal just isn't right at those low speeds. The result is a jerky zoom or it zooms in a little bit, and looks terrible.

Slightly faster zooms are fine.

I'm going to give this Studio1 unit a spin I think, it's the only one that doesn't have a rocker apart from the basic Varizoom models with a slider.

Pity the cable is 5 feet long, but you can't have perfection!

Last edited by Mike Beckett; April 8th, 2013 at 09:48 AM.
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2013, 08:55 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 76
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

Hi, i am the person who did the review on this product.

If you click on the review link you will see that I was able to evolve a not-so-bad approach to stowing away the 5 foot cord (go to the page following the review).

You will note that I replaced the focus knob with a 2" diameter knob and this helps a LOT for fine-focusing.

I am currently on the lookout for a 3" knob to see if that allows 0.1 foot adjustments at close range.

At a distance, the camera red lining on my Panasonic AG-AC160A seems to be accurate to the nearest foot - with the 2 inch knob, its quite easy (although a bit delicate) to go up/down in one foot increments.

Remember, the focus wheel on the camera itself is huge and you can replace the short extension stick with an even longer one.

For me, the ProZoom is a great device at $99 and I don't think of it as "home-made" - it looks like something an engineer would design (user-centric, solid, functional).
Karl Walter Keirstead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 9th, 2013, 05:39 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

Thanks for the update, Walter... I've just seen the update with the photo as well.

I didn't mean "home made" as a put-down, sorry. It looks robust, and the fact that you can just replace a standard pot knob with a bigger one is a great idea. Certainly a lot more robust than the sprung rockers on other devices.
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 17th, 2013, 12:51 PM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

I've ordered the Studio1 controller today... I'll post my thoughts, photos and samples when it arrives.
__________________
Irish Railway Videos on Youtube
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 27th, 2013, 07:37 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wilmington DE
Posts: 98
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

Hi Mike,

Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I am using the two ProZoom's for the Panasonic cameras with the AG-HMC40 and a AG-HMC150.

Studio 1 Productions did make a change to the zoom controller. My first controller came with a 60 inch cables and the second one has an 18 inch cables. It is stated on their website that the controller now has 18 inch cables.

I called them and ask if I could get the cables shorten on the first controller and they said that would be no problem at all. So I sent it in and got it back a few days later with 18 inch cables. No charge at all. That was great, I even offered to pay for the change and they said I didn't have to pay a thing and they would be happy to shorten the cables for me.

What's funny is about a week after I sent the controller in, I bought their SkyPod 2 mono pod.
10 ft Mono Pod - SkyPod 2 - Monopod extends from 3ft to 10ft

It is a mon pod that extends from 3ft to 10ft, great for shooting over other people in a crowd. Anyhow, after I had the cables shorten I had to by an extension cable set for when I extend the SkyPod 2 up so I can control the AG-HMC40.

Rob
Rob Taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 28th, 2013, 06:13 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

Hi Rob,

Yes, I noticed that too - I was delighted when the unit arrived and it only had short cables. Fantastic. I haven't had much time to play with it yet, but a quick test shows that it gives a really smooth zoom, unlike my Libec unit which makes the starts of zooms slow and jumpy.

The same Libec unit worked fine on my previous Sony camera (using the Lanc setting) and my Panny HMC41, so either the AC130 doesn't work well with it, or it got a bash and stopped working properly.

I'll post more thoughts and some samples as I soon as I can. If only I had more free time!
__________________
Irish Railway Videos on Youtube
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2013, 12:30 PM   #14
Tourist
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 4
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who commented about the Prozoom for the Panasonic video cameras. From all the good comments, I ordered one and I really like it. It does a great job with my HMC 150. Tom
Tom Wilson II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2013, 02:01 PM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Re: Panasonic Zoom Focus Controller

I now use this controller from Manfrotto:

RC CLAMP PANASONIC LANC MVR901ECPL - Camera | Manfrotto

I just didn't get on with the rotary dial of the Pro Zoom controller, I found it too hard to make it fit my requirements. The Manfrotto works perfectly, it's big, solid and feels like it'll last. The zoom spring is just right too, allowing perfect control with your thumb. Maybe I've just used the sprung rockers for too long to change.

Trying to turn the rotary zoom dial on the Pro Zoom is awkward with your thumb, at least that's my feelings. Everyone's different, give it a go and it may suit your shooting style and needs perfectly.
__________________
Irish Railway Videos on Youtube
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Panasonic P2HD / AVCCAM / AVCHD / DV Camera Systems > Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:35 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network