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Old July 25th, 2006, 09:49 AM   #1
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"painfully slow servo zoom and... non-functioning auto focus"

The latest issue of EventDv magazine had a review of the HVX200. It liked the camera, but said it has a "painfully slow zoom servo and almost non-functioning auto-focus. For all practical purposes, the auto-focus doesn't function if you zoom in or out during a shot."

Comments from users?

Also, is the transition between one P2 card to the next seamless, or is there any sort of gap in recording?
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Old July 25th, 2006, 10:20 AM   #2
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from all reports, the transition from card to card is seemless...

as for the zoom focus, this can be turned on or off in the menu. the DVX also has this...

It seems they havent tweaked the settings or someone tweked the settings and didnt reset them before the "review"considering teh resolutions were talking abotu, autofocus in prgressive mode is about 1/3 the speed of interlaced... again, teh DVX is also affected by this..
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Old July 25th, 2006, 10:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
from all reports, the transition from card to card is seemless...

as for the zoom focus, this can be turned on or off in the menu. the DVX also has this...

It seems they havent tweaked the settings or someone tweked the settings and didnt reset them before the "review"considering teh resolutions were talking abotu, autofocus in prgressive mode is about 1/3 the speed of interlaced... again, teh DVX is also affected by this..
Just curious... why would you turn off the zoom focus?
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Old July 25th, 2006, 01:00 PM   #4
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Where is this "zoom focus"? Not in the menus which I just reviewed in the book...
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Old July 25th, 2006, 11:42 PM   #5
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I set both both zoom and focus on manual.

I don't use the zoom button often and find it's a lot quicker to frame a shot with the manual zoom control.

And I generally don't trust autofocus and manually focus all shots.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 12:00 AM   #6
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Doesn't this camera have the same limitation as some of the others like the DVX and the XL series in that it only has one motor for both functions. Therefore, you can't zoom and focus at the same time.

Just curious since that would explain the statement made by the magazine.

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Old July 26th, 2006, 06:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Sensui
I set both both zoom and focus on manual.

I don't use the zoom button often and find it's a lot quicker to frame a shot with the manual zoom control.

And I generally don't trust autofocus and manually focus all shots.
So the servo zoom is "painfully slow?" Are we talking AG-456 slow?
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Old August 1st, 2006, 08:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Edmunds
The latest issue of EventDv magazine had a review of the HVX200. It liked the camera, but said it has a "painfully slow zoom servo and almost non-functioning auto-focus. For all practical purposes, the auto-focus doesn't function if you zoom in or out during a shot."
If you're used to a 2/3" camera, yeah, the servo IS painfully slow. It's even substantially slower than my XL1 was (albeit smoother). As mentioned above, I've taken to turning the servo off for any shooting where I know I don't need to do a controlled zoom during the shot. Is that a pain? Yeah, kinda. Every once in a while it's bagged me...by the time I've turned it back on, I've lost the shot.

The servo also jumps between 0 and about 5%...you can't really feather it all the way off or on. It's a cheap servo. Apparently someone at Panasonic (name omitted to protect the honest) admitted as much in a burst of candor.

It's pretty clear, given the upcoming new mid-price cameras to be released, that an advance marketing decision was made to not build the 200 so good that it'd cannibalize the more expensive models.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 05:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Scott Auerbach
If you're used to a 2/3" camera, yeah, the servo IS painfully slow. It's even substantially slower than my XL1 was (albeit smoother). As mentioned above, I've taken to turning the servo off for any shooting where I know I don't need to do a controlled zoom during the shot. Is that a pain? Yeah, kinda. Every once in a while it's bagged me...by the time I've turned it back on, I've lost the shot.
My benchmark for slow zoom function is the Panasonic AG-456; it was like watching grass grow. Is the HVX200's zoom that slow?
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 09:37 PM   #10
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The HVX takes about three to three and a half seconds to zoom from full wide angle to 13x zoom. From 4.2 to 55mm takes a bit over three seconds at its fastest speed.

Of course, you can disable the servo and execute a "snap zoom" from full wide to full tele, or back, in about 1/10th of a second.

Do either of those sound "painfully slow"?
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 02:23 AM   #11
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I read in one thread that you have to turn the zoomring a lot to go from wide to to max. zoom, can you elaborate on that? Is it different than other cams?

Bye the way I received your great HVX book :-)))
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 08:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Edmunds
the auto-focus doesn't function if you zoom in or out during a shot
This is a "feature" common to all camcorders in this price range, the sole exception of which is the JVC GY-HD100, as it uses a completely different kind of lens.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 12:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cees Mutsaers
I read in one thread that you have to turn the zoomring a lot to go from wide to to max. zoom, can you elaborate on that? Is it different than other cams?
That's not accurate; the zoom is only a 90-degree throw from min to max. I actually wish it was a lot further.

Now, the focus ring, that's different, yes you have to turn the focus ring a lot further than you do with other cameras.

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Bye the way I received your great HVX book :-)))
Hey, thanks for the update! Glad it finally got there! :)
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 12:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
This is a "feature" common to all camcorders in this price range, the sole exception of which is the JVC GY-HD100, as it uses a completely different kind of lens.
True of other cams, but not the HVX. HVX can focus and zoom at the same time, including using autofocus in combination with motorized servo zoom. Works fine.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 01:11 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
True of other cams, but not the HVX. HVX can focus and zoom at the same time, including using autofocus in combination with motorized servo zoom. Works fine.
There seems to be a lot of contradictory info about this camera. What is the truth? Can it focus during a zoom or not? Is autofocus good or lousy? Is the viewfinder acceptable for focusing or not?
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