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Old December 27th, 2002, 06:29 AM   #1
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Canon ZR1000 or VariZoom Pro-L?....

Canon ZR1000 or VariZoom Pro-L?....
A question for all you experienced boys out there. Which is the better product? Please help, I got a StealthZoom for xmas (not substantial enough) and am exchanging for one of the above (Canon about 150, VariZoom about 300).

I use a Vinten Pro5 head, mainly do sports as part of DVcam team of three. If that helps.
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Old December 27th, 2002, 07:34 AM   #2
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I use the ZR-1000 and am pleased with it. But if you are loking for something more"substantial" meaning rock hard and not plastic, the VariZoom may be more to your liking given that it is machined out of a block of metal. It also has a somewhat different control layout

UK sports - heard about your football (aka soccer) fans, you probably do need the all-metal gear <g>.
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Old December 27th, 2002, 09:08 AM   #3
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Quite right I think.

Firtsly, I do believe you're right Mr Palomaki, I am prone to letting cost get the better of me and I'm going for the Pro-L and having had a think about it I'm going for tough - over cheaper and with couple of extra gizmos.

Secondly, Please don't say 'soccer' to a true Englishman or I'll start calling baseball 'rounders'.

Many thanks.
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Old December 27th, 2002, 04:16 PM   #4
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> Please don't say 'soccer' to a true Englishman or I'll start calling baseball 'rounders'.

No offense - the aka was for the benefit of other yanks who may think of football as the being the highly evolved (and over padded/paid?) derivative form of rugby played over here.
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Old December 27th, 2002, 08:38 PM   #5
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I agree with Don that the Varizooms are much more durable.

At least Rugby is played the way American football should be...under the ugliest conditions possible.
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Old December 27th, 2002, 10:26 PM   #6
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Hate to break up this lovefest among you jocks, but I have an even better zoom control: Zoe-DV Lanc You can read my review at www.digitalprods.com/workshop/htm (You can see it in action at the "commercial" site where it is used on the Motown-style clip)

BTW, the company that manufactures the Zoe is Bebob Electronics. Could this be a natural for "Brightonbob?"

I was a fan of the Canon ZR1000 as a good value in the US, but for you its a no-brainer. Get the Zoe.

And here is the local contact for you, BBob: mvsvideo.co.uk Contact Steve, and tell him a Yank sent you. Oh yeah, the price is GB 198.50 w/VAT

Cheers
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Old December 28th, 2002, 07:25 AM   #7
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The review is here http://www.digitalprods.com/zoe.htm The above link returns a 404 error. Nice review Wayne.

Jeff
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Old December 28th, 2002, 12:06 PM   #8
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Thank you Jeff for correcting my address error. I used to get lost a lot as a kid, also.

Wayne
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Old December 29th, 2002, 10:03 AM   #9
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Conclusion

Thanks as ever for all the help. In the end I went with the Pro-L as its more substantial casing made me feel easier. Also, the buttons on the Bebob (tempting though the name and price is!) looked a bit lightwieght.

I have posted a new question about DSM lights on here though if any of you can help on that (can't find any info or pics of their 60 top light with its own battery).
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Old December 29th, 2002, 12:19 PM   #10
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>>At least Rugby is played the way American football should be...under the ugliest conditions possible<<

Anybody see the Oakland-Kansas City game yesterday?
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Old December 29th, 2002, 02:46 PM   #11
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I respect your choice of the Varizoom over the Zoe, but I feel I must respond to your comment, "I went with the Pro-L as its more substantial casing made me feel easier." Regarding the construction of the Zoe, the distributor's press release notes, "Zoe DV-Lanc features a weather-resistant housing of virtually unbreakable 3mm polycarbonate."

You may be able to use your Pro-L to hammer nails, but for real world camera work, the Zoe is fantastic. Plus, the small size of the Zoe allows for quick mounting to shoulder braces and Steadicams.

But I wish you well with your choice.

Wayne
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Old December 29th, 2002, 03:01 PM   #12
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>>Anybody see the Oakland-Kansas City game yesterday?<<

Now that....was ugly! Good thing they didn't play in KC or that rain would have been ice!
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Old December 29th, 2002, 04:13 PM   #13
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Wayne,
I'd never heard of the ZOE controller before your post. It looks like a very interesting design. I like the idea of membrane buttons and its small size. The lateral rocker switch also looks interesting but, since its movement is not in the natural axis of precision movement for the thumb I'd have to try it to really judge its value.

I'd be tempted to try one...if I could just figure out where to buy one. 16x9's site apparently hawks it...but doesn't have it in its store. B&H never heard of it.

Nevertheless, your review indicates a prospective retail price of $410; that's just a bit out of the money for this product in my opinion, even considering the widening gap between the Euro and USD. I would imagine the street price must drop to at least what the VZ-PG-L controller sells for ($360), and probably lower since the Zoe does not appear have a valuable feature of the VZ: a separate zoom rate dial. With a bit of practice the VZ-PG-L's zoom rate dial does, indeed, enable you to nearly eliminate the dreaded start/stop "hiccup" (on the XL1s lens) that you note in your review.

Lastly, if the very obscure 16x9 remains the exclusive US distributor for this product it will never gain much market.

Thanks for posting a review of the Zoe on your site, Wayne. It will be interesting product to follow.
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Old December 29th, 2002, 05:45 PM   #14
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Hello Ken,

Thank you for your kind words. As I mentioned at the end of the review, I also thought the price was too high, and I contacted 16x9Inc in Burbank, CA and expressed the same thoughts. I know of one individual who claims to have purchased the Zoe through Abel Cine in North Hollywood, for approximately $350 which would put it on par with the Pro-L. (I will give them a call tomorrow and check this out as it is not on their site either) Also, as I mentioned, the Zoe can be purchased throurgh MVS Video in the UK, at a very good price of approx $275 plus shipping and customs, which will put it around $325. Contact Steve at www.mvsvideo.co.uk You will find it on their website.

As far as the "variable speed dial" of the Varizoom, you will find it is entirely unnecessary with the pressure sensitive rocker control on the Zoe.

I hope you will give the Zoe a try, Ken, as I find it to be the most professional like zoom controller on the market, and I have tried most of them including various models of the Varizoom, the Cool Zoom, and Studio One. This is where I chose to put my money, and I think you will feel the same after a test drive.

Wayne
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Old December 30th, 2002, 11:06 AM   #15
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That's an excellent review, Wayne... very well done; clear, concise writing. Thanks for sharing it with us. We all agree that the Zoe is priced somewhat high. No doubt it is a fine controller. My only complaint about it is that you can't "set and forget" a specific zoom speed. The VariZoom models (except Stealth) allow you to dial in a max speed which the controller won't exceed, so that you won't go any faster than intended. This is one feature that sets the VariZoom (as well as the cheap plastic Canon controller) apart from others. Not to knock the Zoe, but for event work which can't be rehearsed or re-shot, I need the ability to dial in a specific zoom speed and not worry about how much pressure I'm putting on the rocker. Thanks again Wayne,
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