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Old February 13th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #31
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Well, the question may be moot for the time being--thanks for the responses. I just ordered the Manfrotto/Bogen 521. I have a self-made dual grip shoulder mount that looks and works just like a spider brace. The lack of Push Auto Focus gets to me a bit, but I really need a decent zoom rocker for client shoots (b-roll), doc scene shoots, and tripod mounted b-roll. I'll let everyone know how it works.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 04:43 PM   #32
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Manfrotto 521 Review

Okay, here is my review of the Manfrotto/Bogen 521.

Specs: 521 (not 521 Pro)
Camera: Canon XH-A1

Given that the 521 Pro doesn't offer that many extras for my camera, the Canon XH-A1, I decided to save a few bucks and go with the regular 521. For me, that was definitely the best decision. The zoom rocker on the 521 is great. I dare say, it's *much* better than the stock zoom rocker on my Canon. Because it has a much longer throw (approx 5/8 inch) than the camera (approx 1/4 inch), it's much easier to ramp up to a consistent zoom speed. Solid build quality. Also, the unit will clamp to nearly anything, so I'm able to use it with my spider brace and my sachtler tripod. I wasn't happy about having to spend $165 for what I thought was an unnecessary piece of equipment, but it's already allowed me to get ENG style shots that I couldn't have gotten before. Not to mention that it makes my spider brace worthwhile and easier to use.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 08:41 PM   #33
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That's great to hear that it worked so well with the A1. I think the 521 is one of the best bangs for the buck.

Ben
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 04:47 PM   #34
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Most "intuitive" interface on LANC controller?

I had the chance to borrow a Canon XH-A1 this weekend, and I liked it so much that I decided to purchase one for myself. I'd like to get a LANC controller for it, as I want to be able to use the A1 on a jib or crane -- but also because I've found the zoom buttons on the A1 itself don't seem to respond as smoothly as my DVX100B. I have a much harder time on the A1 achieving a smooth start and end; I'm also having trouble maintaining an even zoom speed in between. I was hoping that perhaps a good LANC controller might be easier to use.

But even after reading all the threads on this forum about controllers for the XH-A1, I'm still having trouble deciding which controller I should buy. From what I've read, it sounds like no LANC controller offers Push Auto Focus for the A1. Outside of that, I want a controller that will allow me to focus and zoom remotely -- and smoothly.

Looking at photos of the Bebob Zoe DVXL, the Varizoom VZ-Rock, and the Bogen/Manfrotto 521, I like the way the Varizoom is set up -- it looks the most intuitive for the way that I would want to be able to use a controller, as it has a large rocker for zoom and a smaller rocker for focus. The Bogen 521 appears to have a zoom rocker but up and down buttons for focus -- which could have their advantages. Meanwhile, the Zoe has one rocker which, if I'm reading the reviews correctly, has to be switched between zoom and focus in a somewhat complicated method that doesn't sound very intuitive for me.

I'd appreciate hearing responses from those who have actually used any of these controllers on the XH-A1 -- especially if you have used the controller for both zoom and focus. (I've seen a lot of discussion of how the zoom controls work, but not much mention of focus.) Thanks.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 11:19 AM   #35
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Zoom Contoller for A1

Katrina,

Last Spring I needed a third zoom controller QUICK to go along with my crane for an upcoming shoot and the folks at Kessler recommended the Zoom Commander II from Sign Video and it was in stock. Granted, that's not the best way to buy something but it was only about $175 bucks so I went for it. I have been very happy with the purchase! It has an on/off feature, record, two presetable and adjustable zoom speeds and focus that actually work with the A1!
There is an Auto/Man Focus button that doesn't appear to do anything but that seems to be the norm.
I've used it on the crane, Fig Rig and Tripod and it's become my favorite. Here are some of the points I like about it:

1. Once you set the zooms it doesn't matter how hard you press the button, it stays constant.

2. I set up zoom one to the desired speed that I want and leave zoom two at the highest speed for quick zooming. If during the middle of a zoom I need to speed it up pronto, sliding your thumb down to the button below is quick and intuitive.

3. The buttons are big enough to operate with light gloves on.

4. It didn't look rugged and appeared kind of "boxy" at first but in reality has worked out quite nicely. When mounted on the handle of the tripod, crane or whatever the function buttons are within easy reach of your thumb. The unit is made of metal and I have used it well over 40 hours without a hitch, most of the time outside.

Hope this helps. Good Luck!
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Old November 18th, 2007, 11:04 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Kolitz View Post
Does anyone have any experience with the Bogen 521PRO? I very recently picked one up for my Sony V1U, and I have two problems with it:

1. Several times the controller has shut down the camera within a few seconds of having manually turned the camera on.

2. Several times the controller has shut down the camera *while recording*

3. The last thing has to do with build quality: all of the controller's switches besides the rocker are of the membrane type. On my particular controller, one of the membrane switches feels and sounds OK, but the other ones both feel and sound horrible. Basically, it seems that when you press them, the entire plastic membrane cover is sticking somewhere, so the feel is mushy, and each press is followed by a slightly delayed plasticky unsticking click that's clearly picked up by the camera's mic.

I'm trying to figure out whether mine is defective or just somehow incompatible with the V1. Also, I'd like to know whether these membrane switches are typical for the Bogens or whether mine is a reject.
I have the exact same problem. I am returning my 521 PRO immediately as it is apparently NOT compatible with the V1U. Too bad, really, as I like it much more than the Sony offering.
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Last edited by Ian Farlow; November 18th, 2007 at 02:49 PM.
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Old December 14th, 2007, 10:00 PM   #37
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So what are the reviews on the Canon ZR-2000? Does it work well with the XH-A1 or is there no controller that runs the push button auto focus?
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Old December 15th, 2007, 12:33 AM   #38
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Hi Jeff..............

The Canon ZR 2000 does have "Push AF". And it works (apparently - I don't have one).

What it possibly doesn't do is cure the "focus all over the shop" issue when used with a Canon XH A1/ G1 camera using the manual focus buttons.

Because of what Canon describes as a "design limitation" (don't you just love it?) pressing the in/ out focus buttons on either of their Lanc controllers, depending on the zoom setting on the lens, (ZR 1000 definately, ZR 2000 probably) can generate such huge jumps in the focus setting as to make them totally useless for sharp focus.

So, if the "Push AF" won't capture it, you ain't going to get it with the focus buttons neither.

Lovely piece of design, truly lovely.


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Old December 15th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #39
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So it sounds like I am going to go with the Varizoom VZ-Rock from B and H...
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Old January 25th, 2008, 04:40 AM   #40
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LANC controller for Canon A1 / EX-1

Is there any brand camera remote system available to control the canon A1 and sony EX-1.?
My current camera is A1. I am getting my Advanta Jib Lite next month.
Also planing the EX-1 in a few month, may be immediately after NAB,
unless anything happens at NAB, that can change my mind.
My requirements are to control focus, record and zoom with the remote control.
It should also be 14-16 foot long to operate from the Jib.

Rajiv
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Old January 25th, 2008, 04:54 AM   #41
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Hi Rajiv.............

Hmm, are you asking for just one unit to do both?

Don't think so but you never know, may be enough commanality for the uses you require BUT.......

Beware the Canon A1 and focus control with Lanc remote.

You can get controllers with "Push AF" that will kick the Instant AF into action (no problem), the same controllers may have "Focus In Out" buttons, the problem is, they don't work all that well.

The reason?

Canon explains it as a "design limitation".

Don't count on focusing an A1 using buttons on any remote Lanc controller, I have yet to be convinced that any such controller exists.

If you can find a controller that will work with both a Sony and a Canon for the functions you require (less Canon focus) you'll be doing well.


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Old January 30th, 2008, 05:41 AM   #42
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I thought the Canon ZR-2000 would do instant auto-focus and even the 1000 has a focus function?

maybe it's unreasonable to want a Lanc that works for Canon & Sony - they are competing products
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Old January 30th, 2008, 05:59 AM   #43
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This works with both and I'm looking at it for my A1, but I'm not clear about all the buttons.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=330007&is=REG

Cheers.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 08:17 AM   #44
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I believe Sony developed and still owns the patent on LANC. All others have to pay to use it.

I use a LANC on my Canon and I have used it on another persons Sony, so I believe they are compatible.

Mike
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Old January 30th, 2008, 08:24 AM   #45
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The Sony EX1 does *not* use LANC. Its remote lens controller jack is a different type of connection.
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