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Old October 24th, 2014, 07:18 AM   #1
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Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

Hey Guys,

so I've got a Sony FDR-AX100 and having serious issues doing a slow zoom with that camera. The zoom's movement is jerky plus i can clearly hear a motor sound while using the manual zoom ring.

I've ordered a second FDR-AX100 and have exactly the same issue. So this seems to be by design.

Can anyone confirm this?

Here's a video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKAW...ature=youtu.be

Thanks.
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Old October 24th, 2014, 07:24 AM   #2
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

This is NOT normal, mine doesn't display that behaviour, also, how are you performing that zoom, I hear that clicking sound, is that the zoom making that noise or are you quickly tapping the zoom button?.
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Old October 24th, 2014, 07:27 AM   #3
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
This is NOT normal, mine doesn't display that behaviour.
Damn, does this mean I've got TWO damaged cameras from Amazon? :(

This behaviour happens to me whenever i use the manual zoom ring and veeeerrrrrryyyyyy slooooowely turn it. As soon as I go faster with the zoom ring the issue disappears. The motor is still somewhat noticeable.

Could you please double check your camera? I've only noticed this after roughly 3 weeks of using the camera by accident.
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Old October 24th, 2014, 07:35 AM   #4
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

Well, you are right, I never use the manual zoom on the ring, I have assigned it to focus, I always the zoomrocker on top of the camera, I cannot perform a creeping slow zoom as the slowest speed is slow but not very slow but I just tried manually zooming by turning the lens ring very slowly and then I do get the same behaviour as you have!

I think by very slowly turning that ring you are under the minimal speed the motors from that zoom is capable off, once I turn the ring a bit faster it becomes smoother, so yes, it appears to be a design limitation.
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Old October 24th, 2014, 07:44 AM   #5
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Well, you are right, I never use the manual zoom on the ring, I have assigned it to focus, I always the zoomrocker on top of the camera, I cannot perform a creeping slow zoom as the slowest speed is slow but not very slow but I just tried manually zooming by turning the lens ring very slowly and then I do get the same behaviour as you have!

I think by very slowly turning that ring you are under the minimal speed the motors from that zoom is capable off, once I turn the ring a bit faster it becomes smoother, so yes, it appears to be a design limitation.
Thanks for checking! I really appreciate that!
That's a terrible no-go for me :( I find the slowest zoom with the rocker to be way to fast, especially If you're doing weddings or nature shoots. Currently I am using a Canon XH A1 HDV Camcorder which also has a digital servo-motor driven zoom ring. Actually there is a second zoom rocker that works with SIXTEEN different speeds much like the touchscreen one on the AX100. It is capeable of the slowest of zooms without any issues so this behaviour came as a big (and most unpleasent) surprise to me :(

Sorry Sony, both camcorders are going back...

Damn, I was starting to like this camcorder ALOT.
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Old October 24th, 2014, 07:51 AM   #6
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

Are you sure there are no other option to get very slow zooms? I have not looked into this as I only use the zoom to reframe my shots but maybe some other users have found some hidden features, maybe in the new firmware version? I"m still on the old one. I"d wait to turn the camera back until you get some more response from other ax100 owners.
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Old October 24th, 2014, 07:56 AM   #7
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

I've tried with both the original firmware plus the new one - same behaviour. Since even the zoomrocker only has 2 or maybe 3 speeds I doubt that this is fixable. Unless sony releases another firmware that somehow enhances the capability of the zoom motor.

My return window closes on the 30th of October. Let's see what other users say :)
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Old October 24th, 2014, 08:01 AM   #8
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

I wonder if the x70 displays that same behaviour.
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Old October 24th, 2014, 10:25 AM   #9
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

I have been able to get very slow zooms by setting the handle zoom to it's slowest setting on my other cameras, not sure about the X70.....yet, it's coming today so I can check.
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Old October 24th, 2014, 10:45 AM   #10
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

when using the sony vct vpr1 panhandle (mounted on a proper tripod/head) zoom toggle set to slow the zooms are nice smooth easy and sloow
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Old October 24th, 2014, 12:29 PM   #11
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

X70 has same issue. No creep zooms on camera. :( Can't do it even setting handle zoom to 1, still same speed as the slowest rocker zoom. Like Bruce said, probably can do it with zoom controllers.
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Old October 28th, 2014, 12:21 PM   #12
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

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Originally Posted by Daniel Raebiger View Post
... Currently I am using a Canon XH A1 HDV Camcorder which also has a digital servo-motor driven zoom ring...
The super-slow zoom on the XH-A1s is something special. The only other camera that I've come across with anything like it is the XF300. Certainly nothing at an "affordable" price. I'm not surprised the X70 / AX100 can't match it.

To get an X70 to zoom as slow as possible, you could try a zoom-remote with selectable fixed speeds, such as the Canon ZR1000 or ZR2000. It might be that if you set one of these to their slowest speed, the Sony will keep to its slowest speed. Mind you, I'm not sure whether those controllers are still available, and they were always rather expensive.
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Old October 28th, 2014, 12:30 PM   #13
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

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The super-slow zoom on the XH-A1s is something special. The only other camera that I've come across with anything like it is the XF300. Certainly nothing at an "affordable" price. I'm not surprised the X70 / AX100 can't match it.
Seriously?! I figured that would me more than standard... :(
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Old October 28th, 2014, 01:06 PM   #14
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

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Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post
To get an X70 to zoom as slow as possible, you could try a zoom-remote with selectable fixed speeds, such as the Canon ZR1000 or ZR2000. It might be that if you set one of these to their slowest speed, the Sony will keep to its slowest speed. Mind you, I'm not sure whether those controllers are still available, and they were always rather expensive.

Nope, I have two different remotes and neither will slow zoom the X70. They do on the XA20 but not X70.
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Old October 28th, 2014, 03:16 PM   #15
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Re: Slow Zoom with FDR-AX100 impossible - image jerky as hell + motor sound

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Seriously?! I figured that would me more than standard... :(
Disappointing, isn't it? Yet another reason why I'm glad the Sony MRC1 CF-card recorder works so well with the XH-A1s. Each time I've looked at a potential replacement there has been something wrong with it that has made me soldier on with the "old faithful" Canon for a little longer.

Maybe Canon will produce some 4K cameras that combine the best features of the XH, XA and XF cameras with 4k? Given the way that they learned from others' mistakes and then produced significantly better HDV, AVCHD and 4:2:2-50Mbps 1080 cameras, I'm hopeful they'll do the same with UHD/4k. I'd like to see a camera about the size of the XF100/XF200 with the same zoom-control and audio options (perhaps the most effective auto-level control I've worked with at any price) as an XH-A1 or XF300. Roll on next year's exhibition season!
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