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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old March 29th, 2006, 10:41 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin Tran
I just received an email from Cavision. We don't need ring adapter for the new LH77 hood.
That is too cool! Yeah, that is the one to get.
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Old March 29th, 2006, 04:27 PM   #47
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Tom, what did you find faulty about the Varizoom Rock and Stealth Lanc controllers? And does the Zoe controller you have allow for the functions I listed?

Also, if you're using a filter as protection against nature's elements or sticky children, wouldn't the filter itself become messed up, even if your lens stays safe? Which would be confusing to me because the good UV filters cost nearly as much as the Sony wideangle Y lens I would be trying to protect.

Last edited by Alex Thames; March 30th, 2006 at 12:17 AM.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 01:28 AM   #48
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Both the Varizoom models put little tiny steps into the slowest zoom, where they jerked forward. They also started zooming all by themselves, with no hands on any buttons. Not good. I tried them on 3 different Sony camcorders with the same result. I'm sure they've fixed the problem now - it appears to be a fault with the display LEDs.

The Zoe might well be for you, but you'd better test it out first.

Yes, your expensive UV can get messed up, but you can wash it under the kitchen tap with a tiny drop of washing up liquid between your fingertips.

tom.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:00 AM   #49
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I'm now looking at the Varizoom VZ-Pro-L controller: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

I like this controller because of the separate speed dial, but that it still has a pressure-sensitive rocker confuses me. Isn't the point of a speed dial to eliminate pressure-sensitivity, so that you can get more precise zoom speeds? How would the pressure rocker work in conjunction with the speed dial? If I set the speed dial for a certain speed, but then played around by putting more and then less pressure on the rocker, would the zoom speed be the one I set on the speed dial or the one I told it to do via pressure control?

I would have liked the VZ-Pro-LX more than the VZ-Pro-L, but it doesn't look like BH Photo Video offers those for purchase, nor do they offer the PG series.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to try out any of these controllers (including the Zoe) personally and have to make a purchase in less than 2 days. I was able to try out the Varizoom Rock controllers though, and it didn't seem to have any of the problems you mentioned, but the fact that it is pressure-sensitive still irks me.

Any insight? What I'm looking for are precise zoom speeds without having to worry about my finger accidentally putting more or less pressure on the rocker/switch, auto to manual/manual to auto switching at the push of a button, start/stop recording, and push to auto focus (which I hear is a valuable function, but I still don't really understand the concept, or, what push to auto focus even is/what it does). Things like frame advance/reverse are nice, but I don't think are necessary at all, so it's only a small consideration for me. Same with the data button, not a huge concern.

As far as the UV filters offering protection...even if I washed it, if it obtained scratches, how would washing it in a sink with detergent help? Wouldn't the scratches still be there?
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:14 AM   #50
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Yes, you bin the UV if it gets scratched and buy another. Cheaper and a lot easier than replacing your front element, believe me. If you've got an HC1 you might find that fitting a UV stops you re-applying the stock lens hood. The A1 is better in that it has a proper hood (it doesn't have to be made smaller simply because there's a pop-up flash gun on board). Lord, the consessions we make to the still shots...

If your cam has a 'push auto' button on the lens barrel then you can be in manual focus, ok. Then you push that little button and the camera drops into the auto focus mode. When you let go of the button it reverts to locked focus. An excellent idea, but most times pushing the button on the cam jiggles the shot, whereas if it's on the LANC remote all should be well.

The Zoe has a speed wheel. You set it to the maximum speed you want your lens to zoom, so if you only wanted a creep zoom you turn the dial and set it. Then - whatever pressure you apply to the rocker, you lens will only creep zoom. Great in stressful situations. All clear now?

tom.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:28 AM   #51
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Thanks, Tom, you've been a good source of information. Hopefully this will be my last round of questions:
1. Where is the speed dial located on the Zoe controller? I don't see it in the pictures I found of the controller.
2. So, if I set the speed dial at say, a zoom speed of 3 out of 10, where 10 is the fastest zoom and 1 is a the slowest, creep/crawl zoom, no matter what pressure I apply to the rocker, it will only zoom at speed 3? I ask this because you specifically only mentioned the slowest creep zoom, where that would be set as the maximum zoom speed on the speed dial. So even if I pressed the rocker softer or harder, it wouldn't make a difference as the creep speed has been set as the maximum speed. But if I had a speed setting of 3 and I pressed the rocker softer, would it possibly vary between speeds of 1-3, or would it be locked onto speed 3 no matter how much or how little pressure I put on the rocker?
3. As I am pushing the rocker to zoom in, I can also simultaneously adjust the speed dial to achieve variable zoom speed, correct?
4. I read in an article here that the Zoe controller has audible clicks when you press the buttons on the 2003 Zoe model. Is the Zoe controller on BH a 2003 model, or is it a newer model that has fixed the problem of audible clicking?
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:37 AM   #52
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Time you did some reading Alex.

http://www.digitalprods.com/Zoereview2.htm

http://www.dvinfo.net/articles/camaccs/zoedvlanc2.php

The answer is yes to your question, however hard you push on that rocker, and at whatever speed you jab at the rocker, the camera will not go above that setting. Say you've set the halfway point, then you can accelerate gently up to that point, but the lens won't zoom faster than that point.

Not sure if you can zoom while at the same time alter the max setting, but I'd hazard a guess and say yes. One is using a LANC protocol, the other is a controller dial. I have been caught out though - needing a crash zoom to get me in tight and fast. So now I never use that wheel - the rocker is so delightfully long travel and sensitive I simply don't need it.

My 2005 Zoe has silent buttons.

tom.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:39 AM   #53
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And here's another:

http://www.bebob.de/international/zoe_dvl_eng.html

I could send you my own review printed in FVM if you like.

tom.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #54
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Thanks for the links to the reviews.

The first review says the Zoe controller has a Maximum Speed Reduction function (MSR), which is not a speed control dial, but a speed limiter. What does that mean? How, if it is, is a speed control dial better than a speed limiter?

Perhaps you could really quickly test it for me if the Zoe controller can indeed adjust the MSR to a higher maximum speed (and lower max speed) while simultaneously zooming. It would be a great bit of info in my consideration.

In your "caught out" situation, if you could quickly adjust the MSR speed to a higher (or even the highest) speed allowed while zooming, then wouldn't that solve the problem?

It also seems that the orientation of the MSR wheel (vertical) poses a problem with operating easily, and that the MSR function isn't able to record a particular speed setting to use again at a later time.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:57 AM   #55
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Yes, Tom, your own review would be awesome too. Thanks!
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Old March 30th, 2006, 03:03 AM   #56
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I'm good to you. aren't I Alex? I've rigged up the kit and yes indeed, you can apply max pressure on the rocker and vary the zoom speed by using the knurled wheel as a 'volume control' Neat! So it's all things - a max speed control dial as well as a speed control dial.

Yes to your last para - there's no markings on the wheel, though you could add them with white dots if you wanted to.

I'll see if I can get the review to your email address.

tom.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 03:07 AM   #57
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Thanks a lot for all your help. Really appreciate it. It seems like the debate now is between the 2005 Zoe controller and the Varizoom VZ-Pro-L or Pro-LZ controller, but I think I'm liking the Zoe more, even if expensive. It doesn't look like BH carries the 2005 Zoe controller though, and the 2003 one is out of stock (not to mention it doesn't have the MSR, which I think is very important, although its vertical orientation seems very irritating to me).

The second review link you posted mentioned that the 2005 Zoe controller is about 1-1/8" thick, and as such, poses a problem because it might be hard for people with small to medium sized hands (which is me) to reach the top buttons easily. Do you find this to be a real problem?
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Old March 30th, 2006, 03:18 AM   #58
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Just read your review, thanks. Last question: where can I buy the 2005 Zoe controller?
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Old March 30th, 2006, 03:48 AM   #59
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I got a deal at: (email) enquiries@prokit.co.uk

London W4 5PY
020 8995 4664
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Old March 30th, 2006, 09:09 AM   #60
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Look! A Newbie!

Hello everyone! I'm a film student in Orlando, Florida and I've been considering and saving up for a camera for some time now and after about 3 weeks of comparing prices and features, the HVR-A1U was the best band for the buck. I purchased it yesterday and it should be here tomorrow (and I can't wait).

Now I'm on a accessory kick! I looked into everything that Laurence had on his camera (which is amazing by the way) and it totals to be around $1650 plus shipping for everything. That's a bit much then what I have to spend, so I was wondering what would be the "essential" pieces for doing short films. I also, this summer, plan on getting into the wedding videography business. I was thinking:

The light, diffuser, Microphone kit (cause it has a lavaliere and a standard XLR connection), the Spiderbrace, a lanc controller (don't know which one yet...) and I think that's about it?

Also, when it comes to filters, what are the absolute necessary ones do you recommend? Thanks guys! This thread has been an awesome help!
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