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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old March 16th, 2006, 07:18 PM   #1
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Moving the FX1/Z1U Viewfinder Front

I'm working on removing the viewfinder from the rear of the camera, and attaching it up front so that the camera can be properly balanced on a shoulder. Coming up with a mechanical plan isn't my problem. The catch is that it will require a 33-lead, 10mm flex cable (17 leads front, 16 leads behind), of about 1/2 a meter long or so (one end will have a zif socket attached).

Does anyone know if this might happen to be a generic sort of thing in the flex cable world, (if so, who has it?) or is it something proprietary that Sony designed to be about 3 inches for this specific camera line? The fact that it is a nice even 10mm, and that it uses a zif socket manufactured by a 3rd party (which sounds like a "catalogue" type of item), makes me think that it might actually be a standard configuration in the flex cable world ... though not that I'm hopeful that anyone actually makes this cable just to sell generically.


I can have 100 prototypes (minimum order) manufactered for about $5000(US), but that's more than the cost of the camera.

If anyone has any thoughts, please let me know. Are there any little "hobby kits" out there to allow the tinkerer to create a personal piece of flex cable the same way they have little circuit-board etching kits?

Thanks
Mark, Los Angeles
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Old March 17th, 2006, 01:08 AM   #2
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To me it looks like you bought the wrong camera, instead of ripping your camera appart. That's why I bought the JVC HD100.
Extending these kind of cables will also introduce interference problems on your display.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 09:48 AM   #3
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yea- sorry Mark , that sounds like a real bad idea. Why not just ducktape a film loupe to the lcd or, if you're so inclined , develope a viewfinder attachment to the lcd that does exactly what you want. Or think about using video out to connect a third party solution ( i.e. 7" lcd monitor , lcd glasses , etc. ). Ribbon cables are extremely fragile and you would have one running on the cameras exterior- not exactly an elegant solution. Kurth
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Old March 17th, 2006, 09:53 AM   #4
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I hate to join the chorus of naysayers, but this doesn't make any sense to me either. You're gonna end up with a sort of "Frankenstein Monster" and of course also void your warranty.

I use a Video Innovators shoulder rest with my Z1 which puts the LCD screen in a good position while allowing the camera to be shifted farther towards my shoulder.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 10:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright
I'm sure not doing anything like that to my FX1.
On the other hand, its not my camera, so I say, go ahead and try it!

Seriously though, I would have to believe that there is a better 'add on' solution than risking losing the viewfinder completely.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 02:01 PM   #6
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Mark, if you can afford to risk it, I say do it and post pictures!
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Old March 17th, 2006, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurth Bousman
yea- sorry Mark , that sounds like a real bad idea. , if you're so inclined , develope a viewfinder attachment to the lcd that does exactly what you want. Kurth

These are actually available for digital still cams.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 03:34 PM   #8
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Chris - who makes them because that might be a good idea, although still cam or digicam lcds are typically smaller than the fx/z1 lcd. Kurth
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Old March 17th, 2006, 04:01 PM   #9
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For anyone who hasn't seen it, this is an interesting related read:

http://www.dvinfo.net/canon/articles/article78.php
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Old March 17th, 2006, 04:51 PM   #10
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The idea of fixing a lens and eyepiece over the LCD screen sounds promising. It would be the same principle as that of the combined viewfinder on the Canon XL2.

Robin
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Old March 17th, 2006, 05:41 PM   #11
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googled it once - here's the first entry

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2001_reviews/opt-x.html

Kurth
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Old March 17th, 2006, 05:48 PM   #12
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oops- the first ones out of business- here's another-

http://www.steves-digicams.com/xtendaview_pro.html

Kurth
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Old March 17th, 2006, 05:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurth Bousman
Chris - who makes them because that might be a good idea, although still cam or digicam lcds are typically smaller than the fx/z1 lcd. Kurth
Here is one for Sony:

http://keenzo.com/showproduct.asp?ref=GBA&ID=11240

Here is another: http://shopping.yahoo.com/s:Digital%...2F%20magnifier

I actually made my own by for Sony DCS 85 by using the eye piece from my Kowa Six shade hood. Got a peice of PCV conduit and used velcro to secure it to the camera. Worked pretty well for my old eyes.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Kurth Bousman
oops- the first ones out of business- here's another-

http://www.steves-digicams.com/xtendaview_pro.html

Kurth
Point is all you really need is the right element and design for your own camera!!
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Old March 17th, 2006, 06:04 PM   #15
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Unfortunately they're only for LCD's no larger than 2.5"
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