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Old July 16th, 2011, 11:31 PM   #1
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Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

Just received my HXR-NX70P here in New Zealand two days ago. Camera looks great, lot more plasticy than my HVR-A1P though, the LCD screen doesn't look like it would stand too much vigorous activity. But to cap it off the zoom rocker is a shocker, at least mine is. There is a lot of lost motion in either direction then a little, wee, minute section of slow zoom and then its full throttle to full speed. I can't believe that any pro-sumer or professional would find this acceptable!! I had seen on this forum comment but had no feeling for how bad this was to be. I bought this camera because I thought that the new 'professional style' rocker would be proportional not a two speed switch. I plan to follow this up locally most thoroughly to see what SONY is prepared to do. Has anyone done this, and if so what action are SONY planning?? By the way I should mention it takes great video with better colour definition and detail compared to the old HVR-A1P.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 02:24 AM   #2
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

Hey Warren,

I'm down in Christchurch - supplier is getting demo stock in the next few days - I was keen to purchase one as a b-cam to nx5, but have also heard terrible reports about the zoom rocker, I'll let you know how I get on.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 02:30 AM   #3
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

I agree...I sent mine back to B&H...what was Sony thinking?
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Old July 17th, 2011, 06:51 AM   #4
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

It is a pain - hopefully a firmware change will fix this. John suggested using the manual ring, which I find works pretty well.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 07:36 AM   #5
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

Looks like a carry over from the CX700 that its based on which is the same terrible action. The other small Sony's I have, XR500 and SR11 do not have this problem. They all work much the same with a LANC controller though so its the mechanical control that is the problem. I too thought they might have fixed this with the NX70. At least there is the ring control.

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Old July 17th, 2011, 08:33 AM   #6
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

I've been using the ring control when shooting outdoors and using the zoom controls on the LCD screen when shooting indoors. The zoom rocker has not been a showstopper for me, although I find it annoying that I can't use it for its intended purpose. For me, the fun-to-grief ratio on this camera is very high and outweighs this shortcoming.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #7
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

I know this thread is about the NX70s zoom rocker but for anyone considering the cheaper consumer version (CX700 etc.), then if the zoom rocker is equally as bad (as stated above by Ron) they should be aware that one possible alternative in that price segment is the Panasonic TM900 (and its related models).

I have to say the zoom rocker on the top of my TM900 is a joy to use and is capable of incredibly slow creeping zooms in and out (the only kind I'd want to do anyway). In that department (and a few others) it nearly rivals my Sony EX3. It's certainly way better than the one on my old Sony HC1 (which wasn't too bad).

So if the zoom rocker performance is as an important feature for you as it is for me, then consider looking at the little Panasonics. Of course the TM900 is not splash proof, has no XLRs etc...but then nor is the consumer version Sony CX700. Maybe one day one of the main manufacturers of cameras will get everything right in one affordable cam!!!
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Old July 17th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #8
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

Gentlemen, thanks for your prompt replies, however reading them I can't help thinking how amazingly easy going on SONY you all are. Like me you must have paid your hard earned cash expecting a product that befits the description 'professional' and now you are resigned to 'work around' the problem. I don't know about you, but for me I don't think it is fair that I just accept it, and live in hope that SONY may fix it one day with no expectations they actually will. I back-ordered mine on my past association with the VX2000 & HVR-A1P and traded my A1P in prior to receiving the HXR-NX70P, that I know was my big mistake. None of the respondents so far have indicated they have complained to SONY but I intend to, wish me luck!!
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Old July 17th, 2011, 11:18 PM   #9
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

I have been PRAYING that Sony would release a HD version of the VX 2000/2100,the BEST run & Gun camera ever (I still have a pristine one!)...so many years later,hasn't happened!
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Old July 17th, 2011, 11:21 PM   #10
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

@Warren...Yup Sony screwed up big time on that one...Hey,I could "work around it" for maybe half the price...but NOT at 3grand!!!
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Old July 18th, 2011, 05:57 AM   #11
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

The zoom rocker doesn't bother me that much, I've always used a Lanc remote to get smooth, slow zooms.

It is hyper-sensitive though. I was experimenting a bit last night, and it is just about possible to get a slow zoom with the rocker - but you wouldn't want to risk using it on an unrepeatable live event!

I believe (with no real evidence) that they could fix this in a firmware update, I'm sure I recall this problem on another Sony camera once. I will contact them just as soon as I can figure out who to contact!

One does wonder who designed it, though, and whether or not anybody checked or approved it!
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Old July 18th, 2011, 06:40 AM   #12
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

I almost always use the EX1R on a tripod with a lanc controller, but the little 70U is a great small handheld camera. I find the lack of usable zoom lever annoying, but have adapted to using it manually, which is what I do with the GH2. I bought it because of its ability to withstand rain, splashing and (I assume) snow, but Iíve actually been surprised by how nice a small camera it is for other video use. If anyone finds out who to contact at Sony about a fix for the zoom, please share it here?

Iím with Mike on the question of wondering how Sony let something like this get on the market. Itís really quite amazing.
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Old July 18th, 2011, 08:43 AM   #13
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

I would assume that Sony monitors online discussions about its products. However, it never hurts to let a company's management know about the problems associated with a particular product. I believe that the NX70 falls under Sony's Broadcast and Production Division. As far as I deduce from Sony's website (they don't provide office addresses or e-mails for their executives), this would be the person to write to:

Hugo Gaggioni , Chief Technology Officer
Sony Corporate Headquarters
Broadcast & Production Systems Division
16530 Viaduct Esprillo
San Diego, CA 92127-1708
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Old July 18th, 2011, 04:45 PM   #14
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

I have yesterday emailed two gentlemen here in SONY New Zealand there names having been given to me by my retailer. They have yet to reply but it is early days yet. A lot of your replies on this subject seem to indicate you are hoping that SONY will act on this or other forum postings. I am more sceptical, and feel if we don't actually make contact nothing will get done. If you don't know who to contact at least go to your SONY Style showroom page and at the top of the page in small writing is a 'Contact us' tab. This brings up a formatted e-mail page in which you can express your concerns. I can say that I have tried the Canon XF100 zoom and it is like liquid honey and is also proportional. Even the handle mounted zoom which is provided, is also so smooooth! The type of shooting I and some of the forum members do requires hand held operation in a way that the camera was designed for, so a smooth zoom rocker is essential. Come on SONY, help your faithful customers out!
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Old July 31st, 2011, 11:42 PM   #15
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Re: Zoom rocker, a show stopper!!

I have been told this week by my retailer that he has heard back from SONY's technical rep whom was in Japan last week. SONY are accutely aware of the Zoom Rocker control problem and are working on a fix. This will most likely be a repair file to re-program the zoom rocker function. When, well he could not say, but like me he is concerned and wants the problem fixed ASAP. I guess its just a case of wait!!!
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