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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old January 9th, 2008, 10:08 AM   #1
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Zoom top handle bug?

When using the Zoom on the top handle, switch set to LOW, Speed in Menu set to 10 (or less), Z at 0 (zoomed out wide), when I zoom in it steps or pauses rather than zooms in smoothly.

Steps to reproduce:
Menu - Camera/Zoom Speed/Low - set to 10
Set Top Handle Zoom Switch to LOW(L)
Use Control Grip Zoom rocker and zoom in Z0 as your starting postion
Press Top Handle Zoom to go tight (numbers should go from 0 to 99).

Comments:
If I set Z to 99 and press top handle zoom to go wide (numbers decrease to 0) it smoothly zooms out.
If I set Menu - Camera/Zoom Speed/Low to 15 and follow the above steps Z goes from 0 to 99 smoothly.
If I set Menu - Camera/Zoom Speed/High to 10, set Top Handle Zoom Switch to HIGH(H), I get the same issue so it seems related to low speed setting as zooming from wide to tight regardless of whether such low speed (10) is assigned to High or Low.

So it only happens at very very low speeds and only going from wide (0) to tight (99).

I can't imagine this is a hardware issue since top handle zoom and servo control work at higher speeds and the issue is only in one direction and at a very low speed setting (such as 10 or lower).
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Old January 9th, 2008, 11:36 AM   #2
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is OIS on?
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Old January 9th, 2008, 12:04 PM   #3
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I tried OIS ON and OFF and I'm getting such inconsistent results it hard to say anything definitive. Sometimes it'll zoom in a bit and stop and then start again. Sometimes it doesn't move at all. It's almost as if it's losing "contact" which makes no sense since the top handle zoom is not touch sensitive.

What I can say definitively for me is that it's only on zoom in and it happens when speed is set to 10. I set it to 15 and it zooms in all the way from 0 to 99 without issue. Since that top handle zoom is, in effect, an an ON/OFF contact switch and not touch sensitive I can only conclude is that it's a software issue.

The more I test the more I see it as an intermittent issue. I've turned the camera off/on a few times between tests and sometimes it's ok. All the more reason to think it's software based.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 12:17 PM   #4
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I tried following your steps Craig and mine works fine with low at 10, zooming both in and out.

There was a post about iris behavior that was effected by camera modes.

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=111628

Not sure if it's related.

regards

Paul.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #5
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I'm testing at 1080p30.

It is odd because sometimes it does work fine. I certainly think it's software, not hardware because sometimes turning camera off then on fixes it.

I can try other settings and frame rates but if it's intermittent I may not know if the results changes due to the settings or the act of the camera booting into that setting.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 08:22 AM   #6
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Hi Craig,

Did you ever resolve this issue? Im seeing the same thing but Ive only seen it now with zoom setting of 1. I wanted it to be really slow but it ramps through. It is not consistent ramping either. Sometimes it goes smoother and sometimes it skips a couple of beats so to speak.

Sami
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Old January 27th, 2008, 08:59 AM   #7
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Not resolved and you see EXACTLY what I see. I believe many more people have this but just aren't looking closely enough.

It seems the problem is intermittent but increases in occurrence as you drop the speed to 10 or lower.

Sometimes it will "step" (skips a beat) rather than zoom at some points.
It seems much more prevalent on zoom in then zoom out.
There seems to be a delay when pressing the top zoom down to zoom in when compared to zoom out.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 10:38 AM   #8
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I did some more tests and I only really notice the skipping at zoom speeds 1-3. Zooming in or out doesnt seem to make much difference except I feel there is a slight delay as well when you start zooming in. I only tried OIS off because I have the Letus Extreme attached.

Sami
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Old February 5th, 2008, 04:47 AM   #9
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I sent some footage to my UK supplier and they ackowledge the zoom problem and promised to look into it once they have a stock demo unit.

Please take a look at the footage showing the problem here:
http://escycle.com/videos/EX1
the file name is: EX1-zoom-problem.mp4

It's not a stream and it doesnt play proper on the browser as it is a 1280*720 file so you should save it on your HD.
The file is 11MB, 720p shot with zoom setting 1.

It would be very interesting to hear from more people if they see this? I see it at zoom settings 1-4. It is worst at 1 and comes and goes on 2-4. Craig said he sees it on 10 and lower.

Sami
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Old February 5th, 2008, 09:22 AM   #10
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Sami, your example is similar to what I see. It steps and even the steps aren't event.

Now I'm finding I don't see it much at 10 but at around 7 or so it only steps.

I can't help but wonder if others just haven't tested. I haven't noticed any clips posted that show a successful creep in/out zoom.

I would LOVE to see someone post a creep with a zoom setting of something like 3 going the full distance from 0-99 or vice versa.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 10:01 AM   #11
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When a motor turns at low speed it has less torque than at fast speed and friction, the resistance to movement, is more pronounced. Also when zooming in the motor turns counter to zooming out and the resistance offered by the zoom mechanism of the lenses is more one way than the other. This says to me it is a mechanical issue with the motor zoom gear connection. The gearing is simply slipping under stress.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 10:10 AM   #12
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But why would they implement a feature that cant be used? Why not just have the lowest zoom setting at 11 if they know it acts like this at lower speeds?

And another fact is that I can make slower absolutely smooth zooms (I would estimate zoom speed 2-4) with the zoom in the handle bar. So I dont think its purely a mechanical issue.

sami
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Old February 5th, 2008, 11:34 AM   #13
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This is a problem just with HIS camera and maybe a few others. I have done all these tests and see no signs of non-smooth zoom at any speed. He needs return this camera for service. I am convinced it is a mechanical problem with the motor to zoom gear mechanism.

EDIT TO RESPOND TO SAMI: I respond to Sami when he says it's not mechanical because the rocker switch does not do it. The likely cause is this:With the rocker switch speed is never constant, there are slight ups and downs caused by the fingers ever-changing pressure. These small accelerations and decelerations give the motor more torque and friction, or the resistance of the lens to turning is less and so a weak connection does not show. It's like you car is to slow for the gear and its is about to stall - pump the gas and brake and keep doing this and the rocking of the car will keep it going.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #14
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I don't have this problem either.


regards Dennis
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Old February 5th, 2008, 06:28 PM   #15
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Thanks Dennis and Paul for confirming you don't have the issue.

I called Sony USA and they tested the camera they had on hand following my instructions. They didn't have the issue either. They gave me instructions to send back the camera.

Unfortunately I'm booked through next Monday so I'll have to ship it back next Tuesday or thereabouts and put shoots on hold.
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