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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old January 17th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #1
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EX3 Zoom Speed

I'm contemplating getting an EX-3 (or the EX-1R, depending on the state of my mind and wallet that day :-)); one of the few things I don't know about it yet is the practical slowest zoom speed for a remote lens controller or the slow setting of the on-board controller with the standard lens. E.g. can you get it to do a slow creeping 10x zoom taking (say) 2 minutes? 5 minutes? etc. Thanks...
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Old January 17th, 2010, 04:59 PM   #2
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My EX3, that has a replacement lens from Sony more than a year ago, will do a slow zoom if set at 2 on the handle controller, or with rocker on lens controller and with various remote handle controllers. I have never actually timed the zoom, I think it is in the 2 minute range for 14X. Very slow almost unnoticeable. It is hard to do with the lens rocker or with the remote, but it works easily with the handle constant speed zoom.

You can also use the scene A-B change buttons to do a slow zoom automatically.

My new EX1R is not as good it will only do a creep zoom on 5 on the handle, Sony does not recommend setting below 8. It is still acceptable, but it is not like a "real" $10K + lens.

For the money I think the EX1/3 are exceptional values. But lets face it they are really cheap, and produce stunning results, the difference from a HDV cam is big. The lens zoom is not as smooth as it could be, some are much better than others. And if you get a really bad one you should be able to have your dealer replace it.

I did a shoot yesterday when I used a lot of slow zooms, something I rarely do, but it was one of those "architectural reveal" situations, ski lodge to mountains, skiers to people in the hot tub/pool situations. About 5% of the shots were various dolly pan zoom shots.

I shot the whole job with the EX1R and a 6' slider for dolly shots, I was very pleasantly surprised by how well the tiny camera did. It is not perfect, but combined with a NanoFlash the EX1R is an incredible tool for short money and it is very light, I appreciated this hiking up and down the ski slopes and Hotel stairs.
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Old January 17th, 2010, 08:04 PM   #3
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Olof -- thanks. That's just the sort of info I was looking for. I'll be getting some sort of remote controller (its a shame I can't use my existing LANC controllers :-)) for zoom, and if I can do a 10x 1 or 2 minute zoom, I'll be happy...
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Old January 18th, 2010, 01:25 AM   #4
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2-5 Minutes wow, that is enough for end credits :-)
tested the EX1-r and the speed i have it set as low on the handle it does a 1m20sec End2End, and within the shot i can still feel a "oblong gear" feeling where some small gear in there isnt as smooth or perfect as it should be. if i look close enough on a big fat screen it is very SLOWly going woo woo woo as if some area of the motor or gearing is draging a bit.
dont know how to describe it but i would say NO WAY could i pull off a full clean END2END 2 Minute zoom. i would rather make it 45seconds and start with a longer close, or follow, then end with a longer wide or something if i had to run that long.

At that speed i could still pull off a zoom tracking of a moving subject, without much noticing of the issues, or live crop something, like i would actually do, not being a filmmaker but just a videographer , like i am.
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Old January 18th, 2010, 10:51 PM   #5
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Marty -- thanks. I doubt I'd really need more than a long 1 minute zoom for most of what I'm planning, but you never know. And I can't imagine working on a video with 5 minutes' worth of credits :-).
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Old January 18th, 2010, 11:19 PM   #6
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One of a number of reasons for my investment in an XS lens for my EX3, was its ability to dial up 7 silky smooth zoom speeds on the lens each and every time I require it. Yes, I know it does not help you with your question but if your budget or specific requirements demand very slow, almost imperceivable zoom creeps, a fully functional lens is the way to go for consistency and reliability. Not sure how well a multi speed remote would go on a consistent basis with the stock lens.

I use the XS's variable zoom speeds all the time. Very, very useful. Additionally, you can preset zoom positions as well. Multi functional lens.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Issko View Post
One of a number of reasons for my investment in an XS lens for my EX3, was its ability to dial up 7 silky smooth zoom speeds on the lens each and every time I require it. Yes, I know it does not help you with your question but if your budget or specific requirements demand very slow, almost imperceivable zoom creeps, a fully functional lens is the way to go for consistency and reliability. Not sure how well a multi speed remote would go on a consistent basis with the stock lens.

I use the XS's variable zoom speeds all the time. Very, very useful. Additionally, you can preset zoom positions as well. Multi functional lens.
I'm tempted to invert your first sentence a bit and say that one of my reasons for investing in an EX3 would be the ability to use something like an XS lens :-). Yes, the EX3's lens mount is a big plus for me, and sometime in the future I'd really like the ability to do very slow creeping zooms, several minutes for a 10x, for example (I have in mind several specific desert landscape and industrial scenes). I can live with zoom imperfections for a while yet with the basic EX3 and stock lens -- which is lucky, given that I can barely afford the basic EX3 at the moment, but I'll probably find a way...
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