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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old June 17th, 2010, 02:47 PM   #1
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Focus Control for EX3

There have been several threads on zoom controllers, but I haven't found one on focus controllers. If I missed it, could someone point me in the right direction - or make a recommendation? (I would want it in conjunction with a zoom controller... I don't have a mattebox, and I have the stock EX3 lens) Thanks in advance!
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Old June 17th, 2010, 08:02 PM   #2
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If there is a way to remotely control focus or iris electronically via the native lens motors, Sony has not revealed it, and I have never seen any one release a product that does it.

For me, this is the single biggest failing on my EX3.

The only remote options would be wired or wireless motor/receiver/transmitter setups ala the Preston, Bartech, and so on.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 12:29 AM   #3
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It's an excellent question. I have been meaning to check the EX3 manual on this specific question for the past week but deadlines have kept me from it.

The manual goes into detail and specifics about what you can control from the remote port on the back of the EX3. I know there is a lot of "paint controls" through the remote port but not sure about focus. It may also be possible to control focus through the plug on the handgrip. Kind of doubt it but it is worth checking out as Fujinon lenses, often have focus control through these plugs.

If someone has some time crack open the manual. The answer may well be there.

Bartech is a good solution albeit a $4,000 to $6,000 one once you throw in a motor, cables, brackets & batts. Preston pricing is stratospheric for most.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 04:51 AM   #4
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Thanks. I did find the VariZoom VZ-SPG-EX-R Focus/Zoom Control Ki -(I'd have to get the rods). It's the only thing I could find without going into the more expensive options mentioned above.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 04:09 PM   #5
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Interesting. Just checked the VariZoom site on the product. They sure don't make it evident what the product is all about. It is essentially 3 products in one. First part is the beefy zoom control handle (anyone here have it? Let us know if it is any good). Second part is a motor system like what you would see on a Steadicam but it is hardwired and goes to a second pistol grip that rotates like a motorcycle throttle handle. Third is a set of 15mm rails for the motor drive to attach to. It's 1200 bucks but in the scheme of things it is good value for what you get.

A couple of links:

The product page:

VariZoom Lens Controls - Zoom &amp Focus Controls, Camera Stabilizers & Supports, Batteries, Monitor Kits

Another product page for the focus control. There is also a demo video icon/link there showing how the focus unit works. It DOES NOT go into the Fujinon 8 pin connector. That is for zoom only in this application...

VariZoom Lens Controls - Zoom &amp Focus Controls, Camera Stabilizers & Supports, Batteries, Monitor Kits
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Old June 21st, 2010, 01:24 PM   #6
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I've been looking forward to a new follow focus hardware release from Red Rock Micro Co. which utilizes small motors and a wireless control unit for focus on EX1/3 cameras. The unit uses a Panatape type sonar detector for distance and can control up to 2 cameras so it will be great for 3D work.

Red Rock was showing it at NAB in April 2010 and earlier this month at Cine Gear Expo in LA, but will only say it's release is scheduled for sometime this summer. Price is also variable, they told me they are shooting at getting it out for under $2000. It uses an iPhone or iTouch as the visual interface, so it is obviously also an .app
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Old June 21st, 2010, 02:28 PM   #7
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Bruce the price I heard was double that.
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