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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old August 4th, 2011, 05:46 PM   #1
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zoom not smooth

Anyone of you noticed that the zoom motor on the sony camcorders is not smooth (at least at very low speed) ? In comparison with a Canon XF300 really sucks!! I prefer the sony image, especially on EX models, but why they don't put a better motor in their lens? We should complain to Sony! ... pls ... learn from Canon regarding that!!

Last edited by Max Bettelle; August 5th, 2011 at 04:03 AM.
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Old August 5th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #2
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Re: zoom not smooth

That is one of the dead horse subjects here. Do a quick search and you will find a lot of lively debate about it.

Right or wrong Sony isn't going to do anything about it.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 11:31 AM   #3
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Re: zoom not smooth

I've noticed that most of the time it's due to gear slop. If you zoom out and stop, then when you need to zoom back in it will initially jerk and then zoom smoothly. As a result I always blip the zoom in the direction I wanna zoom, before I actually do the zoom.

The lens still jerks sometimes in the middle of a long zoom, but not often.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 03:05 PM   #4
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Re: zoom not smooth

However many times this has been mentioned, thanks for the alert. I was considering this camera primarily just to have an up to date camera that zooms like I want. Since this camera can't do a zoom (like a Canon), then I won't need to buy one.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 08:17 PM   #5
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Re: zoom not smooth

EX1R here: I agree, getting consistent smooth slow zooms is difficult. Tends to be chunky and rough when trying very slow zooms. I'm using a Libec zoom controller but I don't think it's the problem. I'm comparing it to my previous camera which had a Canon YH16x7 KRS with Canon zoom controller. I could get super smooth slow zooms with it and trusted it totally during important shoots. Have read here on the forum that Sony doesn't consider this to be a fault and it is not worth trying to return it. Anyone have an opinion on this?
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Old August 8th, 2011, 04:34 AM   #6
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Re: zoom not smooth

Even with a Liebec or similar remote control, things don't improve. Put the Liebec on a Canon and you' ll be amazed how smooth is the zoom. Maybe they don't wanna be too professional and similar to their hi-end shoulder camcorder? Eventough Canon is about 1 stop less sensitive than a sony 1/3" camera (and more pricey) and about 2 stops less sensitive than an EX, if Sony does not improve their zoom motors my next purchase will be Canon. Super-slow-smooth zooming is one of the main differences between a consumer and a professional shot, and Sony is lacking too much on it. Let's try all to complain here, i just did it:

Sony | Services and Programs

Last edited by Max Bettelle; August 8th, 2011 at 09:58 AM.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 06:33 AM   #7
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Re: zoom not smooth

Perhaps steadycam is getting in the way? It might interpret slow zooms as unwanted camera motion. Try turning it off, and see the results. Also, using zoom ring is pretty smooth in my experience. Unlike Canon that has quite noticeable lag, which totally turned me away from this camera.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 07:03 AM   #8
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Re: zoom not smooth

If I had known the EX1R had such a lousy zoom, I wouldn't have bought mine. It has other great features, but having a zoom is what persuaded me to buy it over a DSLR. For non-HD projects, I can add the slow zoom in post - but for HD I'm screwed. :(

Sony - FIX THIS!
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Old August 8th, 2011, 09:29 AM   #9
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Re: zoom not smooth

If you think it's broken send it back to Sony.

Perhaps it's not the smoothest zoom on the planet at slow speeds, but then it is the cheapest 1/2" three chip full HD camera on the market. The Canon is considerably more expensive and has issues of it's own. None of these cameras are perfect.

Just look at the price of a typical broadcast zoom lens then compare that to the price of an EX1R, a decent HD zoom will often cost a lot lot more than an EX1. You get what you pay for at the end of the day. Do you expect a budget car to be as smooth as a more expensive model?
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Old August 8th, 2011, 09:40 AM   #10
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Re: zoom not smooth

I don't think it's "broken" - I just don't think it can do a creeping zoom.

But my previous camera, the Panasonic DVX 100b, does a nice slow zoom.

Don't know what it would take to increase the torque on EX1R lens - but I don't think it would cost thousands of dollars...

Just my 2 cents....
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Old August 8th, 2011, 05:16 PM   #11
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Re: zoom not smooth

@robert: Somewhere in the beating of this dead horse, there is an informative post (by Alister I think) that explains some of the physics involved with HD cameras that make this harder/expensive over the smaller chipped SD cameras. This is how my camera performs. YMMV:
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...ml#post1587826

If you want to read the whole thread:
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...ly-normal.html
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