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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old June 26th, 2004, 01:25 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Jindabyne Australia
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PDX10 touchy zoom control

Has any one much experience with remote zoom controls for the PDX10? eg Vari Zoom? The camera's zoom is appalingly bad especially for shooting sports action.

Perhaps the Varizoom (or similar) has better leverage / action than the camera rocker to give more precise control?

Could a cheaper solution be found in extending the camera zoom rocker with a piece of plastic to give greater travel and hence more control?
Peter Maberly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2004, 09:39 AM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
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Yeah, I also got frustrated with the PDX-10's zoom rocker. I wish they had provided a zoom ring like my VX-2000. I got a Varizoom Pro-L for mine. It's a big clunky thing that goes on the tripod handle. But my reason for choosing it was the knob which can be preset to any desired zoom speed. Then when you press its rocker switch you get a consistent zoom at the speed you want. There are many other models to choose from, both from Varizoom and other companies. Do a search on "varizoom" and you'll find lots of threads on this topic.

My desire was to get the slowest possible zoom, which is almost always what I want when shooting performances. The Varizoom makes this easy, however there's almost always a little "bump" when a zoom-out begins from max telephoto. From what I've read, this is generally the case with any of the prosumer cameras when running at the slowest speed. I find it can be masked pretty well if the zoom occurs at the same time as a slow pan or tilt. But I'm also a bit frustrated by the fact that focus on my PDX-10 tends to blur a bit when I start one of these very slow zoom-outs from max telephoto. Setting the camera for autofocus helps a bit with this problem, but that's not always what I want to do.

I suppose I'm just expecting a little too much from a $2,000 camera however since the zoom probably was never designed to be operated at that minimum speed. I find it completely impossible to achieve this sort of slow zoom-crawl using the camera's built-in rocker switch. Depending on what you're trying to do you might find one of the other style controllers, like the Zoe, better for your needs. In fact, they came out with an improved model since I got my Varizoom. If that had been available at the time I probably would have gone with it. See Ken's review here.
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2004, 09:48 PM   #3
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I happen to love the PDX's zoom rocker, not for slow careful zooms, but for fast action zings (tech term). It's way faster than the zoom on my PD170.
This in combination with a fast shutterspeed can make for a very arresting visual. FWIW.
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