View Full Version : ZoomCommander DVX by Sign Video
03-15-2004, 05:28 AM
I just bought a Zoom Commander DVX at Sign Video's.
Great product. Cheaper than Varizoom's or Zoe ($125) and just as convenient, if not more.
The small box has two programmable speeds for zooming in and two more for zooming out (modifiable in real time !).
Very well crafted, sold with a clamp and kilometers of cable.
I think this product needs advertising so that's what I do (of course, this is free ad, out of pure desire to reward their work — I don't work for them, nor do I have any connection with them.)
Check it out at :
03-18-2004, 08:36 PM
There are also other controllers sold on eBay and elsewhere on the internet that work pretty good too!
03-18-2004, 08:42 PM
What's great with this one, though, is that you can repeat the exact same zoom speed thanks to the interface :
1/ you set the speed you want
2/ you just press a button... and voilà !
I know it's a bit expensive for what it is, but I'm quite happy with this one.
03-18-2004, 08:50 PM
yeah its got some nice features.. too bad it looks so ghetto.
03-19-2004, 02:07 AM
I kind of like it — but my tastes are sometimes odd, so... Anyway, I rather look at my viewfinder while filming.
03-20-2004, 06:15 PM
LOL@ the ghetto comment! It does look cumbersome though! Some of the other zoom controllers I have seen for the DVX on the market are smaller.
John C Lyons
03-20-2004, 07:42 PM
nonetheless thanks for the recommendation Anartiste.
03-21-2004, 06:07 PM
Talk about Ghetto with a capital 'G', check this out... http://www.studio1productions.com/dvx100.htm
I've been looking at zoom controller options for my DVX100A so I can operate it while on my jib.
Does anyone have any personal experience with the Stealth Zoom, the Zoe, or both?
For some basic zooms I've used the remote control's zoom function while the DVX is on the jib in motion. If executed properly, the abrupt stop can be disguised with the continuation of the jib move.
However, if the Stealth or Zoe offer the smooth starts and stops that they claim, then it would be worth getting one of them.
03-21-2004, 07:28 PM
Why is it Ghetto? * :-/
It's my understanding that with the servo zoom there is no such thing as a smooth start or stop with DVX (pre-A version).
From having built my own zoom controller (using the awesome diagrams provided compliments of Jarred) it appears that there are three fixed speeds at which the zoom operates. I could be mistaken, and also it could be different in the 100A, but I think you have to zoom manually if you want anything even resembling a smooth start/stop (unless you mask zooming with camera motion, which works fairly well).
You get the benefit of nice ergonomics with one of the Stealth or Zoe controllers, but if you have the time and the tiny bit of knowledge necessary (or a friend with the skills) you'll probably be better off saving your money and building your own... You get to choose your own components, it's fun, and you get much more of a sense of accomplishment :D
03-21-2004, 08:49 PM
First, as I mentioned, I do have the "A" version of the camera. I've never used the non-A version so I don't know if there is a difference in the zoom operation between the two.
Second, IMHO manual zooming is usually too noticeable and creates too much camera awareness. Sure, under the right circumstances you can pull it off depending on a multitude of factors.
However, I wouldn't want to be responsible for blowing a take because my zoom stop wasn't completely smooth on that one take where the talent was perfect.
More importantly, I mentioned the controller would be for when my camera is on a jib. Not exactly the time to practice your manual dexterity.
Wait a minute!... that's exactly the time to practice your manual dexterity. It's just kinda hard to reach the lens when the camera is 12 feet in the air.
I'm not against a DIY solution. However, this is the first mention I've noticed relating to a "JarredZoom". :o
However, I shouldn't be so surprised, huh? ;)
So, hook me up with a link or something already...
P.S. Elvis?... ghetto?...
"Cause if there's one thing she don't need it's another hungry mouth to feed... in the ghetto." :D
Elvis, why the word 'ghetto'? I guess 'cause the zoom controller is big and bulky and looks anything but ergonomic.
I suppose the word used could have been 'whack', 'stupid' or any number of words. Semantics.
Here's the link to the article by Jarred on the DIY zoom controller:
And gosh.... I would leap at the opportunity to try to manually zoom a camera 12' up in the air.... I mean, what could possibly provide more entertainment ???
03-21-2004, 10:03 PM
(Voice of Yoda)
mmm hmmm... *Leap you must.
Thanks for the link!
03-22-2004, 02:00 AM
I've tested the Varizoom (but not the Zoe), and haven't noticed any difference concerning the abrupt start/stop issue. Seems it's just the way the DVX100's servo zoom is made :'(. Is there a noticeable difference on the DVX100A ?
Sign's ZoomCommander is no bigger than the Varizoom, and I think it's much more ergonomic. It's the only one I know that allows you to repeat EXACTLY the same zoom speed forever. That's precious to me, enough to make me indulgent over its square look (I'm quite fond of it actually : makes me feel safe, so I sleep better 8))
I'm not the DIY type. It's a shame, I know, but I'm way more ashamed by the pityful results I get from screwdrivers and saws, so I've given up and accepted the sad fact : I'll remain a PIY (Pay It Yourself) guy until Judgement Day.
As for the manual zooms, I'd love to see someone able to operate a nice slow zoom with the Pannie. Guy would be a Jedi prophet.
But this camera allows us to make rapid zoom and I love them ultrafast — ZOOOMMMM !!! The 70's way.
So sexy !
03-22-2004, 02:40 AM
Personally I trust the Manfrotto 522 P zoom control. I used the Canon equivalent for a year and it always produced very smooth zooming starts/stops, whether it be at fast or slow speeds. The Canon version did a lot more than just controlling the zoom because it could take advantage of the LANC protocol. On the Panny it just does zoom control but the few tests I've done with it until now were completely satisfactory.
The specs can be found here: http://www.manfrotto.com/product/templates/templates.php3?sectionid=306&itemid=2011 and here's a picture of it :
03-22-2004, 03:33 AM
But... more than 500 dollars !!! Man ! Hope you get incredible zooms !
03-22-2004, 05:54 AM
I know, it's not on the cheap side... but I thought you were a Pay It Yourself kind of guy... ;D
03-22-2004, 06:11 AM
Pay It Yourself, not Ruin Yourself...
03-22-2004, 06:13 AM
Or Bankrupt Yourself, I don't know really.
Isn't it surrealistic, two frenchies speaking english out of pure consideration for their american pals (I mean NTSC's ;D) on the site.
À suivre Monglane...