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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Gross View Post
    I have checked with our engineers and confirmed that the VariZoom VZ-Rock is supposed to control iris on the CX350 using the F-/F+ controls. I was told by the engineer that he tested this himself. If you are unable to make this work please contact Panasonic Support. Feel free to mention me.
    Thanks Mitch! I will call them in the morning.


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    Regarding the VZ-Rock: I tested one to verify its functionality, and I can report that it does work for focus, iris, and zoom.

    The F- and F+ buttons do indeed control iris. I have verified that the F- button closes the iris down, the F+ button opens it, the Focus rocker adjusts focus, the big rocker adjusts zoom, and the red R button initiates and terminates recording.

    Note the potential point of confusion: the F- and F+ buttons will adjust iris, but ONLY if the iris is set to manual control in the camera. When the camera is in auto-iris, the F- and F+ buttons do nothing.

    Interestingly, the focus rocker will adjust focus whether the camera is in auto or manual focus, it doesn't care, it still works (but, when the camera is in auto mode, it will take over and adjust focus as soon as you release the varizoom's focus rocker).

    Remember that the VZ-Rock was made for other LANC cameras, and as such, there are three buttons on the VZ-Rock that are ignored by the CX350. I looked up the PDF manual and it reports these buttons are:
    "A" - this is supposed to toggle between manual and automatic focus, but it doesn't. It doesn't do anything on the CX350, as of the current firmware version.
    "ON" - this is supposed to wake the camera up if it's gone into standby mode, but the CX350 doesn't go into standby mode, so this button does nothing.
    "DATA" - this is supposed to toggle the onscreen data on and off, apparently like the MODE CHK button. But it doesn't do anything on the CX350.

    Considering the VZ-Rock wasn't made specifically for the CX350, it's a pretty impressive controller and all its main functions do work the way they're supposed to. It would be nice to see either a Panasonic-specific Varizoom controller introduced, or a camera firmware update to enable those last two minor functions, but as-is, the VZ-Rock seems like a good solid choice for the CX350.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesgeek View Post
    I ordered some charts from the nice folks at DSC Labs and will try my hand with the scope.

    Iíll let you know if I come up with anything useful.
    Okay, I haven't been able to sit in a lab setting but I did take a chance and eyed up three cams on a live-to-tape shoot, just going for a natural look out of the camera. I was surprisingly pleased with the results I got in trying to quickly pull together a CX350, UX90, and AC90 without going into Matrix or Color Correction. Interestingly, it was the AC90 (Chroma Level and Gamma) and UX90 (Chroma Level) that I changed to match the CX350 default.


    CX350
    SPARK (default)

    UX90
    SPARK
    Chroma Level -1 (default +4)

    AC90
    SCENE1
    Chroma Level +1 (default 0)
    Gamma HIGH (default HD NORM)

    When I say "quickly" I mean framing up all three cams on some colorful art on a wall in a low-CRI (mixed light source) environment with no chart. Still, I was pleased with how Panny seems to have kept the color science fairly consistent across camcorder models and over a long stretch of time.

    I'll be looking at these same Scene File settings in different environments and will report back with further comments. I'm sure this can be improved.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesgeek View Post
    Okay, I haven't been able to sit in a lab setting but I did take a chance and eyed up three cams on a live-to-tape shoot, just going for a natural look out of the camera. I was surprisingly pleased with the results I got in trying to quickly pull together a CX350, UX90, and AC90 without going into Matrix or Color Correction. Interestingly, it was the AC90 (Chroma Level and Gamma) and UX90 (Chroma Level) that I changed to match the CX350 default.


    CX350
    SPARK (default)

    UX90
    SPARK
    Chroma Level -1 (default +4)

    AC90
    SCENE1
    Chroma Level +1 (default 0)
    Gamma HIGH (default HD NORM)

    When I say "quickly" I mean framing up all three cams on some colorful art on a wall in a low-CRI (mixed light source) environment with no chart. Still, I was pleased with how Panny seems to have kept the color science fairly consistent across camcorder models and over a long stretch of time.

    I'll be looking at these same Scene File settings in different environments and will report back with further comments. I'm sure this can be improved.
    Okay, "field test". On a second job I did make a change to the CX350 SPARK file:

    Chroma Level +1 (default +4)

    Could I have accomplished the same by pulling the AC90 and UX90 chroma levels down 1? Perhaps, but I didn't have time to try. I just made a quick change to one cam rather than try to dial in 2 cams in the middle of the job. I hope to sit down soon with high CRI lighting and a chart.


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    Quote Originally Posted by davedv View Post
    With the VariZoom VZ-Rock remote, the zoom rocker, start/stop recording (R button), and focus control work (if the camera is set to manual focus mode).

    The ON button (supposed to be for turning the camera on from standby) and A button (for switching between auto and manual focus) do not seem to do anything. The F+ and F- buttons (for iris control) do not do anything either as far as I can tell. And actually I am a little unclear on what LANC commands are being sent when these F+/- buttons are pressed or which cameras they actually work with.

    One thing that is kind of confusing with this remote is that the current VariZoom website and manual says that the F+ and F- buttons are for iris control (https://www.varizoom.com/wp-content/...-ROCK-2019.pdf). However, older versions of the VZ-Rock manual (https://www.manualslib.com/manual/87...ck.html#manual) and one of the product images on the B&H website say that these buttons are for frame advance/frame reverse when reviewing recorded footage:
    https://static.bhphoto.com/images/mu...IMG_637525.jpg
    After getting in touch with VariZoom, they confirmed that there were actually multiple versions of the VZ-Rock LANC controllers produced. So on VZ-Rock controllers more than 3 years old, the F+ and F- buttons had a different function and do not control iris. It's only on the more recent version of the VZ-Rock controllers, that the F+/F- buttons were changed to send iris open/close commands.

    The VZ-Rock remote I have is probably around 5 years old, which explains why the F+/F- buttons on that remote do not work with the CX350.

    According to VariZoom, this change was purely to the internal electronics, the external housing remained the same, so there is no visual way to distinguish the older controllers from the newer ones. But given that it has been a few years since the change, the older inventory should have been sold by now, so if you buy a new VZ-Rock controller, it should include the iris control functionality. But this is something to watch out for if you buy a used controller or have an old VZ-Rock laying around for controlling a Sony or Canon camera (as I did).

    One other thing the VariZoom rep mentioned was that on the current version of the VZ-Rock, the iris control could sometimes be a bit jumpy with the CX350, which is one of the reasons they are working on developing a new controller that is better optimized for the camera.


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    Quote Originally Posted by davedv View Post
    After getting in touch with VariZoom, they confirmed that there were actually multiple versions of the VZ-Rock LANC controllers produced. So on VZ-Rock controllers more than 3 years old, the F+ and F- buttons had a different function and do not control iris. It's only on the more recent version of the VZ-Rock controllers, that the F+/F- buttons were changed to send iris open/close commands.

    The VZ-Rock remote I have is probably around 5 years old, which explains why the F+/F- buttons on that remote do not work with the CX350.

    According to VariZoom, this change was purely to the internal electronics, the external housing remained the same, so there is no visual way to distinguish the older controllers from the newer ones. But given that it has been a few years since the change, the older inventory should have been sold by now, so if you buy a new VZ-Rock controller, it should include the iris control functionality. But this is something to watch out for if you buy a used controller or have an old VZ-Rock laying around for controlling a Sony or Canon camera (as I did).

    One other thing the VariZoom rep mentioned was that on the current version of the VZ-Rock, the iris control could sometimes be a bit jumpy with the CX350, which is one of the reasons they are working on developing a new controller that is better optimized for the camera.

    Good to read VariZoom is developing a remote optimized for the CX350. The majority of what I shoot is on a tripod. Having a compatible VariZoom will make using the CX350 a lot easier.
    Davidv, thanks for checking with VariZoom.


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