This provided by Mark at Village Voice:
The vivitar 8 button works fine, and actually is one of the best that I have. The loud click of the rocker is fixable : 3 screws in the back, open , locate the switch of the rocker, put a piece of paper on it, then seal with a gaffer tape, close, screws back and voila’: silent rocker and soft too!!! : functions that work on both AX100 and X70 : zoom speed (8 constant speeds plus a variable on pressure via a dial right on top of the remote). Info on screen on/off. Focus +/-, camera on/off , start/stop recording. The Varizoom VZrock should work as well (not tested by me but somebody has it and said that works). So the camera does read all the serial (RS232) commands from the remote. It depends on the remote. The vivitar (or ebenk) is complete (has it all). The vivitar comes with the female 2.5mm to sony av/r cable. What I like about the vivitar is that is cheap, reliable (I use it for more than a year) and the zoom rocker is vertical (which I like way more than the horizontal ones because is more intuitive). Now for what I do having a constant zoom speed selectable on the fly is priceless: a variable rocker on pressure can be a disaster if I push it too much by mistake while panning (I shoot sports , twice a week). So the vivitar stays in glory. No problem whatsoever on AX100 and X70.
more about the vivitar (ebenk) : in studio or posed/staged interviews I use 2 remotes (on a tripod with two handles). A simple adapter /splitter for 2.5mm allows the connection of two lanc remotes in chain: so I have the zoom on my left handle and the focus on my right handle (again using 2 remotes). so I stay on the focus with my right hand all the time and on the zoom rocker with my left. (I am left handed) . As it should be in studio, actually. The cost of a setup like that is ridiculous using two vivitar, considering what it offers.
Hey Mark,Are you sure that someone you know can actually use a Varizoom VZrock with the X70? I asked Varizoom and they told me that the VZrock is not currently compatible and that “they are working on a solution”.
yes I’m sure. And I believe that the problem may be the 2.5mm to av/r cable. well that’s what I’d guess … not like I care since I’m ok with my remotes and I don’t need another remote with just a variable rocker and a start/stop. I’d get the sony for that, at least goes to the usb(ish) port without any patch, no?
Look I don’t have much of… confidence in varizoom (great rocker don’t get me wrong) but their price list is stuck in the old times , when cameras for pro-sumers used to cost an arm and a leg . Today they build remotes for JVC , pricing what? 400 bucks? sure it’s a dedicated production (of a cord and a connector). So for sony usb(ish) how much it will be? 700bucks? look at the prices for panasonic, if you want iris and zoom then you have to spend a fortune, or zoom only for still lots of money. and bebob? and all the others… L O L no no.. I’m fine with two vivitar . anyway the only controller (lanc) with a speed limiter (like the vivitar) is the manfrotto (521 and the new one that I don’t remember). but still no focus. For that there is only one choice: ebenk or vivitar. and they both work right now.
This from Gary Fraiberg (lifted from the comments below):
Success! I ordered the Sony Multi Adapter Cable (SOVMCAVM1) and the Manfrotto Adapter Cable LANC/AV-R for Sony from B&H in New York. I attached the 522 LANC pan arm controller, connected the cables, et voila. It works flawlessly. Power on/off, Record stop/start and zoom. Focus works abysmally slowly, unless there is something deep in the menu that I can adjust. Using the lens barrel focus ring or the push button on the side of the lens barrel is much quicker for focus adjust