VIDEO CAMERA 1994

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REDUCTION LENSES

Sony selling adaptor lenses for palmcorders, that's not much of a story, they've been doing it for years. It becomes news, though, when they start selling them at a competitive price, which is where the VCL-R0737 and R23037 come in. Until now Sony lenses have cost an arm and a leg, typically two to three times as much as third-party adaptor lenses, and although no-one disputes the quality of their own-brand products, accessories manufactured by other comoanies, to the same high standard, often cost a good deal less.

 

Now Sony are making a bid to capture a larger slice of the accessory market with these two lenses. There's been no compromise on quality, they're both made from finest precision-ground optical glass and mounted in tough alloy housings, but they're almost half the price of  previous wide-angle and teleconverters.

 

The VCL-R2037 is a x2 teleconverter, the optimum size for most users interested in getting closer to the action. It's reasonably compact, and no heavier than most comparable accessory lenses. It looks and feels sturdily built, and at just under 80, it's fairly priced. The other lens is the VCL-R0737 it's a x0.7 wide-angle converter costing 60.  It's just the job for capturing dramatic landscapes, or making sure everyone gets into the picture when recording group shots; once again it compares favourably with the competition, both in terms of performance, and price. Both lenses have 37mm screw fittings and come packaged in a soft carry cases. They should be available from your local Sony dealer by the time you read this.

 

SPECIFICATION

Make/model                SONY VCL-R0737 & R2037

Guide Price                     60 & 80

What are they?               teleconverter and wide-angle lenses

Fitting                          37mm

Optics              x0.7 and  x2.0 

Weight                            100g & 150g

Distributor                       SONY UK LTD Sony House, South Street, Staines, Middlesex TW15 4AT.  Telephone (0784) 467000

 

VIDEO CAMERA RATING  

 

 

BAGS OF POWER

There can be few more useful accessories for serious video movie-makers than a battery belt. They're the most comfortable and convenient way of carrying large mounts of power, essential for long shooting sessions, or for driving video lights, but they can be expensive, and hard to justify for occasional useage. Sima's Powerpocket could be the answer, it's a battery belt that makes use of  your own spare nicad packs, hence the price which is just under 40. Inside the 'bum-bag' style zippered pouch there's three NP-style battery holders for Sony and JVC/Panasonic packs, connected to a simple three-way switch on the belt strap. The switch box has two DC sockets, the large one for Sony DC connectors, the other one should fit most other makes.

 

The pouch is large enough to take most high-capacity packs, up to around 3.0Ah, but it couldn't take Vivanco's jumbo 4.5Ah battery which wouldn't fit on the holder. The batteries are wired seperately, that's to prevent partially charged cells draining any full ones in the circuit, and it allows batteries of different capacities to be used. It also means it's advisable to put the camcorder in the pause mode when switching from one battery to another as a momentary interruption in the power supply could cause it go into standby mode.

 

It's well designed, and tough enough to take the knocks; the padding around the pouch provides some useful thermal insulation, which could help increase battery running times in  cold-weather. We would have liked it to have some sort of  power-on and battery in use indicators, which would be helpful in poor light. It could also do with another DC connector socket, so a non-Sony camcorder and light could be used at the same time. By the way, we don't normally comment on smell, most video accessories don't have one, but for some reason the materials used in this product made such a pong that we thought something had died inside, beware using it in hot countries...

 

SPECIFICATION

Make/model       SIMA POWERMAX POWERPOCKET

Guide Price         40

Features             Battery holders and pouch for NP style nicads

Sockets               Sony and standard DC connectors

Weight                410g

Distributor           PRISMA Europe Ltd, Priory House, Pitsford Street, Birmingham B18 6LX Telephone 021 554 5540

 

VIDEO CAMERA RATING   8

Belt and braces solution for heavy-duty users

 

 

THE CASE FOR PROTECTION

After a while most camcorder owners find themselves in possession of a growing collection of tapes, the problem is where to store them all. If you're lucky they stay together and accumulate harmlessly in the backs of drawers and cupboards; if you're not they dissappear forever into a parallel dimension that claims all those missing socks and teaspoons.

 

The folk at Camlink want to help us organise our lives better, so they've brought out a range of camcorder tape cases, for both VHS-C and 8mm cassettes. Not content with just producing a boring old compartmentalised library boxes, they've gone and put them in zippered carry cases, so you can take them with you, when you're out and about.

 

They're called Option 2, and both sizes cost 5.99. The VHS-C case holds up to eight tapes, the slightly smaller 8mm case hold ten cassettes. The pouches are made from the same durable woven nylon material they use for their camcorder carry-cases, the lid flap is held shut with a zip, it has a carry starp, and it's padded for added protection.. The racks have connecting rails and can be stacked together to form larger storage units, unfortunately for dual-format users the two types of case cannot be linked together, but we don't regard that as a major problem for most camcorder owners. There's really not a lot more to say, Option 2 cases are adequately well made, affordable, practical and just what you need to tidy up that stack of tapes you've got, before they get mislaid.

 

SPECIFICATION

Make/model                   CAMLINK CAMCORDER TAPE CASE

Guide Price                     6.00

Style                            VHS-C or 8mm

Capacity                      8 x VHS-C, 10 x 8mm

Features                     stackable racks, protective double-zippered carry case and strap                

Dimensions                  250 x 75 x 120                      

Distributor                       LAMBA plc, Albion Mills, Albion Road, St Albans, Herts AL1 5EB. Telephone (0707) 266222

 

VIDEO CAMERA RATING   8

Handy tape tidy

 

 

 

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(c) R.Maybury 1993 1203

 


 

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