Hocus Products has announced its new Axis1 thumb wheel focus control, the Smart Roller, for the MōVI, Steadicam, pan handles, moose bars and more. It is now available for pre-order, shipping early July.
Hocus Products’ Peter Hoare: “The new Smart Roller is a device aimed at the brushless gimbal market to allow single operator focus control through a compact finger roller mounted on the gimbal handle bar. The Roller plugs into the Axis1 receiver with a single ultraflex cable and will control camera run / stop in addition to other functions. It can also be used on Steadicam gimbals, tripod pan handles or shoulder mount handle bars and could be used to control zoom instead of focus.”
The Smart Roller features a very high resolution contactless magnetic encoder and micro controller to detect the roller rotation. The knob itself has no hard stops, which leaves many more options for control rather than a simple knob that is rolled with the finger. A haptic feedback (vibration) function adds a short sharp buzz to let the user know when the end of the lens range is reached.
There is also a button panel which puts an array of roller and system settings at the operator's finger tips. All of these buttons can be operated without ever moving your hands off the rig. There is also an indicator light which mimics the status light on the Axis1 hand unit, to confirm camera run/stop status and other system statuses. The roller includes a very versatile clamp which can be used to position it in the optimum place for comfortable operation.
The Smart Roller has several buttons on the roller body which are designed to be accessible and used by the same finger or thumb you use to operate the roller wheel.
There’s a run button to start and stop the camera so you don't have to take your hands off the rig to start the camera recording before a take. The camera run is handled through the Axis1 receiver, so can run pretty much any camera, including Red Epic and Canon C300/500 cameras, as well as Sony F5/55 and Arri Alexa cameras.
There are also buttons for Direction (of lens rotation), Speed (low gear/high gear) and Limit (to use a part of the lens range).