Motorised zooms are a familiar feature on Canon camcorders and compact digital cameras such as those in the Canon XF, XA, Legria and PowerShot ranges. They provide smooth and consistent zoom control and are perfect for longer shoots, where frequent zooming through a wide range of focal lengths is required.
Interchangeable power zoom lenses are less common. Photographers who don't shoot video may be unwilling to trade the precision of a manual zoom for the convenience of a power zoom lens. For filmmakers, however – particularly those working in fast-moving environments, such as documentary, news and sport – a power zoom lens can be a distinct advantage.
But there is another option. Power zoom adapters such as the Power Zoom Adapter PZ-E2 bring motorised zoom control to compatible manual zoom lenses. These accessories offer the best of both worlds for today's hybrid content creators working across video and stills.
So what exactly are the benefits of a power zoom versus a manual zoom – and which shooting situations suit each type of zoom control?