Since the release of the Okii usb follow focus last year, a number of companies have released similar priced units with little to no innovation. It’s nice to see that a company has finally done something different with the concept. Meet the V-Control USB Focus Controller from Aputure.
The first thing you’ll notice is the black window on the top right. This is, in my opinion, the most useful design feature on the V-Control. The panel is used to indicate the step size the jog wheel is set at, making it much easier to figure out what step size works best for each lens. Once you’ve found the number that works, you can set your focus points using the controls on the left hand side.
By Half pressing the red button the camera will focus your shot and a full press will start/stop recording or capture an image. This is very hand if you’re trying to film yourself speaking into the camera and don’t have someone to focus and start or stop recording for you. Just grab a long usb Cable and set your remote off camera once you’ve started recording.
The V-Control USB Focus Controller comes in a very nice leather (pleather?) case with a magnetic clasp, making it feel like a premium product. Even though the controller itself is made out of plastic, it feels nice and solid, all of the buttons are raised and provide good tactile feed back, and the jog wheel turns smoothly.
Unlike other USB controllers, no tools are required to get to the battery compartment. The V-Control uses 2 AA batteries instead of 2 AAA batteries which means I’ll no longer need to carry AAA batteries with me. Also the 1/4 20 mount on the back of the unit is made out of metal so it should stand up to constant use.
Another handy feature is that the V-Control comes with all of the mounting hardware needed to attach the unit to your camera rig. Both double and single rail mounts are included, so one can be used to mount the V-Control while the other could be used to connect a friction arm.
The expected MSRP for the V-Control USB Focus Controller is $189, making it much more affordable then other options. It should start showing up on the market at the end of August. I’ll be spending some more time with the V-Control so keep an eye out for a full video review soon.