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Old March 8th, 2013, 02:13 AM   #1
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BBC orders JVC cameras

A bit of a surprise for JVC, but the BBC has ordered 500 of their GY-HM650.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 03:11 AM   #2
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

For self shoot journo's and probably more to balance out too much kit sourced recently from sony and canon and the natural history unit being heavily panasonic.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 06:58 AM   #3
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

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For self shoot journo's and probably more to balance out too much kit sourced recently from sony and canon .........
I don't think they'd be allowed to do that under EU procurement laws, not for any major purchase of this value. If any public body wants to spend a large sum of money, they are required to go through a formal procurement process and need to specify exactly the reasons why they have chosen the equipment they did, and likewise the supplier.

I suspect a major reason would be codec compatability with existing equipment. These cameras are likely to be used in tandem with the Sony PMW500s that they recently put in a large order for as the shouldermount model, and which they use in the 35Mbs mode for news/journalism.

If you look at the alternatives, then price wise the most obvious would be the Sony NX5 and the Panasonic AVCCAM equivalent - but they are both only AVCHD, not XDCAM. To get codec equivalence, it would probably be the Sony PMW150 - but that's more expensive than the JVC. When I recently saw the HM650 at BVE, JVC were also very keen to point out such features as it being able to additionally make proxies - which for news may be very useful if the only link to base is such as a satellite phone.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 03:55 PM   #4
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

How often does BBC place an order of that size?
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Old March 8th, 2013, 04:20 PM   #5
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

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How often does BBC place an order of that size?
For camcorders there have been three major orders in something like a year or two - for the Sony PMW500s, the Canon XF305s and now these JVC cameras. AFAIK they are all HD upgrades to old SD kit, which was presumably in need of replacement anyway - the PMW500s replacing DVCAM and BetaSX shouldermounts, the XF305s and HM650s replacing most likely Z1s (which the BBC only ever considered SD, only ever used in DVCAM mode).

Broadcasters typically look at something like a 10 year replacement cycle for such as shouldermount cameras, so I'd expect them looking not replacing the PMW500s until well into the 2020's, the handheld cameras probably needing to be replaced sooner. Drama and other top end work may be a different story, with rented cameras for a production at a time. The Arri Alexa seems to be camera of choice at the moment here, and I think I read it's also ousted some of the Varicams that such as the NHU have traditionally used.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 07:25 PM   #6
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

Great news for JVC!
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Old March 9th, 2013, 02:11 AM   #7
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

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The Arri Alexa seems to be camera of choice at the moment here, and I think I read it's also ousted some of the Varicams that such as the NHU have traditionally used.
It's currently being used on a number of BBC high end documentary series.
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Old March 10th, 2013, 05:21 PM   #8
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

Well, the JVC has strong points that Sony doesn't in that price range, and they don't have to worry about low light, as they can bring out the bright lights anytime they want without objections.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 09:49 AM   #9
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

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they don't have to worry about low light
Can you clarify Galen? I haven't touched a HM650, but they were advertised at being very sensitive, thus good for low light.

Are you just saying journalists pop on their camera light in dark rooms, so you don't need a camera that does well in low light?

If so, I'd have to disagree with you as there was a lot of news stuff I shot at night where the camera light was absolutely no use at all (they're good for about 5-10'). Plus camera lights were often the last resort (at least the places I worked) because they give that ugly camera light look.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 01:59 PM   #10
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

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......... they were advertised at being very sensitive, thus good for low light.
Worth reading the full test report, http://tech.ebu.ch/docs/tech/tech3335_s08.pdf Since it's largely on the basis of that that the camera is considered suitable (in it's class) for such as the BBC to purchase, it can hardly be considered uncomplimentary! :-)

BUT, do note what is said about the subject of noise, sensitivity etc. For example, "......all of which is fairly firm evidence for the presence of significant noise reduction in the camera (which has the effect of setting the noise level independent of gain).

And ".....Lowering the camera gain setting to -6dB does not produce a major change in noise levels, but is worth doing because the pictures appear to be subjectively ‘cleaner’ since the noise reduction does less harm to thr resolution.."

In other words, it's about as inherently sensitive as other 1/3" cameras in it's class. The apparent cleanness is not due to basic sensitivity, rather in camera noise reduction - which can replace noise with other problems. Good though this camera may be, don't think it will even come close to a comparable camera with bigger chips such as a PMW200, let alone a 3 chip 2/3" camera.
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Are you just saying journalists pop on their camera light in dark rooms, so you don't need a camera that does well in low light?

If so, I'd have to disagree with you .........
Agreed. There are various occasions when for a journalist to switch on an on-camera light would be a very foolish idea indeed. In war, riot etc situations it could be dangerous. In other occasions it would stop any possibility of candid filming. And in such as a reporter being filmed in front of a night time background, standard technique is to expose for the background, then light the foreground to match. For all the above, basic camera sensitivity is very important.
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Old March 15th, 2013, 02:01 PM   #11
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

Thanks for posting that link David. I'm impressed with their findings. Maybe a little dissapointed that this 1/3" camera performs as other 1/3" cameras, but reality is those are reasonable expectations.

I still think this is a very impressive camera & offers a unique place in the line up.

I'd love to get my hands on one & see how it feels. Curious to how the servo focus / zoom / iris perform. Looks like the EX1 / PMW200 still holds the title of only camera with built in lens that has direct connection to focus / zoom / iris.
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Old March 15th, 2013, 02:12 PM   #12
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

Think it's also true for the XF305?
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Old March 19th, 2013, 09:50 AM   #13
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

What part about the XF305?

Did the XF305 promise amazing low light sensitivity, but really only "accomplish" it by noise reduction?
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Old March 19th, 2013, 10:54 AM   #14
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

The lens part for the XF305. It has real manual controls.
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Old March 20th, 2013, 07:59 AM   #15
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Re: BBC orders JVC cameras

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What part about the XF305?
Sorry I didn't make it clearer, but yes, as Glen says, I understand the XF305 also has a "true" manual lens like the EX1/3 and the PMW200 - and IMO that puts them apart from other cameras that have the manual control via servos.

Just to dot i's, then in-camera noise reduction is nothing new, and shouldn't be seen as a bad thing, period. It's something to be found on most cameras in this class to one degree or other. What IS bad is when it's done to excess, or when it gives rise to misleading claims being made about camera sensitivity. A 1/3" camera with a lot of noise reduction may at first sight seem the equal of a 1/2" camera - it's not. As you'll find if you try to manipulate the images.

I have to say I'm surprised that so far no other manufacturer has brought out a rival to the EX1/3 or PMW200 - their own 1/2" model? Up until recently they have been able to claim a better codec as compensation (AVC-Intra for the HPX250 and XDCAM422 for the XF305) - now they can't even claim the codec advantage over the PMW200.
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