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Old October 20th, 2004, 10:10 PM   #1
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Rant of the Videographer

OK, the HD10 and Sony FX1 are "prosumer" products. But having worked for years with pro video cameras from JVC, Ikegami, Sony BetaCam units, etc I really miss certain features on our beloved HDV cameras.

I love the image we get versus the price. The form factor is okay,
but the PD 150, HD 10 form factor held in front of you is kind of unstable compared to a shoulder mount camera.

But even accounting for the lower price of these cameras vs. $ 20,000 to 70,000 pro cameras, I have two major gripes:

A) JVC introduces the HD1 consumer version with auto everything.
Then they introduce the HD 10 version withy NO TRUE manual control of shutter and aperture... HUH? What were they thinking?
I have written them about this issue.

Now Sony comes out with a camera that has full manual which will kill JVC's offerings at this price point/feature set level. As much as I love images from the HD10, I still find myself cursing this camera in editing. Everytime the auto iris doesn't do EXACTLY what I want, say during an in-car interview where a manual F stop would let me expose for the face and let the sky go over exposed, I have to compensate in editing.

If JVC doesn't fix this in son-of-HD10, they deserve to get their market segment dominated by Sony.

B) The menu method of adjusting audio and settings is just WRONG. Pro cameras used to have separate switches for everything. Larger cameras always had more real estate for more switches. You work with a camera long enough and you always could reach over to the right switch, just by touch, even with your eye glued to the eye-piece. You can change things while you're shooting.

The stupid menus force you to look at the menu. (Try setting mic audio levels on a PD150 while shooting).

I love the smaller cameras like the HD10. Every video shooter I knew over the last 18 yrs used to complain about his/her back from shouldering 20 pound cameras. The lower cost is awesome. The image is amazing for the price. I should be grateful.

But.... the fact that JVC has not even announced a better HD10 or another replacement camera at this price point after the Sony FX camera announcement verges on incompetence. (Correct me if I missed JVC 's announcement.)

I can just see the marketing guys who will be FIRED at JVC after the Sony camera dominates the market over the next few months.

Sony irritates me because of the way they over priced the BetaCam products, and digital Beta, soley because of their market dominance. But they did turn out good product.

I am just dying to see JVC do this right. Prove me wrong JVC.

I would just love to see these cameras evolve to where they give me more control. The Sony HDV cameras are moving the right way.
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Old October 21st, 2004, 03:24 AM   #2
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Why do you think the reason is these things are happening? I'd
say due to the fact they want to keep their high-end products
clearly seperated from their low-end (which these camera's still
are in their eyes!). I'm not surprised at all this happens. Sounds
like an XL2 for example would work much better for you (form
factor/button/menu/manual control wise).

I would not expect them to change this anytime soon.
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Old October 21st, 2004, 07:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
But.... the fact that JVC has not even announced a better HD10 or another replacement camera at this price point after the Sony FX camera announcement verges on incompetence. (Correct me if I missed JVC 's announcement.)
Well said indeed! You'd think they'd want to maintain their market leadership and one-up Sony as soon as Sony made the announcement about their camera. You know JVC is working on something new, they were as soon as the HD1/HD10 was released!
Quote:
Sounds like an XL2 for example would work much better for you (form factor/button/menu/manual control wise).
Not to shoot your idea down, but it doesn't seem to me like Ed is interested in regular DV camcorders at present with all the potential offerings in the HDV camp now. Why would he want to go back to 720X480 when he can shoot 720p and now 1080i with presumably the same feature set as a higher end DV camera.

In my opinion why would anyone want to use an overpriced DV camera when you can do HD at the same or lower price point. My $02.

Troy
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Old October 21st, 2004, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Quote:
Sounds like an XL2 for example would work much better for you (form factor/button/menu/manual control wise).
Not to shoot your idea down, but it doesn't seem to me like Ed is interested in regular DV camcorders at present with all the potential offerings in the HDV camp now. Why would he want to go back to 720X480 when he can shoot 720p and now 1080i with presumably the same feature set as a higher end DV camera.
If you read my line correctly I said form factor/button/menu/manual
control wise.

In other words, I'm not suggesting he takes an XL2 since it
clearly doesn't have HD (although IMHO that isn't too much of
an issue). I'm saying that this camera far better suits his sorta
"professional" wishes in form factor and operating manner.
That is all.

I personally disagree that this camera is overpriced. Yes if your
next best thing is HD, then it might be. But the XL2 is targated
at a different market. If you shoot for TV, straight to DVD or web
release you can't beat it if you want better external controls,
true manual lenses and a better system for shoulder mounting
(yes you might need extra balance at the back, but that is at
least possible). Not to mention XLR inputs.
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Old October 21st, 2004, 07:11 PM   #5
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As far as JVC is concerned, their next HDV piece is already in the works and will be a full-blown professional camera. See "Forthcoming HDV Camcorders" at the bottom of the page at http://www.hdvinfo.net/.
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Old November 13th, 2004, 12:49 AM   #6
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In my opinion[/b] why would anyone want to use an overpriced DV camera when you can do HD at the same or lower price point. My $02.

Troy -->>>

I guess Im just wondering who is buying hd these days? I dont know any of the beta guys Ive talked to getting into it and I freelance with various networks. I thought everybody would be jumping on that but havent seen them anywhere, a espn producer told me they use them once in a while (but their freelancer rents one if he needs it). I guess my question is why get one if theres no real market for it and the prices are bound to drop?

M
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Old November 15th, 2004, 12:22 AM   #7
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The FX1 is considered consumer only, which is funny since JVC calls the HD10 pro with all the auto features.

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Old November 15th, 2004, 02:29 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Michel Brewer :

I guess Im just wondering who is buying hd these days? I dont know any of the beta guys Ive talked to getting into it and I freelance with various networks. I thought everybody would be jumping on that but havent seen them anywhere, a espn producer told me they use them once in a while (but their freelancer rents one if he needs it). I guess my question is why get one if theres no real market for it and the prices are bound to drop?
-->>>

I suppose it depends on your market... Around Denver, CO just about everything is going HD with our NBC affiliate (Channel 9) already HD in every aspect they can, even the live video from their traffic/news helicopters and mobile units. We also have HDNet based out of Denver and Colorado Studios and there's a lot of HDTV opportunity there.

I do all of my animation work targeted and rendered at 1080p unless for some reason a client specifically wants otherwise. It downconverts wonderfully for output to DVD and I'm left with a full HD res master to pull from in the future. In the last year, I have delivered 3 projects in HD. I had to take the audio and uncompressed frames on a DAT to another facility to have them encoded to HDCAM. I have the systems/horsepower here to handle HD, all I'm lacking is the camera... The FX1/Z1 are intriguing, but I may just have to stretch the budget and go for something bigger. I still need to get my hands on an FX1 and really play with it. 99% of the video I shoot is either for my own personal/hobby/pet-project use or it is combined into my animation at some level. I'd live to have an HD capable system, but I'm worried that the 25Mbps MPEG2 stream of HDV may be too restrictive... I have been using a DVX100 for nearly 2 years and it works rather well for my uses (but I also don't do much in the way of direct compositing into video frames or chroma keying). Incorporating the DVX100 video (shot at 24p to match my 24p animation workflow) into the animation is a very smooth process, but the video resolution (being only standard DV) is just too low when I work with 1920x1080 frames. I have limited my use of video to concepts that allow for the grainy or over-softened or pixellated video to be included and I've tried to work with it so it actually looks like an intended style, but to go to something with the detail level of HD would really increase my capabilities.
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