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JVC 4K Pro Handheld Camcorders
GY-LS300, GY-HM200, HM170 and HM-Q10 recording 4K Ultra-High Definition video.


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Old May 30th, 2015, 08:33 AM   #31
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Re: HM200 Questions

Yeah, the term "unusable" is very subjective. Some people consider anything above 6db on practically any camera UNUSABLE. Obviously, a donut spare tire on a car is unusable for normal driving, but it is usable for limping hope. If f1.2 on the JVC brings consistent "what's wrong with the video" comments from ANYONE viewing the footage, that may indeed be unusable. :)

A JVC rep has offered to let me demo an HM200, but told me I would be happier with the HM650 or HM890 as they do better in low light. My X70 is better in low light than my X180. My X180 in turn is better than my HM790 in low light. If you look at earlier posts, someone says the HM200 is same/better than the Canon X25 in low light, and the X25 is similar to the X70 in low light according to online comparisons.

I would put the X70 side by side with the HM200 at night, and do a full wide angle to telephoto zoom in comparison at 0db, middle gain, and maximum gain settings. that would solve the confusion.

Paul
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Old May 30th, 2015, 11:28 AM   #32
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Re: HM200 Questions

Paul, I hope you get to test the HM200. It would be great to get a perspective on the camera as it compares to the Sony X70. These are the two cameras that are on my radar presently. I am not as concerned about night shooting as you are, but my concern is how the camera performs when shooting below f 2 under natural, but low light settings (interiors, etc.)
Have fun with the camera and I look forward to your findings.
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Old May 30th, 2015, 11:37 AM   #33
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Re: HM200 Questions

As a night shooter, as you can imagine, 90% of my footage is shot WIDE OPEN, no alternative. Low light "capability" takes 2 forms in my book. The ability to add gain without horrible grain/noise, and the ability to even be able to gain up. MyX180 stops at 18db, and that is simply not enough. Sure, they want to make cameras that look great at ALL settings, but that is akin to traction control on a car not letting you win a race. :)

Paul
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Old May 30th, 2015, 02:45 PM   #34
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Re: HM200 Questions

Kevin, thanks for that link with an overview of the HM200.
“Review: JVC HM170 / HM200 camcorder”

The take away:

1. Lens cap is clip-on and not integrated. Comment: Even the old 2006 JVC GZ-HD7 had it built-in.

2. This is a two-ring cam with with a Zoom, and switchable Focus/Iris control; the default being for focus. There is another control for the iris. The Sony X70 has only one ring.

3. ND filters - For me, since I’ll be doing a lot of shooting in bright light on the water with boats, it will need a ND filter in front of the lens. Question: Will there be vignetting???

4. OIS “is quite good” At full zoom it kept the video “relatively stable”. Sony’s is a benchmark. Personally, I’d really like a good OIS like the one Sony has but this isn’t a deal breaker.

5. The Røde Video Mic Pro picked up handling noise and a slight hum from the cam. Good to know but not a big deal.

6. Constant apeture: Need to find out the details on this. In the video he recommended setting it to f/3.5 and working the zoom from there.

7. 0.24” EVF Viewfinder: doesn’t work well with glasses and it is quite small. “Seems distant.” He had to try and look around at the sides to see the image. The Sony PMW-200 is much better. The viewfinder is very small, easy to knock out of adjustment, and the adjustment is very sensitive. Seemed very fiddly. Don’t think this would be a biggie but possibly annoying. Use masking tape on it?

8. 3.5” LCD Flip-out Viewfinder: is “okay”. It has a joystick so one can keep finger smears off of the screen! Excellent option. Perhaps the screen could be a little sharper for focusing. Use an Atmos?

9. Lens: (at ~15:00) Image at f/1.2 is noticeably soft vs. f/2.0. Ditto again above about f/8 or f/9 in bright light. For me, with bright light and only two ND filter settings, this may be a deal breaker. Screwing on and off a ND filter won’t be good. The sweet spot is between f/3.5 and f/8 and “all will be well.”

10. There are lots of buttons, many of which are assignable, a plus. Ditto with the menu in the flip-out viewfinder.

11. Memory is UHS class 3 which is inexpensive and has been coming down in price.

12. Reviewer feels the 4K image when cropped down to HD size isn’t quite as sharp as the native HD image. Some other reviewers have mentioned that the HD image from a 4K file is better than the native HD image, presumably because there is more data to work with. This is a bit confusing.

13. Bottom line: The reviewer said that “Over all, given the lightness, the compactness, the feature-set, and the decent image if you keep it within the parameters, for the money this is a very good little camcorder.”

Also of interest, there were a couple interesting low-light reviews of the Panasonic HC-X1000 in the sidebar of this link.

As an comment: It would be nice if JVC would use this form factor and apply it to a, say (suggested name), HM250 model that would have an upgraded lens and upgraded viewfinders, and an upgraded …. lens cap. How much would this be and how much would it add to the cost? And would it be cost-effective on a 1/2-inch cam?

@ Paul Anderegg: As a thought, do you ever get up to LA? Maybe you could touch base with Jim Martin at EVS EVS Online: Home to test one out. Or, maybe easier, if David Hausman, JVC Field Service Engineer ever gets down to your area maybe he could bring one and you two could work with it. You could invite him out on one of your Breaking News assignments!

For your purpose, though, doesn't look like f/2 is going to cut it. FS300 with it’s large sensor and a power zoom lens would seem like an option but you already ruled this one out, yes??? For me, f/9 and using a screw-on/off UV filter isn’t necessarily a deal breaker but it sure is a bummer. The low-light end isn’t nearly as critical for me but, even so, this might not be quite good enough. The devil is in the details.
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Old June 5th, 2015, 09:20 PM   #35
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Re: HM200 Questions

It's a little disappointing that JVC did not manage to get the optical design good enough to stay sharp wide open. Especially since it's a 4K camera, soft images will get noticed pretty quick.

But I love the design and features of it and it would be a nice step up from my HM150.
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Old June 11th, 2015, 01:10 PM   #36
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Re: HM200 Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
the 4K image when cropped down to HD size isn’t quite as sharp as the native HD image. Some other reviewers have mentioned that the HD image from a 4K file is better than the native HD image, presumably because there is more data to work with. This is a bit confusing.
If I may clarify, you're confusing my reference to a *cropped* HD image with a scaled HD image from a 4K source.

I concur that a 4K image from the JVC scaled to HD looks marvellous but an HD-sized crop from a 4K image appeared less sharp to me than an image from a good HD camcorder.

Regards
David
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