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Old January 12th, 2016, 01:20 PM   #1
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JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

Finally pulled the trigger and picked a JVC HM-GY170. After reading about the free firmware upgrade in December that enables this camera to shoot 120fps non-stop in HD, along with 4K 24/30p and as well as time-lapse. I had to try this camera out.

So far I have noticed it is grainy in regular room lighting in the evening. I wanted to share some studio samples to see what others might be experiencing with the camera. Right now I'm seeing some noise/grain even at 0 db in a controlled studio lighting setting. View on a monitor great than 1920x1080, otherwise images may appear to have aliasing problems.

The on-board LCD works for getting good exposure but is not accurate in terms of color and contrast. I've been shooting with an Ikan DH5 via HDMI, the monitor shows more accurate color and contrast without the grain.

Any other GY-HM170/HM200 owners out there seeing similar things?

Currently I'm working on a simple outdoor and slo-mo test to share.

Camera Settings:

Firmware 2.03

Studio 4K 30p 150Mbps

Random Items: 0db f2.8 shutter 120 Zebra 100+

Green Screen: +3db f2.2 shutter 120 Zebra 65


Dropbox for Original Files from SDXC card

https://www.dropbox.com/s/msuv5yt6bf...4Kp30.zip?dl=0
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Last edited by Jeff Zimmerman; January 12th, 2016 at 09:23 PM.
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Old January 12th, 2016, 09:27 PM   #2
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JVC GY-HM170 Outdoor Test Golden Boardwalk

JVC GY-HM170 - Outdoor Test Golden Boardwalk
Wanted to test the JVC GY-HM170 outdoors in 4K. Used only the viewfinder and onboard LCD for exposure. Used Histogram and set Zebras to 100, exposed just under the zebra lines from appearing. Protecting the highlights and trying to get the most dynamic range from the camera.

Camera Settings: 4K30p 150Mbps - 0db - Shutter 120 - 1/16ND - Color Matrix Subdued.

Things to watch for: Hotel shows some moire - Deer Antlers show some chromatic aberration - long zoom at the end shows the full 12x of the lens.

Overall the images looked better than what I saw on the LCD or viewfinder. Color and contrast are pleasing, not over saturated or too punchy on contrast.

No color grading or effects. This is the natural color and grain from the camera. Edited and exported from Premiere CC 2015 from a 4K HD timeline.

Music by: bensound.com Track: Tomorrow

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Old January 19th, 2016, 01:20 PM   #3
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Re: JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

Jeff,

I too had been looking for a 4k camcorder upgrade to my Panasonic VK750 and just pulled the trigger on the HM170UA with the additional handle. I am getting used to it, especially the white balance in Auto mode with fluorescent and LED lights. I have not been able to let the camcorder auto pick the WB in those conditions.
Unfortunately I ordered a PNY 128 GB UHS-I U3 card that could not deliver what its U3 rating promised. The camcorder rejected it and I had to order a Sandisk which works as advertized. B&H made no problem and let me return it for credit.
I noticed that the LCD screen has some sort of a film covering it, did you notice it too? I am wondering if I should attempt to remove it, like the materials they use to protect new gadgets, or if it is part of the LCD and needs to stay. It seems to add some blueish tint to the external LCD.
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Old January 19th, 2016, 04:49 PM   #4
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Re: JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

Gentleman,

Thank you for sharing your clips and thoughts on the camera. I'm seriously considering it and have a couple of questions that others have brought up.

1. One guy swears that the SD card cannot be read in a PC, but that makes no sense to me

2. Same guy says Premiere cannot edit the .mov files from this camera (on a PC). Based on my previous experience with JVC .mts files, that sounds possible.

3. Another says that the optional SWIT 8823 battery cannot be charged in the camera, requires purchase of compatible charger

Thoughts? With the current offers of $500 off and free shotgun mic, camera looks pretty appealing to me! Plus they've now added the carry handle with XLR audio. Downloading the sample footage and will test myself in Premiere.

EDIT: downloaded the sample and it works just fine in Premiere CC 2015! The green screen image seems kind of desaturated/flat, not getting the best key result. Appreciate you sharing the footage, the "products on stools" clip looks very sharp and clean.

Thank you

Jeff Pulera
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Old January 20th, 2016, 06:28 AM   #5
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Re: JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

hello Jeff,

i have a GY HM200.

Your 3 Questions:
1. SD Card read on every my PC's. Its a normal SDHC or SDXC File System on the card
2. The Mov Files are without any problem in my Adobe Production Premium 5.5
3. Dont konw for the HM170, but on my HM200 my SWIT 8150 is charged in the HM200 without problems. Think with SWIT 8823 on the HM170 also possible.

Regards
Andreas
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Old January 20th, 2016, 08:23 AM   #6
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Re: JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

Hi Andreas,

Thank you so much for your answers. There is a lot of mis-information out there and I'm glad that professionals like you can help set the record straight.

I did a ton of research last night, watching every available YouTube video on the HM170/200 cameras and am very impressed and will likely be purchasing an HM170 soon to take advantage of the discounted pricing.

Thanks again

Jeff Pulera
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Old January 20th, 2016, 01:20 PM   #7
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Re: JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

Hi Jeff,

i'm very pleased with my HM200.

Very Good, much manual controls.
1080 4:2:2 50P/60P/24P and slomo with 120P are reasons to get in Touch.
An discounted price for the HM170 with the XLR Handle is likely an HM200 ...


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Andreas
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Old January 20th, 2016, 09:33 PM   #8
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Re: JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frederic Berger View Post
I noticed that the LCD screen has some sort of a film covering it, did you notice it too? I am wondering if I should attempt to remove it, like the materials they use to protect new gadgets, or if it is part of the LCD and needs to stay. It seems to add some blueish tint to the external LCD.
Yes, I would remove the blue tinted screen protector if you plan on keeping the camera. Also I would agree not to trust the AWB. I always take a moment an manual WB, especially in mixed lighting conditions.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old January 21st, 2016, 08:49 AM   #9
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Re: JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

For many years, I used Sony VX-2000 cameras which were simply superb in low light, but of course they were DV format (SD). I later went to HDV with the Sony FX-7 and the low light performance was a real disappointment. In fact, I'm still using that old camera and it's getting tired...and I'm tired of fighting to get an image in low light (stage events, weddings, etc.), fighting to fix it in post, etc.

If I get the HM170, am I going to be kicking myself because the image is too dark?? I don't mind brightening the mid-range in post - if the image is clean, I can do quite a bit with it, but I need something to work with.

This question is for Jeff Z. - in your samples, the shutter is at 120. My DV and HDV cameras (60i recording) have always defaulted to 60 shutter, and in fact when I need more light I just drop shutter to 30 and that helps a lot. So I'm curious why your shutter is at 120 - is that an auto thing, or did you set it that way? If you're recording 30p, wouldn't the shutter be 30 then normally? My cameras are 60i only, so I don't know what's normal for 30p recording mode. I'd think that changing shutter from 120 to 60 or 30 (when indoors) should certainly help with lighting issues.

I love mostly everything about the camera - price, features, and so on, except the supposed low light issues and inability to use the full exposure range due to softening of the image. Scares me! Convince me that I can work around these things. I have a job on the 30th and would love to have the new camera in place if possible.

Thanks all

Jeff Pulera
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Old January 21st, 2016, 10:06 AM   #10
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JVC GY-HM170 Shutter and Low-light

Hey Jeff Pulera,

What kind of event are you shooting on the 30th? Can you add to or enhance the lighting?

In studio, I've been seeing a lot of motion blur with the shutter set to 60. I find the shutter at 120 gives a cleaner less blurred shot. In studio with green screen, I boosted the the gain +3db to keep the shutter at 120. I'm wondering if I might be seeing more noise because of running a flatter (subdued color matrix on the camera).

30p offers clean motion and doesn't have potential interlacing issues of 60i. Modern TV's and computer screens are progressive. 60i is an older broadcast standard meant for CRT TV's.

As for low-light, I did a test with this camera in my kitchen when I first received it. I had to boost the gain +12db. Later that evening I viewed the footage, it was very grainy. I'll have to do a proper low-light test, until then I would say if your not outdoors or in a well lit area bring lights.
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Old January 21st, 2016, 10:49 AM   #11
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Re: JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

My next job is a singing competition on stage, with no control over lighting. Used to do video full time -weddings and stage events - mostly indoors with no lighting control. Now just doing a few side-job videos infrequently which is why I'm looking at lower-priced camera options. Can't justify a large investment at this point.

Some reviews have suggested the light sensitivity is better in HD mode than 4K, and I don't need 4K myself, so perhaps that will make a difference.

I did just find an "almost new" HM170 on Ebay and it's within an hour of my location, so I guess the next step would be to see if I can actually look at that camera and see for myself.

Thanks for your time

Jeff
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Old January 21st, 2016, 01:16 PM   #12
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Re: JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

Jeff - The HM170 is very tempting because of all the camcorder controls (vice DSLR). Personally, I really like the JVC cam layout because it is so user friendly and for the price it seems really good. There arenít a whole lot of cam options out there with the control features (and Iím using that word in a positive sense) in that price range. Because of my experience with an older JVC model, both from a mechanical (cam controls) and data (FCPX user-friendly drag-n-drop files) standpoint, I wanted one. The other one I looked at seriously was the LS300, more bucks but one can shot with primes but I need a 10X power zoom lens.

However Ö and everyone has their must-have capabilities and there are the tradeoffs starting with price and features, there is another cam to consider: The Sony FDR-AX100. The tradeoff is only one ring (focus) and it is continuous, and not so many camcorder style controls. On the up side, and these are biggies, is the good Zeiss lens and the Sony 1-inch sensor. Just checked eBay and theyíre running in the $900 to $1K range (Sold prices). Tack on a JuicedLink pre for really clean audio and more controls (sold $100 to $150). And it has 3 ND filters. Optically, itís a good cam and Sony makes really good sensors.

For indoor jobs the larger sensor (4X the area) would probably be helpful.
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Old January 21st, 2016, 01:30 PM   #13
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Re: JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

Thanks for the input John. You're right about lack of controls, no XLR, only one lens ring being turn-offs for me. But maybe I have to forego those things for low light...darn shame, the JVC has everything going for it besides low lux.

Thanks

Jeff
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Old January 21st, 2016, 02:17 PM   #14
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Re: JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Pulera View Post
If I get the HM170, am I going to be kicking myself because the image is too dark?? I don't mind brightening the mid-range in post - if the image is clean, I can do quite a bit with it, but I need something to work with.
In standard Rec709 mode, you can use JVC's gamma and shadow boost controls to dial in any degree of midrange and shadow brightness you prefer, without affecting highlight exposure. And at 30p frame rate, you can shoot at 1/30, 1/60, or 1/120 shutter speeds.
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Old January 21st, 2016, 05:16 PM   #15
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Re: JVC GY-HM170 Studio and Green Screen Test

Jeff - a few more thoughts. With regard to the lack of controls on the AX100, itís not so much a lack of them because many of the controls are there, but theyíre not necessarily run-ín-gun readily available. For example, the iris, gain/iso, and shutter speed controls can be changed with a knob thatís under the lens. Definitely useable but, for me at least, takes some repeated use to become acclimated to using them. There are other controls that are menu driven and one has to remember (oops, another problem) where to find them, but Iím getting better at it. Both cams have menu controls but itís like getting into a new car and figuring out the seat controls, navigation system, and all that stuff. Itís all a little different but over time you get it figured out. By then itís time to buy a new car.

JuicedLink: Itís been said that audio is 2/3rds of good video and their preamps have a really low noise floor. Havenít seen any figures or tests on it for comparison but my gut feel is the noise floor is better than what one would find on any of the cams in this price range. Not only that, but the preamps have a plethora of controls on them.

Iíve been using an older Ďlow endí CX211 (picked up about six years ago), doesnít have any VU meters on it (no big deal), but it has numerous controls and settings, mini and dual XLR inputs. The good part is it sits under the cam so the cables are out of the way compared to the XLR handle location, the down side is the little knob for the iris and gain thingy is not quite so easy to access (not a biggie). On one of my cams the cam battery release lever is covered but on the AX100 it isnít. However, one of the larger preamps might make accessing the battery release lever not possible, something to check. If buying a used one make sure it comes with the short mini cable to connect it to the cam (or buy separately), preferably with a right-angle connector on at least one end.

The pre works well with the RÝde Stereo VideoMic (takes a cold shoe on the Sony) because the mic has a mini out and the pre has a mini in. This works great for handheld shots and one gets a better noise floor.

If one pokes around on the Internet, and probably the JuicedLink web site, there are some videos that compare the noise floor on the JuicedLink pre to that on a DSLR and I just watched one yesterday but it was with the DAR123 recorder (not a pre but probably uses similar circuitry).

The devil is in the details. Decisions, decisions.
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