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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 September 17th, 2016, 02:26 PM   #16
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

Thanks for all the input, feedback, and reports everyone. I'm leaning towards not getting the Ursa Mini. Just too many problems with the image at this point... asymmetric magenta tinting, cross-hatching, audio ports and SDI ports going bad, etc. It's just not reliable enough to feel comfortable with.

I'm not too concerned with the 8-bit. Banding would be the only thing that would probably bother me, and I have ways of reducing that in post. (power window, blur, add grain, etc.) And I definitely like the idea of 150Mb/s bitrate vs. the much higher bit rates of raw and ProRes. If I need something better for a shoot it will probably be a bigger more important shoot that I'd probably need/want to rent a more reliable camera than the Ursa Mini anyway.

So I'm leaning even more towards the LS300. I have some PL lenses right now that I could get an adapter for and might get some EF lenses, zooms, etc. down the road. Seems like it might be the right option for now.

Is anyone powering the camera with Gold Mount batteries? I'd like to use my Gold Mount batteries so I have only one battery for the camera, EVF, external monitor, and wireless follow focus, but am unable to find a battery plate that either has an adapter for the battery contacts on the camera or a cable to the DC port. Even a d-tap to DC cable would work. Thoughts?
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Old September 17th, 2016, 02:43 PM   #17
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

Would having more bandwidth be something possible in a firmware update or can't the LS300 hardware handle more than 150mb/s? or is it a limitation of the SDXC card speed?
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Old September 17th, 2016, 03:48 PM   #18
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

Bang-for-the-buck wise, I don't think bitrates higher than 150Mbps would make a significant difference in J-Log1 encoding. At that rate you get about an hour of footage on a 64GB card, just enough for filming most live event performnces. I've examined the encoding of I-frames produced by the LS300 and macroblock artifacts are only rarely perceptible at 100% magnification. The H.264 encoder's motion tracking is clearly hardware-assisted (like Nikon's), making it significanty more efficient (smarter) than the software encoder used in Panasonic's GH line.

If JVC has any more firmware updates in mind, I'd much prefer they apply their skills to supporting image stabilization on a far wider range of Panasonic lenses. Second priority would be displaying both audio meter and histogram at the same time, and providing an option to display the HUD on external monitors. As for video, what would make a huge difference is any kind of 10-bit color, even if only through the HDMI port.
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Old September 17th, 2016, 03:58 PM   #19
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

HUD on external monitors + 10 bit color through HDMI would be fantastic!
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Old September 17th, 2016, 05:23 PM   #20
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

A lot of the JVC marketing material, particularly their whitepaper about the LS300, promotes the low bandwidth requirements (8-bit, 150Mbps, etc.) as benefits rather than limitations. Not sure if that's just marketing gymnastics or a sincere objective for the product line, but it makes one doubt JVC has any plans to make this a 10-bit camera.
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Old September 18th, 2016, 01:07 AM   #21
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

from what i see, i think they don't have any more big plans for the ls300, but hopefully i am wrong
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Old September 18th, 2016, 09:50 AM   #22
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

There is a glut of large sensor format videocamera models on the market now. There would have to be a large demand for the LS300 to inspire JVC to anything outside of incremental improvements.

Please remind me as this information isn't in JVC booklet that came with the camera: Is the SDI output also 8bit or is the camera processing everything at 8bit therefore whatever the SDI is, that's all we get?
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Old September 21st, 2016, 03:42 PM   #23
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

There is a glut of large sensor cameras to be sure... but not of large sensor cameras with MFT mounts. The single biggest advantage that the LS300 has is its ability to be a big camera with the larger EF, PL or vintage still lenses, or to trim down with smaller, lighter MFT and even S16 and 16 lenses. Combined with the Prime Zoom, this camera is like no other.

However, I agree that its unlikely JVC will continue the line - and thats a real shame. Their marketing team should be taken out and shot, because they let this one slip through their fingers.

BTW I believe the only output possible with SDI or HDMI is 8bit... Seems like this was discussed here early on.

Another BTW - many have complained of the "cheap" plastic construction. I've been using my camera, mostly handheld, in a variety of adverse conditions for over a year and haven't had a single problem. To my mind, the plastic construction makes it light, with less mass, and thus easier to handle. Football helmets are made of plastic too...

I only use the LCD as a menu (I use an EVF) so maybe that hinge is weak and would be an issue, but in my limited use it hasn't been a problem.
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Old September 22nd, 2016, 12:00 PM   #24
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

JVC has always had a PR problem regarding their pro lines. And by always I mean for 30 plus years. It doesn't help that the LS300 came out after many people have settled on their camera of choice and purchased all the additional equipment to make those camera as functional as the LS300 is out of the box. Also as a freelancer I get clients fixated on "Canon" or "Sony", rarely "Panasonic", never "JVC". They have no idea why they must have that but they must. Perhaps if JVC just loaned some LS300s to a high profile project they could change that but who knows.

Personally I waited a while to get my LS300 because I had already set myself up with a GH3 and a GH2 with all the addition equipment to successfully film interviews and I have two HM600s for jobs that can't be covered properly with large format sensors. A concert shoot recently for example. When a big documentary job approached (and a potential one requiring travel) I purchased the LS300 to have a more efficient traveling package as well as some for additional benefits the LS300 gives. Now I don't need a separate audio recorder or a clumsy audio adapter for sound (unless I have an audio person with me), I removed the loupe from the GH3 so it packs smaller and the LS300 sets up quick for those sometimes impatient interview subjects.

Will JVC update the camera with a "400" or "350"? Hard to tell at this point. I'll be sorry if they drop the line entirely.
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Old September 22nd, 2016, 12:20 PM   #25
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

The did the 2 Heist shorts. But that is just too little an effort
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Old September 22nd, 2016, 09:56 PM   #26
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

It's a more difficult decision now with the GH5 announcement. 4K, 10-bit, 4:2:2, probably under $2000. Add a speedbooster and you're not too far away from a Suepr 35 size sensor. I know it's a different form factor and lacks the audio inputs unless you also buy the add-on, but it's still 10-bit 4:2:2 which I feel is a bigger deal.
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Old September 23rd, 2016, 12:16 AM   #27
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

Had I not got the Ls300 I would have waited for the GH5. However there's still no release date for that, and if you need to start filming now, you might miss opportunities/work if you keep on waiting
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Old September 23rd, 2016, 07:45 AM   #28
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

Re GH5 - I have two Pocket Cameras, and they are the best $1,500 investment I've ever made (one was $500 during a sale). Of course, once you add cages, EVF, NDs, IRs, pre-amp or external audio recorder, and the myriad of other add-ons, it starts to be way more... That would be true of the Panasonic as well...

I was attracted to the LS300 because I could use the same lenses, and not have to dick around with constantly changing filters, unexpected moire (it can be really bad) and syncing double system audio in post (often many hours of footage with hundreds of clips - I make documentaries exclusively).

The specs on the GH5 are very impressive, I've always liked Panasonic's images (I've owned 2 DVXs, an HPX500, HVX200, and an AF100) but the thought of going back to a camera that requires all that extra hassle - for my kind of work at least - isn't very appealing - plus they're saying mid '17, which usually means late '17.

I only hope another 10 bit option - with MFT, XLRs and internal NDs - jumps on this bandwagon before my LS300 dies from overwork.
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Old September 23rd, 2016, 09:04 AM   #29
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

How long has the LS300 existed? 1.5 years? so far I have heard of no cases where the camera was damaged or needed repairs....
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Old September 23rd, 2016, 09:45 AM   #30
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Re: LS300 for narrative filmmaking?

B.J. I haven't heard anything drastic either - some problems with QC (I had early issues and sent back two before getting a good one) and the LCD hinge, which has been mentioned a few times...

What I'm saying is, in this marketing of technology environment, everything becomes obsolete quickly (I often joke with students when I guest lecture that when you buy a new camera its already obsolete before the batteries are charged). And as a result, broadcast standards keep upping the anti (if you do that sort of thing - I do) and the trend is clearly for 10 bit, or even 12... and they're even looking past the 4K buzz word, which is ridiculous...

My comment about my camera dying from overwork was meant as a joke - which hardly ever works on the internet. But practically speaking, if there is no true successor to the LS300 (which I still consider a successor to the AF100) then what happens?

I'm 72 and still handhold after 50 years as a professional, often for 8 to 10 hours a day. I don't want an Ursa Mini or a C300 or an FS7 with the resulting bigger lenses with shorter zoom ranges and T4 maximum apertures. And I certainly don't want a poorly featured still camera.

I continue to campaign for the future of the LS300 because, IMHO, it is the best thought out camera of its kind in the market... and with the simple addition of an EVF like the Gratical mounted off the handle, it becomes the best light weight. big sensor camera for my kind of work. And the pictures are stunning.

When I read some of the negative comments on sites like B&H, I wonder who's behind this effort to denigrate the camera. I'm not stupid, and I'm a pro, not a fan boy - and I can tell good from bad... This is a good camera that could be a great camera with further development from JVC.
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