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Old September 16th, 2016, 01:44 PM   #1
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Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

Hi folks. I'm one of a handful of people on the various camera forums investigating the purchase of a JVC GY-LS300 versus the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini.

I can easily get a demo of the URSA Mini, as there are 10 authorized resellers in the Metro Vancouver area, but the LS300 is proving to be impossible to see in advance. There are only two authorized JVC Pro resellers here, and neither has one to try.

The main thing I'd want to see in person are the purported build issues (i.e. "feels flimsy") and the image quality of the LCD and viewfinder (many consider them "unusable"). I consider both of those concerns to be subjective enough that it would be prudent to make those evaluations personally.

Are there any owners of the LS300 around Vancouver, BC, willing to spend an hour or two to show it off?
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Old September 16th, 2016, 05:45 PM   #2
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

Quote:
and the image quality of the LCD and viewfinder (many consider them "unusable")
The peaking is very good and accurate so as long as you use that and magnified focus to double check and as long as you use the zebras and histogram and manually whitebalance you always will come home with perfect looking footage. Anyone saying the lcd screen and viewfinder are "unusable" probably are guessing their whitebalance based on what they see on the screen instead of actually making a manual whitebalance and in that case I agree that the screen doesn't give a accurate representation of color.
Eventhough this camera has a usable automode it is a camera that should be operated fully manual for best results and in that case the lcd and viewfinder are just fine.
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Old September 17th, 2016, 11:48 AM   #3
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Thurston View Post
Hi folks. I'm one of a handful of people on the various camera forums investigating the purchase of a JVC GY-LS300 versus the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini.

I can easily get a demo of the URSA Mini, as there are 10 authorized resellers in the Metro Vancouver area, but the LS300 is proving to be impossible to see in advance. There are only two authorized JVC Pro resellers here, and neither has one to try.

The main thing I'd want to see in person are the purported build issues (i.e. "feels flimsy") and the image quality of the LCD and viewfinder (many consider them "unusable"). I consider both of those concerns to be subjective enough that it would be prudent to make those evaluations personally.

Are there any owners of the LS300 around Vancouver, BC, willing to spend an hour or two to show it off?
I have the same concerns and interest. Noa, thanks for your input, I have no doubt that what you're saying is true and still I'd want to see for myself.

I'm wondering if there are other potential buyers in the Vancouver area in addition to Earl and myself and if we all approached the local JVC dealers we might persuade one of them to bring a camera in.
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Old September 17th, 2016, 12:27 PM   #4
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

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Originally Posted by Jase Tanner View Post
...if we all approached the local JVC dealers we might persuade one of them to bring a camera in.
Give Annex Pro a shout. I've been in touch with them already, and if they start getting more requests it may give them a bit more pull with JVC. I'll send you a couple of email contacts privately, or you can use their Contact Us form on their website. (They're one of those good companies who follow up right away; haven't heard a thing yet from BSE.)
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Old September 19th, 2016, 04:13 PM   #5
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

I've now received a response from BSE. The listed contact was out of town when I sent my inquiry to them. They're trying to get a demo unit from JVC.
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Old September 20th, 2016, 04:48 AM   #6
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Anyone saying the lcd screen and viewfinder are "unusable" probably are guessing their whitebalance based on what they see on the screen instead of actually making a manual whitebalance
When I'm shooting corporate drama I use a Small HD DP4 at all times, and I can white balance using a card most of the time. But I can only use the JVC LCD in peaking mode as that's all it's good for.

Nearly every situation I've ever shot in was mixed lighting, and getting the best white balance isn't always as simple as using a two dimensional grey/white card. I'll use the resulting colour temperature reading along with the temp readout on my LED lights (which I trust) and often dial in a manual temperature instead. The LCD on my LS300 gives no idea how the final image will look. It's not remotely close, which is really odd.

I'm sure there are many situations where we'd agree that a manual white balance isn't possible, like when working on a long lens with a distant subject and no setup time (conferences for example)

I still trust my FS100 screen even though it's a touchscreen and it's seen years of service, my EX1 screen backlight is starting to dim, but it's fine with a loupe. The truth is that both the screens on the LS300 are it's weakest points, both in terms of image and mechanically.

The viewfinder is a pathetic joke and I took the eyepiece off soon after I bought it to save it getting going the way. My LS300 LCD is almost falling off. It was under warranty but I didn't have chance to send it in for repair when the dealer had no idea how long it would be gone. I sometimes my EX1 hoodman on my LS300 which may have caused the issue, but again a loupe is essential for outdoor work.

I'll have to dismantle the JVC myself I think. I can see the screw that is loose, but it needs to be tightened and locktite added from the inside of the camera.
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Old September 20th, 2016, 05:12 AM   #7
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

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I'm sure there are many situations where we'd agree that a manual white balance isn't possible
With the ls300 you either do a manual whitebalance with a card, dial the kelvin in yourself, select a preset or hope the autowhitebalance will guess it right but you don't use the screen to judge if it's right, that's why I said that those who say the screen is unusable probably are using the screen as a visual reference for color which you cannot trust like you said. The screen and viewfinder are certainly the weakest parts of the ls300 but having a wrong whitebalance is not the camera's fault.
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Old September 20th, 2016, 06:03 AM   #8
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

Of course, we all know that the screen is untrustworthy and we work around the issue.
But knowing that the colours and overall image is totally wrong doesn't remove the blame from the camera.

I can't give the camera to another operator without first explaining the poor colour rendition compared to every other camera I own/they've ever used. It's annoying and sad. If a client wants looks over my shoulder and wants to see a colour image I have to point them to another screen (if I'm using one).

Imagine if the LS300 had a really noisy headphone output amp.
Sure you'd expect that the recording would be OK once your in the edit suite, but what if there's was another source of noise and you couldn't tell if it was the original signal or the dodgy headphone amp.
Surely then you'd suggest it was the fault of the camera...

Many LS300 reviews criticised the plasticy body and the poor screens but I don't think anyone has actually had a problem with the plastic body. Whereas the screen is a real operational problem which needs the addition of a decent second monitor. And in the $3-4k market that's often out of people budget.

If they'd removed the pointless viewfinder and charged another 150 for a LCD stronger screen with proper colour rendition and a lightweight loupe then the LS300 may well have sold much better.

The feature set is really great otherwise.
I hope that JVC continue to improve upon the LS300 with higher frame rates, 10bit and a better screen.

Oh and please, a proper tripod mount.
Look at the bottom of an FS100: 6x 1/4 inch threads and 2x 3/8 inch threads plus a pin hole!
The LS300 mount is too far forward and really weak looking.
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Old September 20th, 2016, 06:47 AM   #9
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

About 10 years ago I shot with a professional schouldercamera during a videocourse that had no color viewfinder, it was only B/W and our teacher would hit us in the head if we came back from a shoot with a wrong whitebalance. :) The high quality screens some camera's have these days have spoiled us and the ls300 screen is certainly not up to todays standards but again, eventhough I would prefer to have a color accurate screen this should not prevent anyone to make a right whitebalance, like 10 years ago you don't need a color screen to make or set a whitebalance.

Quote:
I can't give the camera to another operator without first explaining the poor colour rendition compared to every other camera I own/they've ever used. It's annoying and sad.
I would be worried If I knew they only would use the screen as visual reference to guess if it's right. That says more about the experience of that operator then the camera.

Quote:
If a client wants looks over my shoulder and wants to see a color image I have to point them to another screen (if I'm using one).
If you know you have a client that wants to see the footage during the shoot you take a extra and bigger screen with you, if you don't have that with you or don't have the budget for it that not the camera's fault either. :)

Now I know what you are trying to say, the screens are not that good but they are good enough to get all the basics right, it just takes a bit more effort to get there.
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Old September 20th, 2016, 07:35 AM   #10
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

20 years ago when I shot on Betacam I had to contend with monochrome viewfinders, a filter wheel and totally awful images, but I also had to contend with a composite edit suite and the 8 field sequence. That was all a long time ago.

When I tell my 20 something assistants with their PHDs that this brilliant camera has screens which look worse than my ancient VX2000, it clearly affects why they don't buy one for themselves. Even though they really like the form factor of a 'proper' camera.

They didn't have to experience the bad old days of annoying complex kit and broadcast systems, whether that's a good or bad thing depends on your point of view. But in the context of 2016 having a screen where the colours are just plain wrong is really rubbish IMO.

Cheers!
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Old September 20th, 2016, 08:14 AM   #11
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

Which camera comes with an LCD or a color viewfinder that you would completely trust regarding anything? I trust none of them especially on the DSLR style cameras I have worked with. The best I expect is to know that I am within range of the lighting used, indoor or outdoor and the exposure isn't way out if the zebra is turned off.

I too come from a time where black and white viewfinders were the only option but you could at least trust them for focus (mostly). I would actually prefer a sharp b/w viewfinder over these not quite good at anything color viewfinders. Unfortunately the ergonomics of the new cameras make viewfinders frequently impossible to use in many circumstances.

All that said, I find the LS300 LCD to be strangely off compared to other JVC camera LCDs. Mine has a yellow cast that fortunately doesn't show up in the file. Why is a good question. Perhaps there is a firmware update that could correct the color cast of the LCD.
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Old September 20th, 2016, 01:05 PM   #12
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

I, too, have experience with less-than-ideal viewfinders and LCD's on cameras. The LCD and EVF on the HD100 weren't fantastic, but once one gets accustomed to their specific quirks and characteristics, one tends to mentally compensate for the issues. That's part of knowing your equipment. Hence why I put "unusable" in scare quotes -- I doubt they're truly unusable. It's just a matter of seeing to what degree they're usable.

What concerns me more are the reports of (a) the LCD hinge working loose, and (b) the diopter adjustment on the EVF breaking. The latter issue I think can be dealt with through careful handling, but if the hinge works loose because an internal screw comes undone through normal usage, that's far more troubling.
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Old September 20th, 2016, 01:25 PM   #13
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

I have a 5 year warranty on my ls300 so I won't have to a loose any sleep over a loose lcd screen as that should be covered by the supplier to repair free of charge
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Old September 21st, 2016, 09:12 PM   #14
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

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Originally Posted by Earl Thurston View Post
I've now received a response from BSE. The listed contact was out of town when I sent my inquiry to them. They're trying to get a demo unit from JVC.
I've been non stop since I first posted here but I'll call BSE and annex pro tomorrow.
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Old September 26th, 2016, 11:49 PM   #15
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Re: Any GY-LS300 Users in Vancouver, BC Area?

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Originally Posted by Duncan Craig View Post
When I'm shooting corporate drama I use a Small HD DP4 at all times, and I can white balance using a card most of the time. But I can only use the JVC LCD in peaking mode as that's all it's good for.

Nearly every situation I've ever shot in was mixed lighting, and getting the best white balance isn't always as simple as using a two dimensional grey/white card.
I'm using a white card to set the camera whitebalance, and also take a shot of a black-gray-white card so I can adjust more easily in post, just in case the LS300 fails to set a proper whitebalance.

Is there a more effective way to do whitebalance on the LS300 or am I doing it all right?
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