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Old May 18th, 2017, 06:55 AM   #1
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My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300

Ok, so now that I have shot with the JVC GY-LS300 on a actual paid gig I can say now that It is worth the price tag and pound for pound is probably the best quality cam in it's price point and surrounding price points. I originally had the Panasonic Lumix GH5 prior to owning the LS300. I sold the GH5 because of the form factor and a few other issues. When it comes to the LS300 is there is room for some improvements, Yes! After shooting a professional gig yesterday and bringing the footage home for post edit. I'm completely convinced the LS300 is pound for pound the best in it's class considering quality, form factor, and ease of use (These are the 3 things that matter to me).

Improvements I would like to see on the LS300, which I'm sure this has been mentioned before:

*EVF needs serious improvements - JVC Needs to send out an external EVF for the inconvenience. This takes an awesome cam and make it have a cheap cam feel when clearly the quality that comes from this cam is definitely living up to the 4K Hype.
*Flip Screen needs some serious improvement - it is usable, but needs to be made for professionals. Screen needs to be more accurate, larger, and able to serve as a EVF if need be. I should not have to get an external EVF or Monitor to be able to see what is going on accurately. Again you take an awesome cam and cheapen it with this flip screen. Even in front of my clients it looks like a cheap camcorder until they see the results.
*I would like to be able to go back and view my footage - I'm not completely sure that the LS300 doesn't allow this but I looked for it in my shoot yesterday and did not see it. The best I could find was the review that allows me to see the last few seconds I have already recorded.
*Slow Motion - should be a bit quicker on the draw. By the time I make the switch about 10 to 15 seconds has gone by.
*Slow Motion Crop Factor - It crops in on the sensor quite a bit. Needs to be able to use more of the sensor instead of a portion. My next fight that I film I feel I need to have 2 LS300's one to shoot Slow Motion and one for the normal coverage. That should not be...
*Buttons are not user-friendly - I can manage but when you are shooting on the fly you don't want to have to waste time trying to find buttons. The feel of them are hard to distinguish when you are not looking directly at them. (I was trying to switch back and forth to Focus Assist and as many times that I have hit that button it still was hard to develop a memory for it because of the way it feels when you run your fingers across it.)
*Image Stabilization - I'm not sure if JVC opted not to include the IS because of the ND filters or not. Maybe it was a either or situation. I much rather have the ND's if I had to choose between the two. But IS would be awesome.
*Microphone - It is not terribly bad but it does not match the quality of the footage. Again you take an awesome cam and cheapen it.
*8bit vs 10bit - Would like to have 10 bit for more information but this is not necessarily a gripe it is a want.

So these are my initial gripes with this camera. A professional Videographer wants a professional camera all the way around. It would be great not to have to modularize (yes it is a word google it, lol!) that cam because it does not have professional consistency. On the other hand it may be the reasons that it is around $2600 brand new. I got mine for $2k used on B&H. I caught a hell of a deal. the cam looks brand spanking new and came in a box as if it was brand new. It was listed condition 9 out of 10.

Now to the Pro's:

*J-log - I love the j-log. It gives the ability to take advantage of the nice size dynamic range. J-log came free and with other cams like the GH5 they cost extra. Panasonic wants $100 and sony wants $500. I use J-log in conjunction with the Leeming Lut as mentioned here on this site. At this point the only way to shoot IMHO!
*Quality - The fruit becomes the fact. You can't dispute the fruit. It is definitely professional grade results.
*Histogram, Zebra, Focus Assist - Very valuable to have as aids while shooting.
*Light Form Factor - the camera is actually light compared to some other cams that can deliver the same ball park of quality.
*Build Quality - The build is ok. It is not exceptionally durable but definitely not something that will far apart in your hands while filming. You have to be mindful of handling with care, but this is a must for me regardless no matter the build quality.
*Top Handle - Top handle makes this cam easier to lug around. The handle feels solid and attached very well.
*Interchangeable lenses - This is very awesome and a great benefit. One of the main reasons I considered this cam. I only have two for this cam so far Rokinon 35mm T1.5 Full Frame & 50mm T1.5 Full Frame. The shallow DOF is wicket with these lenses and will give you a run for your money.
*Digital Zoom - I had this on my old Sony EA50 and it is great to have it back again.
*Affordable Media - Yesterday shooting the promotional event showed me that I need to get the 128gb cards instead of the 64's. I filled one card and had less than 20 minutes remaining on the second one. The media is very affordable.
*Battery Life - The battery life was surprising considering the format that I was shooting 4K 150Mbs. That battery held up great. I do need to get an extra but I got the 2 hours of footage on and off record and left that event and went to the TV station and shot another boxer's interview BTS from behind the TV Station cameras. I still had battery life to spare.
*Slow Motion - Although it takes 10 to 15 seconds to switch it is still good to have on the cam.


So these are the things that I can think of off the top of my head. I will be buying a second LS300 as I believe it will be awesome for my wedding events. Keep in mind I'm coming from the Sony FS100's. I have three of them that I'm dumping. I jumped on the GH5 for a hot second but that was not long lived. I found a home with JVC GY-LS300. I would encourage any professional videographer to do the same if they are looking to upgrade from HD to 4K. This cam will not break the bank and the quality that it produces will make you a believer.
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Old May 18th, 2017, 07:39 AM   #2
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Re: My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300

Aaron: I've had my LS300 for over a year, along with several other cameras, and I agree with your initial assessment (BTW, above the LCD door there's a button labeled MODE. Hold that down and the camera switches to a function where you can view all your clips on the LCD, selecting with the joy stick)..

I do have several major gripes. The first is 8 bit, which I've gone on about before and won't again.

The second is the fact that parfocal zooms, like legacy S16 lenses, don't act parfocal on this camera - that was a big disappointment for me because I have four S16 zooms I've kept since my film days... Even contemporary zooms (the Olympus 12-40 or Lumix 35-100) that "act" parfocal on other MFT cameras - like the GH4, Black Magic Packet and Micro - don't act parfocal on the 300... That';s a PITA for a documentary cameraman with long established habits...

The hinge on the LCD doo, which seems to be endemic with JVC - read posts about that elsewhere here - I've taped my with black gaffer's tape, which means it won't swivel, but I use a Gratical EVF, and only use the LCD for menus anyway...

Biggest "pro" - I've said it before and I'll say it again - the Prime Zoom feature - I love using small, light, fast prime lenses, and this feature makes doing that even more fun for an old handheld documentarian...
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Old May 18th, 2017, 02:29 PM   #3
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Re: My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300

Let me respond to your first impressions with some thoughts that go one way or the other. Intended as discussion not criticism (hopefully):

1) The EVF is really unusable for a bespectacled person like me. I never use it. External EVFs are way too expensive for the middle ground I would like for comfortable camera work. I did get an external LCD screen but that takes away the shoe mount from my good directional mike's shock mount.

2) The flip LCD screen is strangely off color compared to other JVC camera LCD screens. It looks a lot worse than the image I get on file. Working with all sorts of viewfinders that didn't give a real representation of the recorded image over the past 37 years, I can live with it but why should I? The wiggly attachment to the main body is a turn off. What I would like is a LCD loupe that mounts to the camera and strengthens the LCD connection to the main body. I don't expect anybody to make one.

3) Reviewing the footage isn't that hard but I get the feeling that the sort of review you want wouldn't happen fast enough with this camera.

4) The complex electronics that have to be adjusted to enable Slow Motion (or a switch to any other frame rate / format) won't allow the sort of quick change you are looking for. Sounds like you are looking for a quick switch like on an old 16mm film camera. Unfortunately you'll need a second camera set to slow motion for the entirety of your shoot. Maybe that should not be but it is. Also the camera might be using it's processing power to enable 120fps which can't then be used to down-res a larger portion of the imaging sensor. A very wide lens is probably the answer.

5) The buttons are usually very well placed compared to other large format video cameras in this price range. Of course they are not the same as my other JVC cameras so I get befuddled. I will agree with you regarding the placement of the exposure knob with the ND filter knob. I still grab the wrong knob and flip a filter instead of a slight exposure adjustment.

6) Image Stabilization. Boy it would be nice if we could figure out if the in-lens IS is working. JVC probably had a number of reasons to not include IS in the LS300 body, one being that using a lens with working IS and working IS on in the body would create a very unstable image.

7) It's a poor microphone, personally I don't care as I use it for reference audio usually. Should JVC offer a better mike for extra? Maybe.

8) 10-bit has a place in production but is the average viewer going to see the difference? Nope, at least that's my experience.

Included is a still from an interview I filmed yesterday. No CC yet, 20mm Lumix lens, f1.4, zoomed in a bit with Virtual Zoom, camera was set to Rec709. The tiny, tiny room had a large table between me and the subject so I didn't get the DOF I wanted and he had to leave quickly. The background, lights, sound and camera were set up by me alone in less than 15 minutes.
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Last edited by William Hohauser; May 19th, 2017 at 11:40 AM.
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Old May 18th, 2017, 05:05 PM   #4
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Re: My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300

@William Hohauser - Yes about the Slow Mo I agree totally. Again I came from the Sony FS100 and they have a 2 button function that enables the slow motion. It is not 120fps but... It was just my thoughts.

I really appreciate your point of view. Thank you for responding. I meant to create a thread that has all the tips and tricks for the LS300. That way a noob like me could go through the the thread and pick up on a lot of things and features that was not known. Like when Steve mentioned about the Mode button allowing you to scroll through your recorded clips.

I wish I had a place I could go like this for my Red. I can't find a forum that is active for a Red One Mysterium X at the moment. Maybe as they are getting a little more popular DVinfo may create a spot for them.

BTW William that setup looks very nice on that screen grab. Nicely done!
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Old May 18th, 2017, 09:36 PM   #5
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Re: My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300

At the Boston area pro video trade show I attended today, JVC had on display a LS300 with a Rokinon 35mm 1.5 prime lens attached. The camera output was fed to what appeared to be a 19" JVC production monitor. I played with the digital virtual zoom and was impressed how well the image held up when zoomed in. I noticed no loss of image quality when zoomed in with this lens. I am now considering using primes when doing interviews instead of the Olympus pro zoom lenses I have been using.
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Old May 18th, 2017, 11:19 PM   #6
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Re: My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300

The Prime Zoom is a great feature, both for being able to zoom with prime lenses for different shots, and for lengthening the the reach on a zoom lens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Jones Sr. View Post
Digital Zoom - I had this on my old Sony EA50 and it is great to have it back again.
fwiw, I don't think it's correct to call it a digital zoom, that's why there's no image loss, it's something about using the extra sensor space, not digitizing the image and changing it.

Last edited by Jay P. Kaley; May 19th, 2017 at 03:26 PM.
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Old May 19th, 2017, 12:02 PM   #7
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Re: My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300

Well, to confirm my enthusiasm for this camera I just got a second LS300 on eBay for $1850 ilisted in pristine condituon with 3 large batteries and a double charger. Im super pleased! Just need to figure out my Red One Camera issue.
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Old May 19th, 2017, 02:45 PM   #8
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Re: My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300

Will you sell the Red and if so for how much?
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Old May 19th, 2017, 04:07 PM   #9
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Re: My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300

Quote:
Originally Posted by Courtney Baynes View Post
Will you sell the Red and if so for how much?
I would sell the Red for what I paid for it.

Red One MX - $3500
Red 640gb Hard Drive - $350
Benro H8 Tripod & Heavy Duty Dolly Wheels - $425
Note: The Spreader on the tripod does not lock in place and that is why I got it so cheap. it is actually a $800 tripod used and $1100 New


I would let it all go for $4000

* Red One Mysterium 4.5K Camera
* Red One 640gb Hard Drive W/ Red Hard Drive Cable
* Red One 5" Monitor W/ Red Monitor Cable
* Red One Rail Bottom & Top Receiver
* Red One V-mount Battery Plate W/ Red Power Cable
* 4 - 19mm Stainless Steel Rail Rods
* 3 - Pro-X XP-L95RED V-mount Batteries
* Sony V-mount 4 bay Battery Charger
Attached Thumbnails
My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300-18447017_1908543976082630_224046509698524883_n.jpg   My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300-18527614_1908543962749298_2536518457168806336_n.jpg  

My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300-18485688_1908544082749286_275302841509217320_n.jpg   My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300-18519791_1908544052749289_1711020297806477858_n.jpg  

My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300-18519894_1908544019415959_8000465103742499773_n.jpg   My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300-18485365_1908543999415961_4308558620601142901_n.jpg  

My First Impression of JVC GY-LS300-18556330_1908544109415950_1158413833412044307_n.jpg  
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