Initial reactions to HD-G7 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > JVC ProHD & MPEG2 Camera Systems > JVC Everio GZ-HD and GZ-HM Series

JVC Everio GZ-HD and GZ-HM Series
JVC's Everio Series 3CCD High Definition MPEG2 camcorders.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 19th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
Posts: 711
Initial reactions to HD-G7

Having purchased a G7, Steve Mullins excellent & informative publication, and carefully reviewed the owner's manual, here are my observations to date:

I've drained the battery twice playing around, but have yet to record anything to hard drive. That will be another story for anther time.

Having used still and video cameras for most of my professional career, I find the exposure control design difficult to understand.
1. A white balance, once set, should apply to any and all exposure settings. Auto, program, or manual exposure control shouldn't have any effect upon white balance, but it clearly does. I feel this to be a significant design error that demands a lot of careful advance consideration about the shot before pressing the record button. It is an unnecessary obstacle when one is in a "run-n-gun" situation. Canon cameras, both still and video, make white balance a separate process that applies to all functions. I've found that true for the cameras and settings I use. Fuji still cameras as well as Pentax also apply white balance settings to all exposure methods. All of the preset white balance settings appear to be totally wrong! Use manual WB whenever possible. Outdoor WB presets appear to be easily manageable in post.
2. Aperture Priority settings are in full stops. Shutter priority settings are also in full stops, except for that odd 1/80 setting. Exposure compensation, confusingly labeled as "bright", settings are in 1/3 stops. Huh? Seems like an awfully complicated way to approach things.
3. Virtually all factory presets favor warm, towards red, color balances and higher contrast. There are few in-camera adjustments in this regard, so color correction in post is a must.
4. A camera this light and small has no business incorporating a 10x zoom lens. Unless firmly stabilized, anything beyond 4x is a complete waste to record. Keep the image stabilization turned off. There are after market computer applications that will do a better job.
5. I love the small size and weight! This camera promises to be a wonderful B-roll acquisition tool for me, as long as I stay within its limitations. A small tripod/monopod will be essential.
6. For indoor shooting, staying away from the program settings appears to be essential, as program setting also overrides programmed white balance settings. The poorly labeled "Bright", otherwise universally known as "exposure compensation" for well over 40 years, applies equally to Aperture and Shutter Priority settings will likely be my preferred approach as it also responds to the manual white balance settings I make.
7. Outdoor shooting seems to respond well to "Auto" WB. So far, the only place I have found Auto WB to be useful.
8. I do like the responsive feel of the manual focus ring. Way better than my Canon XL1-s 16X lenses, which still retail for more than the cost of the G7. I also like the gentle way auto-focus slides in, locks on, and slides out.
9. I also like the gentle way the auto-gain and other auto-exposure systems gently respond to changes. I always shoot with significant pre-roll in mind, so the gentle adjustment fits well with my post-production workflow.

I think that is enough observations for now. I'll post more as I get to know this camera better. Responses are always appreciated. The more we know, the better we can all become at mastering this particular tool.
__________________
Waldemar
Waldemar Winkler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19th, 2008, 09:50 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler View Post
Having purchased a G7, Steve Mullins excellent & informative publication, and carefully reviewed the owner's manual, here are my observations to date:

I've drained the battery twice playing around, but have yet to record anything to hard drive. That will be another story for anther time.

Having used still and video cameras for most of my professional career, I find the exposure control design difficult to understand.
1. A white balance, once set, should apply to any and all exposure settings. Auto, program, or manual exposure control shouldn't have any effect upon white balance, but it clearly does. I feel this to be a significant design error that demands a lot of careful advance consideration about the shot before pressing the record button. It is an unnecessary obstacle when one is in a "run-n-gun" situation. Canon cameras, both still and video, make white balance a separate process that applies to all functions. I've found that true for the cameras and settings I use. Fuji still cameras as well as Pentax also apply white balance settings to all exposure methods. All of the preset white balance settings appear to be totally wrong! Use manual WB whenever possible. Outdoor WB presets appear to be easily manageable in post.
2. Aperture Priority settings are in full stops. Shutter priority settings are also in full stops, except for that odd 1/80 setting. Exposure compensation, confusingly labeled as "bright", settings are in 1/3 stops. Huh? Seems like an awfully complicated way to approach things.
3. Virtually all factory presets favor warm, towards red, color balances and higher contrast. There are few in-camera adjustments in this regard, so color correction in post is a must.
4. A camera this light and small has no business incorporating a 10x zoom lens. Unless firmly stabilized, anything beyond 4x is a complete waste to record. Keep the image stabilization turned off. There are after market computer applications that will do a better job.
5. I love the small size and weight! This camera promises to be a wonderful B-roll acquisition tool for me, as long as I stay within its limitations. A small tripod/monopod will be essential.
6. For indoor shooting, staying away from the program settings appears to be essential, as program setting also overrides programmed white balance settings. The poorly labeled "Bright", otherwise universally known as "exposure compensation" for well over 40 years, applies equally to Aperture and Shutter Priority settings will likely be my preferred approach as it also responds to the manual white balance settings I make.
7. Outdoor shooting seems to respond well to "Auto" WB. So far, the only place I have found Auto WB to be useful.
8. I do like the responsive feel of the manual focus ring. Way better than my Canon XL1-s 16X lenses, which still retail for more than the cost of the G7. I also like the gentle way auto-focus slides in, locks on, and slides out.
9. I also like the gentle way the auto-gain and other auto-exposure systems gently respond to changes. I always shoot with significant pre-roll in mind, so the gentle adjustment fits well with my post-production workflow.

I think that is enough observations for now. I'll post more as I get to know this camera better. Responses are always appreciated. The more we know, the better we can all become at mastering this particular tool.
Waldemar Winkler.

Congratulations for your new purchase, I am proud owner of JVC GZHD7, I purchased about one year ago and fully satisfied!

I have not tried manual white balance since I always use in auto mode, and do agree the focusing ring is fantastic, and even I would say the zoom button is very cool, so soft! I have Canon HV20; the zoom button in Canon is not as good as JVC!

Looking forward to read your deeper observations on JVC GZHD7!

I have uploaded some videos on vimeo; here is my profile link if you would like to go thorough!

http://www.vimeo.com/user318721/videos

Kaushik
Kaushik Parmar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2008, 10:17 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
Posts: 711
Since I received my HD7 I've purchased an HD1. However, I've been so busy completing projects I haven't had time to go out and play with the cameras ... but I have had time to work out some tech issues getting both cameras configured the way I need them for wedding work.

Today, after hours of frustration with seemingly no progress on my website redesign, going out and playing with the HD7 was a wonderful idea. I decided to go to the local whitewater park and record any kayakers frolicking in the waves.

The camera was set to manual, 1/250 shutter speed @ f 4.0. A lightweight polarizer (perhaps an exposure reduction of 1 stop) was placed on the lens. Exposure compensation, based on zebra indicators, was set to an additional -1 stop. Auto gain left on. Auto focus left on.

The camera was set to record at 1440 CBR. A monopod fitted with a ball head was used to stabilize the camera. Image stabilization was turned off. White balance set to auto.

Half of the whitewater course was in bright afternoon sun. The other half was in shade from a nearby ridge some 700 feet almost straight up from the water's far edge.

Observations:

The monopod was my saving grace! This camera is extremely sensitive to movement. Getting a stable shot takes concentration.

Polarizer filters work by allowing only parallel light rays to pass through to the CCD sensors. This intensifies both contrast and saturation. Depending upon the amount of grey in the filter, a polarizer can reduce exposure by 2 0 2 1/2 stops. Polarizer filters work best when the lens axis is 90 degrees to the sun.

The beauty of a polarizing filter is that it reduces specular highlights and that you can adjust the outer ring to get just the right amount of highlight you want. In my case today I wanted just a bit of sky reflection in the water as well as off of the hulls of the boats.

Just looking through the viewfinder was a treat. So much better than SD! However, I noticed a one stop difference in light significantly impacts the shadow gradation ... once a kayaker left the sunlit area only the highlights of the water maintained exposure. I was hoping for a bit more exposure latitude.

I moved the camera to a section of the water in shadow and recorded a few minutes of a kayaker playing on the "surf" (the crests of the river's waves) in a "rubber ducky" (a really short boat specifically designed for extreme maneuverability). All I had to do was adjust exposure compensation from -1 to 0. My next step is to put this video onto a waveform monitor and vectorscope to see where the exposure setting really lie.

My biggest issue with the HD7 is it is too small. I'm not a big person, but I can't find the control buttons without moving the camera away from my face and looking for them. A bigger body would have made the camera much more friendly to my hands.
__________________
Waldemar
Waldemar Winkler is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > JVC ProHD & MPEG2 Camera Systems > JVC Everio GZ-HD and GZ-HM Series

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:48 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network