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

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Old August 22nd, 2008, 04:52 PM   #1
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GZ-HD3 and absolut beginner

HI from Greece. First sorry about my english-american. I'm a total begginer in video shooting and now start my road. I have one SONY HI8 the CCD-TRV87E and decide to buy one digital. I started to look one for 350EURO the max. All was 0,8 megapixel and few above 1mp. As i was searching the 350 raise to 610 because finally i found a site and bought the JVC GZ-HD3 which was entering the HD zone. I found this site when i was searching for a review about the digital camcorders. So here i am with a GZ-HD3 and try to learn about it. I also have one SAMSUNG HD ready LCD TV the 32R86. I will have many questions to ask so if someone would help i would appreciate it. Let's start.
1) Inside the menu of the camera it has 2 selection (COMPONENT OUTPUT): a)576i and b)1080i. Is there any problem if i put the b) 1080i and connect to my TV which is 1366x768?
2) What's better to shoot with XP or the CBR? and why? (better quality, better video editing)
3) Are there any video-editing HD programms to work with LINUX and HD?
4) Are there any good internet links with how-to, tutorials about taking video shots? And also some that explain terminology?
5) Also i have one ATHLON 64X2 Dual 4200+ with 2g DDR2 800Mhz, mobo GIGABYTE GA-M56S-S3 and one MSI RX2600PRO-T2D256E 256MB GPU with windows XP Sp3(and looking to switch to linux). My monitor is the VP171b VIEWSONIC (PC VGA up to 1280x1024 non-interlaced, HDTV 480p, 720p). Will i have any problem to edit HD?

Sorry for these questions but i'm trying to learn. :o
Kostas Papadakis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 23rd, 2008, 02:43 PM   #2
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GZ-HD3 and absolut beginner

Hello Kostas and welcome to DVInfo.

It is nice to see another JVC user join the group. I believe you will find many people here like yourself and willing to exchange information and help whenever possible. Like you, I come from the old taped based HI-8, SVHS, Betacam formats.

So, let us see if we can answer some of your inquiries. What I can tell you is based on the US NTSC model of the HD3. Hopefully, someone with the PAL model can clarify some of the differences.

The HD3 has Component and HDMI output. If your TV has HDMI it should sense the signal being sent from the camera and adjust itself to the proper aspect for viewing. Component will not do this. If you plug the Component output into your TV, I don't think it's going to explode. The view or aspect may not appear correctly however.

There are 2 settings the HD3 records at, XP/SP is one setting, but is actually 2 “quality levels”. The other setting is 1440CBR. XP mode shoots in 1440x1080 resolution but is stretched to 1920x1080 when played back. It uses VBR (Variable Bit Rate) that records at different rates, an average of 26Mbps up to 30Mbps, depending on the amount of action. The next level down in terms of “quality” is SP mode. This records at 1440x1080 VBR as well, but at a lower bit rate, an average of 19Mbps up to 22Mbps. The other setting is 1440CBR which has the same resolution, but records CBR (Constant Bit Rate) of 27Mbps. The SP mode will give you about 7 hours of recording, while the remaining two will give you about 5 hours. Depending on your level of acceptance to compression, you may not notice a major difference in the different modes. Needless to say, the lower the quality and bit rate, the more artifacts or stuttering may be seen.

As for what you intend to do with the video you shoot, it may determine how you shoot. If you are going to edit the videos, 1440CBR is probably the way to go. The reason is because this format is compatible with any NLE (Non Linear Editor) that can read the HDV files. To edit the XP or SP modes you will need to convert the video. The Cyberlink program that came with the camera has been written to do this and allow you to import, edit and render a finished video. It may not be the greatest NLE, but it does work. XP/SP seems to be modes JVC uses to be viewed directly off the camera. XP/SP may visually appear better in quality, but it is the file conversion that can be a hassle. 1440CBR is easier because of the compatibility and constant bit rate.

For what it is worth, I should also mention the following. The HD3 uses DIS, (Digital Image Stabilization). DIS creates a buffer around the frame to reduce image instability. The flip side of DIS is reduced resolution. Whenever possible, turn DIS off, unless it is absolutely necessary.

Linux HD editors . . . Here you may have a problem. There are some Linux NLE programs, Kino, LVE, and a commercial program called Main Actor that I'm aware of. Most are in alpha or beta release and are capture or simple cut-only editors. Jahshaka is another program, but is mostly a special effects editor. Is this the way to go? Right now, my opinion is no. Windows and Apple Mac NLEs are more widely supported and available at this time and probably will be for the foreseeable future.

Internet links I'm sure abound. Even here on DVInfo you can find some of the information you are asking for. There are books and videos, such as the productions from VAAST for example. I will leave this for others to give you some choices.

Your final question is a goody! I believe you will get many responses on this too. In general, the larger and faster you can go, the better. For equipment requirements, my view is a “MINIMUM” of 2.4Ghz dual core Pentium or AMD Athlon, 2GB of RAM, a video card with 256MB dedicated video memory and a second hard drive. You should be able to edit HD with your system, the question is how long or slow will it be. HD and AVCHD does place an enormous burden on the hardware. CPU usage of 90% to 100%, even on dual core processors is not uncommon during rendering. The more complex the footage, titles, special effects, transitions, etc. the more power and memory needed. The second hard drive although not a requirement becomes a necessary peripheral as a storage medium for
captured and rendered videos. It allows the operating system and NLE to work better off of the main drive, while the footage resides on another.

Well, I hope that answers some of your questions and gets the ball rolling for others to chime in.

I wish you the best of luck with your new camera, and hope to hear from you again. Let's see some fantastic footage of Greece!

All the Best to You!
Manuel Correa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 23rd, 2008, 11:40 PM   #3
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Hi again from Greece. Thanks a lot for the answers. I think i will learn a lot in here. When i will make a good film i will show you. My english-american are awful but 8/10 i can understand what you say. Best regards to all of you and especiall to Manuel Correa
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Old October 19th, 2008, 11:01 AM   #4
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Here is the link for the GZ-HD3US user manual :
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Old October 31st, 2008, 04:48 PM   #5
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Have anyone used more than 4gb SDHC cards on the GZ-HD3 or the GZ-HD7?
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