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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 December 12th, 2008, 04:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Oostgraftdijk, Netherlands
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expanding my horizon

Hi

My name is Bert and I am the proud owner of an HD7

My first movie which i intend to post on vimeo soon, was of a trip to Alaska (being Dutch it was quite special to us)

The movie was shot in HD on the HD7 and edited on FCP6 with the help of a real editor.

I had never filmed before and made many mistakes, some of which the editor was able to correct such as "anti wobble". color corrections.

Unfortunately my tripod was a photocam one, a Gitzo Basalt, and it did not work for me. So I will need at least a new head for it which is suitable for this camcorder. Suggestions?

My second experience was i need a light on my camera, especially indoors to complement the basic lights in the house, preferably a led one. Suggestions?

Thirdly i hear people on this forum talking about filters. Why do the need them and are they worthwhile?

Finally, is there a comfortable "steadycam" type holder which can be worn during longer walks or all of them either too heavy or not functioning well? Recommendations?

Thank you so much for your answers to this novice and Merry Christmas!

Last edited by Bert van Horck; December 13th, 2008 at 03:05 PM.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 07:03 PM   #2
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Location: Durango, Colorado, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert van Horck View Post
Hi

My name is Bert and I am the proud owner of an HD7

My first movie which i intend to post on vimeo soon, was of a trip to Alaska (being Dutch it was quite special to us)

The movie was shot in HD on the HD7 and edited on FCP6 with the help of a real editor.

I had never filmed before and made many mistakes, some of which the editor was able to correct such as "anti wobble". color corrections.

Unfortunately my tripod was a photocam one, a Gitzo Basalt, and it did not work for me. So I will need at least a new head for it which is suitable for this camcorder. Suggestions?

My second experience was i need a light on my camera, especially indoors to complement the basic lights in the house, preferably a led one. Suggestions?

Thirdly i hear people on this forum talking about filters. Why do the need them and are they worthwhile?

Finally, is there a comfortable "steadycam" type holder which can be worn during longer walks or all of them either too heavy or not functioning well? Recommendations?

Thank you so much for your answers to this novice and Merry Christmas!
I usually choose Bogen/Manfrotto tripods and heads because they offer reliability at a reasonable cost that meets my needs. I'd spend more to get more quality if I needed it.

Regarding the tripod head: The HD7 is a really light camera and doesn't require a particularly heavy tripod, but it does need a tripod head that has stability and responds smoothly to the touch. The head I purchased for my HD7 is a Bogen 700RC2, about $100 US. It works well, but could be better. All the locking levers require careful adjustment before panning, so it is not the kind of device you can walk away from and then make a smooth instantaneous adjustment the moment you return ... I often have to leave my cameras unattended.

On Camera lights are a curious issue. I personally feel the new LED lights will become the systems of choice over the older quartz systems, like I currently use. My old on camera lights were fine for 4:3 aspect ratios, but they do not cover the area the 16x9 aspect ratio needs. From what I have seen thus far LED products produce good diffuse light for a nearby subject but suffer when one needs to adequately light a long range subject, i.e., 3 - five meters distant. It is easy to design a long range reflector for a traditional tungsten or quarts filament. The LED "filament" is quite another matter. Until the short range/ long range focusing issue is resolved I am shooting with 2 on camera lights adjusted to a wider angle and relying (sometimes hoping) on brighter ambient light to deal with subjects that would normally be at the outer range of my on camera lights.

Filters:

The Hd7 doesn't come with built-in filters because it was designed as a high -end consumer product instead as a pro-sumer or pro product, which would have built-in filters. It was almost too well done, as it was quickly replaced with a dumbed down version. One has to have filters because video can't manage a very wide dynamic range of light values. What works indoors can't work outdoors. If you are going to blend inside/outside footage in a single project you need some common parameters regarding exposure. Most of the time I like to keep my shutter speed at 1/60 and my aperture at f 4.5. That appears, at least for me, to be the exposure "sweet spot" for the HD7. To stay in that sweet spot one needs filters. Specifically, ND filters and a Polarizer filter. ND filters reduce light passing through the lens without color loss, thereby allowing me to stay within the "sweet spot" I like. Polarizers only allow parallel light rays to pass through the lens and can reduce glare as well as act as a low value ND filter. Polarizer filters also intensify contrast and saturation ... sometime good and sometimes bad. Polarizers work best when the camera lens is 90 degrees to the path of the sun and are almost useless when the lens is in line with the path of the sun. I use an ND4, an ND8, and an ND 64. The Polarizer is a Circular Polarizer (as opposed to Linear) which allows the auto focus system to function without error.

The HD7's lens is of the finest quality! Don't buy cheap filters. I spent about $70 US for each of my filters.


I hope my opinions have been of value to you.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 09:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler View Post
I usually choose Bogen/Manfrotto tripods and heads because they offer reliability at a reasonable cost that meets my needs. I'd spend more to get more quality if I needed it.

Regarding the tripod head: The HD7 is a really light camera and doesn't require a particularly heavy tripod, but it does need a tripod head that has stability and responds smoothly to the touch. The head I purchased for my HD7 is a Bogen 700RC2, about $100 US. It works well, but could be better. All the locking levers require careful adjustment before panning, so it is not the kind of device you can walk away from and then make a smooth instantaneous adjustment the moment you return ... I often have to leave my cameras unattended.

On Camera lights are a curious issue. I personally feel the new LED lights will become the systems of choice over the older quartz systems, like I currently use. My old on camera lights were fine for 4:3 aspect ratios, but they do not cover the area the 16x9 aspect ratio needs. From what I have seen thus far LED products produce good diffuse light for a nearby subject but suffer when one needs to adequately light a long range subject, i.e., 3 - five meters distant. It is easy to design a long range reflector for a traditional tungsten or quarts filament. The LED "filament" is quite another matter. Until the short range/ long range focusing issue is resolved I am shooting with 2 on camera lights adjusted to a wider angle and relying (sometimes hoping) on brighter ambient light to deal with subjects that would normally be at the outer range of my on camera lights.

Filters:

The Hd7 doesn't come with built-in filters because it was designed as a high -end consumer product instead as a pro-sumer or pro product, which would have built-in filters. It was almost too well done, as it was quickly replaced with a dumbed down version. One has to have filters because video can't manage a very wide dynamic range of light values. What works indoors can't work outdoors. If you are going to blend inside/outside footage in a single project you need some common parameters regarding exposure. Most of the time I like to keep my shutter speed at 1/60 and my aperture at f 4.5. That appears, at least for me, to be the exposure "sweet spot" for the HD7. To stay in that sweet spot one needs filters. Specifically, ND filters and a Polarizer filter. ND filters reduce light passing through the lens without color loss, thereby allowing me to stay within the "sweet spot" I like. Polarizers only allow parallel light rays to pass through the lens and can reduce glare as well as act as a low value ND filter. Polarizer filters also intensify contrast and saturation ... sometime good and sometimes bad. Polarizers work best when the camera lens is 90 degrees to the path of the sun and are almost useless when the lens is in line with the path of the sun. I use an ND4, an ND8, and an ND 64. The Polarizer is a Circular Polarizer (as opposed to Linear) which allows the auto focus system to function without error.

The HD7's lens is of the finest quality! Don't buy cheap filters. I spent about $70 US for each of my filters.


I hope my opinions have been of value to you.
Thank you Waldemar for your extensive answers!

Between my posting and your reply i decided to use my Gitzo Lava tripod which i use for my photo camera for my filming too and so bought a self leveling fluid camcorder head from Gitzo. It seems to work very smoothly, which i find important since in my opinion the lens stabilizer of the HD7 does not function well!

The on-cam light i mainly intend for close ups and so LED would be great but I am unsure as to which brand still.

Thank you for your observations about the filters, which i will try out. I ve learned some more about the circular polaroid lenses too, thx!
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 09:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waldemar Winkler View Post
my shutter speed at 1/60 and my aperture at f 4.5. That appears, at least for me, to be the exposure "sweet spot" for the HD7.

The HD7's lens is of the finest quality! Don't buy cheap filters. I spent about $70 US for each of my filters.


I hope my opinions have been of value to you.
thanks

ron
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 09:29 PM   #5
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Location: Seattle WA
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Note: not all LED lights are created equal

If one is looking for LED lights it would be good to check for more than just price.

A test of various LED lights at More LED Bulb Comparisons - SailboatOwners.com on the Sailboat Owners web site revealed large differences in brightness, color temperature, and light spread between various lights. And price didn't guarantee anything.

The red letters in the linked post above were my search terms. One may have to have a password to access the post. Another possible search may be via Google using the terms "Main Sail LED light test". Just did a search test and it was one of the top hits but on a different web site.

This test was for the type of LED bulbs one would have on the interior of a boat but it demonstrates the potential for similar concerns with camera lighting.
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