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JVC GR-HD1U / JY-HD10U
All about the original single-CCD HDV camcorders from JVC.


 
 
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 02:08 PM   #1
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HD10 vs. Varicam, DVX, etc. -- Cinema Production

.Just got back home for a short time; tried HD1 and compared a little to PDX10 and PD150 in a store. HD1 has a lot worse LCD and the viewfinder looks like something out of Toys R Us' BarbieCorder, if there is such a thing. The panning is a problem. The only use for this thing would be lowest end film production, with distribution through Landmark theaters whose projectors accept 30p. You'll need to use ND filters, trying to keep the shutter speed from going up and, most of the time, you should keep the lens at F1.8 -- becomes F1.9 in telephoto. This will give you somewhat acceptable DOF, and probably softer image.

Comparisons:

CineAlta Bit rate is about 135 Mbps@30p and 110 Mbs@24p, DV based compression codex; 1920x1280 pixels. Approx 3:1:1 but less compressed overall, including chroma, than Varicam because of a lot higher bit rate. Looks worse than 35 mm film, although appears as sharp. 60' projection looks fine. To get the same sharpness when viewing from the same distance, I'll include equivalent screen sizes for the other formats.

Varicam. 50 Mbps@30p, 40@24p. DV based compression codex. 1280x720 pixels. 4:2:2. 40' screen, same overall picture quality as CineAlta

Panasonic new #900 camcorder, 50 Mbps, 4:2:2, DVCPRO50, less compressed than Varicam. 720x480 CCD chipset, 16:9, 22' screen; should have better colors than Varicam or CineAlta. Of course someone will claim that it looks sharp enough at 44' -- but only as sharp as CineAlta @120', which is not sharp.

HD10 19 Mbps@30p, MPEG2, poor quality MPEG2 processors, 960x659 effective pixels, 4:2:0. Screen size 33' but considering all other factors, including lens quality, color space, etc., the effective screen size would be about 22' with poor colors, poor panning look, etc. when compared to the more expensive camcorders.

DVX100 25 Mbps, DV codex, 720x480. New Century Optix adapter allows good 16x9 quality. 22' in progressive bode, but effective size would be about 15' with quality approaching the expensive camcorders, only the max. screen size would be smaller.

PDX10, 16:9 chip, DV. About 10' effective

PD150, GL2, 4:3, DV. About 10' effective with anamorphic adapter

The HD10 footage converted to DV will look poor overall compared to PDX10, PD150 and GL2, so again the only application for the JVC would be lowest end cinema production, which will be slow and with serious limitations because of the camera deficiencies. Anyway, the Panasonic #900 costs $25K w/o lens, and the JVC will produce same size images, so it is a super bargain in that respect.

I believe that future MPEG2 HD camcorders will be able to produce image quality similar to Varicam.

JVC not only was not capable of producing a quality unit because of the poor quality MPEG2 processors, IMHO they deliberately limited the features so the HD10 does not compete with Matsushita's pro cameras. Matsushita sells their cameras under Panasonic name and owns 52% of JVC.

DVX too had too many limits built-in so it does not compete, IMHO, with expensive cameras. The sound and picture synchronization in some modes is up to 3-4 fields off. It is perfect on a lot older PD150, and fixing this problem (delaying sound to achieve lip synchronization) would cost Panasonic less than a dollar. DVX does not auto focus and does not have gain up in progressive (3 lux changes to 24 lux in progressive). This would cost Matsushita another couple dollars to fix. Even on the a lot less expensive PDX10 Sony uses B/W viewfinder and special pixel arrangement on LCD to guarantee superb horizontal resolution -- equal to or better than the format -- for accurate focusing. DVX does not have any of this. The LCD has nearly 2.5x higher horizontal resolutuin than on DVX and the viewfinder resolution is nearly 50% higher.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 07:03 PM   #2
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Re: HD10 vs. Varicam, DVX, etc. -- Cinema Production

<<<-- Originally posted by Joseph George JVC not only was not capable of producing a quality unit because of the poor quality MPEG2 processors, IMHO they deliberately limited the features so the HD10 does not compete with Matsushita's pro cameras. -->>>

The only commercially available HD MPEG-2 encoder comes from NTT. JVC is using it at it's maxium performance rating.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 07:52 PM   #3
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The problem with JVC is that they basically only design and assemble products from parts and subassemblies, like tape transport mechanisms; they do not make any solid state devices. It will take Sony, Panasonic, or Hitachi to come out with a decent MPEG2 camcorder with their own processors. These companies all have the capabilities of designing and producing their own high quality processors and all produce a range of cameras from consumer to HD broadcast.

The DVD Forum just killed Toshiba's red-laser based MPEG4 HD DVD format. The major opponents were Matsushita, Philips, and Sony, the inventor and the original licensor of Blu-ray HD DVD; the other 2 companies also belong to the consortium of Blu Ray HD DVD, which has 10 members, and all are the world's top consumer electronics manufacturers.

Sony, although member of the DVD Forum, never bothered submitting the Blu-ray format to the forum for approval. It works together with Sony Pictures/Columbia on acceptance of that format and development of copy protection scheme that will satisfy Hollywood studios.

With the red laser being killed, it is clear that the Blu-ray consortium will push the new format rapidly and it will become the format of choice, with prerecorded software, etc. If the DVD forum approves another format, it will be a Beta-VHS battle, but Sony is well positioned to win this one. The faster push of the Blu-ray format is also because of Microsoft's push to HD DVD, which too is red laser based. The forum just sent Microsoft a strong message by killing the Toshiba's format. Microsoft too submitted their format to the forum for approval.

I believe that the next HD DVD camcorder to hit the market will be Blu-ray based and we will see some exciting products by next NAB -- low cost HD cameras with Varicam quality.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 11:29 PM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Joseph George : The problem with JVC is that they basically only design and assemble products from parts and subassemblies, like tape transport mechanisms; they do not make any solid state devices. I--->

Actually, the CCD was designed in-house at JVC. Maybe fabed out-side, however.

<--- I believe that the next HD DVD camcorder to hit the market will be Blu-ray based ... -->>>

Think CES 2004 from Sony. It will be a consumer product. In-camcorder editing means no computer needed. Playback on the camcorder -- or move the optical disc to Blu-ray DVD player. Output DVI and component analog.

Note, how cleverly this design locks the data stream INSIDE the camcorder and DVD drive. No bits -- not pro use. Hence, no competition with expensive HDcam. Clever, very clever.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 02:31 AM   #5
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It will be CES, followed by NAB where pro version will be introduced. Vegas Video in Sony's hand will allow them making $ on the editing software too. Sony needs to come out with a pro HD product to counteract DVX and HD10. And they will do anything to be No. 1, so i expect the Sony low-end HD products to be excellent.

There is another reasons why we will see low-end HD products. In the past no one had a tape deck to record high end besides Sony and Matsushita. Panasonic did allow others to integrate the DVCPRO50 in their camcorders, but they kept the HD for themselves, just like Sony did

Now there will suddenly be Blu-ray HD DVD format available basically to any company to integrate into their products. CCDs and MPEG2 processors are nowadays a piece of cake to design. So I think that if Sony and Matsushita will be holding up with introductions of quality low-end HD pro cameras, someone else will come in. At next NAB we will see some interesting stuff. Production will then start moving quickly to HD.

Tape will soon be replaced by optical recording too. DVD's already rent better than VHS.

Sony will continue to be the leader in consumer and broadcast electronics. It took them 50 years to be as big as Matsushita. They stagnated for a while. The president was a musician and now he's gone and Sony will move quickly to surpass everyone's expectations. What will make them the most profitable will be the Playstation platform, which will not only make computing easier, it will become the centerpiece of home entertainment, and Internet.

In the top video end next product will be CineAlta SR with 35 mm frame size sensors. Sony used the smaller sensors on the current SR camera because Lucas pressured them to release the camera.

When that happens, there will be little reason to continue with celluloid film production.

HD will start replacing both film and SD rapidly starting next year.

This JVC camcorder will be history soon, but it did make a history as a first low cost HD tool and it has its place in cinema production.

While film production will be moving to ultra definition in the future, we will have plenty of low cost tools to make technically sufficient films to be projected on theater screens.

Unfortunately the JVC does not even approach the quality of super 8 positive film. That will hopefully change with the new generation of low cost HD cameras. So 30 years after abandonment of Super 8 consumer video is still struggling in matching Super 8 quality.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 02:14 PM   #6
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Personally I'd put the image quality that I'm getting from my JVC JY-HD1OU as somewhere between 16mm and 35mm, and certainly much higher than the SD DV from most DV cams I've used. .
I would say that when film students see the quality of this thing on a large screen they will want to shoot their shorts on it. (isn't that a rude expression in some countries?)

Just my personal opinion
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Old June 25th, 2003, 09:02 PM   #7
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The resolution from this thing is about equal to positive Super8 stock. Overall image quality is a lot worse on the JVC.

Of course when you shoot Super 8 negative, by the time you project the image, the JVC will have better resolution.
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