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


 
 
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Old July 6th, 2003, 06:16 PM   #1
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An open letter to JVC and everyone @ the DV Info Community

Okay, I will start off with a warning that I'm very angry and disappointed right now. I may be stuck with this $3400 camera if I can't send it back tomorrow. I spent some time with it outside (in the early evening) and I'm ready to let JVC know just how I feel. And to all my friends here at DVinfo.net/conf, heed what I say. I know, I know, I sound all dramatic, but bear with me...

Ahem...

To JVC (cc: DVinfo.net/conf),

I have spent a week with the HD10 and some thorough time this early evening as the sun was setting (Sunday July 6, 2003), and I'm ready to return the camera. To me, the quality is great, but the controls and auto iris are a pro users killer.

How can you, JVC, slap an XLR adaptor onto the HD1 and call it an HD10 pro camera? I'm assuming that's what happened. The HD10 listed under the pro video section at jvc.com. No pro camera would make adjusting the aperature and shutter such a nightmare. On my XL-1, I could set the f-stop, then screw around with the iris as I walked around with the camera. This comes in handy if I'm doing ENG stuff for my TV station or the occasional wedding I tend to do about once a year. Especially with an upcoming wedding on a beach in the evening (don't worry, the beach is on the east coast of Florida) I promised I'd shoot for my friend. Not to mention what I use my camera(s) for mostly, filmmaking.

Unfortunately, there are some problems.

1. Having to push the button to adjust the f-stop is confusing, because I usually hit the white balance button. Then, once I set the f-stop, I set the iris, and hit the S/A button again, and notice the image changes from what I just set. Suddenly, the f-stop is set to something else (probably what the camera thinks is supposed to be right, and it may be correct, who knows?) and the shutter changed, too. Which leads me to:

2. Why in the WORLD is a pro camera totally manual EXCEPT for the shutter and aperature?!?!?!?! This camera, aside from its outstanding HD picture (I'm won over there), is now WORTHLESS to me! Even the VX2000 and the GL2, in the same class, technically speaking, as this camera, are TOTALLY manual when one wants them to be.

3. The on/off/video switch is a NIGHTMARE, too...I haven't seen one of these in a LOOOOONNNNNGGGG time. Push the button, turn the knob--whoops, just started recording.

I can't believe, in JVC's apparent haste, would put out the HD10 with so many things WRONG and CONSUMER-ish on it. I don't want to be out $3400--I'm hoping the people will take it back--because this camera is worthless as a pro camera. With, of course, the exception of the HD quality.

Okay, now I'm repeating myself. But I want to say, I did EVERYTHING everyone at the DV Info community suggested, and it all failed miserably. I even kept the shutter indicator up (so I could change it as I walked around, and hoping it would turn off the auto iris) and still, the auto iris would change what I set. I tried locking the exposure wheel, which WORKED! ALL RIGHT! Until I needed to adjust the shutter and stuff when I panned to either a too dark or too light shot, and BAM, the auto iris kicks RIGHT BACK ON! The sports mode trick didn't work, either.

That's all I can say for now, but here are my suggestions for the next generation of HD10, which you, JVC, might want to get cracking on, before Canon and everyone else beats you to it:

1. Make seperate wheels for the shutter and aperature setting.

2. Get RID OF THE AUTO IRIS/APERATURE and the funky zoom control. Make it all optional for auto and manual.

3. Re-do the on/off/video switch. That think stinks. Even me, with skinny fingers, kept hitting the record button.

Also, as I posted in other threads and emails to Ed Sherry (sales person) and Ken Freed, my friend said his company cancelled two camera orders (HD10, of course) because, allegedly, their JVC rep told them (this is a quote from my friend): "they halted shipping due to many dissatisfied professionals and were attempting to rework the camera for a
later release date." Obviously, it's a rumor until we find out the truth from JVC, hopefully by Monday July 7, 2003. If this is the case, I'd love to send in this camera to have it re-done. At this point I'll KEEP my HD10 if the auto iris issues can be resolved when in manual mode. I'll deal with the controls and on/off/video button. If this can be fixed with a software update, I'm all for keeping it. But I want a WRITTEN GUARANTEE from JVC.

Otherwise, I've already looked at and am ready to exchange the HD10 for a Panasonic DVX100. (I'll have to try to return the 15 inch hi-def LCD, too, that I bought.)

If anyone else wants to post some replies, helpful hints around the auto iris issue, or complaints, please do so. Anyone from JVC reading, please try your best to address the complaints and issues I stated here.

Thanks so much for allowing me to rant (and be a little over-dramatic); $3400 is a LOT of money for a guy like me.

Thanks,

Heath McKnight
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Old July 6th, 2003, 06:28 PM   #2
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Where did you buy your cam? Do they have a return policy?
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Old July 6th, 2003, 06:32 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : Where did you buy your cam? Do they have a return policy? -->>>

A local sales house in Boca Raton; don't know if they do, hence the fact I may be stuck with it. I'll talk to them tomorrow, and be nice about it. It's not their fault, it's JVC's. Maybe I can sell it on eBay...

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Old July 6th, 2003, 06:37 PM   #4
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Good luck.

The discription of the controls remind me what I have to put up with my older (very older) JVC GR-DVL9500U cams. However, I get good LUX with them---sort of makes up for this---especially when I'm shooting funeral services and wedding receptions.
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Old July 6th, 2003, 06:39 PM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : Good luck.

The discription of the controls remind me what I have to put up with my older (very older) JVC GR-DVL9500U cams. However, I get good LUX with them---sort of makes up for this---especially when I'm shooting funeral services and wedding receptions. -->>>

Wow, "very older" doesn't fill me with joy for this camera.

And not to sound mean, but WHO would want a funeral service video taped? NOT ME! ;-)

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Old July 6th, 2003, 06:42 PM   #6
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In Canada it always has been popular to have funeral pictures and more popular, a tape---like a wedding tape.
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Old July 6th, 2003, 06:52 PM   #7
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I'm not sure why there's a consistent emphasis on "pro" camera here. The faults of the camera are just as glaring on the HD1 and to any consumer. I'd add to the list the stupid power-save mode that doesn't reset when you operate the controls, the fact that the camera responds to no buttons while sleeping, the stupid requirement to open the LCD or "activate" the VF to turn the thing on, the fact that moving the VF changes the diopter setting, and the lack of any image controls (except AGC) in the setup menu. Of course the screen and VF quality are not good, the buttons are hard to operate, the power switch sucks, and the video out is on a large, stiff proprietary connector that runs just past the record button making external monitors a pain to use.

I'd settle for a firmware upgrade that addressed the major exposure and power problems. The ergonomics could be tolerated then.
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Old July 6th, 2003, 06:57 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Craig Jones :
I'd settle for a firmware upgrade that addressed the major exposure and power problems. The ergonomics could be tolerated then. -->>>

I agree; get rid of the auto exposure adjustments via a possible firmware update, and I keep the camera.

I can even live with not doing any more dogme 95 stuff (I've done it to death, even with only a feature and short).

But not controlling the exposure SUCKS.

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Old July 6th, 2003, 07:07 PM   #9
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A small update:

For those thinking of buying this camera, ready what Steve Mullen had to say in the owners thread, or, if you're like me, you may want to skip on it. If you're shooting controlled lighting stuff, it may work out for you.

And for those of you, like Paul, who will keep it, I respect that and good luck.

I'll know more tomorrow whether I keep it or not.

Until then, take care and post ANY advice you have here, regarding turning off the auto iris (if there is a way).

heath
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Old July 6th, 2003, 07:10 PM   #10
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I'd like to see either MC 101 work OR a setup option to restrict the range of shutter/aperture values. Full manual would be nice if it could be done with the existing buttons. In addition I'd like to have an overall exposure control in the setup menu so that I could brighten or darken the image in auto mode. A saturation control would be nice, too. I'd like all the controls to reset the sleep timeout and make the sleep timeout programmable. It would also be nice if the camera reactivated from sleep by pushing the record button.
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Old July 6th, 2003, 09:47 PM   #11
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Remember that you're dealing with a Matsushita product. Neither Panasonic nor JVC is what Sony is. The DVX was quite misrepresented in ads, literature, and in comments in forums by Panasonic personnel. If you can find misrepresentation by JVC, JVC must give you a refund. They claimed that the HD10 version was created with added features as requested by Japanese broadcasters. There is also something called implied warranty. If this was pushed as a pro camera but it is not, then JVC, and probably even the dealer, is required by law to give you a refund. Just put a little pressure on them; you'll get your $ back. if not, all you have to do is take them to a small claim court, which in CA takes cases to $5K. If the software does not work, if there is no manual sound level adjustment, if the controls and the latitude are on the level that you can't create pro pictures, like with a pro camera, then the camera was legally misrepresented and you're owed a refund. If they give you some problems, threaten a class action lawsuit, that means that more owners will gang up and there will most likely be substantial punitive damages awarded. You can also contact FTC (Federal Trade Commission), if you feel that the camera was misrepresented. I think that this should be done. That will put some pressure on JVC to improve on the camera very soon. They should have not released a camera in this "prototype" state, with consumer features, and adding XLR connectors, plugged to a mini jack, and claiming tht this is a pro camera. They originally planned to release the HD10 some 6 months after HD1 in the U.S. Why the hurry? To make $, to beat everyone else? This is not a pro camera. It is not usable for anything else than the lowest level cinema productions, with highly control lighting, and no sunlight. Steve Mullen makes $ selling his guides for the camera, so he may have a different opinion. I personally think that Canon may shock everyone and will come out with HD DV camcorder with replaceable lenses this year.
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Old July 6th, 2003, 10:05 PM   #12
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This is very interesting and I just might do that. I got a little excited when Steve told us what to do, until it dawned on me that outside, light changes ALL the time, and I'll have to go through that damned thing over and over again as the sun disappears behind a cloud. I guess I'm ready to throw the towel in. I'll contact all the necessary people.

Does anyone have a phone number for JVC I can call in the morning?

Also, I tried everything with the software, substituting O's for zeros, I's and i's for 1 and it STILL didn't work.
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Old July 6th, 2003, 10:08 PM   #13
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Heath, You can't use this thing in sunlight unless you fill shadows with strong light. Because of the camera's limited lattitude, it is only usable on overcast days. If JVC did not warn you, then this enough is a proof that the product was misrepresented. Return this aberation and wait for Canon XL1HD, or whatever.
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Old July 6th, 2003, 10:09 PM   #14
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I learned that the XL-1 sucked in sunlight, too, even WITH ND filters on. So that actually doesn't bug me.

I won't make a decision until tomorrow (or, technically, today). Steve Mullen does give me hope, and don't forget, I swore I would only use this camera for UBER-LOW budget short films and some freelance. Then again, I may get burned in the freelance department, too...

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Old July 6th, 2003, 10:33 PM   #15
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Thanks for sharing your finds with us. I was immensely curious about the camera (though probably not enough to buy it just yet) about how good a quality the picture was and whatnot. I suppose for a pro like you it would be frustrating to not have total control over your camera. I consider myself a semi-pro, and I would probably be fine with it. Maybe. Hope you can get it returned, Heath.
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