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JVC GR-HD1U / JY-HD10U
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Old October 28th, 2003, 09:41 AM   #1
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It's decision time

In December I start shooting a digital feature so I need to make up my mind this week on what camera to buy.
I figure a month of playing around with whatever camera I decide to buy should be preparation enough. It is between the HD10u and the DVX100. I am wll aware of the advantages of the DVX100 and my DP wants me to get the DVX100. But I own a high-def set and that is one of the main reasons i can't stop thinking about the HD10u.

What scares me about the HD10u is that 90% of my movie will take place outside where light will be hard to control. One of the first shots in the movie will be someone walking to their car on a city street at night. HOW will the camera handle a scene like this? Also the other factor that scares me is the chroma noise. i have seen some of the stills posted and it looks pretty bad. Will bright lights and low contrast get rid of the chroma noise? And does that mean that any high-contrast scenes are out of the question? Can the chroma noise be cut down in post with color correction? I tend to desaturate the image a little in post since it is the look that I prefer. Sorry for all the questions but like I said I need to make a decision within the next few days.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 10:42 AM   #2
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get what your DP recommends
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Old October 28th, 2003, 12:06 PM   #3
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If your final production is intended for big screen display (i.e. theater) I would strongly suggest that you and your DP go and get a blowup test done to 35mm from both cameras, then go and view both of them digitally projected, and projected on 35mm, on a full size theater screen, and see which one is more acceptable to you. I have done this with the DVX100 on a 40ft theater screen, and found it to be totally unnaceptable in terms of quality and motion artifacts, (including ghosting and pixelation), and that's why I'm now messing with the HD1OU instead. For me, ANY SD camera, including the SDX900, and my own Ikegami HL-DV7W do not have enough native resolution to hold up on a big screen. This is a subjective judgement call and I think each person needs to make this decision for themselves, different directors have different quality standards, and seeing it for yourself is the only way to do it.

Good luck with your project.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 01:30 PM   #4
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Paul, what do you mean by motion artifact? Are you referring to the telecined look that is expected in 24P mode? Are you having better luck with material shot in 60i mode? I'm projecting bunch of videos this weekend. I have done theater sized screens with materials shot with everything else(1CCD cams, VX1000s, EZ30s) and found it to scale very very well, especially if you're sitting as a member of the audience.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 03:29 PM   #5
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I can only tell you what I saw in a demo DVX100 35mm transfer and projection on a big screen, and that was very obvious blocky pixelation from lack of sufficient resolution, heavy moire effects during panning, especially in panoramic shots; and ghosting in the movement of people on screen. I saw the same footage on a small TV screen on DV tape, and it looked fantastic. My personal opinion is that the DVX100 is a great camera for small screen TV work that you want to give a pseudo "film look" with the 24p, and that it looks very sharp and clean on a small screen. But on a big screen it's a whole different story. As I said, each person needs to make their own judgement call on that, but that's my personal opinion based on a film transfer I saw done by a very experienced post house. Based on that, I would never use it for anything intended for large screen display.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 04:06 PM   #6
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Paul, Are you sure? This is what I have found: The #900 Panasonic material looks significantly better on big screen than the HD10. The DVX, in progressive, with anamorphic adapter, will project to about 15-20% smaller screen size compared to the HD10 for the same sharpness, plus the picture looks better, and there are not any of the serious problems encountered during production that the HD10 poses. I don't know what you've seen. This is what I saw. If the DP recommends DVX, then the director should use DVX. Plus the DVX shoots in 24p, a film projection speed. If the didector uses a DP that would recommend the HD10, and I personally do not know any that would do that, then the director should use HD10. If the director wants to shoot at 30 fps and then spend $20K min. for slowing the speed digitally to 24 fps, he would be a lot better off finantially shooting with rented Varicam or CineAlta, than with the HD10.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 04:26 PM   #7
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Well I've heard precisely the opposite of projected DVX footage. I've heard from people that it was difficult to differenciate between that and 16mm. However, that being said, I've never projected telecined 24P footage onto a screen that big. Perhaps the strobbiness will be more pronounced but I don't see how that can be. No doubt, the JVC will definitely look "sharper" when projected with a HD capable projector, but i think motion artifacts will also be more pronounced during pans and fast motion. I think the DVX will also be quite good considering I've projected stuff shot on much worser cams.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 04:48 PM   #8
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You know what I think, I think that this person looking for advice should trust their own judgement, not any of ours, or some DP, but trust their own eyes. I've have told you what the tests I saw showed to me, and I don't think that anyone else in the audience would have disagreed with what I'm saying. The transfers I saw were perfomed by Monaco Labs in San Francisco, and were shown to a large group at the Metreon Cinema in SF at MacWorld in January of this year, they also displayed transfered footage from several Sony 60i cameras, many of which looked far superior to the DVX100 to me.
I would just urge Louis to go and get the tests done and judge for himself before wasting a lot of hard earned money based on dubious advice . Many people proclaim themselves to be "experts" on the internet, and many give advice which is slanted by their own personal agendas and bias, which is normal and understandable. I am not an expert on cinematography or anything else, and I don't think that anyone giving advice on this forum is an expert on the HD1OU, none of us have had that much time with the camera. So my best advice is to trust your own judgement and eyes.

Good luck
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Old October 28th, 2003, 07:05 PM   #9
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Louis Grimaldo wrote:

"What scares me about the HD10u is that 90% of my movie will take place outside where light will be hard to control. One of the first shots in the movie will be someone walking to their car on a city street at night. HOW will the camera handle a scene like this? Also the other factor that scares me is the chroma noise. i have seen some of the stills posted and it looks pretty bad. Will bright lights and low contrast get rid of the chroma noise? And does that mean that any high-contrast scenes are out of the question? Can the chroma noise be cut down in post with color correction? I tend to desaturate the image a little in post since it is the look that I prefer. Sorry for all the questions but like I said I need to make a decision within the next few days."

Can you tell me why you do not look at sequences instead of stills to make a choice on a video format? Some footage (namely from Paul Mogg and me and even some other) have been posted in this very forum, some showing night scenes by the way.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14422
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=11460

After you took (with your DP) a look at these sequences (not still, it is not very usefull since you plan on shooting a film, not a photo fiction I guess), ideally with a good HD monitor, you might have a better idea. Of course, de-saturation will most definitely not worsen your image, since the artefacting of this camera comes from Chroma (as most cameras...). As for outdoor shooting, the HD10 performed very well outside with enough light (sunlight... of course).

My experience head to head with both camera, in a test for a feature, has been described in an older thread. Though the DVX is a far superior camera in the way it is made and handled, it was discarded by the production in regards to definition because the image quality could be equivalent when the HD10 is used well. Here is the link to the thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=14379

Of course, if you want to make a wise decision, you should test both (better to invest a little in a test before shooting).
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Old October 28th, 2003, 08:32 PM   #10
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Thanks Eric for the clips but i could not download those clips. i have seen some footage and was impressed but all the recent talk about chroma noise has me worried.

I have seen plenty of footage from the DVX100 and i am impressed. It is simply a more forgiving camera. I do not have a real experienced DP so that is why i am wary of using the HD10u. The first feature I shot was on a VX2000 and i was very unhappy with the harsh video look. So I want a camera that will give me more of a filmlook which the DVX100 is great at. But my worry is that when I take it to film festivals and the video gets projected on a large screen. DV resolution does not cut it. That is the one area where i know the HD10u will blow away the DVX 100. And I truly believe that it is in film festivals where one truly can make his mark.
i just rented "28 days later" and i love the high contrast scenes in it and i am not sure if the HD10u is such a good camera for high contrast. The bottom line is that i am going to have to rent a HD10u for a day and shoot some footage myself.
This is really the only site where people can talk about this camera objectively. Go to Dv.com or Indieclub.com and talk about this camera and they think you're the antiChrist.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 08:44 PM   #11
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Why couldn't you download the clips?

You should be aware that chroma noise is also apparent with the DVX, as with other DV cameras (but not the yellowish/greenish chroma shifts inherent to the HD10). DV is not an artefact free format, 4:1:1 compression is huge, as is the 4:2:0 scheme of the HD10. In comparative tests, with decent lighting, they both display about the same amount of chroma related noise (blocky chroma noise coming from the compression) in the blues and reds. If you want much less noise go for 4:2:2 like DVCPRO 50 (for SD), or DVCPRO HD (for HD).
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Old October 28th, 2003, 09:38 PM   #12
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Louis,

You mentioned that you are looking to take your film to festivals when completed. I know that Sundance and some of the bigger festivals offer HD projection, and I'd suggest doing a little research to see just how many festivals you could submit to that would offer HD projection. I guess that you could try to convert HD10U footage to 24 fps for transfer to film, but so far everyone trying this has posted unsatisfactory results. Thus I imagine HD projection would be preferred, not to mention it would be cheaper also if you decide to go with the HD10U.

The seven major studios will be releasing their report on HD Cinema in March and I imagine it will create an increase in HD projectors across the nation. So there is the possiblity that we could see an increase in HD popularity at film festivals also.

As someone that also considers film festivals to be the best route I will be interested to hear any news you come across on this subject. Good luck with your film which ever camera you choose!

Brad
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Old October 28th, 2003, 09:59 PM   #13
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A lot of film festivals offer Hd projection and i can only imagine that it is going to grow. I start shooting in December, shooting will be done on the weekends so I am looking to finish shooting in March of 2004. Another 6 months to a year before it is ready for primetime. So I am looking at March of 2005 when i start to submit to film festivals. My feeling is that Hd projection will be more prevelant. Which is another reason why i keep coming back to the HD10u.
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Old October 28th, 2003, 11:02 PM   #14
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Louis,

I am a cinematographer who also does HD work with the CineAlta f900 and the Panasonic Varicam. I recently DP'd a short project for a friend which will probably run the festival circuit.

This was a no-budget project, and his choices for camera were the Sony DVW700 DigiBeta camera, the Panasonic DVX100, or the JVC GR-HD1. The DigiBeta and DVX100 were available through friends at no charge, and I bought the HD1 to play around with and shoot some tests. I really had no preference which camera we used because they all have their good and bad points. We set up a scene in a studio and lined the cameras up side by side. Tests were done for contrast, resolution, color rendition, and motion.

The director chose the JVC.

I was glad he chose the little HD camera because it gave me the chance to really see what it was capable of. However, it is a painfull process with the lack of manual controls, bad reaction to highlights blowing out, etc.

And these are my opinions on the good/bad points of the cameras:

DigiBeta:

Pros - Real lens with repeatable focus marks, Less DOF due to 2/3" pickups, Clean Audio with manual controls, virtually no compression artifacts.

Cons - tapestock expensive for no-budget project, not as sharp as JVC

DVX100:

Pros - 24p for possible print to film, real audio connectors with manual control, CineGamma gives smooth texture to picture, repeatable focus and manual zoom, 16:9 possible with anamorphic adapter

Cons - Not as sharp as JVC

JVC:

Pros - Sharper than the other two cameras, 30p has film-like feel

Cons - Not easy to print to film (not even sure it can be done well at any price), no full manual exposure control, can not let any part of picture be overexposed, chroma noise can be an issue with highly saturated scenes, audio is only automatic and has a "canned" sound to it, focus and zoom rings are useless, and several other problems which have been covered ad infinitum on the forum.

Bottom line, the JVC can be a great looking camera WHEN everything is right on. And don't worry about exterior day, it looks great. Exterior night at the 1/30 shutter has about the same sensitivity as 5279 but with less latitude. Watch out for car headlights spiking green and loss of color in stoplights and other bright / colorful lights.

The JVC has gotten a bad rap because a lot of people don't have the patience to squeeze the great images out of it. That combined with some really bad footage submitted to Networks and others has not helped. If your DP does film, he will know what filters to use when and how to light to get the best out of this camera.

Jay
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Old October 29th, 2003, 04:43 AM   #15
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If you shoot with the HD10 you can forget about going to Film or the PAL market.
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