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


 
 
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Old December 26th, 2003, 01:35 PM   #1
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are the JVC HDs right for non-pro newbie?

Hey guys and gals,

Thank you so much for this very informative forum. I must admit that I have read most of the posts and am well versed in the debates, but also a little confused. For backgrounds sake: I am a professional photographer with no experience with videography (and have a huge bias toward still photography). However, my wife is 7 months pregnant with our first child and so I know that I must now buy a camcorder. I am definitely very conscious of image quality and also usually high end when it comes to consumer electronics. I am very interested in the HD camera because I would hate to buy a regular DV camera and later be disappointed that I could have had a better image with a different camera. However, I am also a little wary of buying the “first” one in the consumer price range. I should also mention that my budget is not un-limited, but I asm always willing to spendmore in the right places to get better results and I want to do this right. Initially – the most important use for this camera will be filming my baby and his major milestones. I do think that with a good quality camera and accessories I will become more interested in creative productions, but if this camera is not versatile enough to handle indoor action shots of my baby taking his first steps – I will need to get a different camera.

I have read these forums and others for hours and at times the debates have taken me in circles. I think that I have figured out that you need some videography skill to take good footage with this camera. As I have said - I have very little videography experience, but as a professional photographer - I am sure that I am much closer to that knowledge than most newbies. My basic hope with this post is to hear what you all think of me getting this camera or another for my particular skill level and needs.

I want the best possible footage (as I think that I will be disappointed with lesser quality), but I also want to be able to take footage of my baby without needing to spend time "setting up" the shot. I am sure that I will have interest in doing some basic editting, but likely won't have time to do major post production and so a camera that will have good results just taping it and putting the tapes on the shelf to watch later. Maybe I should just be getting a small consumer camcorder for $500 and have a portable easy to use camera to do the job and then some day when Sony, Canon and Panasonic have gotten into the game - I can make this leap. The biggest issue is the timing - I need a camera by February (he is due early March). I am going to refrain from diving into filter. lighting and audio questions now (but if you want to add those thoughts to your answer - feel free) but I would like to add in to the initial debate: should I be spending an extra $750 on the HD10U over the HD1 ($400 rebate plus $350 higher price)?

Any help you guys can give me would be hugely appreciated. Thank you so much in advance,

Evan Malter
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Old December 27th, 2003, 11:49 AM   #2
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The JVC cameras are the best quality you can get at the present time.

They do require a little knowledge, but you can attain that from a few different sources.

I also have a small DV camera that gets a lot of work in my vacations etc.

Good luck with your decisions.


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Old December 27th, 2003, 12:53 PM   #3
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I certainly don't think you should spend $750 for the HD10... the main enhancements are a higher-res viewfinder, a Beachtek-style XLR box, and lower edge enhancement. Of those three, the only one you're likely to be actually concerned with (for your proposed use) is the edge enhancement. Is that worth $750 to you? Only you can answer that question.

Sure would be nice if someone could take some side-by-side stills and post 'em, so we can see the difference in degree of the edge enhancement. I only have access to the HD1, so does anyone out there have both where they could do that test?

Now, as far as whether to consider the HD1/HD10 at all... if HD is important to you, then there is no question. The HD1/HD10 is the only game in town, and if HD is your primary concern, then you must get an HD1 or HD10. And, even though other manufacturers have signed on to the "HDV" standard, it may be months or years before any new cameras appear -- the HD1/HD10 may be the only choice for a long, long time (or we may all be surprised with new announcements in April, who knows?)

Your background as a pro photographer poses an interesting twist to the typical scenario for this camera... you are likely to have a good head start on knowing what to do to get good images from it, but you are also likely to be quite frustrated with the auto-everything, no-real-manual-controls nature of the camera as well.

The camera is capable of magnificent footage. The camera is capable of atrocious footage. The maddening thing is, you're never really sure which you're going to get! In a controlled studio environment you can monitor things and tweak until you get what you want. For on-the-run point 'n' shoot style shooting, the only guarantee is that you'll get some magnificent shots and some atrocious ones. In my opinion other DV camcorders are far more predictable -- you'll know what you're going to get, and they're going to pretty much perform as you expect (although at SD resolution, of course).

Come to think of it, of the really bad footage I've seen from the JVC, I don't know that it's any worse than what you'd see out of your proposed alternative, the $500 handycam... so if you're willing to accept the handycam-level footage, you're likely to be thrilled with the JVC because when it's "in the groove" it delivers gorgeous footage. That's something the handycam would never do.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 02:41 PM   #4
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Follow up

Thanks for the feedback so far. I figured the bad jvc footage would be equal to the $500 cam stuff - but it really helps to have read it here. How about if we talk about a $1500 camera like the Sony TRV-950. Ignoring the $1000 savings and only slightly factoring in the "debated" color advantages of the 3 CCDs - in point and shoot, no set-up scenarios will I get better results from the Sony or teh JVC?

I guess my question is this - what will happen in point and shoot, no set up scenarios with the JVC. If I am sitting in the living room (lit by just a few lamps) and my 3-month old child starts to do something adorable and I pick up the camera and start shooting - what will the footage be like? will the color be bad? will the footage be dark? will the shutter speed be so slow that things get blurry? What happens? Can it be fixed in post-production? Will it just be so bad that I will be upset that I didn't have a $1500 Sony TRV-950? I guess the important thing is that the footage be decent to good in bad situations as opposed to totally unviewable to poor.

I have seen some others like Darren who have mention owning a smaller DV camera for personal use - is this too much camera for "personal use?" I want to have the best possible camera, but I dont want to miss important moments because the camera needs set-up or I just can't bring the camera because it is too bulky.

What do others think about the HD10U and the edge enhancement? I actually was just told that the HD D-VHS may not be able to tape HD content from my cable box - does anyone know what compatibility issues ther may be? Then it makes the rebate less valuable to me and maybe I am only paying $350 more for the HD10u. This keeps getting harder to decide.

Thanks again for all of your help,

Evan Malter
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Old December 27th, 2003, 03:25 PM   #5
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Evan,
I've shot no set up stuff, and it looks fine. You won't enter the video into a film festival, but you will see the tiny details on your child's new finger nails, eyes, etc.
That's what this camera is made for, anyway.
In 10 years, when you pull out the video, you will be happy you didn't use the long dead DV standard for looking at your memories.
Sure in 10 years, the HD that the JVC makes will be old tech as well, but at least you won't be as low res.

-Les
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Old December 27th, 2003, 09:27 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Les Dit : Evan,
I've shot no set up stuff, and it looks fine. You won't enter the video into a film festival, but you will see the tiny details on your child's new finger nails, eyes, etc.
That's what this camera is made for, anyway.
In 10 years, when you pull out the video, you will be happy you didn't use the long dead DV standard for looking at your memories.
Sure in 10 years, the HD that the JVC makes will be old tech as well, but at least you won't be as low res.

-Les -->>>


oh you mention technology, the washout look of the outdated 1 ccd will only make the video look worse.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 09:44 PM   #7
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Number of CCD make no difference for saturation.
My Nikon 5000 has one ccd, and it's image blows away any video cam.


How much would you like to bet that in a few years 3ccd will be at the same place as vidcon tubes are now ( DEAD).

The tube people used to say the same about CCD's. So Naive.
-Les
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Old December 28th, 2003, 08:14 PM   #8
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"Number of CCD make no difference for saturation."

The still-camera vs. video-camera # of CCD arguments has been made many times, and disputed and refuted and re-argued and then called irrelevant.

As of today, as of right now, there can be no question that with current technology, 3CCD video cameras deliver much better color rendition and better color saturation than 1CCD video cameras. JVC even acknowledges this in the FAQ for their HD1, where they say:
Quote:
Would 3 CCDs be superior to 1 CCD?
For absolute picture quality, yes. But there are practical trade-offs. 3 CCDs would provide superior accuracy of color reproduction, and would provide superior resolution for same density of CCD. However, the 3 CCD camera would be larger, heavier and draw more power which requires a larger battery. The 3 CCD camera would also cost more.
http://pro.jvc.com/prof/Attributes/f...&feature_id=13

They then address the question of color saturation, etc. by comparing the HD1 against their 3CCD flagship, the DV300U, a camera which is pound-for-pound a direct competitor to the class leaders like the PD170 and DVX100, by saying:
Quote:

How does the picture quality of the JY-HD10U compare with a comparably priced professional 3 CCD hand held NTSC camera?

It depends upon the camera; they really are different! JVC's 3 CCD hand held is the GY-DV300U, which is the highest performing camera in its class. Compared with the JY-HD10U, the GY-DV-300U has better color reproduction, better highlight handling, better shadow reproduction, and higher sensitivity. The JY-HD10U has higher resolution, especially in the vertical direction. Compared with other 3 CCD hand helds, there is quite a range of performance. The worst ones will have attributes similar to the JY-HD10U (even though they are 3 CCD), but with much lower resolution, and priced higher than the JY-HD10U.
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Old December 28th, 2003, 09:50 PM   #9
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Did anyone say why 3ccd camera sensor design lends itself to more saturation? How does that jive with still camera sensors?

I don't listen to that JVC link's hype.
Listen to what they said about Iris lock, it's a lie ( the last statement. The exposure can be locked, but I don't think that means the shutter and aperture stays put. There is a difference) :

--Can I manually control the iris?
--Not directly, but you can achieve a similar result. The auto iris can be offset up or down to achieve greater or less exposure. --
--Once you get the exposure you like, the iris can be locked so it will not change regardless of scene changes.



-Les
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