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Old January 6th, 2004, 02:15 PM   #1
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A call to Ken Freed of JVC...

Some of us have had problems with "canned" audio when plugging in an XLR mic into the inputs.

I made a call to Ken Freed at JVC (great guy, by the way) and he told me they are working on a solution now, but have nothing as of yet.

He also said if we take the menu selection of the shutter down, so to speak, the shutter isn't locked. So we need to keep the shutter option up in the viewfinder for it to remain locked.

He also suggested using a Century matte box with Schneider ND filters. He uses, for outside purposes, a .6 ND filter. Century makes Schneider filters. He said to cut the light to the midrange of the CCD.

Lastly, he said it's impossible for a firmware update to make the shutter and f-stop controls fully manual.

THANKS KEN!

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Old January 6th, 2004, 03:06 PM   #2
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He also said a Mac solution was weeks away when I saw him almost 6 months ago....so, don't get your hopes up.

IMHO - if they haven't fixed the audio by now - I don't think it will happen. They're counting their earnings from previous sales...not hard at work trying to fix the audio. What insentive do they have to fix it when we can't edit on a Mac and their included PC software stinks? They haven't addressed those issues - which are easy to fix. Therefore, I don't think their going to deal with exisiting hardware that's already in the field and needs to be repaired.

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Old January 7th, 2004, 01:23 PM   #3
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Fireware changes: shutter and f-stop controls fully manual

I can't see why a firmware upgrade couldn't make the the camera lock both shutter and aperature. The firmware currently has direct control over both; the user can directly control either, with the camera modifying the other based on a exposure setting.

i.e.
Aperature = Function(Shutter rate, exposure setting)
or
Shutter = Function(Aperature, exposure setting)

As this Function is in the Firmware, it can be modified. This are many ways to fix this. There is no hardware limitation involved as far as I can tell.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 01:54 PM   #4
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It seemed like perhaps there was a hardware limitation, based on my call with Ken...

Hmm...

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Old January 7th, 2004, 02:09 PM   #5
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I agree that a firmware would work, but I believe their engineering department probably has been told not to mess with the current state of design on the JVC HDV cams. It has to be a corporate thing...they want it crippled, so it doesn't compete with the more expensive cams.

It's all I can think of...we have a crippled camera. JVC has been making cameras for longer than most of us have been alive. I doubt they could overlook such a thing on a new product line for HDV cameras...it's so unlikely and just not practical to think otherwise.

We'll have to get a look at the new cameras in April. I will sell my JVC in a heartbeat if I can get a fully manual camera with a comparable image...or better!


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Old January 7th, 2004, 03:29 PM   #6
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There is no hardware limitation; all the automatic controls are not hardware based. See the proof below. When the camera's software determines the exposure, it uses the input from the CCD; setting shutter and/or aperture as needed to modified to maintain exposure. But we know there is no hardware exposure limits as we can happily over exposure or under exposure the camera without the hardware failing. Set your shutter to 1/30th (or 1/15th) in bright sunlight, and the automatic F22 may not be enough (the picture blows out as it should.) Underexposing the camera is even easily.

The camera actually has a pseudo-manual mode at this extremes. When using ND filters (or stacked polarizes -- which does work perfectly) you can set the shutter and aperture to what you want (as long as you want F2.0 :) .) For dramatic productions this works well as the decreased depth of field in often desired. In a scene where a dark silhouetted character switches on the lights, we don't want the camera to adjust (before or after the lighting change.) Set your shutter to 1/30 or 1/60 (for the look you prefer) then set you variable ND filtration to force the camera to F2.0 (then adjust so that your highlights are correct) for the brightest segment of the scene. The extreme limits on the camera prevent the camera from adjusting exposure throughout the take. Poor-mans manual control with the JVC camera.

Although the above shooting plan works, the techniques could be improved through real software control. The biggest problem with using aperture priority is the camera thinks you might want 1/15 shutter, that is never a good idea. This shutter setting is completely under software control (not the user.) Here is the proof I promised. The camera behaves differently in the "M" (manual) and "A" (auto) modes. As I just pointed out, the manual mode with aperture priority can force the shutter to 1/15th of a second. Yet in auto mode the shutter will never drop below 1/30th (try it.) The same amount of light is present for both A and M modes. Therefore it is a software control that is choosing the shutter based on the mode, the hardware can't destinguish. This proves the shutter rate is programmable. We already know we can set the aperture to want we want, and now we know the shutter is programmable, it would be only a minor software change to allow both to be controlled simultaneously.

This is a software (firmware) limitation, not hardware.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 03:39 PM   #7
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If true, David, maybe we the consumers can sign a petition to try and have them develop a firmware update to make the camera fully manual.

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Old January 7th, 2004, 03:46 PM   #8
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Even if a firmware changes can't be made public (for valid JVC/support reasons.) There is an optunity for JVC to release a rev. A camera (with a few other software tweaks) that could expand their reach into the indie filmmaker and production market. A JY-HD10'A' could be an easier choice against a DXV-100A with some small changes.
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