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JVC GR-HD1U / JY-HD10U
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Old March 30th, 2005, 12:11 AM   #16
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thank god!

OK. I can see that miniDV is officially capable of producing non-beige images and can neatly occupy hand-painted photograph territory.* Moving past issues of SD vs HD, what about the HD1 as "acquistion hardware"?

i.e.,

- does the it handle lens adapters without issue?
- what are its biggest weaknesses?
- what manual controls, specifically, are missing that would be helpful?
- what are some specific circumstances where the camera falters, and are there any recourses?

In short, what are the critical and insurmountable flaws in this prosumer camera, relative to its image-making capacities?

* http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/CFJ/7006.jpg
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Old March 30th, 2005, 01:24 AM   #17
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Ok, here are my 2 cents:

If you have the time, energy, and patience to really set up your shots properly, the HD10 (don't know about the HD1) can be a kickass camera. In the right hands and in the right setting it can smoke the DVX100A, because regardless of the lighting, frame-rate, etc., you can't add resolution in post!

Now I'm not saying the HD10 is better than the DVX100. This is because there are just some situations (primarily low-light) where a shot would be impossible with the HD10 that the DVX100 could handle with ease.

Honestly a HD10 shot that is set up well looks very much like Super 16. It has what I consider as the best compromise of the frame rates (30p is not too stuttery, but more filmic than 60i), and you really get spoiled by the extra resolution.

This is especially true outdoors, I can't tell you the number of old-school film people who have mistaken some of our outdoor footage for Super-16. The saturation is very nice on the camera, but I believe it is the combination of frame rate, color saturation, and resolution that yields these results.

Indoor shooting with the HD10 can be an adventure. You really have to be careful with lighting, and you have to have a decent color monitor (minimum 13") on set. After a while though you get a feel for what the HD10 wants, and the magic starts to happen. I imagine it takes a solid 2 weeks of lighting setups to really get used to the HD10. You can watch our movie, for example, and see how we got more comfortable with the HD10 throughout the course of shooting.

Another advantage of the HD10 is that you can really use the extra resolution to your advantage, even if you are delivering in SD. For example, we had several shots we had to crop by 60% (blow up by 40%), and the shots still looked nice in SD. No way you could get away with that if you started with an SD frame.

The downsides of the HD10 include:

1) Terrible sensitivity, very hard to use in low light, finicky even with moderate light (chroma noise).

2) You can set the shutter on manual and leave the exposure on auto, or vice versa, but you can't have both on manual. We lock the shutter at 1/60th, but we had sitautions where the exposure would drift when someone would walk into the scene with a black shirt, for example. This can be annoying and takes some real getting used to.

3) Lacks the true dynamic range of other cameras, like the DVX100 for example. This is mainly at the low-end, so you aren't going to get the shadow detail you would get with the DVX100. This is primarily due to #1.

4) The built-in audio recording blows, use double-system sound.

The upsides are:

1) Great color saturation

2) Great resolution

3) 30p is nice, especially if you don't care about going to film

Ok, I guess that was more like a dime rather than 2 cents :)
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Old March 30th, 2005, 01:35 AM   #18
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One more thing, if you have moderate chroma noise problems with the HD10 thay can be fixed in post. We use VirtualDub, Cineform has a plugin for their AspectHD product, etc.

So the chroma noise problem is not insurmountable.

However, in true "low-light" situations, there will end up being too much noise to fix without going for an "artistic" look.

For example, we had a bedroom shot that ended up looking really bad, noise like crazy, not to mention you could barely see the actors (keep in mind on the HD10's LCD everything looked great). However, we "solved" the problem by adjusting the brightness and contrast severely, changing the scene to 75% Black and White, and then using the chroma-noise filter. The result was a decent night-look. But if it would have been for a "normal" shot we would have had to throw it out.

Other times we have used 1/30th or 1/15th shutter to get better low-light performance, but that really only works for shots without much movement.

Hope this helps,

Ben
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Old March 30th, 2005, 01:49 AM   #19
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very helpful

That was extraordinarily helpful, totally appreciate it; that's actually kind of priceless info.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 09:06 AM   #20
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Steve, I would highly recommend using the search feature at the top of the page then select the HD1/10 forum and throw in key words that intrest you. Everything you are asking has been discussed many, many times. To say the least, there is a massive amount of info in this DVinfo.net forum.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 09:22 AM   #21
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Egad! Thanks for the correction! As I said in my post, I haven't dealt much with the camera - only used it in store once and heard others reports. I was hoping someone would chime in and verify/correct me there! Thanks!

As for a DVX user on and HDV forum; I'm rather interested in the new format and am looking forward to NAB this year! The DVX is just a camera - same as any other! I'll choose whatever works for my needs :). Hopefully that will be some HD variant soon!
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Old March 30th, 2005, 02:44 PM   #22
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O-K
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Old March 30th, 2005, 08:45 PM   #23
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It's good to have you guys aboard.
The HD1/10 is a bit of an enigma. Often getting bashed when it is undeserved. It is a phenomenal cam but really takes an investment in time to learn to get the most. A few of us can get a little defensive to the general negative perception, like me ;>)
but any cam talk is wellcome here.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 09:12 PM   #24
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That----the weird things this camera does and how to get around them--is exactly what I'm interested in.

Defensiveness about one's own camera is totally understandable. To a large extent you're stuck with what you've got. I totally want DV to look good and totally want it to look film-like, but it's like DV enthusiasts are in denial.

The format is going to die. Period. The question is, how long is it going to drag on. I am very excited to have discovered these cameras even exist. If it takes a little tweaking and finesse to get an image that is easily four times better and half the price of, say, a DVX, then viva la revolucion. And that is the interesting discussion, I think: what are this camera's flaws and how does one get around them.

The discussion that is not interesting, in my opinion, is whether or not SD images can compare. Based on this thread, I am now thoroughly satisfied that SD is just plain, unequivocally, unambiguously inferior. The End.

Another discussion that is not interesting--because the issue is resolved--is whether or not the camera is flawed. The camera is flawed. Next.

Ever hear of the 10x rule? In order to supplant an existing technology, a contending, new technology has to either be ten times better or ten times cheaper. It seems to me that this camera fulfills the 10x rule, in some kind of permutation.

That said, why is that--as described in Ben's tale above--the image in the viewfinder could be different from the image on a monitor?
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Old March 30th, 2005, 09:44 PM   #25
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The LCD sucks. It will give you a vauge idea, but not a HD idea. For example it is very hard to tell when you are overexposed or not or wether you are in focus. SD focus was a lot easier. With HD a little off and your looking like SD. An external monitoring solution is almost required. A small TV works great, (not HD but you can tell focus and exposure just fine) or a laptop works sweet, and of course a true HD field monitor would be great. You can't just hope and guess with this cam. You better be on the money or your gonna be mad. Although the fully auto mode will suit many applications (except filmmaker ;>)
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Old March 30th, 2005, 10:04 PM   #26
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what a HD1 wants

<<<-- Originally posted by Ben Buie : After a while though you get a feel for what the HD10 wants, and the magic starts to happen. I imagine it takes a solid 2 weeks of lighting setups to really get used to the HD10. -->>>

I heard what Ben was saying here second hand, too.

That there is a way of predicting what the camera "wants"--so much so that the monitor ceases to be necessary?

What does the camera want?
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Old March 30th, 2005, 11:18 PM   #27
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Indoors has different meanings, low light, low wattage incandescent or candle light in the home. But the GR-HD1/10 really excels in another indoor environment, industrial photography where footage is shot on the factory floor under combinations of flourescent, mercury or halogen lighting, or office lighting. In that indoor setting, I have found the auto-white-balance to be nearly spot on, plenty bright and nicely saturated. I've actually made a little bit of money doing that.

Outdoors in bright daylight, contrast and latitude can be a challenge. But there I've found that a quality polarizing filter in combination with a 2x or 4x neutral density filter can more than tame the worst problems. So effective, you can overdo it in fact. But done right, the result is beautiful. For example, in bright daylight a 4x ND in combination with polarizer lets you choose a slower 1/60th shutter speed that imparts the right amount of motion blur to have fluidity and sharpness. The polarizer allows control of the latitude, to maintain shadow detail and saturation while not clipping the highlights. I find that turning the polarizing ring to achieve the deepest blue sky and absence of reflections to be overdone. Instead, I pursue a polarizer setting that reduces some but not all reflections, on the order of about 50%.

I don't use a monitor, and the LCD is hard to see in bright daylight. Unless on the tripod, I prefer the low resolution viewfinder, and trust the excellent auto-focus to do the job in daylight.

Summary:

Quality Neutral Density Filters
Quality Polarizing Filter
Quality Tripod
1/60th shutter speed
Practice and Experimentation

Ansel Adams would have approved. And yes, the camera is flawed. Next.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 11:27 PM   #28
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you should be praised, Tom
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Old March 30th, 2005, 11:50 PM   #29
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Tom, you want to move to Atlanta and be our DP? :)

You sound like you've got it down man.

Great post!

Ben
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Old March 30th, 2005, 11:53 PM   #30
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yes. more please
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