Color, etc., with the GR-HD1 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > The Archives > JVC GR-HD1U / JY-HD10U

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


 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 29th, 2005, 03:03 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: la, ca
Posts: 87
Color, etc., with the GR-HD1

I am trying to reconcile the absolute certainty I previously felt about the GR-HD1 with the uncertainty this forum has introduced. First, some reference points:

The #1 Google result for the search term "jvc hd" returns an article with this picture:

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/images/articles/jvc_hd_scr.jpg

Now, I look at this picture and can immediately see that it is TOTALLY superior to ANY image that could be produced with mini-DV. I think that is a fair and objective statement. Without getting into questions of contrast ratio or resolution, let me try an limit this to questions of color exclusively. I don't know what the technical terms are for discussing color in video, but I have been using an XL1, and watching reality tv shows on televsion shows and so on, and have started identifying mini-DV footage as "beige-vision".

This GR-HD1 image, by contrast, isn't limited by mini-DV "beige-vision" constraints at all--not only are the colors vivid, but the CCD seems to subtly mute the color palette so that the colors seem to work better _with each other_. (I know, to a large extent this has to be attributed to the subject of the photograph above, a Las Vegas casino, but nevertheless, I have noticed that HD seems to have a characteristic way of handling colors that is subtly muted and pleasing).

So that was my point of view yesterday and the day before. Now, hunting through this forum, I see various complaints about the JVC, including:

- it doesn't handle low light well
- it doesn't handle indoor natural lighting well
- it doesn't have a full array of manual controls

I am seeking some semi-objective reassurances and caveats concerning this camera's ability to perform as an image capturing tool.

1) How are the FX1 and similar cameras superior to the HD1?
2) Isn't the GR-HD1 TOTALLY superior to the DVX-100 concerning color?
3) Can the GR-HD1 handle a wide variety of lens adapters?
4) What are the biggest weaknesses of this camera?
5) What manual controls, specifically, are missing that would be helpful?
6) What are some specific circumstances where the camera's performance falters, and what are the solutions?

Thanks in advance for your thoughtful responses.



* The full article is http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/jvc_grhd1_fi_camcorder_review.htm and contains the following links to other pictures also taken by the HD1 http://www.camcorderinfo.com/images/articles/jvc_hd_2.bmp http://www.camcorderinfo.com/images/articles/jvc_hd_3.bmp http://www.camcorderinfo.com/images/articles/jvc_hd_4.bmp http://www.camcorderinfo.com/images/articles/jvc_hd_5.bmp http://www.camcorderinfo.com/images/articles/jvc_hd_6.bmp http://www.camcorderinfo.com/images/articles/jvc_hd_7.bmp
Steve Watnet is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 03:28 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
Let me see if I can help with your questions :)

1) The FX1 and other HDV cameras which will be hitting the market soon are vastly superior in their low light capability, color rendition, and manual controls. If you don't need manual then the HD1 may be ok.

2) No! The DVX is 3CC the HD1 is 1CCD. That right there not only decreases resolution (bayer pattern) but it gives the image a much flater look. You could easily mimick the image of the HD1 with a DVX - just have to play around with the settings. Same goes for an XL2. But yes, I can see what you mean about handling color interaction better. IMO that comes from a lack of intense saturation that many in the DV world attempt to achieve when going for a "film look." You should be able to achieve this very effect in the cameras controls with the DVX or XL2.

3) Don't know :)

4) Well what is your intended purpose? If you plan on going to film then the 30p frame rate will be really bad (it doesn't work out to 24 easily at all). If your just going to DVD (or perhaps soon to be HD DVD/Blueray) then the lack of manual control and low latitude would be the next in line.

5) Iris, shutter speed and focus are the three I know of (not entirely sure about the focus thing).

6) Low light - dump more light onto the set!
Low latitude - control your lighting very well
30p - no good for film

I love 30p personally but if film is an intended use then 30p will be the last frame rate on the list to shoot with.

Hopefully that was semi-objective. I've only played with the camera briefly instore so take my words with a grain of salt.

EDIT: forgot to mention that the camera has a TON of edge enhancement. This may or may not be bothersome to you.
Aaron Shaw is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 03:43 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: la, ca
Posts: 87
Re: #2, #5 and EDIT

<<<--
2) No! The DVX is 3CC the HD1 is 1CCD. That right there not only decreases resolution (bayer pattern) but it gives the image a much flater look. You could easily mimick the image of the HD1 with a DVX - just have to play around with the settings. Same goes for an XL2. But yes, I can see what you mean about handling color interaction better. IMO that comes from a lack of intense saturation that many in the DV world attempt to achieve when going for a "film look." You should be able to achieve this very effect in the cameras controls with the DVX or XL2.

5) Iris, shutter speed and focus are the three I know of (not entirely sure about the focus thing).

EDIT: forgot to mention that the camera has a TON of edge enhancement. This may or may not be bothersome to you. -->>>

* * *

Can anybody PROVE that a color image that has come out of a DVX-100 is comparable to an HD image?

Can anybody point to a DVX image which transcends the beige-vision nature of DV?

Does anybody deny that DV is beige-vision?

* * *

#5: Ack! The HD1 doesn't have manual iris control, manual shutter speed or manual focus controls????

* * *

EDIT: Is edge enhancement that thing in video where the edges alway look extra dark? I thought that was just a characteristic of video. That is actually something that cameras _try_ to do?
Steve Watnet is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 03:58 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
Hey Steve,

I know the DVX can make a nice picture for my purposes at least. Technically, there is no more color information in a DVX image vs that in a HD image *ratio wise.* MPEG2 HD is a 4:2:0 color space while the DVX and DV in general record in 4:1:1 (or 4:2:0 if you live in PAL land). Same color ratio different organizations. The problem I have with the HD1s color is that it's created from a bayer pattern. Now, what really matters is the image itself but bayer patterns cut the resolution of the image down a bit and tend to have less realisitic colors.

You seem to be quite happy with the colors though so it may be fine for you. What is it about the images you see here that differs from DV? I'm not entirely sure what you mean. Could you post a grab or something demonstrating what you mean? You may very well be right, I just can't say as I'm not sure I understand!

I know the HD1 does NOT have manual iris or shutter. I'm not 100% certain about the focus.

Edge enhancement is indeed the extra dark edges that you see in video. Often it appears as a halo around an object - either black or white. Yes, cameras really do try to do this! it adds to the percieved sharpness of the image but it also makes the footage look electronic and harsh. I know you can turn the sharpness setting down (to 100% off) on the XL2 and DVX. I'm absolutely certain that this cannot be changed on the HD1.

Do you need a camera now? If not you should probably wait until NAB. There will be some more HD options introduced and I'm guessing prices on current cameras will drop a bit.
Aaron Shaw is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 04:12 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: la, ca
Posts: 87
BEIGE VISION

<<<-- Originally posted by Aaron Shaw : Hey Steve,

You seem to be quite happy with the colors though so it may be fine for you. What is it about the images you see here that differs from DV? I'm not entirely sure what you mean. Could you post a grab or something demonstrating what you mean? You may very well be right, I just can't say as I'm not sure I understand!
-->>>

I did a search on "DVX100 pictures" and this is the first result I found.

The pictures come from American Cinematographer so it is a fairly safe bet that the operator was a fairly competent photographer.

http://www.24p.com/ASC_Pictures.htm

Now what is the first thing you see when you look at these pictures? BEIGE.

It drives me CRAZY that you DVX users pretend not to see this. It is BEIGE. EVERYTHING IS BEIGE!!!!
Steve Watnet is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 04:23 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
Honestly, I don't see it. Sorry! Can you be more specific about what you are seeing? If anything the 35mm on that website looks more beige in my mind than the DVX. Maybe I'm just not understanding which specific thing you are talking about?

Part of what you may be refering to is a lack of contrast. That's a common thing when the DVX is used with cinegamma. It's meant to maximize dynamic range. There are, however, other options which give a punchier picture such as cinegamma-v. You can go to either extreme with the camera. That's not a color thing of course but a rendition of the light and dark areas which can be changed about in several different ways.

Here's a nice site that has some good footage. I believe it was all shot with cinegamma but it does display what the camera can do well. I can't find any good comparison grabs at the moment. I'll have to sit down and shoot some stuff with varying in camera settings to get some decent stuff to post.

http://www.pinelakefilms.com/

EDIT: Just thought of something else. Most DVX footage has the sharpness setting turned WAY down. That might also add to the lack of contrast that you are seeing. The HD1 has this in plenty of course.
Aaron Shaw is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 04:39 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: la, ca
Posts: 87
OK I GIVE UP

Take the last ASC picture, the picture of the color chart.

I think it is obvious that if you compare the DVX color chart picture with the HD pictures that the DVX colors look muddy. The DVX colors look dirty! Like they need to be put in the laundry! Here are the links:

http://www.24p.com/asc_web/35mm_Macbeth.jpg

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/images/articles/jvc_hd_scr.jpg

For my part, I am satisfied, and thank you for putting me thru this exercise.
Steve Watnet is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 04:48 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 587
Hopefully someone else will chime in and give some opinions as well. I hear you on the colors. I think it's a lack of contrast between colors yes? They just don't pop out from each other?

Anyway, best wishes for you whatever you decide to get :). I'd recommend waiting until after NAB if you can though. There will be many more alternatives then!
Aaron Shaw is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 05:21 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 359
I think I know what Steve means by 'beige' tones, but as Aaron says it's just lack of contrast and sharpeness. It may also have to do with the cinegamma settings used in each shot.

The HD1 colors are definitely more vivid and contrasty, but that's only due the worse color latitude. You can easily achieve this in post with images captured with a DVX100.

Also, all the HD1 shots that you (Steve) posted don't have people on them or high contrast situations (sun/shade). It would become more apparent the problems you may encouter when shooting skin tones during daylight.

Don't get me wrong, I think the HD1/HD10 are great cameras and deserve much more credit then they get, but the DVX100A is, overall, a better camera.
Dave Ferdinand is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 06:26 PM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: la, ca
Posts: 87
<<<-- Originally posted by Dave Ferdinand :
The HD1 colors are definitely more vivid and contrasty, but that's only due the worse color latitude. You can easily achieve this in post with images captured with a DVX100. -->>>

Pardon me if I sound skeptical, and if I am paraphrasing wrong, but aren't you saying the reason the HD1 is reproducing colors more accurately than DV, and with greater tonal variety, is because the HD1 is dealing with a _smaller_ color palette?

Chris Hurd removed some comments I made about group-think because he felt they were offensive, but to reiterate, I have this growing suspicion that the primary reason the DVX retains dominant mindshare is because everybody keeps reiterating how it is the best.

The point of view I am investigating is simple. While the DVX may, at the end of the day, be a better camera than the XL2, or at least a much much better value, it is of a format that is already on its deathbed. Yeah, on its deathbed. Not a new thought. The foundation of this argument--insofar as it has been developed--is that take just about any two random images, one HD and one miniDV, and it is immediately apparent using the naked eye that HD is reproducing color more vividly, accurately and pleasingly than miniDV. That's the conclusion I have come to based all the footage I have seen so far.

In other words, I have yet to see a miniDV image that has anything close to the tonal variety expressed in that HD1 shot. Not one. Dave, asserting that the DVX is "just a better camera" is certainly a common enough type of comment. It's very easy to read that kind of comment all day long in any number of posts. Frankly, the sheer volume of that type of commentary had me believing that miniDV was a contender.

But I have yet to see a.single.image that demonstrates this idea that any miniDV camera can deal with color in the same league--doctored in post or undoctored. I genuinely am very interested in being shown another POV, but simply positing something doesn't make it so. Saying that you can remove the "muddy" quality on the color chart in post by lowering the contrast doesn't make it so. Saying that 3 chips is better than one doesn't make it so. Making technical assertions in the abstract doesn't make it so. Only a picture will prove it.

Again, I've got nothing invested in this argument--I don't need to justify my ownership or use of any one camera. But it seems to me to be quantifiably obvious that, relative to HD images, miniDV colors are INHERENTLY muddy. How that muddiness came to be is not germaine. The pertinent issue is that not only is it muddy, but it is inherently and possibly irreversibly muddy. I know that sounds impossibly dogmatic, but I am reacting against this relentless DVX propaganda, and it seems that not only does the emperor have no clothes, the emperor is beige.
Steve Watnet is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 07:38 PM   #11
Barry Wan Kenobi
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,863
I just found this thread, and I think I can elucidate a bit. The "beige" thing has got to be the cinegamma, a gamma curve that softens contrast. That adds a bit of a look which basically can sometimes look like you've put a layer of gray over your video. But, it lets you resolve more latitude. Lower-contrast pictures retain more detail in the shadows and in the highlights, higher-contrast pictures (such as the HD1 produce) result in punchier contrast, but less overall information recorded.

But Steve, you're aware that the DVX has 7 different gamma curves, right? I mean, you can dial in any look you want. Comparing DVX color with a few shots off the web is doing this cam a great disservice. As an example, have a look at this page:
http://www.icexpo.com/dvx100/TwelveMPLooks.JPG

Of those twelve pictures, which one is the DVX? The answer is, of course, that they're *all* DVX footage. All the same camera, all shot in the same place. None of those shots were treated in post in any way -- they're all shot by the camera, just using the different menu settings to create different looks. And the looks can be very different, from soft muted contrast to ultra-contrasty saturated punchy colors.

In the hands of a competent operator, a DVX can run circles around an HD1 as far as color reproduction goes. You can make it look like anything you want. So you shouldn't try to make a comparative judgement based on two random grabs pulled from the Internet, done by different operators at different experience levels shooting different scenes...
Barry Green is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 08:49 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 359
Steve, I didn't say that the DVX 'is just a better camera'. I said that _overall_ is better than the HD1, and also the HD10U.

A camera is much more than the colors reproduced on an image, or the resolution.

Sure the HD1 has much better resolution than the DVX, but that's probably one of the few specs where it beats the DVX.

The worst point about the HD1 is the lack of full manual control (aperture, shutter speed, etc.) - which the DVX has, and so does the GL2, PD150, XL2, etc.

As I said before I agree that most footage we see on the internet shot using the DVX looks 'muddy', but that's because most people are unable to set it properly, or they just opt for that look. The images shown by Barry show several settings that are everything but brownish.

One last thing: if you knew me personally you'd know that I'm the least likely person of going for the 'group thinking'. I like to make analisys and observations of my own, and take my own conclusions. Personally I just don't think that high definition is enough to make the HD1, or even the FX1 a better camera over SD.
Dave Ferdinand is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 09:03 PM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Posts: 1,315
Aaron -"I know the HD1 does NOT have manual iris or shutter. I'm not 100% certain about the focus."

Well you have used the cam a lot I see. The cam does have a manual shutter. It does have a manual iris. And of course it does have manual focus. Were you even really serious about that last one? There are certain limits to shutter/iris combo's, which is where you might be getting confused.

The HD10 does not have the edge enhancement level of its consumer brother HD1.
Many who own the cams will tell you their colour rendition is a big possitive, me included. The colours look very natural and film like. Everything I shoot, the good the bad and the ugly, has an unmistakeable 16mm film look. DV colour was never my favorite to start with. As far a s colour info is concerned the DV and HDV have about the same information per pixel. But the HD10 has 2.5 times as many pixles. This is a great advantage for colour correcting especially when your final format will be downsampled to SD.
__________________
Damnit Jim, I'm a film maker not a sysytems tech.
Ken Hodson is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 10:22 PM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Posts: 1,666
Aaron -"I know the HD1 does NOT have manual iris or shutter. I'm not 100% certain about the focus."

You beat me to it, Ken. Amazing that the thread got as far as it did without THAT bit of misinfo getting corrected...
Graham Hickling is offline  
Old March 29th, 2005, 11:07 PM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Posts: 1,315
Ya well you know when people get unhappy in their own turf they like to check out where the grass is greener. One has to wonder what so many DVX users are doing in a HDV forum ;>) ??
__________________
Damnit Jim, I'm a film maker not a sysytems tech.
Ken Hodson is offline  
 

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > The Archives > JVC GR-HD1U / JY-HD10U

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:39 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network