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


 
 
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Old March 29th, 2003, 03:26 AM   #1
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JVC HD DV CAMCORDERS, ETC. -- ANSWERS AND COMMENTS


JVC HD1/10 vs. Sony PD150:

HD1/10 is 720p 4:2:0; PD150 is 480i 4:1:1. Both camcorders use 1/3 of the space for color.

You can project 720p to 5.3x larger area than PDX150 (or DVX100) material shot in 16:9 mode, when watching the content from the same distance.


Contrary to some opinions 24p is not dead:

It is the ideal format when transferring to film, PAL, and NTSC. If you don't need film and PAL, 30p will give you better film motion artifact look than 24p transferred to 30p – because the pulldown of the transfer has too many unnatural artifacts.

So when someone tells you to shoot 24p and transfer to 30p for what some call film look, forget it, 30p will give you better of that film look.

24 fps is an archaic speed and there were always attempts to raise it. In the past there were a number of major 65 mm films made with 30 fps speed (Oklahoma, Cleopatra, The Sound of Music, Hello Dolly). IMAX HD 70 mm film speed is 48 fps.

When the digital projection and acquisition technology matures, we'll see higher film frame rates.


Planning to buy SD camera?

Anyone planning to buy SD camera should be cautious. 25 Meg MPEG2 720p HD looks better than 50 Meg SD upconverted to 720p HD, and the content you create with it (SD) will not be obsolete in a few years. Even 6 Meg MPEG2 720p HD that HDTV is using looks better than 50 Meg SD upconverted to 720p HD.

Remember, if you create content for HDTV, your 100 Mbps Varicam produced content normally becomes MPEG2 6 Mbps when broadcasted in 720p. So a blue laser 25 Mbps HD camcorder, when it comes out, will have sufficient video quality for creation of HDTV content. So unless you really need to buy an SD camera now, you may be better off to buy MPEG2 HD camera when some real pro models become available. Looking at the number of major manufacturers belonging to the blue laser HD consortium, it should not take long for one of them to start filling the supply void -- start satisfying the abundant demand.


3 CCDs vs. 1 CCD pickup

When it comes to 3 vs. 1 CCD -- it does not matter that much. The higher area the sensors have, the more low light sensitivity you get. So 3 CCD's should theoretically make the camera 3x as sensitive, but in reality the increase in sensitivity is not as pronounced.

We are beyond tube era when you needed 3 pickups because of convergence problems. The way CCDs are made, on a single chip camera each pixel has its own filter, so the color can be as good with one as with 3 CCD pickups (sensors). In the past the CCDs did not have enough pixels. The reality today is totally different. Some of the low cost 3 CCD consumer cameras use 3 CCDs because it sells the product, not because you get better quality. One larger CCD sensor would be better but would require a larger and more expensive lens, etc.

The above applies to conventional CCD technology by Sony, etc. The JVC HD1/10 may be using a different technology, where the CCD may have somewhat diminished sensitivity, however the 35 Lux rating has probably a lot more to do with insufficient gain up than with a poor sensitivity sensor.


Red Laser HD DVD format

There will be soon (this year) TIVO equivalent that will record High Def in MPEG4; also Toshiba will have soon (this year) red laser High Def DVD format products that will use MPEG4 -- I think that Samsung is already coming out with a red laser HD DVD player in Korea, based on the Toshiba HD format/technology. It is of a substantially lower quality that the MPEG2 based blue laser HD DVD format that Sony and others will be coming out with this year.

The red laser HD DVD is the same red laser that DVD is using, but the MPEG4 is a lot more compressed than MPEG2.

HD is definitely arriving at full force. This year alone 4 new HD formats are being introduced -- two DVD (Toshiba, Sony), one DV (JVC), and HDCAM SR (Sony).

One of the reasons for the sudden arrival of all the MPEG based HD formats is because of HD DVD format war between Toshiba and Sony. Toshiba’s been pushing hard their low quality HD DVD format to the Hollywood studios as being a better, lower cost alternative to the Sony’s better quality format.

Because the two giants were rushing to introduce their HD DVD products, JVC stepped up introduction of their HD DV format to beat them in their game. However the optical technology has too many advantages over tape so both JVC HD formats are dated – in the case of HD DV it became dated even before it became introduced. The other JVC HD tape format is DVHS.

Considering that JVC was never very good in marketing their products, it will not take too long for Sony to win their new battle against JVC. They lost the first one – Beta vs. VHS. Then Sony’s 8 mm format slowly won over VHSC. Now Sony will push their HD DVD against JVC’s HD DV. DV format, by the way, was developed by Sony. Sony was a co-developer on the blue laser HD DVD format.

There are big $ to be made for the ones whose technology prevails. The $ come in licensing fees.


Surreal Reality:

I’m back in the real world again for a while, taking a break. I was gone working (collaborating) on a script. We got through the first phases already – treatment, characterization, etc. The real world – war and so on is too surreal for me.

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Old March 29th, 2003, 03:50 AM   #2
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when comparing the DVX, I ment the interlaced mode
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Old March 29th, 2003, 04:18 AM   #3
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Thanks for your views. What kind of script are you working on?
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Old March 29th, 2003, 06:14 AM   #4
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Joseph,
Great update and commentary. Thanks, Nick
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Old March 30th, 2003, 07:45 AM   #5
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Why, then, does the color on the pictures from the new JVC HD camera look so poor compared those from 3-chip Sony and Canon cameras?
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Old March 30th, 2003, 08:06 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Moore : Why, then, does the color on the pictures from the new JVC HD camera look so poor compared those from 3-chip Sony and Canon cameras? -->>>

Curious where you've seen a comparison.
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Old March 30th, 2003, 11:11 PM   #7
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Unfortunately I cannot find the link, but I saw some of JVC's promotional pics for their HD camera and the color looked horrible. I've also heard reviews from people who used the camera in Japanese electronics stores who also were very unhappy with the picture quality. While there are no "same shot" comparisons between the JVC and, say, a Canon, one would think JVC would release the best it had, and if that's it then I'm not impressed. I also found it real telling that there were no indoor shots at all.

Basically it looked to me like a high resolution version of a cheap consumer camcorder, certainly not HD.
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Old March 31st, 2003, 12:10 AM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Moore : Unfortunately I cannot find the link, but I saw some of JVC's promotional pics for their HD camera and the color looked horrible. I've also heard reviews from people who used the camera in Japanese electronics stores who also were very unhappy with the picture quality. While there are no "same shot" comparisons between the JVC and, say, a Canon, one would think JVC would release the best it had, and if that's it then I'm not impressed. I also found it real telling that there were no indoor shots at all.
-->>>

So you are basing your "evaluation" on some still photos and reports your "heard" by some folks who saw the camera at some stores in Japan. And you are not impressed.

I'm not saying you are wrong in your evaluation -- but have you ever seen still pix of a Canon or Sony DV camcorder blown to 6 feet or more on an HDTV? How impressed would you be by that do you think?
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Old March 31st, 2003, 12:17 AM   #9
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The only decent/reputable report I've seen on the camcorder was from the guy from Canada that went to PMA. He posted some images; then there were the images from Japan. The colors were not as saturated as on DV, but who cares, the resolution is so much more important; you may have to adjust these in post, or just live with certain look characteristic for this camcorder.

The less saturated colors may actually be better than some of the oversaturated chroma on some of the DV cameras. I'm sure that many filmmakers will agree. They need an image that they'll be able to project to a large size. This is the lowest cost camcorder that will allow them to do that. And this is the first camcorder that will produce content that is HD, and therefore will not be dated as SD material is right now.

As to color -- some filmmakers/DPs prefer certain Kodak stock, others Fuji or Agfa, depending on a project, but if they were told that only one of these will allow them decent size projection, which one do you think that they would chose?

Besides the report from the Canadian guy, all other people who tried the camcorder and reported on it reported so amateurious stuff that I had to totally discard it.

The resolution, when analyzing the pictures, was excellent, certainly high def.

Technically/theoretically the camcorder should have excellent color. Maybe JVC included another limitation on it so it does not compete with pro HD stuff, but I doubt it. 1/3 of the space is devoted to color, same as on other 4:1:1 or 4:2:0 cameras. You'll get all the colors you need from the CCD. What JVC does with them afterwards, we'll have to wait for NAB.

Compression related motion artifacts should not be a problem in my opinion. DVD, which is MPEG2, has no noticeable compression related motion artifacts once you reach 6 Mbps. This camcorder is 19 Mbps.

Panasonic's HD Varicam and their SD 4:2:2 cameras are both 50 Mbps at 720/30p. Panasonic did not increase the transfer rate on the HD camera and the picture is fine.

The JVC picture, once lighted sufficiently, will be fine too. The camera will not have all the pro features to be used for efficient pro work, but JVC needs to uphold their reputation. Realize that it is beating Sony by being the first one to bring us low cost HD. JVC cannot afford to be a laughing stock to deliver DV quality on an HD camera. Comparison of this camcorder to PD150 is nonsense.

These two Japanese Samurais -- Sony and Matsushita, with their JVC division, are trying to up one another, ever since Sony came out with Beta and Matsushita did not adopt it but came out with VHS -- via JVC.

Re: Frank Granovski's question -- The script I've been working on is a comedy.

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Old March 31st, 2003, 07:18 AM   #10
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I based my evaluation on still pictures I saw from JVC's website. And I'm telling you the richness of the color, the contrast, and the overall beauty looked no better than a $200 2 megapixel digital still camera. I expect better looking pictures than that from a $3000 camera purporting to be HD. The colors looked washed and flat. I've seen HD and it's not supposed to look that way.

I don't think this camera will be a viable replacement for Super16 film, which is what HD is supposed to be. Resolution is certainly not the only thing that's important. Yes, it's better than NTSC resolution, but it's not as good as it could be, and that's a very big disappointment.

Anway these are pictures that JVC posted, not amateurs. I would think they would post the best they could produce. And, again, I think the lack of indoor samples is telling. The ridiculous light requirements probably have something to do with that.

I, for one, will stick with my current 3 CCD camera, until Canon makes the XL2 which (I HOPE) will be HD.
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Old March 31st, 2003, 01:39 PM   #11
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Re: Peter Moore's Comments:

The JVC is only 1 megapixel camera. 2 Meg CCD still camera should have a better picture.

Regarding Canon XL2 with 1/2.5" 16:9 500K chips rumors:

Here's an explanation why these chips make sense, therefore giving some good validity to the XL2 rumor:

1/2.5 inch CCD must have been chosen so that the same lenses and mount can be used. The chip will be used for both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios.

1/2.5" = .4" diag. (new chip)
1/3" = .33" diag. (old chip)

What Canon is apparently doing is something similar to how Sony designed the PDX10. They use 4:3 aspect chip with more pixels than is needed and they do not use the top and bottom portions of the chip.

So in 16:9 the chip becomes something like .35", which is something the existing lenses and mount will accommodate. Or maybe 1/2.5 is only a nominal size and in actuality it will be slightly less than that -- to yield .33" in 16:9 aspect.

How 4:3 aspect will be handled, if it will be similarly as on PDX10 (I bet on this one) or if they'll use a wider area, we'll see, but it appears that the diagonal will be less than .33" so the lenses will have larger focal length than marked in 4:3 -- something like 20mm will become 24 mm or so. In 16:9 the focal lengths will be as marked.

My opinion is that this will be the biggest change. I don't think that the camcorder will be progressive scan. 24 fps? Yes -- that is not a difficult task to accomplished.

My guess is that we may see similar chipset upgrades on Sony camcorders; they started this concept with PDX10 and they need something to counteract the DVX success. We may even fond out that the Canon will use the same Sony CCDs as a likely PD150 upgrade.



Replacing the chips with chips that will handle both aspects and at the same time be able to use same camera body, lens etc. is a smart and inexpensive move and probably will be the last improvement in Canon and Sony DV products before moving to MPEG2 blue laser HD DVD format as DV replacement -- although both the DV and the HD DVD formats will coexist for a while.

I'll be leaving town again today -- back to writing a script -- will be in the middle of nowhere for a long time.

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Old March 31st, 2003, 02:43 PM   #12
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"The JVC is only 1 megapixel camera. 2 Meg CCD still camera should have a better picture."

Since it apparently wasn't clear, I was not referring to resolution, but color clarity, depth, and contrast. The JVC HD cam looked like nothing more than a high res version of a $200 camera. It'd be like taking the CCD in my 1.2 megapixel Olympus and somehow capturing it at 30 fps. That's what it looked like.
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Old April 1st, 2003, 10:46 AM   #13
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The JVC HD cam looked like nothing more than ...

<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Moore : "The JVC is only 1 megapixel camera. 2 Meg CCD still camera should have a better picture."

The JVC HD cam looked like nothing more than a high res version of a $200 camera. It'd be like taking the CCD in my 1.2 megapixel Olympus and somehow capturing it at 30 fps. That's what it looked like. -->>>

Again -- you saw the JVC picture projected on a a good HDTV? Or, you saw a photo on your monitor after downloading it?

The DVX100 group, on another list, spent 9 months debating pix quality by using still photos. It would be nice if that BS didn't start here. Maybe the marketing guy liked the look he got in the photo?

Maybe JVC set the colorimetery for a pastel image after the 500 Pro camera was criticized as being to "brash." By the way, the colorimetry may be altered in the JY-HS10 in the USA.

I just reviewed a PDX10 and it was VERY saturated! So is the DVX100, but I liked it much better. Who knows why? But neither was realistic. People in NYC don't have glowing skin tones! In fact, most white folks are very pale -- so maybe the JVC is more accurate.

And, maybe the JVC has a saturation control.

I'm glad you like your Canon. I think your hopes of an HD version is not likely. What chips would they use?

Lets leave the word EVALUATION for folks who own a JVC and are using it. Frankly, a better word is IMPRESSION.

My impression was that the color was definitely not vibrant. I thought they lacked impact. But they were accurate.

And, I saw material shot indoors.

I also saw too much noise in the pink flower. But, that was from a prototype so I'm not claiming I evaluated it.
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Old April 2nd, 2003, 04:14 PM   #14
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Ok, you could be right and I really do hope the JVC HD works out but I'm just a little concerned after seeing those pix. But no it's not a real "evaluation."
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Old April 4th, 2003, 07:28 AM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Peter Moore : Ok, you could be right and I really do hope the JVC HD works out but I'm just a little concerned after seeing those pix. But no it's not a real "evaluation." -->>>

I found a great evaluation at:

http://camcorderinfo.com/content/jvc_grhd1_fi_camcorder_review.htm

I took BMPs (obtained directly from tape) from this evaluation into Photoshop and increased color saturation by "15" and I thought it added more impact. Although I thought the color was very accurate as is.

I have to wonder if the camera's colorimetry will be slightly altered for the USA. This would increase impact of the HD image.
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