Review of JVC HD1 on CNET at DVinfo.net

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


 
 
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Old May 20th, 2003, 11:38 PM   #1
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Review of JVC HD1 on CNET

There's a review of the JVC HD1 camcorder now up on CNET at:

http://electronics.cnet.com/electron...5.html?tag=dir
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Old May 21st, 2003, 12:11 AM   #2
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Thanks very much for that link, Paul. It's the most rational, comprehensive review of this camera I've seen thus far.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 12:37 AM   #3
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Pretty pathetic and pretty much what was expected. Their words: "mediocre color and latitude" sum it up. Does anyone know if this is the Japanese version they reviewed, or is it the US version? If it is the US version, then this picture performance is what we can expect from the HD10. Besides claiming that they were the first, they will probably be also remembered as being the worst among the upcoming MPEG2 HD camcorders. And JVC DV camcorders, per Consumer Reports, are as unreliable as can be. I'll pass on this one. Remember, JVC = VHS = Video Home System -- about as non-innovative name as the name JVC itself. JVC stands for Japan Victor Company. Where's some creativity?

When Hi8 came out, it did not have worse color than 8 mm. When DV came, it was an improvement in all picture areas. When JVC improved on DV, they took us decades back in color quality, light sensitivity, etc. Plus 100K interlaced viewfinder on a camera with 1000K progressive CCD.

I can't wait until Consumer Reports gets hold of one and recommends Hi8 over it. JVC just completed the whole circle. From VHS to SVHS to DV and back to VHS color with this $3,500 mirracle.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 12:41 AM   #4
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Very good review.

No matter who makes it, there is currently no way to use a very tiny CCD with a million elements and get both sensitivity and latitude.

I just finished a review of the PD150 and it's amazing how cutting rez by 1/3 and increasing the size of the CCD makes a huge improvement over the PDX10.

What bothers me about the industry is that a decade ago, Sony had the TR-81 with a 1/2-inch single CCD. The camcorder was not physically larger! It blew away the VX1000 in terms of sensitivity.

Bottom line is that you'll need to control light -- both adding illumination as well as lowering contrast. Standard stuff.

What is interesting is that there were no negative comments about MPEG-2 artifacts. That's good news. All the other comments were expected given the technology.

No mention of Best Buy. (Is it true BB charges a 15% restocking charge?)
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Old May 21st, 2003, 12:59 AM   #5
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I don't think the poor picture/performance has anything to do with the chip size. They're cramping more and more pixels on still camera chips and the picture/color does not suffer. The poor performance is due to poorly performing MPEG2 processors. There are plenty of 1-chip DV cameras with higher density (smaller size) pixels than on this JVC, and some have excellent picture and color.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 01:38 AM   #6
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The same site has a review of Canon GL2, standard def camera, costing less than $2000, and they give it 9 points on image quality and performance. The JVC gets 7 points on each of these.

If you spend $ 1750 on a large screen HDTV set, you'll get a lot better image quality and performance than on $1000 large screen TV set.

High definition is synonymous with high quality picture. HD is thought of as progression in television/video, not regression.

Anyway, congratulations JVC; you've tried and I'm sure you've brought us the best that you could.

Now JVC, be realistic with the price. Lower it to $500 where you'll be more competing on image quality, performance, light sensitivity, viewfinder resolution, etc.

Check CNET camcorder ratings. JVC 920U costs $550, has the same performance and picture quality rating as HD1, and its overall rating is higher.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 02:30 AM   #7
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Well, Joseph, I've given up looking forward to what JVC brings out. It all started with the GR-DVL9000, and it's been downhill since then.

JVC replaced the DVL9000 with the DVL9500 (DVL9600 for PAL---DV-in & DV-out). Everything was the same, pretty much, except they stuck on a smaller lens (F1.8 verses F1.2). The following year, out came the DVL9800. Nice cam, with the same larger, 1/3" progressive scan CCD. It had the same amount of video effective pixels (360K), but now the total amount of CCD pixels got bumped up for stills. So the pixels were smaller thus the LUX requirements were higher. Okay, the year after that..., along came the GR-DV2000, now with a smaller, 1/4" CCD, and only 340K video effective pixels! But that's not all. JVC also introduced a "pro" version of this cam, called the Indie (JY200 or something like that). Adam Wilt did a review on it, and it wasn't "keen" on it.

One thing to keep in mind was that all these JVC cams were progressive scan; so what does JVC do? They shoot themselves in the other foot by taking away the progressive scan feature (for their next model, the GR-DV3000). But the CCD got a bit bigger (1/3.6"), and back was the F1.2 lens (not as wide as the one on the older DVL9000, though). Well. There must have been something seriously wrong with this cam, because JVC replaced it within 6 months, as the GR-DV3500.

Now here's another kicker. The DV3500 was never brought into North America---we only got the DV3000, 1 year after it was introduced in Japan; 6 months after the DV3500 came out (in Japan). But wait, the story continues.... The new GR-DV5000 came out a little while ago in Japan. Yup, back to the small, 1/4" CCD, and with the same video effective CCD pixels as the DV3000 and DV3500. AND, just for us 2nd rate North Americans, we now get the lovely stripped down version of the GR-DV5000 called the GR-DV4000!

So you see, I've given up with looking forward to what JVC is going to bring out: same old, same old---like a merry-go-round. Even if one day they do happen to bring out a decent 1 chip cam, I'll probably be suffering from the dreaded J.V.C.B.D.D. (JVC Blind and deaf disease).

PS: I own 2, DVL9500 models, my wife owns a lowly 300U. :)
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Old May 21st, 2003, 09:07 AM   #8
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JVC, although owned by Matsushita, is too small and does not have the quality development staff that Sony and Panasonic (Matsushita) has. They come out with innovative stuff, that is true, but this camcorder was probably just too much for them. Now, if Panasonic or Sony comes out with decent under $10K HD camcorder, they will cut into sales of everything up to Varicam and CineAlta, or up to $60K and $100K. So it's a catch 22. JVC does not make their chips. It may take Hitachi to come up with a decent low cost HD camcorder. Or Canon or Ikegami, in cooperation with another company to make the CCDs and decoders for them. Despite the big ones holding up on introducing decent low cost HD cameras for selfish reasons, it is still a free market, and there may be others to fill the void. You have a strong demand, the technology is available, but there is no supply. Even the DVX100 and te PDX10 were in my opinion made with so many drawbacks so they do not compete with their a lot more expensive stuff.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 10:53 AM   #9
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I've got to say I was very dissapointed with the lack of detail in this review, it pretty much hashed out what everyone else has been saying. It didn't give any details about what tests were performed, or how they were performed. I really want to see someone put it through it's paces and point out exactly how lacking the color problem is. If it just doesn't have the ability to capture the whole color gamut then that's one thing, but if you can get a clean get hi-res picture out of it with slightly washed our colors that can be easily fixed in post, that's another. If that's the case, it still may be a great tool for beginning film makers who don't have the money for the Varicams. I don't see Sony or Panasonic being in any hurry to shoot themselves in the foot and come out with low cost HD, they'll want to continue to milk the DV market as long as possible. Maybe Ikie?, now that would be great! A camera I could really trust.
I'm still dying to play with this JVC though, that resolution is very seductive!
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Old May 21st, 2003, 12:01 PM   #10
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Given the poor state of the major world economies, especially the indications of deflation, I'd be very surprised to see too much ambition on the prosumer product front for the coming year or two. I think that if the majors had today's technology in, say, 1997 or 1998 we would see an explosion of new products. But, given the sizeable investments required to develop and manufacture truly new cameras, Sony, et.al. would be wise to wait for stronger signs of economic recovery before moving too strongly.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 05:11 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Joseph George The poor performance is due to poorly performing MPEG2 processors. -->>>

Light sensitivty and latitude have zero to do with compression. It's a characteristic of CCD technology. The more pixels you cram in a smaller space -- the worse the sensitivity and latitude.

And these two were the main negatives reported. Again, no surprise here. The same problems exist for everyother camcorder that uses tiny hi-rez chips.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 05:17 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Paul Mogg : I've got to say I was very dissapointed with the lack of detail in this review, it pretty much hashed out what everyone else has been saying. It didn't give any details about what tests were performed, or how they were performed. If you can get a clean get hi-res picture out of it with slightly washed our colors that can be easily fixed in post, that's another -->>>

That's the problem with "tests" that involve no measurements. As you say, if chroma saturation is low it can be fixed in post.

Plus we already know the VF is being enhanced in the HD10. So really not much new.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 05:29 PM   #13
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Bottom line is to really make use of HD you need good glass and appropriately sized CCDs. These cameras aren't there yet.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 07:16 PM   #14
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Re: Steve Mullen's Post

The review said: "mediocre color and latitude". Washed-out colors on playback were reported by others. The washed out effect is due to low dynamic range. It is not the CCD, but the signal processing that is at fault.

True, the 35 Lux rating is caused by the small pixels, however maybe only partially; another factor could be insufficient video amplifier gain, which I would not mind at all.

HD10, as far as I remember should have 180K viewfinder. It will most likely use letterboxing in HD, as the HD1 does. That will make it a 135K interlaced viewfinder on 1 meg progressive system. Pretty pathetic in my opinion.
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Old May 21st, 2003, 09:30 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Joseph George : Re: Steve Mullen's Post

The review said: "mediocre color and latitude". Washed-out colors on playback were reported by others. -->>>

Again it's impossible to know if "mediocre" meant "washed out." Nor do we know how JVC measured 35lux.

I don't think the washed-out color is due to the chip -- nor the encoder. I suspect that JVC reduced color saturation to avoid pushing the the encoder since high levels of red and blue are tough to encode.
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