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Old March 15th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #1
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Just Purchased a New HD200...Not What I Expected!

I just received my new HD200 from my local dealer, brought it home, set it up next to my HD100 (with over 700 hours on the drum), and flipped them both on to begin calibration for a shoot scheduled for next week. Here's the deal:

- The first thing that caught my attention was the sound emitted by the HD200. I guess it has an internal fan, and it is LOUD. I can hear the camera from 3 feet away with no tape rolling -- just turned on and sitting there. By contrast, I can place my ear 2-3 INCHES from the HD100 and hear a faint 'whir'....It renders the on-board mic useless. Before anyone trashes me for even thinking about using the onboard mic for any 'serious' production, that isn't the point.....

- Next, I made certain the (2) cameras were set up identically in SD mode. I set the cameras side by side (the lenses were virtually touching), lit a scene, and white balanced the two cams using the manual trigger. HD100 recognizes 3200k (correct -- I was indoors and this is what I expected). HD200 registers 2500k. Say what?! repeat this procedure a couple of times -- sometimes the 200 WB @ 2500k, other times @ 2800k. HD100 never wavers. Since I'm using the same stock lens on both (no comments from the peanut gallery here, either!), I'm beginning to get a little irritated.

I've got one monitor that has multiple inputs, so I hook up the 200 using video out (composite requires connectors I don't have), and the 100 using composite. I'm switching back and forth between the 2 images, and the 200 is so poor I figure I've done something wrong. Recheck everything -- no change. Okay, must be the video out. I hook up the 100 using the video out -- that's not it. Time to shoot something.

Since I'm not going to be using the supplied mic for the shoot, I figure I'll deal with the noise coming from the cam later. I shoot a couple of one minute tests on each cam -- zoom in, zoom out, pan. Simple, simple, simple. I take the footage, cap it, and play back the two tests. The resulting footage from the 200 is terrible. I zoom all the way in, and as soon as I begin to zoom out, the image degrades terribly (yes, I back-focused the lens). I have a $400 Handy Cam that shoots better. I try a couple of different tests, same result.

Okay, now I want to know if itís the glass in the 200. I swap lenses. Oops! This doesnít work. The new lens will work in the 100, but the 100ís lens will not work on the 200. Except for a small ĎBí marking on one lens and an ĎEí marking on the other, the lenses appear to be identical. Well, they arenít. I quadruple check the mountsÖ.the lens from the 100 will not work on the 200 Ė period.

My dealer is closed, but Iíve got the number to an employee. I ring him up and ask what to do. He says, ďHey, no problem. Weíll send the camera in for repair.Ē Donít think so, buddy. I donít have 20 minutes on the drum and Iím going to have to send it in for multiple repairs? I say Iím not comfortable with that. He asks what I want. I say a new camera. He says he doesnít think JVC will do that. I say refund. He says he doesnít think his store does that, but heíll check.

Maybe Iíve done something wrong here, and if anyone knows what it might be, please enlighten me. Iíve got an (8) day shoot that starts Tuesday. Iíve got talent flying in from several cities. I tried to get the camera earlier so I would have ample time to perform these tests, and my dealer said that he could have the 200 in two days, but JVC Ďdropped the ballí (he said), so I ended up getting the camera 5 or 6 days later than expected.

So now Iíve got all these two camera scenes planned and only one camera. My dealer does not have an extra anything, so Iím in a bit of a predicament. If anyone has any pull with JVC, I would sure appreciate a little help here.

Best ~ Lee

edited: Changed title of thread to better reflect the issue.

Last edited by Lee Roberts; March 15th, 2008 at 12:28 PM.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 10:24 AM   #2
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What SCENE file settings are you using?

Did you backfocus with the chart?

What frame rate, iris level, detail level, and shutter speed are you set at?

How does the preset White balance look?

By a poor picture do you mean "soft"?

As for the noise...The loudest camera I've ever heard is the Sony F900. Makes great pictures...just makes it tough on the sound guy.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 10:53 AM   #3
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I was kind of hoping to find out from the experts what might be wrong with his HD200, assuming it was user error. That's the kind of stuff that helps me out with my own shooting... What's the story here?
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Old March 15th, 2008, 11:04 AM   #4
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Just for the record:

I was fully willing to accept that there might be a user error, but I was very, very careful to eliminate that possibility. The noise coming from the cam wasn't a user error, but the resulting footage could have been. I poured over the 200's settings, made absolutely certain that all things were 'created equal', shot the test again -- same result.

I'm a big JVC fan...my original post was not intended to bash JVC -- I just want a 200 that works. As I said originally, I figured I just got a 'lemon', and I know it happens, but if I was wrong and anyone here had experience with the 2 cams and could point me in the right direction, I was willing to try anything.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 11:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Lee Roberts View Post
My dealer is closed, but I’ve got the number to an employee. I ring him up and ask what to do. He says, “Hey, no problem. We’ll send the camera in for repair.” Don’t think so, buddy. I don’t have 20 minutes on the drum and I’m going to have to send it in for multiple repairs? I say I’m not comfortable with that. He asks what I want. I say a new camera. He says he doesn’t think JVC will do that. I say refund. He says he doesn’t think his store does that, but he’ll check.
The standard procedure is to send the camera in to factory service for evaluation and repair. If you're not comfortable with that, then your best course of action is to resolve the return / refund situation with your dealer. Getting a dialog going immediately with your dealer is indeed the very first thing you want to do.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 12:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jim Boda View Post
What SCENE file settings are you using?

Did you backfocus with the chart?

What frame rate, iris level, detail level, and shutter speed are you set at?

How does the preset White balance look?

By a poor picture do you mean "soft"?

As for the noise...The loudest camera I've ever heard is the Sony F900. Makes great pictures...just makes it tough on the sound guy.
Scene settings: Factory defaults on both cameras. I can load up any of the scene files here and test, but again, that's not the point: I went through every menu setting to ensure the cams were set up identically

Backfocus: Backfocused with a Siemens Star Chart

Iris: Tested both manual and auto. Both cams on auto @ 5.6 on the scene I lit.

Detail Level: Default

Shutter: 1/60

Preset white balance: Now, here's the weird thing: The preset is 3200k. When I WB manually and get 2500k, there is no appreciable difference in the image swtching back an forth between the two. If I dial the 100 down to, say, 2800k and switch between 2800 & 3200, the difference is as one would expect, with the 3200k being significantly warmer.

Frame rate: 60/30 interlaced, SD. Like I said, I just wanted to sync the cameras using the same settings.

By poor picture, I mean it is as if I have not backfocused properly -- I backfocus on the chart (zoom in, zoom out, adjust a few times -- this is not my first rodeo) and everything seems okay. When I shoot, however, I'll pull a close up, and as soon as I start backing out, the image degrades. At infinity (from a focused zoom), nothing is in focus.

As for noise: Doesn't really matter to me what other cameras sound like, I expect the 200 to be as quiet (or nearly so) as the 100. I don't have a decible meter, but as they are measured exponentially, I would say that the 200 is 30db louder than the 200. Not acceptable, especially when the cam is supposed to be billed as 'usable' with the supplied, on-board mic. There is so much noise coming from the camera that there is no way one could use that mic.

Did I answer the questions correctly, or did I misunderstand something? Believe me, I want to solve the problem.

Lee
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Old March 15th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
The standard procedure is to send the camera in to factory service for evaluation and repair. If you're not comfortable with that, then your best course of action is to resolve the return / refund situation with your dealer. Getting a dialog going immediately with your dealer is indeed the very first thing you want to do.
With all due respect, I disagree. If a camera is faulty out of the box, it should be replaced, not repaired. If there were even just a few hours on the cam I would agree with you.

Just to clarify: Had I taken this camera out of the box at the dealer, turned it on, set it up, lit a scene, capped 3 minutes of video and played it back, I wouldn't have accepted delivery. Is this what a professional is supposed to do whenever they purchase gear -- spend an hour and a half at the dealer deciding if the product is as advertised? I don't think so. I've been in the computer business for 2 decades, and I can't imagine a user purchasing a new computer, having problems from jump-street, and me offering a repair. It's a no-brainer replacement if that's what the customer wants.

I think my dealer will take care of me, though. I just spoke with the owner and he was very cooperative. We'll see how JVC handles it.

Last edited by Lee Roberts; March 15th, 2008 at 12:38 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old March 15th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #8
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I'm not offering an opinion for you to agree or disagree with. I'm simply stating that
like it or not, that's the procedure. How we feel about it is immaterial, unless your
goal is to affect a change in that policy. If so, you have my best wishes as I'm sure
it will be an up-hill battle.

I'm only indicating what the procedure is. I'm not saying that I agree or disagree with
the policy. I'm saying that's the structure within which you have to work, or else you'll
have to find a way to force a change in policy, and I don't think that will be an easy
thing to do.

Please keep us advised on how the process goes with your dealer. It's their job to
manage these situations to satisfy you as best they can within their ability to do so.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 12:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lee Roberts View Post
Is this what a professional is supposed to do whenever they purchase gear -- spend an hour and a half at the dealer deciding if the product is as advertised? I don't think so.
I've done that with camera gear and other electronics plus the last truck I bought.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 12:46 PM   #10
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I find it alarming that the lenses are not interchangeable.

Can anyone confirm this!?
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Old March 15th, 2008, 12:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
I'm not offering an opinion for you to agree or disagree with. I'm simply stating that like it or not, that's the procedure. How we feel about it is immaterial, unless your goal is to affect a change in that policy. If so, you have by best wishes as I'm sure it will be an up-hill battle.

I'm just indicating what the procedure is. I'm not saying that I agree or disagree with the policy. I'm saying that's the structure within which you have to work, or else you'll have to find a way to force a change in policy, and I don't think that will be an easy thing to do.
That's JVC's procedure for dealing with defective out-of-the-box products? Wow....Had I known that, I would have done exactly as I posted -- I'm SURE my dealer would have loved that. Going forward, he knows that I'm going to acquire (2) more 200's in the next 4-6 weeks, and if that's how it's going to shake out, we'll be shooting some video in his store before I walk out.

I'm a dealer for the following: HP, IBM, Sony, Apple, Cisco, and many, many other brands. Not one has ever suggested I send a brand new product in for repair -- bear in mind that I'm not talking about something a week or two old...I'm talking straight out of the box. Interstingly, the JVC has drum and fan meters, so they know if the cam has been used or not.

I understand that you are just forwarding policy. No problem........
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Old March 15th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #12
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Just for the record, I've done that with camera gear and other electronics plus the last truck I bought.
Just for the record, had you purchased any of those things from me, you wouldn't have needed to do that.

I bought my wife a Lexus. She drove it for a week before she began experiencing problems. They had a brand new car waiting for her when she arrived at the lot. That's service.

How companies handle problems is the very best indicator of how committed they are to customer service. I believe JVC will do the right thing -- in fact, I'll be stunned if they don't.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #13
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....Scene settings: Factory defaults on both cameras. I can load up any of the scene files here and test, but again, that's not the point: I went through every menu setting to ensure the cams were set up identically...
That's not going to work. They are NOT identical processors. They will need completely different settings to match.

Quote:
Frame rate: 60/30 interlaced, SD. Like I said, I just wanted to sync the cameras using the same settings....

Interlaced? How does it look at 720 30p?
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Old March 15th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #14
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That's JVC's procedure for dealing with defective out-of-the-box products?
I don't think it's been established yet that you have a defective camera. What has happened is that your expectations have not been met, so the next step is to determine whether the gear is actually faulty or, perhaps, it's not working the way you think it should because it just doesn't work that way. For example, as Jim Boda points out above, the cameras will not match on identical settings right out of the box, and that's due to different processors, not to any defect.

This is the largest group of JVC Pro HD shooters on the web, so I have no doubt they'll help you get squared away as far as what to expect between these two models (the 100 and 200) and how to use them together.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 02:00 PM   #15
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I don't think it's been established yet that you have a defective camera. What has happened is that your expectations have not been met, so the next step is to determine whether the gear is actually faulty or, perhaps, it's not working the way you think it should because it just doesn't work that way. For example, as Jim Boda points out above, the cameras will not match on identical settings right out of the box, and that's due to different processors, not to any defect.

This is the largest group of JVC Pro HD shooters on the web, so I have no doubt they'll help you get squared away as far as what to expect between these two models (the 100 and 200) and how to use them together.
And that's why I'm here. I completely understand that the processors are different, and I'm more than willing to try anything (and I'll check 720/30p as suggested).

Sorry, though...the noise coming from the camera can't be right. I read a little further that the lenses are supposed to be interchangeable, but they absolutely are not on my cams....maybe that's the issue, some cold-solder joint or something...I don't know.

Re: The processors being different: I read somewhere on here about a user's expectation comparing the 110 and 200 in SD, and the consensus was that the advanced processor in the 200 should yield superior results than SD on the 110. I'll try to find the post and reference it.

Re: Not working the way I think it should: I don't know....hit the WB trigger and the result should be approximately the same regardless of gear, not 700k difference. I mean, a scene is what it is, and a little variance should be expected, but......

Hey, I get it. I post never, everyone else posts everyday -- I have to be a rookie, right? I don't have a problem with that. I know when I have a bad piece of gear, though.

See, here's the thing: Whether I'm shooting in 60/30i, 720p, 24p -- whatever...the 200 is supposed to be a superior product, hence the higher price tag. All things being equal, I shouldn't have to work harder to get equal results. I'm not going to convince you guys of that, and that's fine, too.

You say try it and I will. I defer to you and your experience with the equipment. I've not done anything to earn any respect around this place, and so many of you have -- and that's again why I'm here.

I truly mean it when I say I appreciate the advice. Am I frustrated? Of course I am. Will it turn out that it's me and not the cam? I hope so! That would mean that I have no worries for the upcoming week.

Thanks,

Lee
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