Interested in the GY-HD110 and 200 but gunshy... at DVinfo.net

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JVC GY-HD Series Camera Systems
GY-HD 100 & 200 series ProHD HDV camcorders & decks.


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Old March 30th, 2008, 12:40 PM   #1
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Interested in the GY-HD110 and 200 but gunshy...

I've been away from here a LONG time but the JVC threads have me back and intrigued.

I've been looking very seriously at either the HD110 or 200 but I'm getting REALLY gunshy given the amount of discussion of fuses blowing up and no-starts on here. While I understand COMPLETELY about reliability issues (I do A LOT of work far from my base of operations), I'm wondering if it's possible to get a read on whether the issues being experienced by some are indicative of a systemic failure or just a few lemons.

Is the 200 less prone to fuse breakdown/no start? Meaning no disrespect: Are the people who are experiencing these issues TRULY pro camcorder savvy or is there a learning curve issue here as people move up from smaller cameras?

I'm needing to make an HD purchase in the next 6 weeks and I'm more nervous than ever, based on the number of negative reports surrounding these cameras on this forum.

Thanks in advance for any and all information!
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Old March 30th, 2008, 03:57 PM   #2
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My pennyworth

Hi Shaun

I feel a slight responsibility to set a record straight here. I started a thread a few weeks ago cursing my HD111 for crashing during a firmware upgrade, and blaming the fuse, the firmware, and a few other easy targets. Turns out it was nothing to do with the firmware, or the fuse, but was instead a piece of plastic insulating ring that snapped off in the AC jack.

I am generally delighted with the camera. I have been using pro kit for a decade or more - beta SP mostly, and some DVCam. I find the JVC HD111 (the European version of the US HD110) to be a completely useable alternative to conventional broadcast cameras. Obviously the ergonomics are extremely good; the image quality is more than adequate for my broadcast clients, whether I'm shooting in SD or HDV. The camera is designed to take decent batteries, radio mics, top lights etc.

It's not perfect, of course. but after fifteen months of hard use on the camera, in some seriously obscure locations (Mogadishu. The Zambezi Valley. The Sahel. North West Pakistan) I have no regrets about choosing this camera.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the first update! I too am a quasi seasoned pro (ten years pro) in the BetaSP, SX, DigiBeta, DVCam arena and am looking for a reasonably priced HD solution imminently. I mean no offense to anyone here, regardless of level of expertise. I just wanted to ensure that the input was from people who have some pedigree with regard to true broadcast gear. I do a fair bit of international documentary work as well as remote location shooting and want to make sure that my next purchase is as robust as my Sony PD150 has been for the past 7 ish years.

If I may ask:
What battery configuration are you using? (Anton Bauer? Dionics, trimpacs?) Tape stock? Lens? Any problems "talking to" your NLE?

Thanks again.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 05:19 PM   #4
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Shaun,
I have three GY HD 251 and shot in the last 5 month 33 X one hour episodes.
It was a comedy drama. We started in September (35 deg Celsius) and finished in February (-10 deg Celsius). There were 105 long shooting days. 38 in the studio, the rest outside on the street. Right now , with one of the cameras, we are shooting a short feature which will be delivered on film(35). Next week a commercial..... hopefully we'll keep it like this. With the HD 101 I shot a drama series 9 X one hour episodes in 2006.
I treat the cameras as a professional equipment because they respond as a professional equipment. I use them on steadicam, car mount , crane and traveling. I never had major problems with none of them. I don't have a JVC representative in my country.
Maybe I am lucky, but I don't think so.
Good luck,
Eugen
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Old March 30th, 2008, 07:28 PM   #5
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Shaun, for what it's worth I came off one year with an XL2. Nothing before that, so I'm probably a decent test pilot considering I do everything wrong six times before getting anything right. I'm on the HD200 for 14 months now. Use it every weekend, never had a problem. Of course now that I wrote this it's probably gonna blow my ear off tomorrow, thanks... ;- )
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Old March 30th, 2008, 09:48 PM   #6
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I'll chime in to say that I was gunshy too when the HD100 came out. so much so that I bought two cameras so that I'd have a spare in case of any trouble. Almost two years later the spare cam still has ZERO head hours, as have not had a failure of any sort with the other camera. gonna make someone really happy someday when i upgrade...
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Old March 31st, 2008, 08:37 AM   #7
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Hi Shaun,

Here's another 2 cents coming from a guy who entered into all of this having strictly come from a 16mm/35mm film background with an occasional Beta job here and there.
I can honestly say that I am completely pleased with these cameras. The layout and configuration (ergonomics) are familiar and the pictures are amazing given the price point.
The JVC group here has been a wealth of information regarding getting up to speed with the camera. The generosity of knowledge offered is nothing short of astounding. Just be sure to read the posts regarding correct procedures for firewire cables etc (something that should be followed with any firewire connection anyway).. and you will have no problems.
Also, the scene files posted by Tim, Paolo and others have quickly shortened any learning curve regarding the "looks" that the camera is capable of. These guys are incredible, generous and obviously seasoned pros.
Sorry for the long rant, but to answer your question, NO there is not any cause for concern, these cameras are wonderful tools!
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Old March 31st, 2008, 09:57 AM   #8
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A fuse blown may happen to any equipment, as it is a mechanical piece that can have a fault tolerance on itself. I wouldn't let let it influence your camera decision.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 09:59 AM   #9
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Shaun,

The other day, my cam died. But as I expect from a pro camera, it has a fuse, and it was easily fixed by our own local tech guys. In three hours he opened it up removed the fuse and replaced it. Had it running that same day. A lesser breed of a cam and i would end up with handful of parts replaced or worse, the problemwould have been hard to find.

Its one robust cam. Took it on a four seater plane and shot an aerial footage last week. Took it white water rafting, in mist covered ravines. A muddy cave and what have you. The images it produced are beautiful even when projected a digital theater screen.

My country's tourism promotional videos for the Department of Tourism are shot with it.


Ted

Last edited by Ted Ramasola; March 31st, 2008 at 10:06 AM. Reason: added text
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Old March 31st, 2008, 11:30 AM   #10
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Thank you gentlemen for the input!

I am truly amazed at how international this forum truly is.

Given the number of posts regarding no starts, I was terrified but I'm starting to realize this is the years old case of problems getting more discussion than care free ownership.

I would love some input into what power options you folks are using. I'm in Canada (we live "upstairs" from the United States) and we find it easier to locate Anton Bauer here than IDX or PAG batteries.

Cheers!
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Old March 31st, 2008, 04:23 PM   #11
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Shaun...go for it! I was in your position about one year ago, just afraid to make the plunge. I have found my 110U a very durable camera for my outdoor jungle adventures and have been very pleased overall. BTW, I popped one fuse about 6 months ago, be thankful they are there and carry some extras.

jon
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Old March 31st, 2008, 04:25 PM   #12
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batteries

I use Swit 8080 batteries. They are V-lock mount, made in China, pretty good power to weight ratio, very good value, come with a reasonably robust charger. I bought a complete shooting kit when I upgraded 15 months ago, and these batteries were bundled. I'd probably have bought ABs if it had been my own dollar, but I think these Swits are pretty good. I get a good two hours of use from a battery before the lights start flashing.

Tape stock: on the recommendation of the gurus of this site, I use only the top of the line JVC M-DV63PROHD tapes. I've had virtually no problems with stock - a couple of tape hits once after a very dusty desert shoot, but that was fixed with a head cleaner tape.

Lens: the stock lens is OK. I use it with the Fujinon x.8 adaptor pretty much permanently attached, and I have a Red Eye x.7 which screws on the front when I want to get really close and wide. I am about to buy the Fujinon 13x wide angle zoom, though I wish they made it with a built in doubler.

NLE: There are definitely issues with FCP, though they apparently aren't a problem if you shoot to hard drive rather than tape. Something to do with the codec. I've not really investigated, as most of my European broadcast clients still want SD for news work, and if I'm shooting a doc I'm usually passing on to someone else to do the edit. At some point I must apply brain to problem and at least be able to know what the issues are...

Others have made the point that the JVC technical support for this camera is outstanding, and I would concur with that.

Of course, given that you have a bit of time before your next gig, you might see if you can rent one of these cameras for a few days and try it out before you buy. I think you'll be impressed.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 04:47 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Robert Adams View Post
Of course, given that you have a bit of time before your next gig, you might see if you can rent one of these cameras for a few days and try it out before you buy. I think you'll be impressed.
The only problem is I'm in the middle of Canada (Winnipeg, Manitoba. Population around 700,000) and don't have a JVC retailer with stock, rental or otherwise, on the 200. They have an older 100 they've agreed to let me demo and I'm trying to get a 200 flown in for demo but we'll see how that goes.

JVC hasn't really caught on in this market so it's likely I'll be the first here with one. A bit of a scary proposition, hence all the worrying on my part and consulting on yours...

Thanks again all and please chime in at any time with hints and advice!
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Old March 31st, 2008, 07:40 PM   #14
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I think you'd be pleased with the quality of the camera.

For years I was dissappointed and frustrated with either the quality of the small cameras or the way you had to hold them, sometimes both. My start in tv was at a station shooting beta sp so I wanted something that was shoulder mounted, had the same switch/control layout as a eng camera, and had a full manual lens. I bought a used jvc100 from someone on this forum just over a year ago and it was the best move I could have made. I'm pleased with the quality of the camera but most of all the familiar control layout that allows you to use the camera as a tool. For me, it fit. I think that anyone using a full eng camera will find the jvc to be a couple steps ahead of the other cameras in usability and control.

I don't think the jvc is quite as durable over the long run as the 150/170, but it's close and it is a very solid camera. (The sony's were real bricks and I haven't found any camera that's as solid as the 150/170.)

I think that based on what you said you're looking for you'll like the camera and the results. The only thing I would suggest is an upgrade to a better lens. I use the stock lens and I notice it's limitations quite a lot.

Good luck and enjoy, whatever camera you end up with.

Ben
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Old March 31st, 2008, 09:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
What battery configuration are you using? (Anton Bauer? Dionics, trimpacs?) Tape stock? Lens? Any problems "talking to" your NLE?
I'll weigh in with my experience. I purchased a 110 about a year and half ago. I mostly do wedding/event. I used it as a second camera with my GY-DV500 (I'm a JVC fan. what can I say! plus I'm a shoulder guy, having the ENG background). Besides the difference b/w SD and HD the 110 has MUCH better color, contrast, and general image and even better in low lighting. Anyway so the difference b/w the two made me need another (that and to be able to offer HD). So a couple months ago I acquired 2 more 110s (I just didn't have the money for 200s).

Battery sys: A/B, trimpac...I find that the Gold mount isn't the greatest design (I think the 200 takes care of that by having that onboard. I've not been paying attention once or twice and had my shoulder back too far and pushed the plate back just enough to knock out power. Not an everyday occurrence, I am now mindful.

Tape Stock: I stick with JVC..I figured they make the camera may as well use their tapes that way if I ever have a problem I can say...your tapes. Anyway I currently have a supply of "DV60CA"s. I tried a box of the special HDV tapes they make, I didn't notice enough of a difference to spend the extra $5 per tape.

Lens: I use the standard fujinon that most places sell with. My SD also is a fujinon lens, I don't need anything fancy. I also got cheap UV filters, for protection purposes mostly. No problems that I've noticed.

NLEs - FCP breaks up each recording stop and start into a new file. I actually have grown to like that. It also creates a new capture file on tape hiccups. AdobePP does not break up clips or hiccups (I don't really use PPro but I had to check to satisfy the curiosity). I've never had any major problems though. (I guess I should mention that I actually use a BR-HD50 to actually do the NLE talking).

Overall the only real problem that I had was noticing during a shoot that I had a bad pixel. It wasn't very fun trying to cover it up in post, but once I found the easy fix to that, all over the message boards or talking with JVC, no other major problems.

I highly recommend to any who wants to upgrade to HD, don't mind 720p, like shoulder mount, and want a good looking, functional camera.
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