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Old June 19th, 2008, 04:40 PM   #1
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JVC GY-HD200U versus Sony Z7U

Greetings,

I'm deciding between a Sony Z7U and a JVC GY-HD200U. Which one of these cameras has the stronger, more durable build? Also, does anyone have any experience with the tape drive mechanism and if one writes errors in compression, or drops a frame, more often than the other? And another question, which has the sharper lens, in general?

And lastly, why does JVC stick with 720 while Sony pushes for the 1080 hybrid progressive mode? I know the Sony has more resolution, but in practicality is it that much more noticeable?

Thank you very much for any help you can give me.
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Old June 19th, 2008, 06:43 PM   #2
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I can't really make comparisons between the two because I don't own a Z7 but I can say that JVC went with 720 probably because they wanted to stay true progressive pixel to pixel (no shifting) and achieve 60p at the same time. Even the the Z7 (and the EX series for that matter) drop to 720 for 60p.

Regarding the lenses, you can use any of the JVC lenses (made by Canon and Fujnon) on the Z7 so comparing them is kinda moot.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 11:19 AM   #3
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Jason as much as I love my HD100, if I were buying today
I think I would go sony instead.

Better power management and reliability are Sony staples.

My HD100 has been in for factory service twice for component failures.
I still like the camera but would not opt for a new one today.


just my opinion.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 12:01 PM   #4
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I shot a short film recently with the Z7 and JVC's HZ-CA13U COPLA PL lens adapter.
I've seen the HD250 and Z7 with the exact same Zeiss prime lenses and the Fuji 13x3.5 and I really don't see a noticeable difference in the resolving power of ProHD's 1/3" 720p vs Z7's 1/3" 1080p. IMO there is no measurable advantage over PRoHD's 720p24.

As with any camera system there are pros and cons. I'll put together a full review for the articles section as soon as I can, but in the meantime I'll give you a few bullet points.

Pros of the Z7:
  • Incredible depth of control over the DSP including a very pleasing variety of film style gamma curves with controllable matrix, knee and toe. I also like the in-depth detail controls.
  • 1/3" bayonet mount allows the mounting of all the same lenses or adapters that are used with the JVC ProHD systems
  • Simple and compact CF card recording to m2t (while redundantly recording to tape)
  • Small form factor is great for small sets (and the main reason I chose the camera for this film.)
  • A neat on-screen "bubble level" and assignable zebras.
  • On-screen histogram (a waveform would have been more useful but this is a step in the right direction for a cool built-in feature.)
  • Ability for white balance to be manually "dialed-in" in 100 Kelvin units.
  • Programmable scene files assigned to user buttons.
  • HDMI out with embedded audio.
  • Sony support of Log & Transfer function in FCP6.

Cons of the Z7:
  • No 180 degree flip recording or LCD preview option for lens adapters (I had to mount the camera upside down with the VFGadgets HDV bracket.)
  • No control over the LCD mirror function (This became my on-board monitor but since the camera was mounted upside down I could only get a right-side-up image by opening it slightly and peeking under microphone holder.)
  • Inability to output to more than one video port at a time. This means that you cannot output HD to the HDMI port for the director's monitor and simultaneously output NTSC/PAL to composite/component out for an on-board analog monitor.
  • Inability to record to CF card and a firewire device simultaneously. Mounting of the CF recorder blocks the door to the firewire port.
  • "Sony-ish" button placement that still requires more menu surfing than I like. (ie: TC preset.)
  • No big on-screen warning when the CF card fills up during a take. We had to re-capture some shots from the tape because of this.
  • No white shading adjustment - but there weren't any real issues with white shading & the PL adapter.
  • No 2.35:1 frame guides
  • CMOS rolling shutter. This isn't a problem in most shooting situations but may cause a crooked image during whip-pans and only partial exposures when used with flashes or strobes. I wouldn't shoot concert videos with a CMOS sensor.
  • THE DEALBREAKER: HDV2 compression in 1080p24 was very very disappointing with fast motion. I'm not talking about just some macro blocking or mostiquo noise but a complete image breakdown with fast motion. I've never seen anything like it with JVC's implementation of 720p24 in HDV1. I'll ask the producers for permission to post an example from that film so you can see just how bad it was.

I'll post some pics this weekend.

BTW, we have an active Z7 forum here at dvinfo.net. http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=161
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Old June 20th, 2008, 05:44 PM   #5
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Thank you for the very informative reply.
The con with the Sony shoot fast motion is a serious one, and might be a deal breaker. The JVC 200 can shoot 720 60p correct? And it doesn't have issues with it?

Hmm, I think I might be leaning towards the JVC. For roughly the same price I can also get a firewire recording device to use as a backup. I believe I can use both at the same time, right?

Thank you once again and I will ask my other questions on the Sony board.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 06:33 PM   #6
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The HD200/250 pretty much has the same picture break up described by Tim at 720p60 (when pushed by intense motion), but no problems at other frame rates.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 06:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood View Post
[*]THE DEALBREAKER: HDV2 compression in 1080p24 was very very disappointing with fast motion. I'm not talking about just some macro blocking or mostiquo noise but a complete image breakdown with fast motion. I've never seen anything like it with JVC's implementation of 720p24 in HDV1. I'll ask the producers for permission to post an example from that film so you can see just how bad it was.[/list]I'll post some pics this weekend.
Whenever I read that some "famous name" DP or editor claims HDV "can't be used" -- if you look closely they have been shooting HD2. What's worse, is they have no idea there is anything called HD1. HDV is HDV to them.

Equally amazing is that those shooting P2 have no idea 24N compresses video more than does 720p24. They are convinced P2 is always 100Mbps.

Isn't the real comparison, given street prices, a JVC 200 vs EX1. With the EX1 one gets 720p24.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 08:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Ferar View Post
The HD200/250 pretty much has the same picture break up described by Tim at 720p60 (when pushed by intense motion), but no problems at other frame rates.
Nothing like what I saw with HDV2! You have to see it to believe it. (hopefully I'll have it posted soon.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
Whenever I read that some "famous name" DP or editor claims HDV "can't be used" -- if you look closely they have been shooting HD2. What's worse, is they have no idea there is anything called HD1. HDV is HDV to them.
Yes. I hear that "HDV isn't good enough" line from producers all the time. (Usually it's the script that isn't good enough!)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
Isn't the real comparison, given street prices, a JVC 200 vs EX1. With the EX1 one gets 720p24.
For me I felt like the 1/3" bayonet mount on the Z7 & Z270 with a tape transport was a real step forward for Sony in this price range, so I think those cameras can be compared well (using the same lenses) with the ProHD gear.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood View Post
For me I felt like the 1/3" bayonet mount on the Z7 & Z270 with a tape transport was a real step forward for Sony in this price range, so I think those cameras can be compared well (using the same lenses) with the ProHD gear.
I completely forgot, you were talking about using adaptors! I guess I assumed the JVC was the ideal choice if size didn't matter. :) What interested you about the Z7 beyond the mount?
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Old June 20th, 2008, 10:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
...What interested you about the Z7 beyond the mount?
The main interests for me were the compact size (the storyboards called for some very low angles in tight quarters) 1/3" bayonet mount, and the CF card recorder with redundant tape backup. Basically... a small version of a HD100.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 11:12 PM   #11
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Does anyone know how reliable the harddrive recorder for the JVC 200 is? And if for sure it can record to both at the same time? My boss likes the JVC as it is shoulder mounted, and feels that will make it easier to run and gun.

In comparison with the Sony, I'm curious if it makes any difference with selling footage if it is 1080 or 720p?
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Old June 20th, 2008, 11:57 PM   #12
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Oh, and I have heard several people complain of problems with breaking etc. of the 100, does the 200 have the same isssues or is it more reliable?
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Old June 21st, 2008, 02:01 AM   #13
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I still have to finish the bullet points, but...

"Simple and compact CF card recording to m2t (while redundantly recording to tape)"

Makes me want to sell my HD250 - like right now. Today.
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Old June 21st, 2008, 02:34 AM   #14
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I'm happy Jeffrey with the DR-HD100 loaded with big harddrive vs SD card. I have shot 3 days without having to swap anything. I modified my DR-HD100 so it is powered from the IDX battery. So I only need to charge my IDX batteries like usual, and having no worries about anything else.
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Old June 21st, 2008, 04:50 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey Butler View Post
"Simple and compact CF card recording to m2t (while redundantly recording to tape)"

Makes me want to sell my HD250 - like right now. Today.
Remember though the MR-HD200 is coming out later this year, which will use SD cards.
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