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Old October 13th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #1
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Planning to get JVC HD100, need some input

Hey all, new to the forums, but excited to get to know everyone.

I'm planning to purchase a JVC GY-HD100U in the next couple of days hopefully and I'm looking for some suggestions (with explanations) as to what accessories I should definitely consider right out of the gate. This is my first professional grade camera and it's definitely a change from the prosumer world I've been living in.

I see a lot of talk about the Anton Bauer system, would love to know more about that and whether or not it's necessary. I've also heard a lot about the Firestore system and would like to know more about it. Also any specific tripod recommendations, etc would be helpful.

Basically, what do I need to know/have in order to get the most out of this camera out of the box?

Thanks in advance!
Evan
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Old October 13th, 2009, 11:54 AM   #2
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Can you even buy the 100 model anymore? They updated that to 110 a couple of years ago. Although I own the GY-HD100, and still use it, there's just no way I'd be buying one these days. There are way too many other newer and better options on the market, including those offered by JVC itself.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 11:58 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, yes I'm looking for a USED GY-HD100U. From what I've heard you're not going to find a better option for under $2000, which is how much I've seen HD100's going for lately. Am I wrong to think that it's still a viable option?
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Old October 13th, 2009, 12:35 PM   #4
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Evan,

What do you do? Are you making a living shooting video? What do you plan to use the camera for?

We have the HD100 and HD200 in my facility, as well as other cameras, like the sony HD1000, as well as 2 DVX100s.

If we have an idea of what you plant to use it for AND what you expect from it, a lot of us can give you inputs.

Right now I am waiting for my Canon 7D.

Ted
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Old October 13th, 2009, 12:53 PM   #5
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Thanks Ted, here's a little more info.

I'm currently a website developer and graphic designer who's been dabbling in video for the last couple of years. Here recently I've been making plans to do more video work including a project I'm working on right now which is going to be a straight to DVD documentary. I also plan on making more films in the future as well as doing commercial production work and the like.

I currently have the Panasonic HDC-SD1 and I've hit the ceiling of that camera's capabilities several times. I'm looking to get something with more PRO features (XLR audio input, better stock lens, etc) so I can bump up the quality of my productions. I've seen lots of footage from the HD100 and I'm excited about achieving that quality. I want my productions to have the cinematic quality that the HD100 seems to produce, and while I know that the lens has almost everything to do with that I don't have the money to spend on a great lens right this moment and the stock lens on the HD100 seems very nice.

My current budget for the camera is around $2000 and from what I've seen I'm not going to get a better camera for less.

Let me know your opinion, I'd love to have it!

As an example, here is one of my more recent projects, a simple promotional video for a fundraiser in a local town.

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Old October 13th, 2009, 01:03 PM   #6
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It's a good price for that camera, I think. The lens is certainly nothing to write home about. It suffers from some serious color aberration issues (purple fringing around edges of subjects, primarily). It's also not particularly wide, which may or may not confront you in your work.

The stock battery that comes with the camera will run for about an hour. I recommend you consider a move to the Anton Bauer adapter plate. Of course, this means an additional expense that will have a major impact on a $2,000 budget. A single Titan charger and Dionic battery will set you back an additional amount, to be sure. But, it's really necessary. There are also other battery mount options.

Tripod-wise, anything with a fluid head will pretty much work. The camera is very light, even with a Dionic battery and a Firestore unit mounted (if you elect to go hard drive instead of tape). I already had a good broadcast tripod, but I hear the Libecs are a good alternative to the cheaper Bogen/non-fluid head options.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 01:10 PM   #7
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I basically do commercials and corporate AVPs in my department.
I do however, have a consumer department in our facility that handles events, (weddings,etc.) That said, I have afeeling about the nature of your work.

Ok, heres my take. While the HDxx series cameras are great. They do have limitations. I for one made 3 units of 35mm adapter which i HAD to add to the front of the JVCs to give a more cinematic "feel" by having shallow DOF.
I go bare stock lens for run n gun documentaries.

The stock lens are sharp and good as long as you dont shoot full open as it will produce CA.
CA will go away at around f2.8.

The stock lens and 1/3 chip combination have deep DOF.

The HD100 is a power hog with its stock batteries. You will need more than 9-10 pieces of the stock battery to get you through a day, -barely. In order to have practical use of the hd100 you will need to add 3rd party battery like IDX or AB. Theyre not cheap.

The HD200 we have gets by with 2 Dionics AB battery.

If you buy a used JVC HD100, you wont have an idea of how used the heads are. The HD100 is prone to dropouts thats why most JVC HDxx users HAD to invest in an external recording devics like the Firestore. I have the FS4HD.

The HD100s also plagued with SSEs, at least in some models. This is the Split screen effect caused by the 2 processors not "in-sync", for lack of a better term.

The HD110s and HD200's dont have this problem.

Bottom line, if your starting as a lean operation, you might want to go with the smaller tapeless cameras. The HD100 was the first of the proHD line in this form factor. It has a lot of issues and I recommend getting either the HD110, HD200, or the panny's HMC 150.

Ted
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Old October 13th, 2009, 01:15 PM   #8
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Thanks so much for your thoughtful response Ted, I had wondered if the HD110 might be a better option, sounds like it. Most of the kits I've seen include the AB system so I assumed it was pretty much essential. I had already planned on getting a Firestore as well, just makes sense when you look at the cost of the tapes over time.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 07:04 PM   #9
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Definitely buy a system with the AB battery system. Just for kicks, I removed my AB system and tried to run my HD100 on the stock JVC batteries. What a joke - I can't believe anyone actually does that. In actual use you'll get maybe 45 minutes on a battery. My AB Dionic will operate it for about six hours.

All-in-all, the HD100 is the best camera you can buy for under $2k. I love the operation of it, love the image, and I love the professional "look" of the camera (an under-appreciated aspect.)

Keep in mind there is no auto-focus. I use my camera mostly in a studio setting, so that's not a problem.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 07:19 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info Chris, it's nice to know that the original battery setup won't work very well. At the very least I would need to buy multiple batteries and later upgrade to AB or something similar.

No auto focus eh? Is this the case for the HD110 as well?
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Old October 13th, 2009, 07:26 PM   #11
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Planning to get JVC HD100, need some input

Hi Evan,
All the posts to your question are noteworthy.
In particular on a used HD 100 you want to know the hours on the tape head (particuarly if you plan on shooting to tape.) There are other options including Firestore, Adobe On Location etc. Depends on the what the bulk of your work is.
You will definitely need to invest in other power options beyond the stock battery which is practically useless. AB/IDX...your choice and budget.
If at all possible, at this stage, I would be looking at a used HD110 or above (I own and use an HD 110u and it's still going strong).
Another note that will get you up to speed on this system is to invest in Tim Dashwoods DVD (find info on this forum) It is an invaluable resource especially if you are new to the JVC format and system. Also check out the stickies at the top of this forum for scene files by Tim And Paolo...also invaluable to saving you time getting up to speed with what these cameras are capable of!
Cheers and good luck
Jay Webster
Director/cameraman
New York
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Old October 13th, 2009, 07:30 PM   #12
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No auto focus eh? Is this the case for the HD110 as well?

That is correct, these cameras are manual focus just like professional film cameras.
Jay Webster
Director/Cameraman
New York
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Old October 13th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #13
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another thought. if you get the JVC HD100 or 110 and you can't find one that comes with AB or IDX battery system, you could get Impact stock replacement batteries still. 3700ma as I remember, (about 1/3 more juice than the stock JVC batteries) and they were around $50 or $60 at BH/amazon.com and other places. Sort of a hassel, but you can pick up a half dozen of them for the price of 1 good IDX or good (not nicad) AB battery. I mean this suggestion as a more to get by for a while before you invest $1,000 more for battery system. Instead just drop $200-$300 in batteries Impact OEM type batteries. Switch tapes, switch battery. A pain, but I did it for a while before I got my IDX battery system.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 09:17 PM   #14
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Thanks a lot guys, appreciate all of the feedback.

If there's no autofocus how can one expect to get decent footage for less planned shoots like documentary filmmaking, etc? Sorry, I'm new to this :)
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Old October 14th, 2009, 08:15 AM   #15
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Manual focus is better than auto focus any day - but only in the hands of a skilled operator. I just finished two days of "run and gun" shooting at a NASCAR event, and the lack of auto-focus didn't phase me a bit. You get used to it and it sort of becomes part of you. Also, the JVC HD100 series has a focus-assist function that works very well.
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