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Old January 31st, 2011, 06:31 PM   #1
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The venerable GY-HD 110

I recently came across a review I wrote on the GY-HD110. While written a while back, I still think it has merit especially for those interest in digital cinema. It's hard to believe that it was only five years ago that the camera came into its own. The NAB folks were fascinated with its native 24fps ability and, with it, a, and I mean, HUGE number of ways to control the quality of the image. Few cameras today at any price have as many ways to adjust the picture as the HD110 had. Together, its ability to mimic film was unsurpassed. Unfortunately, it's been completely dismissed by those who believe that its 720 resolution and HDV format were dying features. Still, with most video, even professionally made, viewed on monitors no more capable than those on laptops and desktops, the higher resolution and greater bit rates of more "advanced" cameras are mostly wasted. Indeed, consider your own productions and how many have really improved with 1080 and >24mbps.

My previous company actually switched from the Panasonic HVX-200 to the HD110 because we felt the JVC to be a better overall camera.

My review:
JVC GY-HD110 - As worthy now as the day it was introduced - JVC GY-HD110 Camcorder - Review by sweeper - Shopping.com

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Old January 31st, 2011, 07:55 PM   #2
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Amen to that, this was the first camera I bought, and I don't think I will ever sell it..while I don't use it as much as I used too, I consider it to be the 57 chevy of cameras. I mount my nikon manual focus lenses on it, and with the 7x increase it excels for wildlife. Coupled with my solid state firestore drive its a great setup.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 08:33 PM   #3
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It's quality and capabilities are miles ahead of the HVX or ZI, and it's the prettiest HD camera around. I made my first feature on it and have never regretted the decision.

I can assure anyone that 720 25p is very very close to 1080 on this camera.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 06:01 PM   #4
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Still own one and still work with it!
What else can be said!
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Last edited by Jay Webster; February 1st, 2011 at 06:07 PM. Reason: mispelled word
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 03:24 AM   #5
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I agree with everything that is said. It's a shame that the camera's almost forgotten today (but then we are continually bombarded with ' if only I had this camera all my dreams would come true...' type marketing). I continue to use my HD101E regularly and recently did a lot of tests for a job comparing it to Canon HDSLRs and a Sony NX5 and it still came out on top in terms of sharpness and resolution. Add a 1st class lens and the camera really shines. There's also something about that look that I really like and I'm getting fed-up with seeing ridiculously shallow depth of field, so personally that's not an issue for me. It's difficult to convince clients that 720p can be every bit as good as 1080i for most purposes though, even when you show them, I've lost a couple of broadcast jobs this way. In truth most of what we do is our own production and so it remains the main HD camera for us for that reason even when delivering 1080i masters.

Something that is often overlooked is the HDV1 codec is far less compressed and more efficient than HDV2. It is 6 gop as opposed to 15 gop with about half the pixels into about 80% of the bandwidth. It is full raster and true progressive and both uprezzes to 1080 and downrezzes to SD very succesfully.

I have devised my own system for mastering back to tape on the BR-HD50 for archive and the quality of the tape format is quite remarkable, Even very high quality sources such as DNxHD 185 are almost indistinguishable from the source.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 03:37 AM   #6
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Great camera, although mine is only a B camera, it is still pulling it's weight!

I had a few issues with the audio but the pictures have a lovely quality to them. I always think its images look like old 16 mm film stock and far less "videoy" than most other 1/3" and even some 2/3" cameras.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 01:05 PM   #7
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I agree, I always liked the looks that come out of this camera, It's a good earner and I am still using my GY101(a).

I am not one to get attached to kit, but I admit, I do like this one - every time I think about a new camera I look at the images and say "Nope I'll keep it". Instead I upgraded to a 17x lens last Summer and that effectively gave me a new camera but one that I already knew how to use. Better glass can indeed make it shine in SD or HD. HD which now clearly looks HD but not in a nasty "look at my megapixels" sort of way. The form factor is something they definitely got right too.

I did manage to frazzle the Firewire on the SD side of and pressed a cheapo camcorder into duty as a deck.
so I may go tapeless with some kind of CF recorder for shooting HD before i zap that too.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 02:37 PM   #8
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nice to read that folks still appreciate a well designed tool.

i have rented the hd110 twice and liked the form factor and the ergos.

with "only 1/3" chips and hdv" the prices on used hd110s continue to fall and i see many for sale.

i wonder if buying a used hd110 makes sense?

for those in the know, what issues would you look for in a used hd110?

thanks in advance

be well

rob
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 03:15 PM   #9
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Basics: Firewire, dead pixels, and tape head-hours. Replacing a tapehead is going to be expensive, and spell the end of life, if you're keen on tape (I still am, for both security and archiving.)
Firewire is vital for most recording to HD or solid state media- which is the other option.
I'd check any second-hand camera for dead pixels. These can be removed- up to a point- on the gy-dh100, but only up to a point- and it might get you a price reduction :)
And another big- yep! for the camera and the format. Still like and use the HD110 for most production. Also have a 201, and I mildly prefer the 110, though I'm not sure I can tell the difference, and I've picked up the wrong one by mistake a few times. Picture quality and useability are big factors for me. The 720 picture is very solid, and imo looks especially good on the web. A higher bitrate would be good- still some motion problems- but I like 720p a lot- as mentioned, less pixels to deal with, edits beautifully, even on my old laptop (which can't handle 1080 anything) and 'upreses' to 1080 without any problems at all to my eye.
I'd prefer a better, and wider, lens. I like the look of the fuji 13x wide-angle, but oh, the price :) Will also slowly move to dual format recording. If I can find a cheap solution to record component out at 4:2:2 or even 4:2:0 35Mbs, and especially if (with the HD201's 50 fps option) I can record 50 fps at a decent bit-rate, I can see these cameras having a much longer than anticipated useful life.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 03:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Katz View Post
for those in the know, what issues would you look for in a used hd110?
I had 2 HD101s with a very subtle crackling on the audio. You'll need to boost the audio gain in order to hear it.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 08:36 PM   #11
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If looking for a used 110, I agree with everything Rob has stated. Definitely the fire wire issue, dead pixels (although that can be internally corrected to some degree), Tape head hours...etc.
And Rob's point about a wider lens, (and or adapting Nikkor lenses which I have done due to the fact that I already owned them)..the 13x can make a huge difference.
I have found myself wishing for a wider POV than the standard zoom in more than a few situations.
With all that said, it seems that a used 110 can be had at a remarkably affordable price, again, be sure of the fire wire issue, it ain't cheap to fix.
And, if you do get one used, be sure to read the sticky at the top of this forum regarding fire wire and scene files!
Good luck in your quest, this camera IMHO is a classic great camera!
Cheers!
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Old February 4th, 2011, 08:09 AM   #12
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Our shoots typically called for a number of camera operators and editors using and working with the products of our GY-HD 110s. Operators loved them because of their ease of use, ergos, and workflow. Editors constantly commented on the quality of the images. I remember one confirming that the camera was 720 because the images were so detailed. Clients, most of which don't know or don't care what gear you're using, regularly mentioned how much they liked the image quality and what they could do with other video they had to emulate the look. Certainly, a crew who understands good lighting helps in any circumstance. Still, when we asked how they liked the images when we switched from the HVX-200 to the GY-HD110, they preferred the latter.

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Old February 5th, 2011, 06:23 AM   #13
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Hd 111

And a good word for the PAL version - the GY HD111. Mine is still turning out beautiful pictures after four hard years on the road, especially after I invested the profit from a doc shoot in Afghanistan last summer in the Fuji 13x lens... Still the most comfortable camera for it's price on the market. Used it last year as B cam against USD75,000 worth of Sony 730 and Canon 12x HD cam, and the pictures shot on the JVC completely hold their own on virtually any consumer available screen.

And such great support from JVC, especially Craig Yanagi and his team.

My next camera will be the GY HM 700/750 series. Same form, same principles, more flexibility...
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 08:58 AM   #14
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Re: The venerable GY-HD 110

I've been shooting on the GY-HD200 for three years now and I love it, especially since I bought an Focus Enhancements MR-HD100 drive.
The image is amazing, the workflow is super-smooth, and my clients are purring.
I have had some viewfinder issues (clients don't like to see me smacking, i.e. "impact engineering" my viewfinder to get the colors back to normal), but after almost 500 hours on the drum it's running like a champ.
I especially appreciate the mixed light forgiveness. I can always find a happy medium.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 09:38 PM   #15
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Re: The venerable GY-HD 110

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Katz View Post
I wonder if buying a used hd110 makes sense?
Makes all the sense in the world - there is nothing that comes even close to this camera for the price point. Solid picture quality, robust construction, super ergonomics, impressive looks.

I bought one a couple of months ago! Came with a Focus Enhancements CF card recorder, so tape is out.

I love it!
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