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Old September 13th, 2005, 06:14 PM   #16
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So what to do. I see the posts of course and I know what is going on. I am not an authorized spokesman for the JVC corporation in any way, I just try to help people. Sometimes I may say more than I should. So should I respond openly and give my boss the chance he has been waiting for, finally the justification to fire my miserable butt? Certainly there are higher placed people who could respond, but they may not feel they can explain this well.

Yet there are people who have purchased our product and are wondering if they have made a good decision. I think they have. Some people see a limitation in the camera and wonder if they will be stuck with a poorly performing product. I think not.

So I wrote the following reply. Then I thought maybe I should not post this, I like my job and don't really want to get fired. So maybe I should just delete the whole thing. But that lets the customers down as they don't know who or what to believe. And it is the customers that I am committed to help.

Now keep in mind, sometimes people will take something wrong or they read what they want to read and then you have a discussion going and I don't have time to keep up with a discussion here. Too many cheap hotels, loose women, bad booze, no sleep, and late airplanes.

But our customers are more important than the feelings of some JVC manager so here goes, this will give some info and hopefully you will realize we are still working on this and we will improve this for all users.

I firmly believe your purchase of this camera has been a reasonable choice and you will prosper with it. Some customers already have done very nice work.


For reasons too long to type, there can be a difference in the darkest video levels at high gain settings between halves of the image. Something like a very tiny fraction of an IRE. Normally this is not visible at all.

This is not a defect as much as it is a limitation. Other aspects of this camera and in fact other cameras as well, always have limits to parts of their performance. This camera costs $6300. If we had simply locked out higher gain seettings we would not have this discussion. But like any tool, the higher gain ability was left in so you could decide how to use the camera to your best advantage. To not have this aspect of CCD operation be visible would have added a couple grand to the cost of the camera and then we are in a different price point and some can't afford the camera even if they wouldn't be shooting at high gain.

However, that being said it is also the case that we are not yet done working on this camera and we still expect some further improvement in this limitation. Ten feet away from me a this moment, there are people working on new methods of working with this. It is being worked daily.

Why now? Well the fact is you can't get a handle on this until you have lots of units from which to build an experience base.

The camera may not be finished for weeks. Afterall, we want it to be as good as we can do. So do you wish to wait to buy one until then or do you wish to start shooting and producing now? That is, of course, your choice. The camera is available now if you wish to start now. And at $6300 with some limitations, you can make your own decision.

If I write that if you can't use this camera, the Panasonic Varicam may be just right for you, then you may respond with a nasty comment about me or about the cost of the Varicam. But that is the point, isn't it. Every camera has limits. Every lens has limits. So you make your decision.

Now, I've said that the camera isn't done yet, what does that mean? We still are improving this. The firmware is still being refined daily. Today is different from two days ago. We expect and we intend that the firmware in your camera can be updated at little inconvenience and no cost to you. When we are closer to the result.

The important thing I guess is that JVC will improve this and take care of its customers. In the mean time you have an outstanding camera for a very affordable price.

Good luck and good shooting.

So I hit the submit button and away we go.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 06:46 PM   #17
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Dear Ken,

A message of strong appreciation from a JVC camera owner Australia! People need to hear about this right now from an authoritative source. Thanks for your candour about the issue. It has greatly increased my confidence in the future of the camera.

In general the moment I got the camera, I realised it was an impressive product (blew my old XL1s away). I for one much prefer to the Sony which I have also used. Some sensational film like images are possible. I was planning to use it for a two week drama shoot in November when I became aware of the split screen business in low light conditions. I would dearly love some solution to this.

There has been a suggestion on this (or perhaps another forum) that the split screen business might be addressed in the future by some kind of software download. At present my only difficulty is its appearance at low light at 0 db. Are you suggesting in your email that this is so and that we should therefore sit tight, have some faith? i.e a downloadable software solution will emerge?

Many thanks again.

Rob Castiglione
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Old September 13th, 2005, 07:11 PM   #18
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Thanks very much from me as well Ken.

I wouldn't have made my initial plunge into a product line this early in it's rollout (2-HD100's, the deck and the cine-adaptor - $25K) without having had excellent experiences with the company, and it's people (most certainly Ken). I didn't know that Ken was on this forum (I just got done emailing him outside), so I appreciate his post/clarification here very much. I'm pretty sure I complimented him somewhere else here in some of these previous posts :)

Again - thanks again. I am breathing easier, and it wasn't completely labored to start.

I think they'll have a big hit on their hands.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 07:22 PM   #19
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BTW, Ken I'm glad we share an appreciation for 'bad booze', so I'd be pleased with the honor of buying you a drink at NAB or Infocomm '06 if you would so let me.

Thanks again as always.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #20
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Certainly great to hear that the issue is not being brushed over by JVC and that they are clearly working on a solution. The only concern that remains is if it is actually possible for JVC to address the issue in firmware. Without knowing the exact reason for the problem (knowing only roughly why), and not knowing how much can be done in firmware (or how far the development work has improved things in house), we can only hope that a firmware upgrade can achieve what we all hope it can achieve. Ken certainly didn't say the problem will be fixed, just that they are working hard to try to fix it.

However, one could also mention that if JVC decided not to put in gain to avoid this split screen issue (a possible option Ken mentioned), at least then you would be making your buying decision for this camera knowing it doesn't have any gain settings rather than thinking it does but not knowing that it is likely to generate image degredation not commonly known to be introduced by using gain (ie more than just grain/noise) and not introduced by any other camera I know off.

It is probably a little lucky I can't afford one yet, I am forced by finances to see this thing play out from the sidelines and only get a bit stressed because I feel if I suddenly ran into the money to buy one I'd still be very concerned by this issue as I know I am going to be regulary in gain (often having to use 6dB on my DV500). If I had the money I'd have the camera by now and be a bit more stressed than I otherwise am.

Ken, let us know if you loose your job over this (although I highly doubt it will happen) because you tried to help us with this bit of information. I certainly wouldn't want to buy any more cameras from a company if it treated its employees who cared so much for its customers in such a way, and I'll bet I'm not alone.
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Old September 13th, 2005, 07:59 PM   #21
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Much appreciated as always, Ken! Many thanks,
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Old September 13th, 2005, 08:49 PM   #22
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Well, hello Ken and thank you very much!

Your response is what I asked for and I can say that I feel a lot better about the camera now. Truth to be told, I would like to know what is causing the effect but I also realize that you've gone the extra not one but several steps to respond to your customers and doing more might not be appreciated by your bosses.

So, if I may, please, I'd like to ask you to keep us posted on the progress of your engineers with the 'split screen' issue and any other new developments in regards to this wonderful new camera. I firmly believe that an informed customer is better and more loyal, even if some of the information deals with pitfalls and 'problems' of the product. Actually ironically, much more so...
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Old September 13th, 2005, 09:25 PM   #23
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Ken, Is the camera firmware updatable via SD card or is it a matter of going into a menu and making recommended changes?
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Old September 14th, 2005, 02:07 AM   #24
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Remember, the split screen problem is not just a problem when using gain. Its there at 0 gain as well.

Ken dosent seem to be awhere of that.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 02:19 AM   #25
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Yes, Mikael is right. Definitely there with 0 gain. Just tested it again half an hour hoping that Ken's mere email intervention had somehow miraculously fixed the "limitation:. Nope, still there.

Rob
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Old September 14th, 2005, 03:14 AM   #26
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"not a defect as much as it is a limitation"

Wow! Ken, don't worry about losing your job, with comments like this you could always find a job at the White House.

"Now keep in mind, sometimes people will take something wrong or they read what they want to read "

Of course they will, I must be one of those ignorant few because here's what I got out of it:

1. There is no defect.
2. We are working on fixing the non-defective issue.
3. If you want quality, buy a Panasonic Varicam.
4. So far, everyone who put down $6000 is a Beta Tester.

I'm not trying to pounce on Ken, he's caught between a rock and a hard place, and his support of the DV500 has been much appreciated. But, I got the impression that owners are being told that they expected too much for their measily $6000. When did we stop being customers and start being beta testers?

Steve
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Old September 14th, 2005, 05:17 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Roark
Wow! Ken, don't worry about losing your job, with comments like this you could always find a job at the White House.
And this is why I was saying company reps coming in and commenting is a minefield.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 05:18 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael Widerberg
Remember, the split screen problem is not just a problem when using gain. Its there at 0 gain as well.

Ken dosent seem to be awhere of that.
Guys, most cameras don't have it at 0db. I don't think, anyway. Mine doesn't.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 06:15 AM   #29
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Didn't I read somewhere that the split screen at 0dB is a defect (and can be returned). Sources are quite obscure on internet of course, but I thought I read the QC treshold would be 12 or 18 dB. So it shouldn't be visible at 0dB.

I'm still waiting on mine (already 2 months after payment...), but I'm not worried in the slightest, I have to say... Perhaps Ken was corresponding to some of the earliest posts when footage came up. Lots of mixed feelings there. But what came up with me also was "it is a $10.000 cam (Europe, eh). Can't expect the same as a $80.000 cam"...

Minds have changed somewhat since, and I'm reading a lot - mostly, even - that owners clearly see it as a winner - so I expect not too many will be dissapointed or in fear...
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Old September 14th, 2005, 06:26 AM   #30
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Here's that thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=50773

That was JVC Canada, but I doubt if JVC USA would be much different.
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