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Old July 16th, 2012, 12:46 PM   #1
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Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

We currently have five GY-HD250u's for our sports/entertainment arena. They have been great cameras, but we are looking to add more, as we are often under-equipped when there is more than one event happening.

The best price I can find for 250u's is about $5400 new and $2500 used (or refurbished). I am somewhat nervous about investing +/- $3000 on a used camera, but not keen about dropping $5400 o a new one, either.

We shoot everything at 720p60 and need HD/SDI out to our Tricaster. We also need to be able to record to MR-HD100's occasionally.

Any recommendations?
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Old July 17th, 2012, 09:53 PM   #2
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

Why not try the HM series? - instead of tapes you have a file-based workflow and your footage will match what you already have.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 01:32 AM   #3
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

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Originally Posted by Shon Troelstrup View Post
Any recommendations?
If you've got 5 already and a trained workforce using them, it's obvious to get more. A new HD250u is difficult to amortize because of the 6 year old design. At the same time, purchasing used equipment is risky because there is no manufacturer's warranty to back you up. Used becomes even more risky when spending someone elses money! However, since you are capturing through HD-SDI onto the Tricaster, at least you don't have to worry about worn recording heads.

On the other hand, if you want something new and don't need a shoulder mount, the JVC GY-HM600 should be available in October and has the necessary HD-SDI output. If that camera lives up to its specifications on paper, it will be very good for sports and event shooting.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

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Originally Posted by Sareesh Sudhakaran View Post
Why not try the HM series? - instead of tapes you have a file-based workflow and your footage will match what you already have.
I am definitely interested in the GY-HM750, as they would fit right into our lineup and be easily swapped out (lenses/tripod mounts/zoom-focus modules, etc) if something happened to one of the other bodies or lenses. We also just started recording game tape for a football team (offsite), using the 250u's with the MR-HD100. I imagine the 750's will be able to record to the MR-HD100 as well....? I guess we could also record to the SD cards. The advantage of the MR-HD100 for us is that we can upload the M2T files directly to the team's FTP site without any encoding or editing. I'll have to look into the MP4 option that the 750 provides.

That said, the HM600/650's look great, and are cheaper. However, we would prefer to have cameras that can be easily set up for handheld OR tripod use if necessary. If that's not an option, I guess we could always make do.

Edit: I hope this isn't a dumb question, but the specs for the 250u and 750 say there's an HD/SD SDI output, while the specs for the 600/650 just say "SDI and HDMI". The Overview for the 600/650 says "HD/SD SDI", however. Do the 600/650's have HD SDI out?
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Old July 18th, 2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

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Originally Posted by Shon Troelstrup View Post
The Overview for the 600/650 says "HD/SD SDI", however. Do the 600/650's have HD SDI out?
It will be difficult to know until the camera actually starts shipping, but I expect both models will have HD-SDI output. In addition to being cheaper than current shoulder mount models, the HM600 and HM650 also have a new imaging block which is likely much improved.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 06:36 PM   #6
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

I'm having a hard time convincing my boss that it's worth the extra $1000 or so for the 750/790, when there are still new 250's available from resellers from $5400. Besides the occasional event where the SDHC recording might save some time capturing, he doesn't think we're getting that much value. In his words, "warranties are usually useless anyway". So there's that...

These guys have several "demo" models that include battery/charger for $2000 or so cheaper than the new models. Maybe an option? It looks like they offer "full JVC warranty"....
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Old July 18th, 2012, 09:52 PM   #7
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

Shon...your boss is quite right in his assessment, except for one thing - he will have to rock the boat and change his entire workflow at some point - better to start now in baby steps than change everything overnight 5 years from now.

HDSDI, even if present on the new series, must be checked and verified for compatibility with existing monitors and recorders. Even when specs say the same thing, sometimes they're not. For your workflow, I'd stay away from HDMI.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 11:18 PM   #8
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

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Originally Posted by Shon Troelstrup View Post
I'm having a hard time convincing my boss that it's worth the extra $1000 or so for the 750/790.
If cost is an issue, then one could try the shoulder mount Panasonic AG-HMC80 coupled with an HDMI to HD-SDI converter. The total price new would be about $2500.

Although the HMC80 is noticably cheaper than the HM250u, the newer design is likely to perform with similar quality. Moreover, Blackmagic makes a compact battery powered converter that should allow the camera to connect to the Tricaster without trouble.

Blackmagic Design HDMI to SDI Battery Converter CONVBATT/HS B&H
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Old July 19th, 2012, 12:29 PM   #9
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

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Originally Posted by Shon Troelstrup View Post
The Overview for the 600/650 says "HD/SD SDI", however. Do the 600/650's have HD SDI out?
Saw it at NAB. Yes, HD-SDI out, ASSUMING the pre-production model that was shown is what they end up building.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sareesh Sudhakaran View Post
HDSDI, even if present on the new series, must be checked and verified for compatibility with existing monitors and recorders. Even when specs say the same thing, sometimes they're not. For your workflow, I'd stay away from HDMI.
Agree with you on staying away from HDMI but must disagree about HD-SDI ASSUMING one sticks to the two REAL HD-SDI formats: 720P60 (720P50) or 1080i60 (1080i50). 1080P30/25/24 is where things get sketchy in terms of support. The two (four if counting NTSC and PAL separately) broadcast standards work seamlessly. I have standardized on HD-SDI for the predictability and reliability.
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Old July 19th, 2012, 09:43 PM   #10
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

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... ASSUMING one sticks to the two REAL HD-SDI formats: ... I have standardized on HD-SDI for the predictability and reliability.
SDI/HD-SDI is probably one of the most reliable systems around. And it is standardized, so I totally agree with you, as far as practical videography is concerned.

However, there are "handshaking" issues, "corruption" issues and "signal" issues even between two entirely compatible electronic circuits - I for one will never accept a system without a full signal processing test from end to end - but how many people really need that kind of detail?
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Old December 26th, 2012, 06:56 PM   #11
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

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Originally Posted by Shon Troelstrup View Post
I'm having a hard time convincing my boss that it's worth the extra $1000 or so for the 750/790, when there are still new 250's available from resellers from $5400. Besides the occasional event where the SDHC recording might save some time capturing, he doesn't think we're getting that much value.

These guys have several "demo" models that include battery/charger for $2000 or so cheaper than the new models. Maybe an option? It looks like they offer "full JVC warranty"....
That is very silly of him! The HM series is a significant upgrade from the HD. Solid-state workflow doesn't just save "some" time. There are no tape deck problems and no dropped frames. The HM records in a higher bitrate and is something like a full stop more light sensitive, which translates to lower noise as well. If you're buying new, it's really worth considering the 750, or 710 if you don't need 720p.

I'm not sure I'm sold on JVC for life, but if I was, I would never buy another HD over and HM.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 08:16 AM   #12
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

I would look hard at the HM 750/ 90- series. They are excellent value for money and the 790 ( at least the one I had access to ) had a picture profile preinstalled to match the HD series.

The HM series are also a lot better in low light. Notice, they are not the king of low light, but a lot better. Not sure whether I like the Canon 14X lens, though, but still, that is also a lot better than the 16X Fujinon that came with the HD series.

The HM series are by far the best alternative when it comes to recording media. Two 32GB SDHC cards from Sandisk for instance will run 6 hours in 19Mbps mode and four hours in 35 Mbps mode. I wouldn`t use the MR-HD100. Too expensive for what it is.

To me warranty from a reputed reseller is a big thing.

If I were to use the camera for 2-3 jobs I would consider buying used, but more than that and I would invest in an new camera or perhaps a used HM- camera.
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Old December 29th, 2012, 09:26 AM   #13
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

Go tapeless. You'll never look back.
The HM600/650 are heads and tails above the HD series. They can shoot in multiple formats, full 1920x1080 CMOS chips, F11 lux rating, which is near or at 2/3" low light ability, the zoom lens is 23X - how much more zoom will you need?
For about $4,400, they're about the same price as a used HM700 series, which has older CCD chips. But any of the HM series cameras would be better than sticking with HDV.

You'll eventually have to go tapless. Might as well start now and work it into your productions.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 04:24 AM   #14
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

It is my impression that the HM790 is a direct replacement of the HD250 regarding the studio capabilities.

Im am not sure how the much the HM600 has been improved to the HM700 series. Not having tested one I guess it should perform better in 1080 mode because of the new chipset, however the HM700 series give really great images in 720 mode.

I shoot all my productions in 720p50 mode now as that follows the EBU standard and I am happy.

It has been a long time since I shot on tape. I certainly don`t miss it. Tapeless is the way to go and looking at prices on namebrand SDHC cards they are really, really cheap now.

My greatest concern with any camera is not just the camera and recording format but also how good the lens is.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 08:56 AM   #15
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Re: Buy more HD250u's, or newer models?

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Originally Posted by Svein Rune Skilnand View Post
It is my impression that the HM790 is a direct replacement of the HD250 regarding the studio capabilities.

Im am not sure how the much the HM600 has been improved to the HM700 series. Not having tested one I guess it should perform better in 1080 mode because of the new chipset, however the HM700 series give really great images in 720 mode.

I shoot all my productions in 720p50 mode now as that follows the EBU standard and I am happy.

It has been a long time since I shot on tape. I certainly don`t miss it. Tapeless is the way to go and looking at prices on namebrand SDHC cards they are really, really cheap now.

My greatest concern with any camera is not just the camera and recording format but also how good the lens is.
I'd say the HM600 is a big improvement over the 700 series. It starts off with a new, 19020x1080 full raster CMOS chipset. The 700 series has a 14xx CCDs, or something. I know they're not 1920x1080. I had an HD250 and I thought the low light ability was really bad. I sold it as soon as i could. I don't know how much the 700 improved in low light over the 250, but from what I've seen, not much.

The HM700 is years older in technology compared to the 600. If you're going to expand your gear, get the latest and the best, especially if it doesn't cost any more, or even less! Here's a good review:


HD Warrior Blog Archiv JVC GY-HM600 Review 2012
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