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GY-HD 100 & 200 series ProHD HDV camcorders & decks.


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Old September 15th, 2005, 02:34 PM   #1
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Upgrade Wishlist (updated with HD200/250 results)

When I exchanged my HD100s at JVC HQ in Toronto, I had a chat with the GM of Pro Sales for Canada. I told him some of my woes with the camera and wishes for a firmware update. He asked me to please write it all down and send him an email because he is in constant contact with the engineers in Japan.
They designed this camera based on suggestions from working cameramen, so it stands to reason that JVC wants as much input as possible from the end users.

I just sent the email with my top-10 firmware wishlist, and then I thought that maybe I should post it and ask if anyone else could think of any other ideas (within reason for a firmware update.) I'll send the link for this thread to JVC if anyone comes up with anything else. Please don't bother posting frivilous posts about the split-screen problem. There are a multitude of those on other threads and JVC are well aware of that problem!

Here's my top 10 most wanted firmware updates:
  1. LCD & EVF active at the same time option. This would be ideal for shoots with a 1st A.C./focus puller. The operator could use the EVF, and the focus puller could keep an eye on the framing with a flipped backwards LCD. I know it would draw more juice, but I think that any pro user is going to go with the AB or IDX battery solution.
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  2. TC SLAVE ability DV TC can be slaved for recording backups (TC DUPLI.), but I would like to be able to jam code for a two camera shoot (including my 3D setup I will explain later.) Another idea might be a menu option to route TC IN and OUT to the YB or YR jacks?
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  3. TC PRESET & LOAD SCENE FILE shortcuts assignable to USER BUTTONS. I find that I spend too much time going into the menus for common things like preset TC. Also, I would like to see the 4 scene file limit on the SD card removed.
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  4. Quicker RESET of TC and an auto hour advance feature. Currently, once I navigate to the TC/UB/CLOCK menu, I need to press the selector 5 times and then scroll down 2 times just to get to ZERO PRESET. On most professional cameras there is a physical button to reset the timecode quickly. I also think it would be handy to have a function to automatically advance to the next TC hour when a new tape is inserted. This could be part of the HEADER REC function.
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  5. Higher bitrate recording to external HDD device. The HVX200 offers the ability to record outside of the HDV spec. I would love this ability for green screen compositing work. It would be great if a HDV version could simultaneously be recorded to tape.
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  6. 720p60 capture. I love the ability to capture at 60p for "overcranked" slo-mo - however I wish it didn't have to be in 480p! This feature would also silence the proponents of the 1080i "reality" look. It would also open the camera up to sports broadcasters like ABC and FOX who broadcast in 720p60.
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  7. Custom positionable burn-in TC only on video out. When I'm shooting I need all of the display information in the EVF, but director and continuity person only need to see TC - not a cluttered mess of displays.
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  8. HDV to DV firewire downconversion. I would like to be able to "offline" with the DV codec on post systems that may not have HD capabilities. This would help bridge the gap for early adopters who want to shoot HD now for archival purposes, but use their legacy post-production gear to edit the material in NTSC or PAL.
    -
  9. FLIP (inversion) Option for LCD and EVF. Many people are designing homemade versions of the P+S Technik "mini35" without conversion prisms. The resultant image is of course upside down. The common solution on most cameras is to add a magnet to the LCD to trick it into reverse mode. This is fine for shooting, but the footage still needs to be flipped in post. Obviously the electronics of the camera can do the flip, but it would be great if it was a user selectable option for recording to tape. BTW, I noticed that a LEFT/RIGHT LCD flip option is available in the advanced menu.
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  10. Better representation of 720p24 frame rate while shooting. I find that the motion of the live output when shooting seems to be at a higher frame rate than 24fps. It almost feels like the live uncompressed output is actually 720p60 without pulldown. Everything looks very filmlike once you digitize the HDV footage, so I'm not sure exactly what is going on here. EDIT: We now know that the CCD clocks at twice the frame rate and displays the clocked frame rate to the live outputs. Therefore, when shooting 24P, we actually see 48P live.


And now to my Mac software wishlist (for JVC and APPLE):
  • SCENE FILE MANAGEMENT TOOL: It would be great to have an application similar to Nikon's "Capture Control" for the D70 that would allow upload/download of custom gamma curves. It would also be great if you could visualize the resultant gamma response curve on a graph as you live control the camera gamma/matrix settings remotely via firewire.
    EDIT: I have tested loading saving and copying the actual 4 scene files from the SD card - and it works fine. The problem is that the camera limits the SD card to 4 scene files. How about 16? That would be a good number for me!
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  • LOGGING & DIGITIZING APPLICATION: I would like a simple application that could display and capture the HDV stream (with TC) to a powerbook via firewire (triggered REC by the camera) while the 2nd A.C. can simultaneously log each scene/take, "circle" takes, or make log notes. The resultant logs and files could be directly imported into FCP and printed on a portable printer to look like standard Lab camera reports. An application like this would create a very efficient workflow. There is a similar application for windows called "DVRack," but it seems to cater more to video engineers and D.P.s than camera assistants or assistant editors.
    Maybe LumiereHD will add this function?
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  • Update to Final Cut Pro 5. I know this one is on its way, but I hope they are able to automatically remove the pulldown frames during capture. Also, I hope they intend to support capture of the 480p60 and 576p50 HDV formats. LumiereHD is a good intermediate solution, but I'd prefer to have native support.

That's all I can think of for now.

Tim

EDIT: Please click here to see the new features implemented in the HD200 and HD250.

Please add your requests in the same format so it will be easy to read if a JVC engineer happens to be browsing.
Use the following format for lists (replace brackets with square brackets.)

(list=1)
(*) (b)Wishlist item 1 title(/b) Detailed description of how the function would work and why it would make the camera better.
-
(*) (b)Wishlist item 2 title(/b) Detailed description.
-
(*) (b)Wishlist item 3 title(/b) Detailed description.
(/list)

The list will look like this:
  1. Wishlist item 1 title Detailed description of how the function would work and why it would make the camera better.
    -
  2. Wishlist item 2 title Detailed description.
    -
  3. Wishlist item 3 title Detailed description.
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Old September 15th, 2005, 10:39 PM   #2
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Tim,

Thanks for offering to help make this cam even better by providing JVC with user suggestions.

The first things I noticed, could be implemented with the user buttons.

1. Add a quick link to the preset white balance. 3200 OR 5600. It's a pain to navigate to the menu and select the presets in fast moving shots. Sometimes you just know it's tungsten or daylight. Or at least close enough when you can't white balance.

2. Quick link to TC presets. Almost all professionals use timecode hours to set tape number and we start at 01:00:00:00. So even the reset to zero has to be modified in the menus. It would be nice to hit a button to get to the preset menu.

While black stretch, black compress are nice quick links, these are even more important IMHO. I like the bars option BTW.

Dave B
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Old September 15th, 2005, 11:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Beaty
Add a quick link to the preset white balance. 3200 OR 5600. It's a pain to navigate to the menu and select the presets in fast moving shots.
Dave,

That is already built in. Just set one of your USER buttons to "PRESET TEMP." and you have a 3200K/5600K toggle.

Tim
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 01:09 PM   #4
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More suggestions for JVC and the HD-101 update

  1. 1080/60i, /50i, /25P, /24P - Because it would be awesome.
  2. Move the XLR Jacks - When cradling the camera in one arm for "from the hip" shooting, the xlr pugs seriously jam against your thumb when you're trying to operate the record button and zoom controls.
  3. Viewfinder-Black And White - For all the reasons pros use a black and white viewfinder - focus, contrast control, etc...
  4. Viewfinder-Adjustable Positioning - Adjustable front-to-back positioning as well as side-to-side positioning.
  5. Increased Res On Flip-out LCD - At least one of the two on-camera viewfinders should be capable of showing the actual res of the final recorded image. This could be accomplished by using a digital zoom function on the LCD viewfinder so that you can get a 1:1 pixel representation of what you're shooting. OR An all-round better viewfinder like the one on Canon's XL2 / HD. I'd rather have one good viewfinder than two so-so viewfinders.
  6. Better Mic or No Mic at All - No one's going to use the supplied microphone anyway, so save the money when buying the camera or have a mic that's worth using as a second audio source.
  7. Mono-Stereo Input Options - As a documentary filmmaker, I really appreciated Canon's audio controls and the capability to pan audio; you can set the level high on one channel while simultaneously recording a "safe" audio level on the second track. What would be REALLY nice is to have a software-driven option to use ONE channel of 24-bit sound instead of two channels of 12-bit sound.
  8. Uncompressed HD - Out via Firewire - The only thing preventing someone from recording 720/60P directly to disk is that the f/w electronics inside the camera don't support it...we could use external HDD recorders to record "overcranked" video.
  9. Battery Solution - There's no point in having a battery that powers the camera for 40 minutes. JVC should either put an industry-standard 12-volt/14.4-vold input plug and a mounting plate for any of the pro battery solutions out there, or make a bigger JVC battery and simultaneous/sequential charger for it.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 01:28 PM   #5
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Forwarded this Thread to Head of JVC China

The head of JVC China is on his way to Japan to consult with the head honchos about what to put into the new camera. I've forwarded this thread to him. Hopefully he'll take it to them and we'll see some of this great stuff in a new model down the road.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 01:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexei Berteig
[*] Uncompressed HD - Out via Firewire - The only thing preventing someone from recording 720/60P directly to disk is that the f/w electronics inside the camera don't support it...we could use external HDD recorders to record "overcranked" video.
Actually, no. The MPEG encoder doesn't support it, reportedly.

Also, I don't have a good resource at hand, but my quick calculation just now tells me that uncompressed 1280x720p60 at 8bit is 888mbit/sec...not suitable for firewire.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexei Berteig
Viewfinder-Adjustable Positioning - Adjustable front-to-back positioning as well as side-to-side positioning.
Alexei.
That one is already built in (sort of.) However, it doesn't work like pro viewfinders on rods.
Instead, just loosen the ring on the viewfinder and then pull the column out, retighten. You can adjust back almost 2 inches, but cannot go forward.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 02:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexei Berteig
Mono-Stereo Input Options - As a documentary filmmaker, I really appreciated Canon's audio controls and the capability to pan audio; you can set the level high on one channel while simultaneously recording a "safe" audio level on the second track. What would be REALLY nice is to have a software-driven option to use ONE channel of 24-bit sound instead of two channels of 12-bit sound.
That one is there too. Just set the CH2 INPUT switch to INPUT 1 and then set your manual level controls at two different levels.

The 24-bit idea is good, but I suspect the 16-bit 48Khz PCM stereo tracks are already recording. They just need to create a method to digitize them in sync.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 03:09 PM   #9
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Since I do both multicamera live-switch field productions as well as single camera work, I'd like the version that was shown at NAB where they removed the tape transport and replaced it with a 26 pin camera cable connector so you could control the camera from a CCU. I think a lot of studios now using the old GY550s would consider upgrading as well. The only problem is that the NAB prototype utilized the firewire output for the 26 pin which meant that you didn't have the option of using a HDD for single camera work. I could easily give up the VTR, but the loss of the HDD option would be a deal breaker and probably force me over to the XL-H1.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 03:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood
Alexei.
That one is already built in (sort of.) However, it doesn't work like pro viewfinders on rods.
Instead, just loosen the ring on the viewfinder and then pull the column out, retighten. You can adjust back almost 2 inches, but cannot go forward.
Yeah, I'm looking for the forward part. :) . A lot of people say it's comfortable as-is, so I might be in the total minority on this one.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 03:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood
That one is there too. Just set the CH2 INPUT switch to INPUT 1 and then set your manual level controls at two different levels.

The 24-bit idea is good, but I suspect the 16-bit 48Khz PCM stereo tracks are already recording. They just need to create a method to digitize them in sync.
Do you know if the JVC editing deck has the ability to capture these PCM tracks? Somewhere else on this forum I read that they're outside of the firewire spec, so there's no conceivable way (outside of capturing from the analog audio jack) of capturing that audio. Is that true, or is the information going down the firewire cable and being discarded by the NLE?

No one really knows yet, and there is no official word from JVC except the statement on page 4 of the ProHD brochure. Quote: "MPEG-1 Layer 3 audio tracks are encoded at 384 kbps, which is approximately CD audio quality, while PCM tracks are sampled at 16-bit 48kHz and recorded without compression in exclusive PCM audio sector on a separate part of the track." This statement is in reference to ProHD as a "concept" and not the actual functionality of the HD100.

I think Steve Mullen is the only one who has actually tested for PCM audio, with mixed results.
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Old October 23rd, 2005, 07:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
Actually, no. The MPEG encoder doesn't support it, reportedly.

Also, I don't have a good resource at hand, but my quick calculation just now tells me that uncompressed 1280x720p60 at 8bit is 888mbit/sec...not suitable for firewire.
I thought the Canon HD X1 does it over firewire...?
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Old October 24th, 2005, 03:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexei Berteig
Yeah, I'm looking for the forward part. :) . A lot of people say it's comfortable as-is, so I might be in the total minority on this one.
... You can move the shoulder-pad backwards....
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Old October 24th, 2005, 04:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexei Berteig
I thought the Canon HD X1 does it over firewire...?
No, the Canon only outputs DV or HDV over firewire. The uncompressed video is output over HD-SDI.
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Old October 24th, 2005, 07:14 AM   #15
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"Quicker RESET of TC and an auto hour advance feature."

You can zero reset the time code data by simoultaneously holding down the USER2 button and the STOP button for about 1 second. Not very easy to do with one hand only, but better than using the menus.
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