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Old October 8th, 2005, 05:19 PM   #1
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HD100U Split Screen Will Not Be Fixed?

I spoke to a JVC representative at a seminar today and she told me that JVC will NOT fix the split screen and it is the trade off for getting the HD resolution. Besides very few people will ever have that problem with the camera and the ones that do, can easily fix it.
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Old October 8th, 2005, 06:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Duke
I spoke to a JVC representative at a seminar today and she told me that JVC will NOT fix the split screen and it is the trade off for getting the HD resolution. Besides very few people will ever have that problem with the camera and the ones that do, can easily fix it.
I agree with you that JVC does not consider SSE a "problem" that can be fixed.

But, I assume what she also means that JVC will "fix" or "replace" units that don't meet their QC requirements.

Of all the NTSC reports I've read, there are clearly a few that are obviously BAD. Much like most, or all, the PAL units.

THe problem is not, IMHO, that JVC has not admitted that SSE exists, it's that they have not yet published a simple test that can be used to determine if they should send it back to JVC. Of course, such a test may not be possible without test equipment -- in which case they at least need to publish a Guideline on the return procedure.
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Old October 8th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Duke
I spoke to a JVC representative at a seminar today and she told me that JVC will NOT fix the split screen and it is the trade off for getting the HD resolution. Besides very few people will ever have that problem with the camera and the ones that do, can easily fix it.
And you can hear the sound of cards going back into wallets...

That's quite a surprising statement considering the number of HDV cameras currently on the market without this effect. While JVC may have there reasons, you would think such a statement would be preceded or at least quickly followed by detailed standands for exchange repair as Steve suggested.

While no camera is without it's quirks and artifacts, the evidence posted so far says that this exceeds the definition of "quirk" or "artifact" and is clearly a "flaw".

The only solution is to either obtain a camera where the level of the flaw is minimal and not impacting your shooting style or buy another camera.

Though I love 24p, I'm going to skip this camera and wait for the HVX and see if it meets my HD production needs.
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Old October 8th, 2005, 08:05 PM   #4
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I spent 3 hours with the JVC sales manager here in Chicago today. We had the camera and tried everything to get it to split screen. It would not. I asked him what the policy was and he told me if there was a split under 9db, the camera would be replaced by JVC. NO questions asked. He also explained to me in detail what is causing the problem. It is a comparitor circuit that is reacting too slow and that by design the comparitor met the spec set by the engineers. The CCD's are scanned from the center "line" out to the edge (per CCD block). Some cameras came out initially that were not QCed.

As I wrote, I spent a few hour in many different scenarios and no split on the camera we were working with. The camera was tethered to a laptop and it's 1394 output was monitored in Liquid's live capture as well as DVrack HDV's monitor. No split on that unit at all in any scenario.
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Old October 8th, 2005, 08:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Stephen van Vuuren
And you can hear the sound of cards going back into wallets... That's quite a surprising statement considering the number of HDV cameras currently on the market without this effect.
I think the slogon "if you can by a better true progressive camcorder at the same price -- do so" is one which most folks will listen to. Clearly, there are no other choices -- as Canon's isn't 24p (and I wouldn't buy such an ergonomic kludge even if it did) and any P2-based camcorder will not be cost-effective until the end of the decade.

There's no evidence that professionals now shooting HDCAM, CineAlta, and DVCPRO HD will have issues with this camcorder. Nor, will those who now shoot 35mm film. These folks know how to use lighting and know how to use the menu controls to get maximum quality.

The fact is, if "DV shooters" are willing to learn and adapt, they too will be able to get great results. We all know what happens when a major technology shift occurs. Those that master the new CRAFT will thrive. Those that don't, ... .

It's clear that "DV camcorders" have enabled lots of folks to make a living shooting video without actually learning the fundamentals of photpgraphy, film, and video technology. (The so-called "democritization" of video.) Technology has allowed them to never have to learn their craft. (And, it also matches the huge drop in America turning-out students who have more than a minimal knowedge of science and math -- plus reading/writing. All of which, are the basis for learning a craft.)

Conversly, if there is one characteristic of the HD100 I love most -- it is that it calls on everything I've ever learned -- starting with 8mm and a PortaPk. In fact, it's forcing me to get out books on "film lighting" that I never got into as video arrived. Now, that we have access to near 35mm film quality -- it demands we respect that capability. Now I need to buy a light meter. :)

If you want to stay in the "DV world" but simply want an increase in resolution -- why not buy a Sony FX1/Z1? It really does offer what it seems many folks want. (Except it is almost 2-stops less sensitive that the PD170/VX2100.) And, there is a huge experience base on moving both 50i and 60i to film. The FX1 is particularly cost effective! I would not have spent 4 months writing a book on the two Sony HDV camcorders if I felt they did not offer what many folks want.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; October 8th, 2005 at 09:54 PM.
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Old October 8th, 2005, 08:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen L. Noe
No split on that unit at all in any scenario.
Stephen, do you remember some of the most extreme scenarios you tested? Can you share those with us, please?
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Old October 8th, 2005, 10:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jiri Bakala
Stephen, do you remember some of the most extreme scenarios you tested? Can you share those with us, please?
Absolutely,

White wall across a gamut of settings scenarios.
Single light off screen shooting a dark backdrop across a gamut of settings scenarios
Gain in dark scenarios up to 18db.
White balanced against blue, grey, yellow, green and then shot.

etc. etc. 3 hours of trying to make it split at the Museum of Science and Industry, indoor and outdoor. No split. I proposed to go out and shoot the HD-100 at night in downtown Chicago next week. I think that will happen and I'll try to force it to split screen again.

Other observations: The lens does have CA but not nearly as bad (on the one we are using) as originally posted. The lens does breath, alot! It's like a second zoom, but, it is very sharp and we got between 700-800 lines resolution. Ergonomically it is the best of the price range followed by the Z1 and HVX (tie) and then the XL-H1 (last). You'll have to be Popeye to hold up the H1 for very long. I HAVE HANDLED ALL OF THEM PERSONALLY and I like them all.
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Old October 8th, 2005, 11:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
I agree with you that JVC does not consider SSE a "problem" that can be fixed.

But, I assume what she also means that JVC will "fix" or "replace" units that don't meet their QC requirements.

Of all the NTSC reports I've read, there are clearly a few that are obviously BAD. Much like most, or all, the PAL units.

THe problem is not, IMHO, that JVC has not admitted that SSE exists, it's that they have not yet published a simple test that can be used to determine if they should send it back to JVC. Of course, such a test may not be possible without test equipment -- in which case they at least need to publish a Guideline on the return procedure.
She basically said they were NOT going to do anything and itm was a choice between them and very expensive cameras. The bottom line that she said, and I agree is that you won't have the SSE proplem if you are doing it right. She said that this camera may not be for all. That it is really geared towards cinematographers and pros who will spend the time to make the settings correct. They had to try really hard to get the SSE on the test, and even when they got it, it was very difficult to see. You have to set the gain real high, whcih most people won't do, unless they are trying to shoot night exterior with very little light, or some other instances that have been pointed out here. From what is aw and heard, and what i have read here, the people that have shot with this camera are VERY happy and the footage I saw today was absolutely AMAZING!! I could not tell it was video. Note: this was without any Prime Lense Adapter. I can't wait till I get mine and share some of the footage I am going to test shoot.
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Old October 8th, 2005, 11:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen L. Noe
I proposed to go out and shoot the HD-100 at night in downtown Chicago next week.
I found that the biggest issue on the streets at night -- is what do you WB on?

If you use a white card and MWB using steeet lights you can get a nice "white" but I note that most movies want a bit of the orange look to add "mood." Preset (3200) might be OK.


If the scene is mostly lit by light from within stores, then that is a very similar issue. You may want the "Natural Born Killer" blue-green look -- not true white. Preset (3200) might be OK.

It is an open issue of how the HD100 will handle scenes that are NOT truly white balanced.

I have also tried FAW. This is a very neat function! Give it about 10-seconds and it moves quite close to the correct WB value. But, I've never tried it at night in a situation where there is almost no white. (FAW assumes there is a "typical" amount of white in the scene.)

I raise these questions, because WB seems to play a role once one has sufficient light.

Speaking of light -- streets have a statistically non "normal" distribution of illumination levels -- some very bright and huge amounts of dark.Thus an F4 AVERAGE that I keep recommending may not be correct. So if you want to avoid a split on well lit pavement (for example) that looks dark gray, you may want to zoom into it and set its exposure to F2. Now zoom back and re-frame.

Looking forward to your report -- thank you for your extensive testing.
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; October 9th, 2005 at 02:09 AM.
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Old October 8th, 2005, 11:53 PM   #10
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I am reading some justifcation of a clear design flaw in JVCs camera (should a courier have to know how to drive an indy car...).

Nothing too difficult to understand, if they can't fix it, JVC were clearly not up to the job, they bit off more than they could chew. They should now remove the promotional material trying to sell this camera to any market that can't control the lighting environment or add a disclaimer.

If Sony, Panasonic or Canon bring out a camera with the same problem I'll gladly eat my words, but all I see is JVC making excuses for poor engineering. It is not the cost of HD, it is the cost of depending on 3rd parties for all your CCD and integrated circuits. The Z1 has 12% more pixels than JVCs camera, so clearly it is not a problem with getting out these pixels in the required time frame. Its the same number of pixels in the same time frame. 24p adds even more time to get the pixels out...

I wonder if the HD7000 will also have this problem.
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Old October 9th, 2005, 12:03 AM   #11
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Guy,

Have you actually had your hands on the camera?
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Old October 9th, 2005, 12:13 AM   #12
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Yes I have.
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Old October 9th, 2005, 12:18 AM   #13
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Did it split for you?
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Old October 9th, 2005, 12:28 AM   #14
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I agree with you Guy. I got this camera a few days ago and saw split screen in low light messing around with it right out of the box in my living room. Ive played around with it more in better lit situations and the split screen dissapears. I can live with that because pretty much all the work I will do will have controlled lighting. But it would really suck for someone who has to tape in low light. It is a serious flaw, and its bad business to continue to sell it without correcting the problem. This issue has definately tarnished the image (no pun intended) of a camera that could have been so great

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Duke
She basically said they were NOT going to do anything and itm was a choice between them and very expensive cameras.
Shes very wrong. There are other choices. Z1, FX1, HC1, XL-H1, HVX, and many excellent SD cameras in the same prosumer price range. So far, of the ones that are available, JVC is the only one with a serious flaw.
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Old October 9th, 2005, 12:32 AM   #15
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No I didn't see SSE, but it was before anyone had ever raised the split issue so I didn't even think such a fault could exist and so didn't light to expose the problem, it was in a studio type of environment where lighting was soft, even and ample. The lighting was nothing like the lighting experienced in my line of work in the real world, but never before in any camera has this made any difference.

I spent at least about two hours with the camera, and at that stage was totally impressed.

I've said it before, my only real issue with this cam is the possibility of ending up with the SSE when shooting a scene in which I have limited control over lighting, and will not ever have more than one chance to shoot it, and it is live.

I have never disputed the suitability of this camera in other shooting environments.
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