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Old October 17th, 2005, 02:48 PM   #46
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JVC is listening... maybe

I will indulge here and share with you what I was told by a JVC dealer here in Canada:

The dealer(s) are not selling the cameras as well as expected because too many people are waiting to see how the whole situation gets resolved (many of those are on this board). The dealer(s) are also not ordering the cameras because of concerns that if there is at some point an upgrade/new version/etc., they would get stuck with 'old inventory'. As a result, the dealer(s) are putting pressure on JVC and there are (allegedly) discussions about the need for some kind of official response.

I bet JVC is working on improvements/fix for the problem. There is just too much noise about it and at this point they are already feeling the heat from not selling as much as they hoped. There you have it.

Disclaimer: All conclusions are mine and mine only and, hey, I might be indulging in a serious case of wishful thinking.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 04:25 PM   #47
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Jiri-I'm glad that someone is in the same boat as me. As a fellow Canadian I have never gotten straight answers from JVC Canada. In-fact I was told the the split screen in my camera was an isolated incident. I was hoping to like the camera so much that I recommended it to the dean of the college I work at to allow our faculty to order 11 units for student learning. Looks like another semester with those darn reliable sony dsr 250's. Anyhow once the split screen became an issue, and I became sure that JVC was not being completely honest about the severity of the issue, I cancelled the order. This still left me with an HD100 that was nothing more than a paper weight as far as I was concerned. After some serious complaining and several cameras later (each with the SSE problem, all with the JVC Quality Inspected sticker) my dealer refunded my money and apologized for the inconvenience. I'm glad that your dealer and others are leaning on JVC to rectify the issue. My dealer is still relatively in denial and has wrote the units off as nothing more than coincidence and bad luck. They've also been convinced by JVC canada that anyone who posts on the forums is a Sony Rep. and should not be trusted. Insecurities aside, they have however become puzzled and are wondering why JVC wouldn't give them a heads up of any sort given that cameras are being returned, and orders being cancelled. Perhaps my dealer isn't ready to get their head out of the sand. It's nice to know that JVC is biting the hand that feeds them by keeping even the dealers in the dark. Anyhow, I am not a sony rep and will purchase an HD100 once the appropriate hardware upgrades are completed to correct the defect. Yes, I called it a defect. It is indeed a defect. Sticker or no sticker. The whole lot of them in Canada are infected-so buyer beware. It is a flaw that is a blatant imperfection in the picture quality. I must have been defective to believe JVC would release a camera without such a substantial problem. I may just defect back over to Canon or Sony if they don't deal with this appropriately ro ina reasonable amount of time.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 07:41 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Huiy Tang
As a fellow Canadian ...
Huiy, would you like to contact me off the list to compare stories, etc.?
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Old October 17th, 2005, 07:43 PM   #49
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Well to be honest with you if I were a student and all you had to offer were shoulder mounted standard definition camcorders I would not even bother to take the class. Even if I thought the JVC high definition camera was a paperweight it is still better than nothing to be able to learn the craft of shooting in high definition with a real shoulder mounted high definition camcorder at an affordable price point. With high definition training on your resume you can have a shot at a job operating a high end camcorder like the Panasonic Varicam, JVC HD7000, or a Sony Alta Cine.
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Old October 17th, 2005, 08:00 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Tommy James
Well to be honest with you if I were a student and all you had to offer were shoulder mounted standard definition camcorders I would not even bother to take the class.
Tommy, I am sorry but I disagree. The students that Huiy talks about are presumably learning the craft of camera operating, lighting and general production. There is so much to learn before they can even tell the difference between SD and HD. HD is a big buzzword but the reality is (and I have taught at a college myself) that most students need to start by learning how to put a camera on a tripod and why and how they should use lights. Most cameramen who get the HD jobs have been working in the industry for years and have many years of Betacam, etc. under their belt before they get hired to shoot HD. I am very doubtful that a line on their resume referring to an HD training at some college would give them much advantage. Not up here in Canada, anyway...:-)
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Old October 18th, 2005, 08:28 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
Let me throw my technician hat on for a moment and explain what's happening, given the description of the technician's actions that Panos described. The firmware updates are most likely adding more 'calibration points' than were originally available. This makes it possible for the technician to use the scope and monitor to calibrate both sides independently at more points in the response curve so that their outputs match up in all modes under all conditions. BTW, the high tech term for a calibration point is 'fudge factor'. :-)

This is how you overcome the inherent flaw or limitation of the original design. Had the same scenario with a new to market machine in our wafer fab a few years ago. The factory had to revise the software to allow for more calibration points in the magnet response curve so that what was actually happening at the physical level would jibe with what the front panel monitor displayed. Without those extra points, the machine couldn't accurately auto tune itself at various points in the AMU curve.

-gb-
Greg - you are spot on. I had another visit from the JVC engineer this morning to fix my SD timecode problem and I specifically asked him to confirm whether firmware updates were responsible for improving the removal of the split screen (specifically because of this thread).

Unprompted he informed that what the firmware updates were doing was adding more calibration points for the camera (originally they only had calibration points at 0dB and +18dB), now they have calibration points at +12dB and he thinks more may be added in future.

So mate - you are officially a smart cookie.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 09:15 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
I'm still not sure why anyone needs to deal with "imply" when JVC has made it very clear that those units that have "Inspected by JVC USA" stickers have the latest of everything. Whatever SSE these units might have they are not "defective." (Which does not mean that an occasional unit might be defective and need to be replaced for all sorts of reasons.
Steve - mate you're missing the whole point of the firmware. It doesn't matter if all the USA units have the latest firmware and "Inspected by JVC USA" stickers, because it is the automated calibration of the camera at the factory which is failing, not the firmware. And the fact is having the latest firmware DOES allow the camera to be better calibrated (see Panos' report), and it seems the best calibration is done by hand by a technician. Don't believe me - ask JVC that specific question - are there calibration points in the firmware for minimising the split screen and can a technician adjust them? Better still ask if you could see it being done (preferably on your camera). If they are inspecting every unit ask what percentage of cameras they are rejecting because of excessive split screen?
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Old October 18th, 2005, 09:26 AM   #53
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On & off topic - I was frustrated last evening, as I was trying to resolve an image problem while using my mini35 with my HD100. Turns out I had some micro dust on my rear glass element on the mine35 adaptor. I had compressed air and Qtips for dinner last night - my favorite.

So I was very happy as I previewed my final footage on a 34" widescreen WEGA to see that the specks/blotches had disappeared - a nice clean image - then I noticed the split effect. This one was a subtle/slight discolored right half, not matching the left. Been a while since I've seen it.

I was shooting in my living room, with a good amount of light, plus a lowel omni bounced into an umbrella, with a Canon f/2.8 70-200 zoom, through the mini35, into the HD100, using variable test gains 0, 3 or 6db, 1/60th shutter. I would adjust the back iris on the mini35 to keep the video legal (zebras set to report at 100%).

I believe the last setting where I saw the SSE was at 6db, mini 35 back iris around 1.5-2, with that Canon lens at 1/60th. SSE may have gone away at 1/30th.

Image looked nice - I was surprised to see the effect - never seen it with that much available light. The lens and adaptor certainly hinder lightflow (f/2.8 plus lose another stop or stop & 1/2 with the adaptor), then back iris, then gain, etc.

Just a quick test case, and maybe not the most ideal way to engineer the shoot, but it wasn't an extreme environment either. I recently had good luck with the stock fuji lens testing at a wedding reception at 9db, 1/30, with about 30-50 (variable) watts of diffused on-camera chimera mini-light - no SSE in that footage. Footage was dark, but certainly usable. I can't see using more than 9db of gain and still being happy with it.

I've been staying out of these discussions for a while (the posts seem to give me optimism and then concern about every 5 minutes) - just thought I'd post this for anyone using the mini - perhaps something to watch out for. I'm still holding out faith (blind or not) for even subtle fixes. Still a very big fan of the camera and I've had very good experiences with JVC for years - just not completely sure I trust the cam (or myself with it) in every scenario yet. That's why I test I guess.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 10:57 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy James
Even if I thought the JVC high definition camera was a paperweight it is still better than nothing...
Tommy, I haven't followed this whole thread since it became a whole nonsense debate war with kilometric posts. But if anybody called the HD100 a paperweight, that is the dumbest, most ignorant and unfortunate remark I ever heard about the camera. One should ask this person what hes shooting with. But chances are, after that dumb remark, he wouldn't get good results even with a Viper, because his ignorant remark clearly shows the error is between the viewfinder and the floor, i.e. operator error. His remark is something only somebody who has no idea of what to do with a camera would say. So just ignore such person.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 05:30 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Greg Boston
But in the end, you have to allow for the possibility that the design will be updated to help reduce or eliminate this SSE issue without fanfare or public acknowledgement of any kind.

-gb-
They are called ECOs and are always occuring. But, after you have said that -- so what? We'll never know when of if and so such changes have no relevance to the here and now.

I can work now with a camera that won't appeat for 3 months. I'm simply saying, this thread is no irrelevant. We know the answer.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 05:40 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by John Mitchell
Steve - mate you're missing the whole point of the firmware. It doesn't matter if all the USA units have the latest firmware and "Inspected by JVC USA" stickers, because it is the automated calibration of the camera at the factory which is failing, not the firmware. And the fact is having the latest firmware DOES allow the camera to be better calibrated (see Panos' report), and it seems the best calibration is done by hand by a technician.
I said exactly that several days ago. The firmware does not FIX SSE it enables better calibration. Since by now all PAL units should have this firmware and all USA always had the firmware -- I see no reason to talk about it.

If you want to start another Thread on CALIBRATION that makes sense to me.

But, other than when the PAL owners take their init in for the firmware upgrade -- I know of no way to have an NTSC unit re-calibrated -- unless the unit is obviously horrible.

Thus the focus should be on calibration not firmware.

Can you pay a local JVC tek to calibrate your unit?

Should JVC offer a a VIP calibration for $300?

Should JVC offer a DELUXE version that includes a VIP calibration for $500 more?

These are all good questions. But debating future potential firmware is a waste of time and confusing to every new person who reads this thread. If you bought an NTSC unit you have the firmware and your unit was calibrated.
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Old October 18th, 2005, 05:47 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Shawn Alyasiri
I can't see using more than 9db of gain and still being happy with it.
Because noise can be encoded into blocks, it looks worse than DV noise. For this reason, +6dB may well be the safest limit outdoors where there is black night. In short, adding gain to black night is a very bad idea!

On the other hand, indoors with moderate light, +12dB seems OK. In short, adding gain to get a better indoor image seems to work fine!

Likewise, if you do not have an acceptable minimal level of light, adding +18dB will be of no value because you'll not have much color and the color will be wrong!

In short, I agree with you: 9dB +/-3dB seems the limit.

NIGHT = 0dB to +6dB
INDOORS = 0dB to +12dB
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Old October 18th, 2005, 08:28 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
I said exactly that several days ago. The firmware does not FIX SSE it enables better calibration. Since by now all PAL units should have this firmware and all USA always had the firmware -- I see no reason to talk about it.

If you want to start another Thread on CALIBRATION that makes sense to me..
Steve it was you who said that Greg Boston failed to "grok" what was going on yet my information is that his explanation is spot on. I thought you didin't believe that firmware could be "improved" to allow better calibration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
But, other than when the PAL owners take their init in for the firmware upgrade -- I know of no way to have an NTSC unit re-calibrated -- unless the unit is obviously horrible.
Of course NTSC units can be re-calibrated in exactly the same way as PAL units can. And why should a unit have to be "horrible" to demand re-calibration - surely it simply has to be out of spec.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen
Thus the focus should be on calibration not firmware.

Can you pay a local JVC tek to calibrate your unit?

Should JVC offer a a VIP calibration for $300?

Should JVC offer a DELUXE version that includes a VIP calibration for $500 more?

These are all good questions. But debating future potential firmware is a waste of time and confusing to every new person who reads this thread. If you bought an NTSC unit you have the firmware and your unit was calibrated.
If every unit being delivered had identical split screen you might have a point, but that is simply not the case. Are you saying that every HD100 being delivered has been optimally calibrated - because as a user that is what you'd expect. I promise you that that is not the case. If you'd read my previous post then you'd know the culprit is the automatic calibration at the factory, which is failing on a percentage of units. Why should any user pay extra to have their camera calibrated correctly?

I agree that there is little point in debating future firmware fixes at this point - it is far more likely that JVC will bring out the HD100UA and never admit there was anything wrong with the 1000's of units in the field (see Panasonic for details on how this is done)
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Old October 19th, 2005, 12:50 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by John Mitchell
Steve it was you who said that Greg Boston failed to "grok" what was going on yet my information is that his explanation is spot on. I thought you didin't believe that firmware could be "improved" to allow better calibration.
I said exactly the opposite -- I said because of his background he did grok calibration.

Quote:
And why should a unit have to be "horrible" to demand re-calibration - surely it simply has to be out of spec.
Since we don't know the sprc, all we can tell JVC is "it looks horrible!"

Quote:
Are you saying that every HD100 being delivered has been optimally calibrated - because as a user that is what you'd expect. I promise you that that is not the case.
I would love it to be the case, but of course, they are not perfectly calibrated.

Quote:
If you'd read my previous post then you'd know the culprit is the automatic calibration at the factory, which is failing on a percentage of units. Why should any user pay extra to have their camera calibrated correctly?
Because mass production doesn't yield perfection, you can argue it should, but it doesn't. When I buy a $4ooo HDTV I still expect to spend $300 to have it ISF calibrated.

Quote:
I agree that there is little point in debating future firmware fixes at this point - it is far more likely that JVC will bring out the HD100UA and never admit there was anything wrong with the 1000's of units in the field (see Panasonic for details on how this is done)
Sony and Panasonic both do "A" versions -- nothing new here. This is how business is done. You seek a solution that gets you what you want. What's a few hundred dollars?
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Old October 19th, 2005, 01:27 AM   #60
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It looks like Greg was spot on about the calibration and firmware. I have not been here in some time because of the above noise - too bad that's not fixable in firmware either :)

There was some earlier discussion though that heat and progressive scan were the issues - perhaps explaining why it's shown up in unexpected situations. I'm pretty sure I'm not getting an HD100 but the HVX is still on my HD shopping list. Has anyone heard recently that the calibration can drift if temps go up?
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