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


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Old June 15th, 2017, 08:21 AM   #1
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Gy-hd251

I just bought a GY-HD251E , still awaiting delivery , but should be here in a day or two ...

According to the advert , this is a 'new old stock' unit which is still boxed and unused ; I know this series is 'only' capable of recording 720p , and therefore less valuable than the later GY-HM card based ones which do record 1080i , but I didn't pay too much for it and I hope it will be a good replacement for my HVR V1e which is well used and getting a bit long in the tooth , and will fall somewhere between it and my DSR500 which is a big , heavy thing , and these days starting to look a bit soft as everything else is HD .

One factor in its favour is that the JVC will also use my PAG L95 batteries which I have for my DSR , and , since it isn't coming with a lens , I can in the meantime use my 2/3" Canon lens on it with an adaptor , until I pick up a native 1/3" lens for it .... someone , somewhere must have a broken GY-HD 1xx or 2xx camera with the lens going spare .

I'm also hoping to use one of my Firestore recorders on it , although some uncertainty about compatibility due to the 720p output from the Firewire port on the camera ; I'll wait and see .

I'll update this thread in a week or so once I've had a chance to play with it .
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Old June 16th, 2017, 11:46 AM   #2
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Re: Gy-hd251

I understand that the Firestore recorder for the GY-HD251 and others of the family was a purposed unit specific to the JVC ProHD system. Firestore recorders for other camera types may not work.

Be incredibly careful with that firewire cable. The firewire system on the JVC ProHD cams was its achilles heel. The design uses PCB-mounted firewire sockets with very light rims with rolled edges which were originally intended to be supported by the clamping sides of casework joins in other appliances like laptops.

On the JVC cams, the rim of this socket is not supported by the camera casework. Because the socket has to pass through the casework through a hole which is not clamped between two separate case halves, clearance is left for the rolled edge to pass through and the sides of the socket are unsupported.

Side load on the cable spreads the socket rim which opens up. It then fails to support the plug body and its conductors in the socket tightly enough, leading to unreliable connection.

To avoid side loading the plug and socket, the cable should be secured to the camera body somewhere and care taken not to get it hooked up on rose bushes outdoors.

As a bodge fix, I inserted narrowly cut pieces of plastic beneath the rolled edge, between the casework and the socket sides to pack some of the clearance and prevent the socket halves from spreading apart.

I have heard of but not seen, that a few owners used clear silicon bathroom sealer, fed around the assembled plug in the socket and into the gap between socket sides and casework to limit movement. The plug became a near-permanent fixture in the socket.

It is recommended that that you never use the camera to a computer for capture because the camera type is essentially end-of-life. Support if still available is usually expensive for replacement of complete PCBs to fix burned out firewire circuits. There were some computers which fried the camera firewire ports.

There are a lot of cautions and suggestions relating to this problem in the old ProHD threads in this forum. One solution to firewire circuit failures was a short cable in which the power conductors were not connected. This was intended to remove possibility of voltages between two appliances interacting to cause damage.

The JVC ProHD cams, despite their age, still produce a pleasing image.
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Old June 16th, 2017, 05:33 PM   #3
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Re: Gy-hd251

Thanks for that info .

I have been reading through the forum and noted similar comments .

Thankfully , perhaps , I already have a Sony HVR M15 deck , which I use to ingest material from my HVR V1e and DSR 500 ; while it seems that it will work with 24p and 25p footage , it may not cope with 50p footage .

I will be very careful with the firewire port , making sure both devices are turned off before connecting .

1/3" lenses are very hard to find on their own , so for the meantime I've ordered an adaptor which will allow me to use my B4 lens on the control room and elsewhere
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Old June 18th, 2017, 11:56 AM   #4
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Re: Gy-hd251

For what it's worth - I'm still using two of them and love the images - and for my needs, with everything going to DVD still, no issues at all. Re: the firewire - I leave a 6 pin to 4 pin adaptor in the camera permanently and if I attache a cable, it's secured with a tie to the handle, to take the pressure off it - and with no DC connection on the 4 pin version, it's not something I worry about.
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Old June 18th, 2017, 04:45 PM   #5
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Re: Gy-hd251

Thanks for that .

The tracking shows the camera in transit and due for delivery tomorrow . My lens adaptor is also in transit from the Ukraine , but hasn't landed in the U.K. yet , so likely to be a bit longer .

The only thing I'm likely to connect via FireWire is the Firestore drive , which I will need to experiment with to see if it will work ; I know there was a dedicated version , which mine isn't , so I'll need to wait and see . A friend who is a BBC cameraman gave me a tip to only use the genuine Apple thin FireWire cables which don't put strain on the socket - this was more for the Firestores on which the sockets are board mounted , and I had to resolder one of mine for this reason .

I know my Canon 2/3" lens won't be ideal for the camera , but it should do as a starting point until something else turns up .

Last edited by Derek Heeps; June 19th, 2017 at 10:58 AM. Reason: Predictive text
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Old June 19th, 2017, 08:53 AM   #6
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Re: Gy-hd251

I must admit I never tried it - but I wonder what the lenses that came with the SD 5000 series would be like? I used to have 500, then 5000 cameras and the lenses were very nice - Fujinons - old SD JVCs tend to go for very silly money, complete with lens?
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Old June 19th, 2017, 10:53 AM   #7
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I had thought of that as a stopgap . Although I sold both of my own GY-DV500s , at work we still have a 500 and a 5000 , both with very nice Canon IF lenses .

Problem is , no matter where I've looked , I haven't seen a 1/2" to 1/3" lens mount adaptor for sale ; however I did easily find a B4 2/3" to 1/3" adaptor for a very reasonable price .

The camera arrived this morning , as promised brand spanking new and zero hours on the counters .

Last night I bid on a Canon KT14x44 HD lens and was outbid by $50 , drat . Currently watching a Funinon Th16 lens with a lowish buy it now price - I've read on here it isn't the best lens , so I made an offer a bit below the asking price - if the seller accepts I'll be happy , but I do prefer Canon to Funinon , besides I already have a Canon zoom demand .
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Old June 19th, 2017, 12:38 PM   #8
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Re: Gy-hd251

I ended up buying the Fujinon , just to get a working lens ; if a Canon turns up I can always sell the Fujinon on .
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 11:45 AM   #9
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Re: Gy-hd251

Although still waiting for the Fujinon lens , my 2/3" to 1/3" lens adaptor arrived today , so I fitted my Canon lens onto the camera .

A few minutes roughly setting the back focus , a quick white balance , and I was recording , having set the camera to HDV 25p mode .

With a few minutes worth recorded to tape , and playing back nicely in the camera , I then went to ingest it into FCP 7 to see how it looks ,

I took the tape out of the camcorder , and put it into my Sony HVR M15AP deck ( which has 'progressive' etched on the front , and lights for " 60i , 30P , 24P , 50i , 25P " spread along the front .

In FCP , I set the sequence to HDV 720p25 , Capture preset to HDV and Device Control Preset to HDV Firewire .

When I went to Log and Capture , the window opened up , I had machine control and when the machine was playing , I could see the timecode in the capture window , but just a black pane and a message 'no data being received from device'

I messed around with various capture settings , sequence settings ( don't think that so much matters until I go to drop a clip into a sequence ) all to no avail .

I can set the camera to DV 50i and ingest that footage which works very nicely indeed , but I can't seem to ingest the JVC HDV footage . Sony HDV 1080i footage from my HVR V1e works very nicely ( I haven't tried playing 1080 progressive through the deck , but I do recall playing it in from the camera OK a long time ago ) .

I checked the user manual for the deck and it says :

Compatible with both interlaced and progressive HDV recording/playback
The unit can record or play back HDV 1080/60i, 1080/ 24p, 1080/30p, 1080/50i and 1080/25p videos.
Also, the unit can play back HDV 720/30p, 720/24p and 720/25p videos.


I then , very carefully , turned off both my computer and my camcorder , then connected the camera via firewire to the computer , and tried playing in from the camera directly . Despite using a cable I know to work with other devices , the camcorder was recognised as being connected , no device control and no data played in .

I'm more inclined to think this is an issue with FCP 7 , than either the camcorder or the deck .

Has anyone been here before ?


EDIT

On further reading through the HVR M15 manual , I came across this

The unit can play back pictures recorded in 720/24p, 720/25p or 720/30p of the HDV format, but you cannot input/output these pictures via the HDV/DV jack.

Notes
HDV/DV jack,

• HDV 720/30p/25p/24p signals can be played back, but cannot be input/output via the HDV/DV jack on the unit. • HDV 720/60p, HDV720/50p and SD 480p/576p signals cannot be input/output, recorded, or played back on the
unit.



Still doesn't explain not being able to ingest directly from the camera though .

Looks Like I need another HDV deck ...
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 01:31 PM   #10
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Re: Gy-hd251

One bit of good news is that the camera does work , kind of , with my Firestore FS4 HD .

Although no trigger from the camera , the Firestore does record M2T files from the camera , and I can drop these onto the Mac Desktop .

It's a start , and with a bit more time I'll figure out how to import HDV footage from the camera .
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 04:27 PM   #11
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Re: Gy-hd251

More good news !

After a bit of time reading manuals , going through both this section of the forum , and the Final Cut Suite section , and then trying again - I got it working perfectly .

I think my main mistake was that I didn't have the mode switch behind the LCD screen set to VTR !

Once I did that , I immediately had machine control and the camcorder started playing in video , which I was able to capture . It does look very nice !

I don't want to continue capturing directly from the camcorder , but with suitable care I can do it short term .

Hopefully , tomorrow I'll get out and shoot some footage , then I'll see what it's like .

Not only can I shot to tape , but my Firestore FS-4 HD records M2T files from the Firewire output , albeit without being triggered from the camera , but if i want to record a full day conference , I'd just want to set it running then leave it going .

My 2/3" Canon lens from my DSR 500 does work very nicely on this camera , even if it is a bit bigger and heavier than ideal , and a bit long being 6.5mm at the short end .

Once I have some footage to work with , I also need to see how it matches footage shot on my HVR V1e , which up to now I've always shot at HDV 1080i , but it does also shoot progressive , so a bit of experimentation will be needed .

I've already noted that I can drop the 25p footage from the JVC onto a 1080i timeline without any problems , but I just need to work out what's best as opposed to what merely can be got away with .
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 10:03 PM   #12
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Re: Gy-hd251

Derek.


My understanding was that there was a dedicated firestore model for the JVC ProHD cameras but if you have managed to get your FS4 working then that is all you need.

I read from your response that you are capturing data from the camera into a Mac computer with FCP7. The Mac computers of the same vintage as your camera were certified firestore port killers. The disasters are well documented in the older forums here.

I would strongly recommend that you do not capture directly from the camera firewire port to your Mac computer unless you have the small isolation cable inserted into the path from the firewire port to the computer.

This short cable apparently has the power supply conductors disconnected so there can never be any conflict between the power supply circuits of the camera and computer. This occurance is apparently what nails the firewire circuit in the camera.

There is another lurking assassin. That is the common carpet spark or static electricity. Before connecting two appliances with the firewire cable or any sort of cable for that matter, touch the shields only which are the shiny outsides of the plugs to a bare shiny metal surface on each appliance so that any static potential between the two appliances is discharged outside of the circuitry before connections are made.

The safest course will be to copy files across from your Firestore. That firewire plug on your camera must be disturbed as few times as possible. It is not a matter of if but when it will mechanically fail and soon afterwards take down the associated electronic circuits with it.

If you have recorded to your camera tape without recording on the Firestore, there is a function in which you can record the playback on the Firestore. Then you can safely copy the files across to the computer.

The extensive menus which interact with physically switched functions of the camera can be confusing and lead to underconfidence and doubts. When you become intuitively familiar with them you will love the camera, I guarantee that.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 11:44 PM   #13
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Re: Gy-hd251

Bob , thanks for your comments , which I much appreciate . Believe me , I am very uneasy with the situation regarding the FireWire port on this camera , and am now actively looking for a JVC HDV deck .

Given that my camera is still new , and the port has only had cables plugged in with extreme caution a couple of times , I'm seriously considering mixing up some epoxy resin and building it up around the exterior of the port to reinforce it ( I realise that could cause problems opening the camera later ) . I'm also now looking to find some of the thin white Apple FireWire cables which will put minimal strain on the socket , but those for sale are mostly very expensive .

I know there was a Firestore dedicated to the JVC cameras , mine isn't that model but I seem to have some functionality . The M2T files don't import directly into FCP , but I will find a work around ( I think I previously bought Clipwrap for working with MXF files from XDCAM cameras at work , but since upgrading from FCE to FCP7 I no longer need it for that ) it may be lurking somewhere on an external drive . The M2T files I imported last night onto my desktop do play back and look very nice though .

I need to mess around with settings , both on the camera and the Firestore to see if I can get it stopping/starting from the camera trigger .

I do somewhere , by accident rather than design , have a 6 pin FireWire cable that is only wired on 4 pins ; I'll give that a try as it is probably the power pins which aren't connected . I'm also very aware of the static issue as at work ( where I won't be plugging my camera in ) I often get static shocks off the Macs there , thanks to the synthetic carpets in the office . At home , we have wooden floors and it just doesn't happen , but I will still observe precautions and ground the case of my MAC to something like one of the BNCs or some other metal part , maybe the 4 pin XLR , before plugging in to FireWire . I will be ultra careful using it until I find an alternative . if that cable I mentioned doesn't work , I will get a 6 pin to 4 pin adaptor , and use a 6 pin to 4 pin cable to avoid power transfer .

Having only been using it one evening , I don't yet have the confidence to run tapeless , but I am hugely impressed with the image quality from the camera .
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Old June 24th, 2017, 03:25 AM   #14
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Re: Gy-hd251

A bit further on again .

I dug out that cable again , and metered it through on my Lindy cable tester , which showed no connection on pins 1 and 2 ; double checking on the Firewirestuff.com website , pins 1 & 2 are indeed the ones that carry power .

FireWire 400 Technical Specifications IEEE 1394a (6-pin, 4-pin)

However , with this cable , there is no connection between the camcorder and the computer . Cautious use of a fully wired cable , everything worked again - go figure .

I guess pin 2 ( ground ) , as well as the two twisted pairs , is needed .

I have in the meantime , ordered a couple of 6 pin to 4 pin adaptors , so that I can try using six to four pin cables , with no power . I also ordered an Apple 4 pin to 6 pin thin Firewire cable .

I also got the camcorder triggering the Firestore - in the 'others' menu the setting for 1394 rec trig needs to be 'serial' and not 'synchro' as I had originally presumed .

Firestore now records m2t files and starts and stops with the tape .

I haven't dug out Clipwrap yet , but iSkysoft video converter converts m2t to .mov and these ingest fine into FCP7 . With that working , once I've played a bit more and got confidence in it , then I'll be happy enough just to look at tapes as a backup for archiving , when required , and use the Firestore as the primary recording medium , hence almost never need to connect the camcorder to the computer .

I'm getting there .

Oh , on the subject of HDV decks , the Sony ones will play HDV 1080i and HDV 1080p ; they also play back HDV 720p , but won't output it via Firewire . The JVC ones , on the other hand will play HDV 720p , but not HDV 1080p via firewire , so no universal solution . I therefore think I'll be keeping my HVR M15 , and will keep a look out for a JVC HDV deck when one pops up locally on eBay ( I've saved the search to alert me ) . I also still have a DSR 45AP which really is redundant now , along with my DSR 500WSP , but I see they still fetch good money , so think I'll put it up for sale while I can still get something for it .
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Old June 24th, 2017, 11:35 AM   #15
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Re: Gy-hd251

In regard using epoxy to fill in around the firewire port, I would not recommend this. The material, especially the catalyst may be chemically hostile to the plastic casework. It does eventually rot the plastic bottles or tubes it comes in.

I think you will find that thin slivers of plastic cut from ice cream containers, fed in with tweezers around the socket to build up thickness and stabilised with silicon sealer will be adequate and capable of being removed.

I would normally advocate water cleanable white bathroom sealer but before it sets, it may also be chemically hostile to the surface coating on the thin metal of the firewire socket and set off corrosion so for me, this material would also be a no go..

QUOTE: "I also got the camcorder triggering the Firestore - in the 'others' menu the setting for 1394 rec trig needs to be 'serial' and not 'synchro' as I had originally presumed". - There was something tricky going on because the real firestore for the JVC that I had dealings with also did that. once you get it sorted and that port stabilised you will find the arrangement very useful if a bit awkward looking.

From memory, you need to keep an eye on those little screws which hold the carrier for the firestore onto the camera body. From memory because they were not intended in the original design to be more heavily loaded in that manner, they tended to work-loosen and get lost or become strip-threaded from constant re-tightening. My personal preference would be to use some silicon sealer on the screw heads and the contact faces of the bracket surrounding the screwholes between bracket and camera body but keep clear of the threads.
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