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Old November 16th, 2005, 05:44 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1
JVC GY-HD100 for action sports?

When I searched the internet for informations about HDV cameras (JVC-HD101, Canon XL-H1) I found this forum which seems to be incredibly informed about the HDV-issue. The past days I read pages over pages (and I still am) which were really more than interesting and informing, thanx to you all!

So, I hope that some of you can give me answers to some questions which I urgently need...

I am just about to change my video system from DVCAM (Sony DSR-PD 150) to HDV. I have to do this quiet quickly as I had a capital crash with my PD-150 (no worries, it should be covered by insurance).
I mainly shoot fun & extreme sports events for TV and event organizers (Skateboard/ Mountainbike downhill, Snow Sports, Surfing, ...). Now I shoot more and more expeditions around the world (i.e. the complete Pan Americana on bicycle) where the sport action is moving a bit more into background.

When I first saw the JVC GY-HD100 I was really stoked as this is the first affordeable (in Germany: 6.000 Euros list price plus 16% tax for the 101 model with firewire-in) “Betacam-style” camcorder with all the real professional features I always missed on my “prosumer-DVCAM” (i.e. full mecanical lens). I got the cam for 3 days for testing and I felt enthusiastic about the new possibilities this camcorder offered me in comparison. Of course, work gets much more different/ difficult with it (compared to the PD-150) but also more creative.
But one big thing I recognized was that the HD101 is only suiteable for my purpose with a wide angle lens (the 0,8x Fujinon converter is of no use to me). So the 13x Fujinon lens seems to be the only solution, but it also lets the camera price explode: additional 8.500 Euros list price + tax!
I read/ heard about the chromatic aberration problem of the 16x lens and already had discussions with JVC Germany: well, this seems to be the comromise for a moderate price! I also recognised that, when focussing (especially in widest angle), the lens zooms quiet a lot in/ out.
Is the chromatic aberration of the 16x (and also of the 13x?) only visible in HD or also in SD? Is it really that severe?
One more thing: Although I was told the opposite I found the “smear” of the lens/ camera quiet heavy (i.e. when facing cars at night). Is that a problem of the CCD or also of the lens? What is your experience, especially in comparison to other cameras (I know every CCD smears – but some more, some less)?
Unfortunately I couldn´t find anything out about the Fujinon 13x – it seems to be not yet availeabe in Europe (although JVC announced to have one in Munich within the next weeks).
Does anybody have any practical experience with the Fujinon TH13X3.5BRMU? Is it the same quality compromise like the 16x? Then, I guess, it would not be that much money worth!

Another big thing that worries me: is 720p25 suiteable for sports? When I made my tests with the HD100 I shot all kind of stuff in the city, including fast cars passing a closed picture and skateboarding in all kind of record modes (HDV-HD25p, HDV-SD50p, DV-25p, DV-50i). When I watched and compared the stuff in a NLE I liked the progressive footage a bit more than the interlaced. Maybe it´s because I am not used to it in TV and I have cinema-frames as “high quality footage” in my mind. I just think it looked clearer – but of course more problematic in slow motion.
Do you think in general that 25p (as it “only” covers half of the frames per sec compared to 50i) is not suiteable for fast sports action as many people say? Should I better think of buying a 1.080i-camera like the Canon XL-H1 (I also tested the Sony Z1 and didn´t like it too much)? But there I have the problem with the wide angle lens again (photo lenses do not seem to be suiteable because of the high multiplication angle factor). One big advantage would be that I could buy an additional Sony HVR-A1 (no HC1 because of full DVCAM compatibility) as a very little backup and helmet camera and maybe even use it as a NLE-recorder. By the way, is the Sony 1.080i fully compatible with Canon 1.080i? And does anybody know if the HVR-A1 has an analogue video input (i.e. for lipstick cams)?
Or should I take a closer look at Panasonic P2?

Anyway, I´m thinking of using the footage primarily in SD as European TV is not yet really ready for HDTV. But I think it is worth it to conserve the images in HD-quality for the future if possible.
Oh, there comes up the next question: The HD100 itself doesn´t downconvert HD to SD; does anybody know if the Canon XL-H1 does that via the Firewire-output (not analogue)? I would appreciate if I could buy a HD-NLE later in order not to overload my budget.
I think it would be senseless to buy a pure SD-camea these days as I would close the door for a new system that will defenitely come in the next years.

Now about HDD-capturing: I think the Focus FireStore is a really good solution to speed up workflow. JVC Germany told me a few days ago that the HD-100 model that is especially modified for the GY-HD100 will have the option to capture on HDD without the use of any tape. I think this is an interesting solution if you shoot regular events and don´t necessarily need a tape backup. So you can save the costs for tapes and even spare the video drum. Does the FireStore also offer this option (tapeless HDD-shooting) for the Canon XL-H1? Is there any other cheaper mobile HDD-solution ?

Just to make it clear: I mainly want to use the camera as a DV/ HDV-camera, the HD-SDI output is just a nice (and expensive) feature to me that I do not really need (yet; but may be nice to have the option). The uncompressed video-output via HD-SDI seems to be very important to everybody in this forum. But not for me, please tell me your opinion about DV/ HDV-use!

Thanx a lot in advance and greetings from Bavaria/ Germany, Danny
Danny Strasser is offline   Reply

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