JVC HD100 vs Sony Z1U: I'm surprised at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > JVC ProHD & MPEG2 Camera Systems > JVC GY-HD Series Camera Systems

JVC GY-HD Series Camera Systems
GY-HD 100 & 200 series ProHD HDV camcorders & decks.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 23rd, 2005, 08:05 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Conway, NH
Posts: 574
JVC HD100 vs Sony Z1U: I'm surprised

I've owned the Z1U for several months and have mixed feelings about it. Great ergonomics, well designed, great image in good lighting. But it has poor latitude, bad in low light, etc. I had struck a deal with a dealer to trade my Z1U for a JVC HD100 (plus some cash). I arrived at the dealer's showroom and put both cameras on tripod, hooked them to the same monitor and compared them against one anothe in a variety of lighting conditions. Well, both myself and the dealer were quite surprised to see the Sony put out a brighter, less noisy image in low light. Basically the Sony was between 3-6 db brighter and had noticably less noise. The JVC was a bit sharper, but the split screen effect was readily evident at 9db or higher in lower light. The Sony's colors were also more vibrant in low light; the JVC seemed quite drab. I was using the normal presets for both cameras and did not play with gamma settings, etc.

I also found the JVC's viewfinder to be quite poor. I wear glasses and had a very hard time adjusting the viewfinder to produce an acceptable image. Even then it wasn't clear around the edges and seemed small in 16x9. The Sony's viewfinder is very clear and large (or, rather, the magnifier makes it seem larger).

It also seemed that with the JVC, you couldn't use a mix of auto & manual settings where white balance & gain were concerned; you had to be either in manual WB and gain or auto WB and gain. You couldn't have WB in auto and gain in manual or vice versa.

I'm really disappointed. I was excited about the JVC but this comparison really soured me on the camera. I had read that the JVC was a much better camera than the Sony, but I found the opposite. What gives? Has anyone else done a comparison?
Bill Edmunds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2005, 12:50 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Centreville Va
Posts: 1,828
You might want to search dvinfo, since this has been discussed before. Progressive cameras need more light than interlaced ones is the basic answer, but there is plenty of detailed discussion if you need more info.
Joe Carney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 23rd, 2005, 01:18 PM   #3
Barry Wan Kenobi
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,863
I don't think your findings were unusual. The JVC is not overly sensitive, and it is noisy -- I would have expected the base sensitivity to be at least the same as the Z1, but the Z1 to be definitely cleaner. The JVC is not well suited for low/existing light conditions -- between the noise, the low sensitivity, and the SSE, it's much happier in bright light vs. low light!

As far as the drab colors, that can be fixed -- the out-of-the-box settings for the JVC are indeed quite "blah" but you can crank up the chroma and get some lushly saturated colors. And Tim Dashwood has come up with some settings that improve the low light performance, depending on what gamma curve and black stretch level you use -- so relying strictly on the out-of-the-box settings won't give the best impression of what the HD100 is capable of. (well, and to be fair, the same can be said for the Sony -- out-of-the-box is rarely the best that can be accomplished!)

As far as the VF, the Sony Z1 LCD is still unparalleled as far as the best screen on a camera; the HD100's isn't as good, and I imagine with glasses it would be even more difficult to use (although surely you could use it without glasses and just use the diopter to focus it to your eyesight?)

Where the HD100 is "better" is in the recording format and its resilience against macroblocking and HDV artifacting. HDV1/24p's compression is more transparent, vs. HDV2/60i's greater tendency to show artifacting. But as far as overall resolution and rendered image -- as long as you don't mind the "60i" look of the Z1, I'd say the Z1 probably has the cleaner, nicer image. If you want the progressive/film look, hands down the JVC is better for that, but you have to take more care with your lighting and your camera settings.
Barry Green is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 24th, 2005, 02:58 AM   #4
HDV Cinema
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 4,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
As far as the VF, the Sony Z1 LCD is still unparalleled as far as the best screen on a camera; the HD100's isn't as good, and I imagine with glasses it would be even more difficult to use (although surely you could use it without glasses and just use the diopter to focus it to your eyesight?)
I think the glasses issue is a twofold problem. First, it keeps your eye further from the VF which makes the image smaller and thus focus more difficult. It also leaves a gap that allows bright light in. I've rotated the "flap" to the top to help keep out light.

Unfortunately, if one has 20:400 vision taking off one's glasses in not a great option. :)
__________________
Switcher's Quick Guide to the Avid Media Composer >>> http://home.mindspring.com/~d-v-c

Last edited by Steve Mullen; November 24th, 2005 at 06:29 AM.
Steve Mullen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 24th, 2005, 04:08 AM   #5
Barry Wan Kenobi
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 3,863
Great point! Yes, the diopter adjustment would certainly be limited in how much it can compensate for...
Barry Green is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 24th, 2005, 06:44 AM   #6
HDV Cinema
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 4,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Green
Great point! Yes, the diopter adjustment would certainly be limited in how much it can compensate for...
For those of that are very near-sighted, the diopter adjustment is likely to fine. But, as soon as we take our eye from the viewfinder we are blind.

If we have varifocal glasses, then the viewfinder must be viewed at a certain angle. Again, the brighter the light the harder it is to see.

This really was the basis for my "wishing" for the option of a Canon type non-servo manual controlled AF system. In a studio this is not necessary -- but in an ENG or run-and-gun situation, older eyes are slower eyes.

And from using the Z1 -- I was amazed at how the 2X greater number of pixel seems--with Sony's EXP--to be able to achieve very accurate focus very rapidly.

On the other hand, the HD100's manual ring control for exposure is much better.
__________________
Switcher's Quick Guide to the Avid Media Composer >>> http://home.mindspring.com/~d-v-c
Steve Mullen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 24th, 2005, 08:32 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kelowna BC Canada
Posts: 706
Well, the VF of the HD100 is terrible. It's small and the colours are off. Sony's Z1U is far better. The same goes for the LCD.

Hence a question: Anyone knows whether JVC or more likely some third party manufacturer will be offering a replacement VF for the camera? Because if they do, most of us will likely buy it...
__________________
www.ascentfilms.com
Jiri Bakala is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 24th, 2005, 10:10 AM   #8
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Bakala
Anyone knows whether JVC or more likely some third party manufacturer will be offering a replacement VF for the camera? Because if they do, most of us will likely buy it...
I would like to see a company like TransVideo offer a replacement EVF for all these camcorders (HD100, XL H1 etc.) in the form of a small 3" or 4" 16:9 high-res LCD panel. Question is, what would you be willing to pay for such a thing. I'm sure it would fall in at least the $800 to $1000 range if not more.

By the way Jiri, I caught your name in the credits of the show "Only In America" the other night, on Discovery I think, as the editor of a segment about living history reenactors in Montana. That was you, wasn't it? It looked like that episode was posted in Canada.
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 25th, 2005, 09:16 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kelowna BC Canada
Posts: 706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
I would like to see a company like TransVideo offer a replacement EVF for all these camcorders (HD100, XL H1 etc.) in the form of a small 3" or 4" 16:9 high-res LCD panel. Question is, what would you be willing to pay for such a thing. I'm sure it would fall in at least the $800 to $1000 range if not more.
Well, if it was really good, I'd be certainly willing to pay that. In fact, had JVC put it on the camera in the first place and raised the price of the camera by that much, I would have been quite happy to pay for it too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
By the way Jiri, I caught your name in the credits of the show "Only In America" the other night, on Discovery I think, as the editor of a segment about living history reenactors in Montana. That was you, wasn't it? It looked like that episode was posted in Canada.
Yes, that was me...:-) I have edited three episodes of the series; NY Male Models, the one you saw, Battle Reenactors (Little Big Horn) and just this past week I finished my last one, Burning Man. This one is a lot of fun. It's been a great project...now we are just waiting to hear if it gets renewed for another season...
__________________
www.ascentfilms.com
Jiri Bakala is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 30th, 2005, 02:07 PM   #10
Tourist
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1
i am trying to put the hd100 low light performance in context? in the clips someone posted here comparing the dvx and hd100, the hd100 seemed to perform as well in low light. anyone else see those clips?

looking at the below linked review the xl2 has much better low light performance than the z1/fx, is that only in interlace mode?

http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/shoot3/
Tim Flynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 30th, 2005, 06:29 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Conway, NH
Posts: 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiri Bakala
Anyone knows whether JVC or more likely some third party manufacturer will be offering a replacement VF for the camera?
I wonder if there already exist viewfinders that could work. Is there any sort of common viewfinder jack/plug? I've never looked to see. Maybe some of the viewfinders from other JVC cameras could work?
Bill Edmunds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 1st, 2005, 12:13 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 37
I agree with Jiri. I would have easily paid much more for the HD100 for the upgraded quality. It's the corners that JVC cut on the camera that will be to it's demise eventually.
Huiy Tang is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > JVC ProHD & MPEG2 Camera Systems > JVC GY-HD Series Camera Systems

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:46 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network