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


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Old December 9th, 2006, 12:47 AM   #1
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JVC or HVX - help me decided!

I am looking to purchase a new camera and would like to expand into HD territory. I think I have narrowed my decision down to the JVC with 80 gig hd recorder, or the HVX. Both cameras have features that are very appealing to me, and there are also things that I don't care for with both cameras. For tax purposes I need to make the purchase before the end of the year.... please help me decide.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 12:59 AM   #2
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When you come to this section of the forum...your gonna get a majority leaning to the JVC. Personally, I tell everyone main reason for the JVC....no pixel-shifting....I get a full resolution image from the JVC. What I need the HVX for... is the variable frame rates, nothing more.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 01:18 AM   #3
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The JVC cameras have a real lens (read: manual mechanical controls) and a shoulder form factor. I didn't like holding the weight and bulk of the HVX in my hand. Personal opinion.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 02:48 AM   #4
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Personal opinions on this camera are what I want. I also posted the same question to HVX users. I fully expect the answers that I get here to be JVC biased, as the responses I get from the HVX users I suspect will me HVX biased.

I really like the form factor of the JVC, and the ability to use a real manual lens. I don't like the HVX's form factor at all. I do like though that the HVX uses P2 cards (I already use P2 cards durring my day job) and I like that the HVX uses a HD codec that is more commonplace and natively supported by Avid.

Also, from what I have read it seems that even though the JVC offers better overall resolution, in terms of the chips matching the image pixel for pixel, the color resolution of the JVC is less than the color resolution of the HVX.

I can not make up my mind which is is more important to me... form factor or color resolution, real manual controls or P2 workflow...... I wish I could have it all in one camera, but seeing as in how I can't I'm not sure which is most important to me.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 03:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Grunseth
I can not make up my mind which is is more important to me... form factor or color resolution, real manual controls or P2 workflow...... I wish I could have it all in one camera, but seeing as in how I can't I'm not sure which is most important to me.
Adam, it sounds like a decision you've got to make yourself. Look at your workflow and see what suits you the best.

Picture wise they are pretty even.

I bought a JVC because I didn't like P2 and prefered the form factor. If you like P2, the decision is harder - but how much do you want P2? Are you willing to change NLE for the JVC?

If you really can't decide, I would add that my JVC has been returned 3 times because of technical problems. I have never had any problems with gear from Pany, so reliability could tip the balance if I was in the market again. It is VERY important.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 03:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Grunseth
I can not make up my mind which is is more important to me... form factor or color resolution, real manual controls or P2 workflow...... I wish I could have it all in one camera, but seeing as in how I can't I'm not sure which is most important to me.
I think what you will be shooting makes a significant difference. If you are going to be carrying it around and want good handheld for long periods, the professional form factor of the JVC camera will allow what is impossible with the Panasonic.

If you are using a tripod all the time, I guess it doesn't really matter... or even might favor the Panasonic.

I'm not sure why you want P2 cards. They seem to entail a lot of extra equipment and time for one-person shooting. Either camera can use a hard drive.

The JVC form factor with a harddrive might be a good choice if you like the JVC form factor.

For general convenience, I think the Panasonic and Sony camcorders make one-person shooting, traveling, protecting, setting up easier -- with the one exception of professional style shoulder mount shooting, with manual focus and professional lens zoom control.

I don't know if editing workflow is a significant issue, or you can adapt to either camera... perhaps you won't be having a large volume of video so the current workarounds that are necessary for the current editors (except I guess Edius and Liquid) would not be hard to deal with.

Since both cameras produce good pictures, I think the decision depends on what you are going to shoot, how you will be shooting it and where you will be.... and how these relate to the various features of the cameras.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 07:28 AM   #7
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The fact that you state you're going for the 80G DTE negates the P2 because the workflow would be very similar (direct to edit) with a pretty substantial advantage in capacity for JVC's DTE .

So then that leaves 2 items in your criteria:
1. Form factor of the camera
2. Workflow

You state you do not want to hold a handycam style camera. This leads you to JVC. You also state that you want the camera to work with your NLE and you state Avid. But what Avid are you on? MCA? XPPro? Liquid?
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Old December 9th, 2006, 07:42 AM   #8
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As it stands - and with the notable exception of Liquid - Avid applications offer terrible support for 720p in general and disgracefully limited support for HDV1, so if you're committed to using Xpress Pro or Media Composer then the JVC is a very poor camera choice. It's a great camera and I prefer it over the HDX by a factor too high to compute but Avid seem to be adamant not to support it, despite being all gung-ho about it at launch. We have had nothing but pain trying to post HDV1 footage for ourselves and our external clients using Avid gear. Also, note that the situation is not much better with regard to Avid support for DVCProHD at 720p. Avid seem much more keen to work with Sony formats, so consider the Sony cameras for an easier life or switch NLE! Just my two cents.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 07:56 AM   #9
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I can attest to the fact that Media Composer works pretty good with 720p30 DTE import. All you do is import the files from the DTE drive into MC and they are converted to the MC files and edited as usual.

Liquid - it's all good (import/cap/edit/output)

XPPro - ??
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Old December 9th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #10
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I know what you're saying Stephen but the problem is that AXPro/MC limit you to 30fps on HDV1. There's no 24, 25, 50 or 60 fps support. More importantly and putting HDV1 aside, the project architecture is incredibly weak for 720p in general. For example, there is no client monitoring via down-converted SD like there is for 1080i because you cannot toggle projects to SD and project/sequence set-up is rigid, unlike most other NLEs. The only proven solution for those on AXPro is to use the second head DVI on the later software versions, which is less than great for accurate colour rendition.

Furthermore, many Avid users have reported extremely poor performance using native HDV1 and extreme difficulties when attempting to lay back to HDV1 tape (a strange thing to do, I know). When you consider the fact that AXPro and MC limit you to 30fps HDV1 and that performance is sluggish compared to, say, Liquid and Edius (both far cheaper) in the native format is seems to me that committed Avid users (not Liquid, of course) need to consider post workflow very carefully indeed before buying a ProHD camera. This sort of thing becomes painfully clear when you see with your own eyes how well everything works in Liquid!

Anyway, all things being equal in the editing world, I would definitely vote for the HD100 over the HVX because:

Professional form factor with the added bonus of being lightweight and more manageable in the field than most shoulder-mount kit. HVX won't sustain long periods of hand-held shooting.

HVX has perceptibly lower resolution/softer and sometimes even noisier pictures.

P2 is often highly impractical with the current cost and capacity of the media. HVX won't sustain long periods of shooting in documentary situations without a 'data wrangler' (!) or a HDD recorder. ProHD cameras are fine right out of the box because you can record HDV1 to DV tape.

HVX lens seems pretty weak to me. ProHD cameras have manual lenses. The - slightly suspect - stock lens can be upgraded with much better glass. If you want a better lens for the Panasonic, it's time for a newer - much more expensive - camera.

ProHD cameras have simple, practical professional battery upgrades available.

ProHD cameras look the business compared to the HVX, which may or may not be an advantage.

In my experience, JVC support is far superior to Panasonic at this price point. I know others have had less pleasant experiences but I was amazed how helpful the UK team was. I have nothing but criticism for the attitude of Panasonic's support team here and for their indifferent support of the HVX at professional trade shows like IBC, where the big expensive gear gets all the attention. See below.

Unlike Panasonic, JVC does not have more expensive camera gear to protect, so there is no need to hamstring the capabilities of the ProHD cameras and no need to prioritise other camera models/projects.

The main down-side to the JVC is the recording format, which is unforgiving in certain scenarios and poorly supported by Avid and - arguably - Apple.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 11:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Grunseth
I can not make up my mind which is is more important to me... form factor or color resolution, real manual controls or P2 workflow...... I wish I could have it all in one camera, but seeing as in how I can't I'm not sure which is most important to me.
You can have it all in one camera, but not at this price point. There's an HPX500 coming in April that does everything the HVX does, plus shoulder-mount, plus interchangeable manual lens, plus 2/3" chips, and 4 P2 slots. But that's going to be $15,000 or so (plus lens).

So you can do what you want, but it's going to cost more.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #12
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Adam,

You may not end up happy basing your decision on someone elses opinion. You need to rent or at least find a media retailer that has both cameras and do as much a comparison as you can.
Renting IMO would be the best way to go since you could get down and dirty and really put both cameras through the wringer. The cost is negligable when you're when planning a $5000+ purchase.
It should be entirely up to you.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 01:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Scott Ellifritt
Adam,

You may not end up happy basing your decision on someone elses opinion. You need to rent or at least find a media retailer that has both cameras and do as much a comparison as you can.
Renting IMO would be the best way to go since you could get down and dirty and really put both cameras through the wringer. The cost is negligable when you're when planning a $5000+ purchase.
It should be entirely up to you.
As far as that goes, you don't even need to go to the expense of renting. There are RAW clips off of every camera in this price range and the XDCamHD m2t's as well (in 18,25 & 35Mb versions) available to download and test with your NLE. Search for M2T and MXF in your chosen catagory.

I have put up GIGS of m2t's from ProHD source. Elton has put up scads of m2t's from Canon. Kaku put up alot of MXF from Panasonic's HVX and Nate and others have put up MXF from XDCamHD (F330).

You should be able to decide on the workflow issues just from a fast internet connection.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 05:35 PM   #14
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This is probably the most used link on this forum... but here it goes again:

http://www.bluesky-web.com/HDVHVX.htm

And this I posted before on another thread, my personal experience and opinion about the HVX200:

I know both cameras very well, I own a HD101 and use to work a lot with the HVX200. Image quality is very similar, the HD100 has better resolution but more colour compression. Besides the better format (DVCPRO HD) and more frame rates options, I can't find any other reason for chosing a HVX200. It looks like a brick, it's to heavy and unbalanced for handhelding, doesn't have a pro look, uses an expensive and limited media (you may use a firestore but you can't attach it to the camera because of the weight), the zoom starts too fast and is too slow at full speed, the viewfinder is too smal, doesn't have a macro ring, focusing has poor precision, the focus assist is a crap, it's hard to find a camera light for it (I've seen a SWITT one that has an adapter for using the Pana batteries, but the camera is heavy enought)... it is not an option for someone who needs a versatile camera.

I really don't like working with it, unfortunatly I have to use it 3 days a week. I feel that my work has worst results because of it's form factor.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 05:47 PM   #15
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Thanks Diogo, I was going elaborate about the "hands on" aspects, but you beat me to it.
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