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Old June 20th, 2007, 04:02 AM   #1
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Do I need a new direction?

Hey everybody, I'm Daniel Green. I'm a video guy(shoot,direct,edit) for a medium-sized design firm in kansas. We recently just sold our entire SD set-up(2 canon XL-2s with lots of extras) in hopes of purchasing a HD camera. I've really had my eye on the JVC 110u. I've got the CEO and the CFO on board, but now I'm starting to rethink.
I've done months of research and have yet to come up with a solution.
We use Apple's and FCP Studio 2. We have 3 computers we are currently using... Mac Pro dual, 20" iMac, and old G4 powerbook.
Neither apple nor JVC have anything on there websites that would tell me the JVC wouldn't work, yet on forums all I hear is problems.
My questions is... Do I need to abandon hope of getting a JVC?
A month ago a JVC guy at B&H told me firmware update for the 110 should be any day. We have to much invested to not use FCP6. We've spent a lot of time trying to ready our business for HD, getting clients on board for video projects, etc.

I don't want complicated work-arounds, I just need it to simply work like our old SD cameras did.
If someone could just give me a no BS assessment of my situation... that would rock.

I know this problems has been hashed and rehashed plenty of times on this forum, and I apologize for bringing up again. Its just hard to wade through all the stuff and experiments and fuzzy workarounds that in all the other posts. And if I'm going o drop $5,000 on a camera, I need it to work.

If someone could point me in the right direction(or a new one) please do.

btw... this Forum has been awesome. You guys are all helpful and full of information and I wouldn't know half of the crap I do without this forum.

Daniel Green
Blink Media Group
www.blinkmg.com
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Old June 20th, 2007, 04:10 AM   #2
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Hi Daniel

FCP Studio 2 supports JVC's HDV1 30p,24p,25p formats natively. They have supported those formats since 5.1.2

They are a great camera!
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Old June 20th, 2007, 04:34 AM   #3
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Well... In theory the JVC is supported, but it's very likely that you'll run into issues. At least in my case, with 720p25, clips don't capture entirely...the first and last few seconds of each clip aren't captured, etc... You've probably heard of it all. I'm using FCP5.

Now...just my opinion...I own the JVC HD100, and recently bought a Sony HVR-V1. I must say that now, probably I wouldn't have bought the JVC over the Sony Z1 (at the time). I've had issues with tape playback, capture in FCP, split screen effect, white shading, chromatic aberrations, etc.
The Sony, as any other 1080i camera, offers you the ability to shoot in a much higher temporal rate. Even if you say that you only want to shoot 24p, or 30p, it's always nice to have the ability to shoot more frames/sec... And in Final Cut Pro, it's all very straightforward!
There are many good options in the 1080i business, from Canon to Sony (speaking of HDV, of course), and all of them can be great.

Nevertheless, the JVC is a great camera, with a good picture, but not as versatile, and with some "bugs", IMHO.

I hope I don't get beaten up for advising against the JVC on this forum, but that's how I think right now;)
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:30 AM   #4
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I love the JVC HD110 for its very special look and character. Yes, it has a distinctive kind of visual signature all its own. I hated the Sony HDV camera becuase it looks like super video - a kind of slimy interlaced look.

Now, for the irritating part which might kill the deal for you. Capture is a pain in the arse with Final Cut Pro capturing 25p unless you can afford the portable hard drive solutions. I am definitely leaning in that direction. At the moment I am using the DVHSCap workaround thingy and that is indeed time consuming and not really an option for a commercial operation.

I am going to stick with JVC until they sort out their problems because I believe it is worth it.

Rob
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:46 AM   #5
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Daniel,

Why not stick with JVC camera, for its pro-features and filmic looks when tweaked well.

change your editing NLE.

My workflow which is free of any hassle is, Shoot Hd 720p edit in Edius pro 4, this in my opinion is a rock solid platform for hd work from Grass Valley.
Canopus HQ is a mature codec.

I do my compositing in After effects which is compatible with HQ.

Edius also works with other pro formats, like xdcam, p2 etc.

We have 5 editing workstations in our facility running on Edius. We switched from premier after using it for more than 10 years.

Ted
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:46 AM   #6
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Some other info I left out... I plan to do mostly 24p, and eventually DTD of some sort. But, also a Redrock M2 is going to go on whatever HD cam we get, so If I don't go with JVC, I've been thinking about the Canon XH A1, for 2 reasons 1.used Canon's before and loved them and 2. Its less expensive so more money left over for M2 and 35mm lenses and a DTD system. But I'm still not ready to give up on the JVC just yet. I dunno,
Keep the opinions coming guys. I really appreciate it.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:49 AM   #7
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The wow factor of the JVC simply cannot be denied when in the field. Its very robust and I've used it even in whitewater rafting shoots.
I also use it with our custom mid format lens adapter.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Ramasola View Post
Daniel,

Why not stick with JVC camera, for its pro-features and filmic looks when tweaked well.

change your editing NLE.

My workflow which is free of any hassle is, Shoot Hd 720p edit in Edius pro 4, this in my opinion is a rock solid platform for hd work from Grass Valley.
Canopus HQ is a mature codec.

I do my compositing in After effects which is compatible with HQ.

Edius also works with other pro formats, like xdcam, p2 etc.

We have 5 editing workstations in our facility running on Edius. We switched from premier after using it for more than 10 years.

Ted
Edius is a PC program right? I've just upgraded to Final Cut Studio 2, the new Mac Pro wasn't cheap either. Changing our whole set up is not an option. I still have a lot from my SD projects still in FCP. Also, video is a small part of what we do, and our Macs are to useful for us to let them go in the other areas of our work.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 07:01 AM   #9
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I'd splurge a little more and go for an HD200/250. They have a firmware upgrade that makes it easier to digitize HD video into FCP. I've ingested HD footage from my HD200 at 30p and 24p with no problems into our FCP 6 on a G5 Mac. We also digitized 60p, but we needed to go a different route to ingest the video. But we did it, no problem, and all 3 different frame rates edited seamlessly together.
For the run-and-gun style of shooting I sometimes do, there's no comparison between cameras. It was the JVC or nothing. The HD series looks "professional" for a reason -form follows function. And it takes fantastic pictures.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 07:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel R Green View Post
Hey everybody, I'm Daniel Green. I'm a video guy(shoot,direct,edit) for a medium-sized design firm in kansas. We recently just sold our entire SD set-up(2 canon XL-2s with lots of extras) in hopes of purchasing a HD camera. I've really had my eye on the JVC 110u. I've got the CEO and the CFO on board, but now I'm starting to rethink.
I've done months of research and have yet to come up with a solution.
We use Apple's and FCP Studio 2. We have 3 computers we are currently using... Mac Pro dual, 20" iMac, and old G4 powerbook.
Neither apple nor JVC have anything on there websites that would tell me the JVC wouldn't work, yet on forums all I hear is problems.
My questions is... Do I need to abandon hope of getting a JVC?
A month ago a JVC guy at B&H told me firmware update for the 110 should be any day. We have to much invested to not use FCP6. We've spent a lot of time trying to ready our business for HD, getting clients on board for video projects, etc.

I don't want complicated work-arounds, I just need it to simply work like our old SD cameras did.
If someone could just give me a no BS assessment of my situation... that would rock.

I know this problems has been hashed and rehashed plenty of times on this forum, and I apologize for bringing up again. Its just hard to wade through all the stuff and experiments and fuzzy workarounds that in all the other posts. And if I'm going o drop $5,000 on a camera, I need it to work.

If someone could point me in the right direction(or a new one) please do.

btw... this Forum has been awesome. You guys are all helpful and full of information and I wouldn't know half of the crap I do without this forum.

Daniel Green
Blink Media Group
www.blinkmg.com
Hi Daniel.

My advice is to select the camera which gives you the images you want to deliver to your clients. To me, that should be the overriding factor.

Honestly, it's possible to terrify yourself half to death if all you do is read posts about workflow problems.

If you want to go with an interlaced HD look, there are plenty of good HDV2 cameras (1080i) out there. If you want the progressive HD look for your clients, the 110U is a great choice.

Now, on the workflow side (the secondary consideration, in my opinion), how important is your time to you? And the variations in workflow times are specifically to do with CAPTURING times (once you've captured, editing times should be the same as for SD).

You have three options:

1/ FASTER capturing time than SD (i.e. almost ZERO time spent capturing).

2/ The SAME capturing time as SD.

3/ 30-60 minutes LONGER capturing time than SD (per average small job).

For option 1, get yourself a Firestore hard drive recorder which attaches to your camera and RECORDS THE FOOTAGE DIRECTLY TO THE HARD DRIVE AS QUICKTIME FILES.

This means you spend zero time capturing (just a few minutes to copy the Quicktime files from your Firestore to your editing computer's hard drives.

It costs extra $'s to get the Firestore, but if you place an absolute premium
on your editing time then it would be the way to go. It is the "no-brainer, no-dramas" solution.

For option 2, capture directly into FCP over FireWire (like you do with SD). You could also use a capture card (from Blackmagic or Kona), but, again, that costs extra $'s.

With this option, you are luckier than Sergio (who is in a 25p area) because FCP also has an option for 30p users where you can capture your footage directly into FCP using Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC). This is a great codec for editing and exporting 720p footage. I'm in a 25p area myself, and so don't use it, but the vast majority of users have reported it to be a trouble-free experience. This might give you the closest thing to your reliable, trouble-free SD experience at the lowest cost.

The last part of option 2 is native HDV capture into FCP. This is the "controversial" one that I think has you so concerned. I prefer to use this method myself. Tim made a couple of excellent recent posts (the definitive ones as far as I am concerned) where he pointed out the variables which lead to the "mid-clip breaks". Basically (in my words), if you are capturing on a fast Intel Mac with fast drives that have a lot of free space and you use the recommended JVC ProHD tapes you should have little or no problems capturing natively. Antony Michael Wilson (from the UK) also reported having zero problems capturing natively and, when I checked with him, he had a very high-end Intel rig and drives. If you capture to your Mac Pro (and NOT to your G4) and have good drives, I think you will have a good experience with native capture.

Personally, I don't have a Firestore and I capture natively over FireWire to a G5 and occasionally get mid-clip breaks. I simply rewind and capture from 10 seconds before the break. Then I trim the 10-second overlap from the clip and drop it into my sequence. To give some real times, last week I captured 2 tapes and it took maybe 3-4 hours (including the estimated 20-30 minutes I probably spent on occasional mid-clip breaks). Dropping half an hour of editing time isn't enough to make me want to rush out and buy a Firestore, or change back to AIC. But that's me. (And using a G5.) Only you know what is "tolerable" and "intolerable" for yourself.

The 3rd option is using a "workaround" like capturing with a non-FCP application like DVHSCap and converting to Quicktime with applications like MPEG Streamclip or HDVxDV. They're very easy to use (it's much harder to read about them than it is to actually use them). But it will likely add about 30-60 minutes extra for your conversions, compared to your normal SD workflow.

My clients love the progressive HD look. They don't care whether I might have spent an extra 30 minutes capturing. And, when I see those final results, neither do I. But, with your Mac Pro rig (or especially if you get the Firestore) I doubt you'll have any problems.

Edit: Daniel, I started this post after Sergio's, but got interrupted. In the meantime, there have been about 6 or 7 other posts, so bear in mind that my advice doesn't take into account your extra info.

Last edited by David Knaggs; June 20th, 2007 at 07:26 AM. Reason: Extra info
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Old June 20th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #11
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Thanks David. That really helps me out. I love the JVC and I think I can spare a little extra post time to have it.
Money is an issue, as The new equipment is coming from funds aquired from the sale of all of our SD equipment.
Until some clinets pay...gosh darn billing cycles.
So the Redrock and Firestore are a couple of months down the way and I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to shoot myself in foot with a bunch of headache and extra work by going with the camera I want.

Thanks again and keep those comments coming.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 02:37 PM   #12
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Daniel,

Get a loaner camera in your hands for a weekend and test it out on your system. The only opinion to trust is your own.

Here's what I just posted in another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood
I've posted information on this topic many times so I won't go into the details again.

Here are the broad strokes (in reference to 'native' HDV ingest):
  • 720P24, 720P25, 720P30 HDV from all ProHD products (cameras and deck) are supported natively in FCP5.1.2 and newer.
  • 720P60 (and we assume 720P50) support will come eventually in a future update to FCP6. (It was demoed and working at NAB07)
  • FCP 5 has a very low tolerance for data breaks when capturing HDV streams. Increasing hard drive/bus/processor speeds may help with the demux process, but even an octo Mac Pro with a RAID array will have the same core issue with natively ingesting 720P24 or 720P25 HDV from tape.
  • FCP5 or 6 CANNOT capture across start/stop breaks on a tape, regardless of the settings in the preferences. If the GOP is broken it is impossible capture it into one file. The only solution to capture across these breaks is a 3rd party capture card.
  • The best way to shoot on tape and ensure the best data streams possible is to clean your heads as prescribed in the user manual, and use the recommended JVC ProHD 63 minute tape stock. I personally recommend against using even JVC's "Pro" stock. I only ever recommend "ProHD" stock. It has worked well for me, and I use FCP on a daily basis on various systems. (I've probably shot 200+ hours of ProHD tape stock.)
  • Good news: FCP6 seems to be more tolerant to imperfect data streams. (from my own testing of a non-ProHD tape.)
  • The HD200 & HD250 firmware update is available now to improve capture results with FCP. We assume the HD100 series will have a similar firmware update eventually. The implication here is that this firmware update improves error correction for the stream, therefore decreasing data breaks from tapes with dropouts or other errors, but this is unconfirmed.
  • Downloadable firmware updates are also available for the BR-HD50U deck.
  • FCP still reads 24P timecode as 30fps TC, even in FCP6. You just have to live with it if you ever want to batch capture.
  • For best results avoid using "Capture Now." Shoot with regen TC and then log and batch capture if you want to capture material anywhere near the start/stop breaks.
  • If you hate tape, I highly recommend the DR-HD100. It works very well and seems very reliable. Just don't use cache record unless you are in free run TC mode.
The biggest question is whether these data breaks are being created at random, or are actually on the tape itself. The fact that higher quality tape seems to reduce the occurrence of these errors would indicate that it is directly tape related. However, many people have observed that data interruptions on the tape occur in different places during different passes, suggesting it is a weakness in error correction. I suspect it is a combination of both, with high quality tape requiring less error correction. I wonder if this is what the firmware update for the HD200 series addresses?
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Old June 20th, 2007, 04:50 PM   #13
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Tim,

Great post regarding workflow and possible issue with timecode breaks!!!

Glad to hear that you like the DRHD100. I am ready to spring for one but have heard some people stating that they have been having problems.

I guess the best would be to shoot JVC ProHD tapes and the Firestore at the same time.

Thanks,

Dan Weber
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Old June 20th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Weber View Post
I guess the best would be to shoot JVC ProHD tapes and the Firestore at the same time.
Yes. For redundancy that is the best bet. The post people are happy because of the tapeless workflow, and the producers and insurance company are happy because of the physical tape sitting on the shelf.

I did have some problems with the first 80GB unit I was sent to evaluate. It wouldn't stay mounted on the mac and had a tendency to crash. I have since been working with a 100GB version loaded with the latest firmware that has been working flawlessly.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 07:40 PM   #15
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Tim, since you are using the JVC and FCP 6 perhaps you can give me some pointers here. Also, I've outlined several experimeints for everyones benefit.

Background: Always edited on the PC with Cineform but now want to edit using FCP 6 (Studio 2) on my new Mac Pro.

1. Due to my workflow in the past and what is easiest for me I have existing m2t files of my HD100 footage. FCP 6 and every other program I've used so far on my Mac Pro wants nothing to do with this format (except MPEG Streamclip). I could always use FCP 2 to capture from the HD100 directly off of tape but I already have these m2t files.

2. I have existing Cineform encoded avi files. Converting these to .mov (re-wrapping) them has no affect on thier usability in FCP 6. There is no way that I have found to use Cineform files or convert them to a different format other than a. using another program on my PC to convert my Cineform files to something else that FCP will accept but this is another recompression and I might as well go back to the m2t files and convert there.

3. MPEG Streamclip - Using this on the Mac Pro it seems to read the m2t files and convert them (I used ProRes 422 the file size doubles but I think this is a good codec for FCP).

4. I installed the beta of the Cineform for Mac OSX which does allow me to use Cineform files in FCP 6 (Despite their extension, so it will handle avi or mov formatted Cineform files). However, the Cineform format in FCP 6 will play in real time in the timeline but all effects need to be rendered. Another reason to go back to the ProRes 422 codec. This also adds the ability for Mpeg Streamclip to convert the Cineform format to something else.

5. Just for fun I converted the Cineform clip to ProRes 422, imported both into FCP 6 and looked at them side by side at 800%. The pixel pattern, noise, etc. seems identical in both. So perhaps the re-encoding is not an issue.

My thoughts:

It seems that when the m2t files already exist (which they will most of the time due to recording to Hard Drive) I should load the files on to the Mac Pro, use Mpeg Streamclip to convert to ProRes 422 and edit from there. Same for existing Cineform Files. If the material is on tape then use FCP 6 to capture directly into what ever format appropriate or needed. I would use ProRes 422.

I have not addressed editing in HDV (Captured by FCP 6 since it won't read existing m2t HDV Files) and then rendering with ProRes 422 because I'm just not a big fan of editing raw HDV.

So aside from my experimentation, Tim do you have any thoughts on the best workflow here?
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