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JVC GY-HM 600/700/800 Series Camera Systems
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Old August 30th, 2009, 05:55 PM   #1
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1st impressions on 700 & 100

After a 15 hour day on blazing hot sun... did not feel much up to doing stuff today. the camera did well in the 105 + degree heat (unless thats the audio issue - more later).

1st thought is that it is cool to shoot on the HDSC cards - but also a bit of a pain - I was having to swap (the JVC rep only had 4 gig cards) often, then dump on to laptop then as I am paranoid copy onto firewire drive. Then this AM had to copy onto backup raid and clear the laptop... all this copying & deleting made me a bit nervous - especially in the field. Granted if we owned the set-up I would have 16 or 32 gig cards and be done with it, but still all the hard-drives scare me.

2nd thought - I really only looked at bits of footage as I was moving them - but there is noise in it - strange - even in the blazing sun... will have to look more / harder. Also some SERIOUS purple fringing. And the few shots I tried on full auto tended to blow out.

3rd - low light sucks - and Auto focus did not lock on unless it was pretty bright.

4th - audio seemed noisy, and then ch. 2 cut out twice - have to figure out if this is my gear or the camera. Also the earpiece thingy gets in the way when wearing proper headphones - can that be removed?

What I loved - was the size and ergonomics, and the card thing I could get used to. If only Sony would put a EX3 in this shape with cheap media, or Panny made the 300 with cheap media. I know - can't be done - chip heat this or compete with product such and such...

Thats all for now... Monday will check out the rest.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 06:59 PM   #2
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I have the HM100. I have also noticed purple fringing. Anyway to minimize this?
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Old September 9th, 2009, 04:34 PM   #3
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2nd update

had time to play with the footage... love the workflow to get into FCPro.

Still find the camera a bit noisy. Also the loaner from JVC had the 17X FUJI not the 14X Canon - seems like they really should put the best possible glass on a loaner / test camera.

The mic that comes on the 700 is useless...

I REALLY want to love this camera.. but I just cant seem to. I have the same problem with the Sony (for other reasons)...

One good note... a fwe days after the shoot one of the cast said that they accidentally bumped the table with the 100 on it which fell to the concrete floor... they were in a panic but did not say anything - and it seemed to work fine. (the audio issue was on the 700 and was the audio pack - not the camera).
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Old September 10th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #4
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I haven't seen any footage from the Canon 14x that looked any better to me than the Fujinon 17x. Last I heard the FUjinon 17x was an upgrade from the Canon 14x according to JVC. We are discounting the Fujinon 16x that should never had seen the light of day of course. I have heard of a few early adopters of the HM700 getting the Fujinon 16x which is a real shame.

Stock mics on all cameras are generally good only to hold toilet paper in the bathroom after you lose the old holder in the trash can. Stock mics can also be given as gifts to people you hate for the holidays. I feel stock mics are to make you appreciate a Sennheizer or Rode when you break down and drop $300-$500 for a decent entry level mic.

I have seen a fair amount of noise on peoples HM100/700 footage that is NOT present in my older HD110. Weird. I wonder if the default AGC or Gain is somehow on and needs to be turned off or dialed down. Your sure there was no gain applied? Like someone had the LOW GAIN at +4 or +9? But yes, the footage I've seen on the internet, they often looked like they were gained up. No idea if they where or not.

purple fringing? Close your aperture a couple stops or change your lighting contrast ratio, or plan on getting a good lens from Fujinon or Canon. $10,000 and up for either brand. Usually only obvious in high contrast situations at longer telephoto ranges with wider (nearly full open) apertures. IF your using the HM100, well you can't swap lenses obviously, avoid full zooms with wide apertures with sharp bright subject on stark black backgrounds. (ie singer with a microphone with a spotlight and dark background)
Regardless thats where most of the purple/green fringing is coming into play with any lens. Even top quality 35mm lenses have that to a small degree.

well maybe a little of this was humorous and maybe a couple of things to try or watch out for. OK, back to more coffeeeeeeeeeee
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Old September 10th, 2009, 01:35 PM   #5
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noise... I wonder if the shooting 1080p/i has anything to do with noise. Maybe try 720p 35mbs same settings and see what happens. Just a wild shot in the dark. I'm just always mistrustfull of built in upsampling and cross conversions....
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Old September 10th, 2009, 01:50 PM   #6
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We shot 1080 24P. 100% sure no gain... low was set to 0 and the toggle was always in that position. Also as far as closing down the lens - we were in SCREAMING So Cal light so we were pretty much all the way - or close to it...

Anyway - like I said I REALLY want to love this guy, but just can't seem to commit.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 03:32 PM   #7
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Yep.

Harry, first off, you were lucky getting the 17:1 Fuji. The Canon 14:1 is a much inferior lens (besides the stupid plastic BF ring - what were they thinking off???). I have found the 17:1 to be about the best lens overall for the JVC (and I have several 13:1 Fuji's as well).

I also really wanted to like this cam (I purchased two to test!). JVC was kind enough to offer me a loaner "for a couple of weeks", but that's not even close to the time I need to fully test a camera in a digital film environment.

Basically, the camera (at any combination of settings) is way too noisy for serious studio film or network TV production (in its current build state). Even after very extensive tweak and test, tweak and test, tweak and test I was never able to fully eliminate the noise.

Going to film and seeing my tests on a 60' screen really brings it all home. You can have really rich blacks with noise, or muddy looking blacks with noise (less noise, because the mud masks the noise). Highlights in the 90 to 95 IRE range also show too much noise.

I have since sold both 700's and am sticking with my hand picked 200B's (which can also be noisy - there is definitely a variance factor in these cams, getting a good one is the real key. That's why I purchased two 700's, the variance factor :)

Funny that the 100 series never seemed to have this problem wide spread.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #8
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Our cameraman did a side by side with the JVC 700 and the Panny 300 and seeing the same frame A / B on a big monitor was painful with all the noise on the 700 that just is not part of the equation on the 300.... if only P2 card$ = $DHC...

Enzo - where in Rome? I spent much time in Porto Ercole - Monte Argentario...
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Old September 18th, 2009, 09:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo Giobbé View Post

Funny that the 100 series never seemed to have this problem wide spread.
I assume JVC is now using CCDs that read-out a full line at once rather than a line in two halves. If so, this requires a chip operate twice as fast -- which means much high power consumption. This would be expected to be create noise. Should be worse in a smaller chips in the HM100.

Of course, this is one of the advantages of CMOS.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 02:28 AM   #10
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Changing the subject- when are you planing on releasing your book Steve? I am interested!
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Old September 19th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #11
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I somehow feel sort of glad I didn't sell my HD110 with DTE drive and get a HM700. I haven't used a 200 series much but I hear they where noisier over all. I didn't notice much noise while useing a 200 and 250 with JVC monitors, but I only used it for a few horus.

I get virtually no noise without gain in everything I shoot with my HD110. It shouldn't be so, but I have always heard rumors that the 200 series was noisier than the 100 series. So maybe someone with more experience can way in as to video noise between the lines. Or maybe you are seeing something I'm not.

Now in a bar with only bar lights (no fresnels or even softies) with gain up past +9 it's a different story, but we were talking about non gained footage.

I did like the Panasonic HPX-500 though when I worked with it. I liked it a lot actually. So much so that I thought some day when I move beyond 1/3 chips I would move into a 2/3 Panasonic.

So how is working with Panasonic's HPX-300 with 100mbs and 50mbs AVC-Intra HD?
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Old September 19th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Pallenberg View Post
Our cameraman did a side by side with the JVC 700 and the Panny 300 and seeing the same frame A / B on a big monitor was painful with all the noise on the 700 that just is not part of the equation on the 300.... if only P2 card$ = $DHC...

Enzo - where in Rome? I spent much time in Porto Ercole - Monte Argentario...
I was usually based out of Cinecittŕ, and got an apartment in the centro storico of Rome. As you probably know, the movie industry is pretty much dead in Italy these days. A far cry from 25 years ago when I was the DP on two spaghetti westerns being shot at the same time on adjacent lots. I loved working in that two perf pulldown Techniscope format.

Ah, Porto Ercole. One the real gems of Tuscany. You were lucky to hang there. Bella Italia!

A/B comparisons are always painful when the bad cam is yours :(

Recently, one of the big rental houses here in Hollywood invited four DPs (two organic film DPs and two digital film DPs, of which I was one), for a weekend of shooting digital (they made it very clear that this was not to be a shootout, and we could not say much about the results).

It was very interesting because we each lit our own "set", asked actor friends to come down (free catered lunch :), shot our own and each others sets with the different cams, watched the editing process for each type of system, and than the next day, saw the results (after a film transfer) at one of the better local screening rooms.

Working with these cam individually is a lot different than working with these cams simultaneously, and I have to say, I learned a lot from the experience.

The cams were:

Panavision Genesis
Arri D-21
RED One

One of the DPs brought a Sony EX3, and I brought a 700 (to add to the mix).

Each system has its strengths and weaknesses when viewed from the perspective of captured camera image (all in Super 35, except for the EX3 and 700, which were in 16:9 capture format), though editing, and finally seeing it on a big screen.

It was a win-win situation overall. We learned from the A/B comparisons, the rental house now has a better grasp on what to recommend for specific projects to be shot on digital.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 02:32 PM   #13
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Split block

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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
I assume JVC is now using CCDs that read-out a full line at once rather than a line in two halves. If so, this requires a chip operate twice as fast -- which means much high power consumption. This would be expected to be create noise. Should be worse in a smaller chips in the HM100.

Of course, this is one of the advantages of CMOS.
Ciao Steve, how have you been?

I believe that the block is still a split block, different processor, and bigger fan, but basically the same setup as the original HD 100. It's really a brilliant solution to the heat problem (the split block).
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Old September 19th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #14
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Hd 100

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Humphrey View Post
I somehow feel sort of glad I didn't sell my HD110 with DTE drive and get a HM700. I haven't used a 200 series much but I hear they where noisier over all. I didn't notice much noise while useing a 200 and 250 with JVC monitors, but I only used it for a few horus.

I get virtually no noise without gain in everything I shoot with my HD110. It shouldn't be so, but I have always heard rumors that the 200 series was noisier than the 100 series. So maybe someone with more experience can way in as to video noise between the lines. Or maybe you are seeing something I'm not.
You may be on to something :)

I have a HD 100 that I hand picked out of the 30 or so one of the TV venues I work for purchased, and then took it down to JVC to have it tweaked and do the "A" upgrade.

They had it for about a month, and really, really tweaked it. I used it on a Steadicam Pro II at the 2006 AMPAS awards show and everybody was really pleased with the footage.

It's still the sharpest (with a 17:1 Fuji), least generated noise JVC HD cam I own.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 03:55 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Harry Pallenberg View Post
One good note... a fwe days after the shoot one of the cast said that they accidentally bumped the table with the 100 on it which fell to the concrete floor... they were in a panic but did not say anything - and it seemed to work fine. (the audio issue was on the 700 and was the audio pack - not the camera).
Harry, although I did not purchase a 100 as well, I did borrow one from a local large retail store for a week. It was one of their floor models, so that was even better as i had a cam that had wear and tear on it (akin to many hours of field use).

I really liked the form factor a lot, and the SDHC factor. And really disliked the overall plasticky look and feel, and the non ergonomic, non human sense controls. It's also noisy.

This is not a cheap camera (by today's HD cam offerings), so I would have expected more than what I was seeing.

By comparison, here is some footage I shot of Dead Weather at the Mayan concert last month with a much, much less expensive cam (but you have to guess what cam :)

They allowed the audience to take photos and shoot video as long as it was not with a "pro type camera". I had just shot a TV Press Junket with Jack White (and Jimmy Page) a few weeks before, so we were at the venue as Jack White's guests.

This footage (on my wife's YouTube Channel, she is an on-camera entertainment reporter) was shot under the very worse of circumstances (I was surround by a couple of hundred pushing screaming fans), and with pretty much no ambient light, and that light was primarily blue, and you know how video loves that blue :)

I shot on full auto and used the capture program that came with the camera, and then used the "YouTube" upload option within the program. The program compressed the clips from 250 to 750 MB MP4 files to WMV files about 5% as large as the original.

Now, I know the 100 would have done a better job (even at full auto, which I never use), but it's up to you viewers to decide if it would have been thousands of dollars worth of better.

YouTube - stacilayne's Channel

Just wanted to add, the 4:3 stuff shot at the Wiltern the night before was shot with a another camera.
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Last edited by Enzo Giobbé; September 19th, 2009 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Additional information
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