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JVC GY-HM 600/700/800 Series Camera Systems
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Old March 31st, 2010, 09:28 AM   #1
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How I choose the HM700

After a long and arduous process of choosing a camera, I've finally settled on the HM700. I've rented many cameras over the past months, testing and using them on gigs. For economic reasons, the selection of cameras are: Sony's EX1 and EX3, Panasonic's HPX170 and HPX300, and of course, JVC's HM700.

I'm an indy videographer, and I mainly shoot corporate videos, corporate events, press conferences, and the occasional fiction and commercial spot. Every thing boils down to these two thing: 1. flash-banding and skewing is an issue for me. That make CMOS my "unpreferred" choice, so to speak. 2. Thanks to my Betacam years, I also prefer, by far, the ergonomics of a real shoulder mount camera, rather then a hand held camera. Just those two criteria alone produce only one winner, the HM700.

I'm not choosing the HM700 solely on the default choice I'm left with. I do appreciate it's build quality, the images it produces, as well as the overall ergonomics. Having a quick FCP workflow is also nice. It's just annoying not to have more choices.

A key ergonomic feature that endeared me to it, was the viewfinder's ability to easily cover my left eye. The HM700 does have certain limitations, such as the inability to record 4:2:2. But that can always be dealt with using a nanoFlash or an AJA Ki Pro when the need arises.

Would I've liked to have AVC-Intra recording with the HPX300? Hell yeah! I just couldn't deal with the CMOS issues, plus the limited range of the viewfinder, plus the price of the cam, plus the lack of kit lens options (since I need a wider lens), plus the price of two 64GB P2 cards. Issshhhhh! Oh well!

That's that!
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Old March 31st, 2010, 06:40 PM   #2
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You can use the same lenses from the HM700 to the HPX301,
but I agree with you, I tested all the Cams for my work, the only
lack is the missing 422 in the XDCAM EX-Standard, but Nanoflash
can help.

The Viewfinder and the LCD-Screens is one of the sharpest I see
on a professional cam, really help- and useful is the focus-assist
with coloured edges for the sharp-areas.

On the other hand, the SDHC-cards are inexpensive, on outdoorwork
when you need a new card you can buy a consumer 6x SDHC-card, but
it's difficult to find a P2-card during outdoor-shots.

With my HM700 I shot some Imageclips, TV-work, documentary-filmprojects,
Videojournalist-work and some more - seen on www.ed-media.de (German)
and now I'm with a short user-story in the JVC-HighwayMagazine.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 06:50 PM   #3
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Don't mean to argue with you on every point (sorry it does seem like I am!) but when you say one of the best on any professional cam, do you mean Varicam, Sony PDW700 etc., or by professional are you talking EX1, Canon XL-1 etc.?
I can't imagine it's better than the "proper" HD broadcast cam viewfinders - but maybe I'm wrong.
Steve
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Old March 31st, 2010, 07:09 PM   #4
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For that price the best viewfinder due to DigiBeta, HPX500, etc.

I like also to work with the PDW700/800, HPX2100,
but the LCD-screen looks really sharper.

I don't like the HPX500 with the standard-viewfinder
(and the HPX500-overal-picture-quality).
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Old March 31st, 2010, 07:18 PM   #5
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You're right, the HPX500 viewfinder is awful, and the screens on PDW700 etc. are poor. But I think the viewfinders on the big pro cams are still the best (but expensive, you get what you pay for!)
Steve
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Old March 31st, 2010, 09:55 PM   #6
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Congrats! I think unless you are going for the Pany HPX-500 and an extra $1,500 for a decent Marshall monitor plust P2 cards, JVC has my thumbs up in the $3,500-$10,000 range. Sorry Pany, I don't do Cmos in the HPX-300. Don't even get me started on Sony's and Canon's 24f. But if JVC goes Cmos with jello vision.... I'm outta here. Though RED seems to do fairly well. RED must have a very fast synch. Well I think I'm JVC as well till I get a Red or Scarlet. I think JVC should be happy with that statment. It wasn't meant as a slam.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 01:19 PM   #7
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In a small country where I live - in Israel, our video photographers are divided into two parts:
1) wedding video photographers - ever filmed with Panasonic cameras, when the last model was DVC200 camera, manufactured by Panasonic.
2) TV video photographers - who work in the field, working with Sony cameras, dsr300.

Now, change to HD technology,
Naturally photographers prefer the Panasonic cameras, I'm talking about the 300.
They did not test, compare, or anything else, as long as it's Panasonic.

I bought 3 cameras JVC HM700, and I'm sure this is the best choice.
It's a little frustrating to see everyone walking with eyes closed, and buy Panasonic.
I'm pleased with my choice, but it is important that the market be flooded with the same model, to be more support, more experience.
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Old April 1st, 2010, 04:13 PM   #8
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I think you've made a very wise choice indeed. We have two 700's and couldn't be more pleased with our decision. Just the other night I was covering a media event for a client and was one of several shooters there. Not only did the 700 "blend" well with the news shooters there, several commented on how jealous they were of the smaller size and weight of the 700. By the end of the night, I could still raise my arm above my shoulder, it didn't look like they could do the same.

It's all about having the right gear for the job at hand, and for what we do, the 700 fits the bill. Enjoy yours!
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 10:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
but when you say one of the best on any professional cam, do you mean Varicam, Sony PDW700 etc., or by professional are you talking EX1, Canon XL-1 etc.?
I can't imagine it's better than the "proper" HD broadcast cam viewfinders - but maybe I'm wrong.
Steve
Of course not. I was refering to the list of cams, mentioned in my previous post, I tested. Had I the cash or the means to get such a loan, an HPX3000 or Varicam 3700 would be great. But realisticaly speaking, in the sub $10K shouldermout cameras, the HM700 is, for me, the best cam for the money.

I'll eventually get a nanoFlash for projects requiring 4:2:2 and higher bandwith. But for now, it suits my needs in terms of video quality. As for ergonomics, it beats the EX3 by far, and the 300 for the viewfinder.

At the risk of repeating myself, the HPX300 is great... one functional flaw, for my purposes... CMOS.
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 04:27 PM   #10
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Oddly enough, I consider the GY-HM700 to be a "proper" HD cam...it's just not as expensive as the high-end ones ;)
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 05:08 PM   #11
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I know Lou, I was just being mischievous!
Steve
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Old April 2nd, 2010, 07:48 PM   #12
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HA! You got me Steve!
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