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Old March 1st, 2011, 08:11 PM   #1
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JVC 700 Series vs panny 300/500

Anyone ever shoot a comparison test between these cams? I realize the 500 is a 2/3" sensor, but the 300 should be an interesting match to the 700 for a choice for doc shooting for broadcast.

I love the weight and balance of the 700, but would like to hear any feedback from anyone who has shot extensively;y with both cams.

Thanks,

Rob
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:16 AM   #2
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Re: JVC 700 Series vs panny 300/500

Hi

I've used both cameras quite a bit. The 300 has a native 1080 block, which may be essential to you, depending on broadcaster HD requirements etc. However, I think the 300 is not such a great camera. It is noisy, has quite a bit of CMOS skew (even compared to other CMOS-based cameras) the viewfinder is pretty bad with regard to the LCOS rainbow effect, if you're sensitive to that, it forces you into the P2 workflow and media costs and it's unnecessarily large (body design based on legacy tape transport requirements). I wouldn't buy into the whole AVCIntra100/10bit advantage thing with this camera because the S/N ratio is so bad that the 10bit advantage is negated and well-encoded skew, noise and CA don't really add up to much! The 371 or 370 also brings the dubious advantage of the catastrophically awful adaptive noise reduction (which now at least can be disabled). Run a search for 'trailing noise' on these boards. Lastly, the stock lens is poor, specifically with regard to breathing and CA.

The JVC cameras - being 1/3" CCD - are even worse in low light and are also 720p native. However, the trade-off with CCD is no rolling shutter, which may or may not suit your purposes. The JVC cameras are certainly not perfect (noise being a major consideration) but they do offer superior ergonomics (lower weight but still shoulder-mount) a much better image quality/price ratio and sensibly-priced recording media. The main thing in their favour for me is that they are well priced for what they do and they are a joy to use hand-held and with a limited crew for doc work. I could live with the 720p block but the noise, susceptibility to dead pixels and CA might well put me off.

Bottom line for me if presented with this simple choice of cameras is that the Pana would be the right choice if full 1080 is important and the JVC otherwise.

Good luck!
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 08:58 AM   #3
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Re: JVC 700 Series vs panny 300/500

Thanks, Anthony. Not exactly a stirring report for either camera! I'm looking for something that can run and gun on my shoulder for all day without feeling like a prison sentence and give great images.

Any thoughts?

Rob
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 09:46 AM   #4
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Re: JVC 700 Series vs panny 300/500

While I haven't used the 700 I have used the HD200 which is by and large the same size and weight as the 700 and after having hauled around other full sized cameras such as the JVC5000 and many of the Sony DSR series cameras for all day run and gun shoots I will tell you that the 200 was an absolute pleasure to use from a weight standpoint. Most all of the cameras I used were similarly equiped. AB Dionic 90s, AB Ultralight, wireless receiver, shotgun mic, the usual stuff. Just the weight made it a pleasure to carry around all day. Yes while the VF IMO left something to be desired vs. the Sony VFs and the camera produced a 720 image vs. the other 1080 cameras most TV stations will not only accept 720 footage but embrace it as many are receiving cell phone video footage. I'm speaking of news of course. I've also used them as well as the Sony DSRs for seminars and talking heads and while there were many instances I prefered the Sony cameras but for pure run and gun it was JVC all the way.
Now having said all of that, I haven't used any of the Panny cameras so I can't speak to them as a comparison but again for all day run and gun on and off the shoulder put it down pick it up, I loved the HD200.
Just another skewed opinion.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 02:26 AM   #5
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Re: JVC 700 Series vs panny 300/500

Don, I agree 100% about the ergonomics on the JVC cameras.

Rob, the JVC will certainly be perfect in terms of weight and general ergonomics for your needs. In fact, I think the JVC line excels in this area and I can't think of any camera at any price that I prefer in terms of ergonomics but I feel you can't really class the pictures it produces as 'great'. 1/2" CCDs would really help here. The JVC pictures are certainly good as they are - just not great! Have you considered the PMW-320? It still has a body size based on legacy 1/2" tape transport needs but I believe it's pretty light for the size and produces pictures comparable to the EX3 (full 1080 with much better sensitivity) while being a proper shoulder mount form factor. It's a bit pricey, though...
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 07:23 AM   #6
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Re: JVC 700 Series vs panny 300/500

I owned an HPX500 and a JVC HD200. The 200 was better to shoulder mount, obviously because of the reduced weight. But the 500's performance was better than the 200, as a 2/3" chip cam should be. Still, the JVC could produce nice, sharp images. The 500 suffers from SD chips uprezzed to HD, which always gave a bit softer look. Low light, there was no comparison: the 2/3" wins every time. Also, P2 cards may be expensive (the prices have been coming down a lot lately) but they are very reliable.

I sold both and bought a Canon XF305. I wanted full raster 1920x1080 chips with a broadcast quality codec, 4:2:2 color, a very good lens, at a reasonable price. It may not be a good shoulder mount camera, but the images it creates are better than either of my previous cameras.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 01:36 PM   #7
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Re: JVC 700 Series vs panny 300/500

I agree, Glen. The XF300/305 is an extremely good camera for the price. I have one on test right now and the images are excellent. In particular, the lens is superb for the money. It's hard to complain about having a built-in lens when it's this good. You'd have to go a long, long way up in price point to better these optics. It's a little noisy, and not great in low light and also suffers from the compact camera ergonomics but apart from that it's very hard to fault.

I'd also like to add that I really did love our JVC HD100. It served us very well on some very difficult documentary projects in tough conditions. I have a lot of affection for the JVC ProHD camera line but the images are just not up there with the competition in this price bracket, so I can't justify investing in the new range as much as my heart tells me I should!!!
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Old March 5th, 2011, 04:39 AM   #8
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Re: JVC 700 Series vs panny 300/500

I have not used both these cameras like Anthony, so I can only judge clips on the net and owning a HD101E and the use of a HPX500. I like the look of some of the clips from the Panny, they look very sharp, very pleasing and the JVC, although better than the previous HDV line in terms of quality. doesn't look markedly improved.

But I have been asking myself this very question recently for a new purchase and on balance I would go for the JVC. Both cameras depend upon a good lens of the same type for their best to shine, it is difficult to judge their full capabilities without. I prefer CCD to CMos, it is currently the only camera in this category with CCD. The JVC is best from what I can gather at 720p and with a good lens and careful shooting I have been very pleased with the HD101E upscaled to 1080 (I disagree that the picture quality of these cameras is poor compared to it's competition. It can still be very good, better than the DSLRs/ a HPX 500/an NX5 which I've tested it extensively against recently in terms of picture sharpness and pleasing look in good light levels of course). At 720p the 35mbs codec is less compressed too and you have cranking options and is less noisy (720p upscaled correctly to 1080i looks very good). The media is very cheap, widely available and infact you can use it like tape for archive. It is easier currently to handle in Avid for me. From what I have seen on the net of the picture quality I do think it can make acceptably good images and I like the sort of 16mm look of JVC cameras (there is far less on the net from this camera than the Panny though and very few seem to have bothered tweaking it to it's best).

On the other hand I do like the AVC-Intra 10bit codec of the Panny, although as has been said I doubt very much the camera head can benefit fully from it. But you can also use the camera as a mastering deck, remember that. It is much sharper (and full raster) than the HPX500, which is disappointing, despite all the other advantages, in this respect. I love the form factor too but all in all the JVC works out cheaper for the full kit including media. Both have HD-SDI though which provides other options for recording.

I would be very happy with either but I plan on keeping the HD101E and it fits with that a little better. This just my 2 cents and I would defer to Anthony's real life experience.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 09:07 AM   #9
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Re: JVC 700 Series vs panny 300/500

John, I agree that there is certainly something very pleasing about the images from the JVC cameras. There is much, much more to the film look than shallow DoF, of course, and there is something about the JVCs that take you a big step towards it. I also agree that good 720p can upscale well to 1080. For me, the problems with the JVC range are - to some extent - noise but largely down to glass and CA. Even the expensive Fuji 13x WA zoom will give you bad CA in high contrast/back-lit scenarios. The old stock 16.5x lens is absolutely dreadful in this regard and I've seen some nasty CA on footage from the new bundled Canon. That doesn't leave many options at a sensible price. Perhaps the Fuji 17x is better? Or is it just down to the prism?

I think JVC are very close to having a great camera but when I compare the images to the XF305 I've been testing recently, I think it's fair to say that the game has moved on in this price bracket since the HD100 was released. However, ergonomics and build quality most certainly have not! The JVCs are practical and solid where the EX cameras and the Canon just aren't. I wish JVC would update the sensor/prism in the ProHD line...
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Old March 6th, 2011, 09:36 AM   #10
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Re: JVC 700 Series vs panny 300/500

Thanks Antony, very informative. I'll try and get hold of one for testing.

Sorry for spelling your name incorrectly too.
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