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Old October 30th, 2014, 08:44 PM   #1
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GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

Hi everyone,

I am looking at replacing my successful HPX502 Panasonic with the 850.

The panny has done a great job over the 4 years I have had it, but I am showing my age and want to go to something lighter and easier to use.

I see the JVC benefits over my current format in a number of ways:

1) Smaller and lighter - my P2 setup almost kills me now after a day-long shoot.

2) Affordable card format that will mean less file offloading on a job because I can have more cards with me on a shoot. This will also help with the long format shoots I do such as Dance Concerts.

3) Because we send our news vision from on location via a laptop, the SD card format means I will be able to insert the card directly into the laptop without the need to connect the current external device, thus eliminating the need to charge extra batteries and worry about cables.

4) The ability to FTP and feed live vision (or close enough to) from the camera.

5) A nice long ENG lens with (apparently) a pretty good wide angle view as well.

So as you can see there are a lot of benefits to me shifting to the JVC camera...and I can't stress enough how I have noticed recently the toll the P2 cam takes on my body. Looking at all the benefits, It's pretty much a no-brainer for me.

However, for those of you shooting with them already, are there any hidden surprises that perhaps I have not considered going from the P2 Panny to the JVC?

Would it be a capable enough news gathering camera for me?

Being a remote stringer, I rarely have to hand over my stock to the networks, so the recording medium does not really concern me. The commonly-used XD CAM Disc format would only hinder my other work if I went that way to match the networks.

Any advice? Thanks in advance!
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Old October 31st, 2014, 05:32 AM   #2
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

In years past I used the HD 100 and HD200 tape based cams to do ENG work. I've been using the HM700 with the Fuji 17x lens and it works even better. File based, light weight (relative to the old DSR series of cameras) great images, all the things an ENG shooter would want.
AAMOF back when JVC came out with the HD250 series, the ABC affiliate here in Chicago had 2 or 3 of them and used them extensively. Keep in mind that the ABC affiliate here is 3rd largest TV market in the USA and has a very large viewership. I think that speaks a lot for the camera(s).
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Old October 31st, 2014, 06:46 AM   #3
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

Hi Don

OK you sold me too.. All I need is $20K for two 850's ... They are quite heavy (4.8kg) so that's over 10lbs BUT it's a balanced camera which makes a huge difference.

If it only had the EVF as a loupe over the LCD like the EX3 I would mortgage my wife for a pair. I'm not sure I could go back to the "tunnel vision" EVF again.

Worth mentioning too that the 850 has the new Fuji 20X with autofocus unlike the 700 series lenses.

Chris
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Old October 31st, 2014, 07:02 AM   #4
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

Thanks guys, I am pretty much sold on it.

As a bit of background, I had a Sony DSR570 DVCAM Camera for years and loved it. But I accidentally smashed it and all the insurance company would pay for was a HPX 502 (500). As by that stage DVCAM was out and XDCAM was in and the insurance would not buy me a base model XDCAM.

So (being a Sony lover from way back) I begrudgingly went to the 502. I must say it has been a very good, reliable camera. But it's BLOODY HEAVY.

The VF was crap when I bought it, so I upgraded that to the larger higher res one that made little difference and no longer did I have the facility for an integrated radio mic receiver which annoyed me no end as I had to go to the clip on type which to this day I loathe.

Now I am less than two weeks from turning 50 (yikes) I don't want to go to a bigger (and much more expensive camera) to get those features back. I want something smaller and lighter and easier to use. Looks like I will have to tolerate the clip-on-receiver for a lot longer yet...and I guess (like the 502) I will get used to the VF. All the features I will be gaining will be worth it.

With the JVC I will lose the need to have a card reader externally to the laptop as I have to have now using the P2 format, which will save me heaps of time gathering news, And to NOT have to worry about running out of card space at a dance concert because I can now afford plenty of SD cards will be enough to bring a huge smile to my face.

David
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Old October 31st, 2014, 10:46 AM   #5
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

The HM 7XX and I'm sure the 8XX cameras are well balanced IF you hang a receiver on the back end. It makes such a huge difference. Chris the way you use the spring rod is great, I wish I could have figured out a way to use one on the 700. I used it on the DSR cameras and the JVC 5000/5100 series. It would even fit on the HD100/200 cams but the HMs...they changed the footplate.
I've always liked the feel of the HD-HM cameras EXCEPT for the VF. Smallish and on the dark side but I crank up the peaking and the brightness and I can get by. I agree...if they had made it like the EX3 to me it would have been the perfect camera.

David I think you'll really like the 800 series and if the auto focus lens works as well as advertised you'll have a diamond in you hands.
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Old October 31st, 2014, 04:21 PM   #6
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

One of the other features I forgot to mention on how powerful it could be to a new guys AND someone who shoots corporate events is the ability to stream from the camera as well as directly upload to FTP *whilst you continue shooting*. Now THAT is powerful!
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Old October 31st, 2014, 07:04 PM   #7
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

Hi Don

Surely the HM700 has a tripod mounting thread in the base of the camera so you can screw in a QR plate?

If so all you need is a little bracket made from aluminium It's basically two lengths of 1/2" tubing about 3" apart with a plate made from 1" wide flat bar and pop riveted to the tubes. One screws into the camera tripod thread and the sprung rod goes into the other plate which sits normally just below the lens hood.

Is the JVC that different on the underside??? Surely it allows a QR plate to be fitted??

Chris
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Old October 31st, 2014, 10:05 PM   #8
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

Chris, no it doesn't. It has the typical ENG camera (full size camera rig ala Sony DSR 250, 300,400,500 series or JVC GY-DV5000/5100 as well as others) the trapezoid shaped foot at the front and the adjustable screw button on the back to fit into the QR plate.
The DVTec ENG rig I have would fit the all of the above cameras and the JVC HD100/200 cameras but JVC changed the way the front foot mounted to the camera on the HM700 series and I'm sure the 800 series is the same. I could have bought the Cavivison front mounting plate and used it for the tubes and rod mount for the EBG rig I just never did it and now....well I don't care anymore. All of my gear will be posted for sale quite soon.

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Old November 1st, 2014, 08:01 PM   #9
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

Hi Don

An industry great is leaving us totally but I think you did your bit especially for brides? Are you going to get/keep a small camcorder/still camera to keep memories of all the grandkids and vacations??

I trust, as you do now, you will still toss in the odd comment? You can soon say in posts shortly "....when I USED to do video in my younger days ....."

Comments from Don are always appreciated

Chris
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Old November 1st, 2014, 08:55 PM   #10
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

Chris, I'm like a bad penny, I'll always be around. ;-)
I've been doing the video "work" I've been doing with my DSLR and so far the grandkids and grand dog don't mind.
I'll throw my 2 cents in every once in a while but honestly...the technology today has passed me by so far and so fast sometimes I wonder if I knew anything at all.
Yeah 99.5% of my brides were happy and the same percent of my corporate clients too, so I feel pretty lucky to have been able to do something I really enjoyed doing for so long and I even made a nice living doing it. Can't beat that!

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Old November 3rd, 2014, 11:10 AM   #11
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

David, your camera choice really depends on who your client is.

As a freelancer, I occasionally work for the major TV news networks. They usually prefer the larger 2/3" cameras like the HPX500, but more so like the HPX2000, which has a better sensor package. I've also seen a lot of Sony SxS cameras, like the PMW-500. They even use optical disc cameras, like the always popular PDW-F800. But from what I've seen, the HPX500 is still a popular news camera.

I see a lot of JVC cameras, but always at the local news level. There's nothing wrong with the JVCs, but they do have 1/3" sensors, and from my experiences, the major news outlets prefer at least 2/3" sensors. I believe they also like at least an 8-bit, 4:2:2 codec, which the JVCs don't have.

If weight is a concern, have you looked at the HPX600? It's a P2 camera, but is lighter than the 500. It does AVC/Intra as well as DVCPROHD, like your 500 (I used to own the 500, nice camera). You can use your same batteries, P2 cards and even your lens, even if its a good quality SD lens. I know of one 600 owner in Miami that does network news. An Orlando TV station has started switching over to the 600.

And don't forget the 1/3" HPX370. Again, you can use your P2 cards and your batteries. It also records in AVC/Intra, so it can do 10-bit, 4:2:2 color. It's a popular local news camera.

So it all depends on who your clients will be. If they won't mind an 8-bit, 4:2:0 codec recorded onto SD cards, then the JVCs are a great choice. They're very popular at the local news level.

Personally, if I were buying a camera for freelance news shoots, I'd go for a 2/3" sensor camera capable of at least an 8-bit, 4:2:2 codec. Just in case a major news outlet gave me a call.
I'd go for the HPX600, because I still have a Canon 2/3" lens, P2 cards and batteries left over from my old HPX500. Or the new Panasonic PX800.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 11:15 AM   #12
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

Let me add, large sensor cameras are starting to take a lot of network business. The Canon C300 is a very popular camera. I'm guessing the new Sony FS7 will also become quite popular with the major networks. In fact, I now have a PMW300 and I'm seriously considering trading it in for the FS7.
It's not what camera I like, but what my clients will like. And it has to be affordable, of course.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 05:00 PM   #13
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

Thanks Glen.

Thanks for the feedback.

But: I have to say in the 26 years or so I have been a freelancer, I have NEVER, EVER been hired on what type of camera I have.

News clients? They all know by now that I can deliver the goods and honestly, I have sent them iPhone pictures from a breaking news story just so one network can beat the other with and they didn't care. They regularly take pics from stringers with Sony non-shoulder mount cameras. They simply don't care for breaking news. None of them have ever asked me if I have a 2/3" cam.

Now for pick ups and call-outs for the networks for other non-breaking stories, again they don't care. As long as the pics are clean and professionally framed and the sound is clear, it matters not. Heck, we FTP our (compressed) pics into the networks and not one complaint.

I might get a couple more jobs per year if I had a disc-based XD-Cam (what the aussie networks use) but the cost FAR outweighs the benefits.

Corporate clients? Again they never ask. They just want a good, professional service with clear pictures in a format that looks too difficult for them to achieve in-house :-). They seem to want clips at 480 x 270 so they can upload to their intranets so a more expensive camera makes no difference.

The fact of the matter is I could shoot news on anything and make it acceptable to use. Because of that, I need to choose a camera that makes my work easier for me. I am 50 in under a week, so you get where I am coming from.

From what I can see, as long as the pics look and sound professional, no one cares. And this is why I got excited by the 850. With the very exciting added bonus of being able to send pics directly from the camera - something that "could" be used for news and my corporate clients could use for streaming their conferences.

I used to worry about having the big, broadcast cameras and looking the part until you see young guys running around everywhere with not much more than a handycam ,making good money.

I guess my overall point is that - considering your comments - I could guarantee you that I could switch to the JVC and no one would know - or care.

Except me of course with an improved workflow and less stress per shoot as well as less strain on the aging body :-)

Now all things considered - I am not saying that I wouldn't get perhaps more and more varied work if I purchased, say, an F7 and started telling everyone about it.
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 05:21 PM   #14
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

David,
I agree with you 100%. With everyone today being a "cameraman" the news stations are solely interested in content. They don't care about the quality as much as they used to. I too have never gotten or lost a job due to the type of camera I used although I do know a couple of people that actually have. I had a fortune 100 client that told me once they didn't care if I shot on a wind up camera as long as the end product was what they needed.
News is a different animal than even seminars and corporate training videos. Get the shot, explain it, send it. Years ago I had to convert stuff to BETA from DV then they started taking DV now it's all FTP or Dropbox or something like that so it not only doesn't matter they don't care.
Good luck with the 850, enjoy it, have fun with it!
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Old November 3rd, 2014, 08:00 PM   #15
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Re: GY-HM850E as an ENG camera?

All that said, the guys running around with their pro handycams DO NOT get extra pickup work with the networks - they are used solely for breaking news and not because they are that good, but because they get the shot and no one else does.

As long as my shots were properly composed, sufficiently lit and the audio was ok, I could now buy a HD handycam and I would always be used simply because of my reputation.

That's why I believe if there is a mainly technical - and not a major visual - difference in the Panasonic 502 and the JVC 850, then I am not going to lose work (or sleep) over it unless the pictures are that much worse (which they obviously aren't) that the networks would ask what the heck I was doing.

Let's face it "quality" - better or worse - mostly comes down to personal taste a lot of the time anyway!
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