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JVC GY-HM 70/100/150 Series Camera Systems
GY-HM70, HM100, HM150 recording AVCHD MP4 & QuickTime .MOV to SDHC cards.


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Old May 2nd, 2009, 02:44 PM   #1
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HM100 zoom & focus control

I just looked at this camera very briefly a few months ago and seem to remember something very dicy about the zoom and focus controls - maybe they were using teh same wheel or something.

I've only seen one brief reference to this on these pages.
Can you guys set me straight. Is there an issue here or not?

Lenny
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 03:39 PM   #2
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The zoom toggle on the top right side always functions as zoom no matter what.
The ring on the front can be assigned to either manual focus or "manual" zoom.
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 05:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
I just looked at this camera very briefly a few months ago and seem to remember something very dicy about the zoom and focus controls - maybe they were using teh same wheel or something.

I've only seen one brief reference to this on these pages.
Can you guys set me straight. Is there an issue here or not?

Lenny
As Tim says, there is one ring on the lens and this can be selected to control zoom or focus. It's a 'fly-by-wire' control - that is, it has no direct access mechanically to the lens elements when used for the focussing function. Instead, it operates an electronic actuator that (I presume) the auto-focus uses also. So: you turn the ring to focus (in MF) and the focus adjusts accordingly. You can turn the ring forever in either direction - it has no 'end stops' like a fully manual focus lens.

This is not an issue in my book - it is simply a method to achieve focus. If you are used to manual focus lenses then you may take a while to get used to it. It took me 5 minutes, aided by the excellent focus assist feature. I don't use auto-focus on video cameras and so it was crucial for me to be able to focus quickly and accurately with the HM-100 or I was in deep do-do. Luckily for me, and hats off to JVC, it works well.

HTH

Cotty
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Old May 2nd, 2009, 08:16 PM   #4
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So if you use the servo zoom control on the right side it is pretty similar to most cameras. But if you like to use both manual zoom and focus then its not so good as you have to switch the function of the one ring. Is that right?

How easy is it to switch the function from manual zoom to focus and vice versa?
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Old May 6th, 2009, 04:37 PM   #5
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Sorry for the delay in replying.

I would say, not easy. Using the ring on the lens to zoom is a bit hit and miss - certainly nothing like zooming manually by using a zoom ring on a fully manual lens. Setting the HM-100 focus/zoom ring to the 'zoom' function, then turning the ring one way or the other proves to be an interesting and (I found) totally un-intuitive experience. If you're used to precise manual zoom control, you will not find that on this camera in its current state (can it be corrected in firmware?) so look no further. The traditional zoom rocker switch on the right is usable but nowhere close to a full manual broadcast-spec lens - but then, I wouldn't expect it to be. You get what you pay for. It zooms, it is a variable zoom but it's not the smoothest up and stop you're gonna use.

After a week of messing and testing, I've come to the conclusion that I will not be using the ring for zooming at all - just for focussing. I've taped up the button.

HTH

Cotty
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Old May 6th, 2009, 09:50 PM   #6
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When I saw the demo camera the zoom ring was squirrely, but didn't know if it was going to be better on the production model. Apparently not. There was a hesitation then a jump, etc. Not smooth.

It must be possible to make it work well, because the zoom ring the XH-A1 is excellent: responsive, smooth, etc. I use it to track dancers on the stage and it works perfectly. I don't know if it has a different kind of connection to the lens or not.

I am glad to hear people are happy with the camera, however.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 04:25 PM   #7
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I just got my HM100 today, the zoom on the HM100 is not one of my favorite features of this camera so far. The rocker zoom rate, as far as I can tell can't be fine tuned from a menu. The rocker has some variability, that is a harder push results in a faster zoom rate, but my experience so far is it isn't that smooth. For example I've found my less expensive consumer-avchd cams like the Panasonic SD100 or the Canon HFS100 little rockers, though smaller are actually smoother and finer gradiations. One kind of good thing on the HM100 is that there seems to be a smooth 'stop' at the end of the zoom range, it doesn't just abrubtly end. However the zoom rocker's fastest speed isn't fast enough for me. I tend to zoom in quick, focus, and zoom out. With my EX1 I can do that quickly with the manual zoom or even the rocker, the HM100 isn't as effective.

Switching the ring from focus to zoom is easy, the switch is well placed. However, there is a definite delay between turning the ring and the actual zoom. I probably won't use the ring for zooming.

These opinions are pretty preliminary, as I haven't even shot any footage yet, I just received the camera a few hours ago and I'm still setting it up and figuring out the menus.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 04:34 PM   #8
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Keith - best not compare this camera with an EX1 or such like or u will just find it a disappointment - remember its half the price so dont expect it to compete with it

just love its quirks and work with them
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Old May 7th, 2009, 04:39 PM   #9
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Thanks Matt, I'll keep it in mind. I realize the price is 1/2 that of the EX, but it is 3.5x that of the my Canon HFS100, so I'd like the zoom, for example to be at least as responsive, even if it is a 'fly by wire' servo control.

However if the images are acceptable, that's what I got it for, the CCD sensor and the XDCAM EX workflow. If those are good, then I won't be disappointed. I just wanted to give my 2 cents on the zoom since it was the purpose of this thread. It's going to be my less obtrusive EX so as long as it cuts well with it I will be happy.
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