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Old June 27th, 2009, 06:03 PM   #1
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Getting my head around manual exposure on the HM100

Surely by pressing the 'Iris' button on the back (when in M for manual mode) the darned thing should stick to the F-stop set? Only locks when pressing the AE button and then locking it by pressing and holding the 'Adj/Vol' toggle. Can't get my head around this. All I want is a simple manual exposure where I can pop it from auto exposure (what the camera thinks is the right exposure) to fully manual so that I can adjust it (what I think is the right exposure) and it shall stay there until I command otherwise! So many button presses when an iris ring on the lens does it all quite easily on a proper camera but hey.

And why-oh-why doesn't the f-stop number displayed on the screen change when one adjusts the iris and/or AE? Press your iris button and see the f-stop number on the screen - now pan across from that dark shadow to that bright highlight and the lens stops down okay, but the number lies and stays the same. Flick it off, and then on again and the numbers updates. Would be nice to have it in real time!

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Cheers, Cotty
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Old June 28th, 2009, 12:29 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Steve Cottrell View Post
Surely by pressing the 'Iris' button on the back (when in M for manual mode) the darned thing should stick to the F-stop set? Only locks when pressing the AE button and then locking it by pressing and holding the 'Adj/Vol' toggle. Can't get my head around this. All I want is a simple manual exposure where I can pop it from auto exposure (what the camera thinks is the right exposure) to fully manual so that I can adjust it (what I think is the right exposure) and it shall stay there until I command otherwise! So many button presses when an iris ring on the lens does it all quite easily on a proper camera but hey.

And why-oh-why doesn't the f-stop number displayed on the screen change when one adjusts the iris and/or AE? Press your iris button and see the f-stop number on the screen - now pan across from that dark shadow to that bright highlight and the lens stops down okay, but the number lies and stays the same. Flick it off, and then on again and the numbers updates. Would be nice to have it in real time!

Comments?

Cheers, Cotty
There are many ways JVC could have gone:

1) Replace Zoom Ring option with Manual Aperture Ring option. (Entering Manual Aperture mode turns-off AE.)

2) Add third option to the Zoom/Focus SWITCH to also allow Manual Aperture Ring option. (Entering Manual Aperture mode turns-off AE.)

3) Move WB button to the back replacing IRIS. Now:

Place small ring (Manual Aperture adjust or AE Bias adjust) dial with center button where the WB button is now placed.

Hold center button to switch between Manual Aperture mode and AE BIAS mode and AE mode. (In the latter mode, the ring is not live. While in the former two modes the ring is live.)

In Manual Aperture mode, tap button to turn ON/OFF needed histogram display.

In both AE modes, tap button to Lock/Unlock AE. (The bias would be displayed in both AE modes.)

In ALL modes, the F-stop would be real-time displayed!

#3 would have been a trivial hardware change and a tiny firmware change from the HD7. And, it would have more justified the HM100's price.

PS1: in an ideal world, JVC would release an HM200 next NAB with a revised Exposure Control system and a "hot" shoe (the still camera works quite nicely in bright light) and then let the consumer group sell the current HM100 without the mic. handle at under $2500. This would undercut the Panasonic HMC40 which -- other than AVCHD -- looks very nice at $3200.

PS2: a Lolux mode with half the gain would be nice to keep noise lower. And, the firmware added to the HD7's firmware to control the HM100's "shooting modes" should be revised to operate in a manner consistent (Left toggle should work) with the HD7's firmware. (Unless you had an HD7 you likely would not notice the new firmware is a bit of a hack job.) And, the Spot meter is now nearly useless since JVC removed it's control button. It also was the BackLite button. Could this have saved that much cost?

PS3: And why not let 1280x720 photos be captured while shooting 720p?
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Old June 28th, 2009, 10:57 PM   #3
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I ran into this on my first shoot with the HM100. I found that unless you have also put the camera into manual mode for shutter speed then the camera continues to adjust the shutter speed for what it perceives as the proper exposure (and the gain too if you are in auto gain mode) - e.g. instead of the 1/48 I wanted, the camera was shooting at 1/100 or something like that). Thus I put everything into manual mode so all the actual choices are displayed on screen and that then held the exposure i was trying to achieve.

And so in your panning test I believe that when you cycle the AE switch you're actual returning your shutter speed to the normal choice for for frame rate and then seeing a corrected exposure for the new shutter speed.

well, very unscientific but that's my two cents on the problem.

best.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 08:49 AM   #4
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I am about to order one of these, this made me think.

So I looked in the manual and my interpretation of what it says there (bottom of column1 page 38 - adjusting the aperture) would seem to confirm the method Jon describes . It say pressing AE cancels manual mode for that item. Says the same on page 37 regarding manual shutter.

The section on "manual exposure"is a bit confusing as it refers to AE over-ride.

PS
Is there any kind of readout for focus distance, even just a bar? It would be nice to just set it 1/3 into focus range ( approximating the hyper-focal distance ) and leave it. On 1/4 inch sensors that ought to cover most wide angle situations with a moderate amount of light.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 10:39 AM   #5
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My experience with my HM100 is that in manual exposure mode using the full auto toggle on the front toggled to 'manual' , if you can see the aperture and shutter speed indicators, both aperture and shutter speed stay constant until you change them. The aperture and shutter indicators are toggled on and off by repeatedly pressing those buttons respectively on the back of the camcorder. When the indicator is black, then the flip/dial thing will adjust that parameter.

If you've pressed one of those buttons so you can't see the indicator, then it will go into a priority mode (either aperture or shutter priority). If you can't see the aperture indicator, it's now in shutter priority mode, if you can't see the shutter, then it's in aperture priority mode and the shutter will be automatically adjusted to what the camcorder believes is the proper exposure.

If you toggle aperture back on to manual mode, (you can see the indicator) then it will start at what the camcorder had set it to in the auto-aperture mode. If you toggle the shutter back to manual mode, it will flip to the previous manual shutter speed you had.

While JVC may have seen some logic in this, why make the shutter go back to some manual setting that is probably way off? The reason we might use aperture or shutter in auto mode is to use the camcorder to get a 'close' exposure, then go manual the rest of the way. At least using the camcorder to give us 'hints' is possible in the aperture-auto mode.

Overall, the exposure controls on the HM100 are weak, and in my opinion, not really "Pro" for a camcorder of this class. There is no histogram, the zebras are basically invisible on the LCD, and manual control of the exposure parameters is slow and unintuitive for various reasons I've stated before. A separate dial for exposure, located anywhere, instead of a up/down switch would have been so much better. And indicators of the current aperture and shutter, even when in Auto mode, would also help give us hints about what the camcorder thinks is the correct exposure.

I'm not sure if JVC had enough focus groups or pro shooter testers in the design of the HM100, or if they deliberately 'hobbled' it so as not to compete with the HM700.

That being said, because of the size, weight, portability and EX codec, I'm using it a lot and it will get you good quality footage (often in AUTO mode) that you'd miss with a bigger camcorder such as the EX1/EX3 or the HM700. I guess nothing's perfect.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Keith Moreau View Post
I'm not sure if JVC had enough focus groups or pro shooter testers in the design of the HM100, or if they deliberately 'hobbled' it so as not to compete with the HM700.
As a JVC rep has previously said, the HM100 is meant to be a handheld camera. It also appears that it is meant to be used in auto mode, and from reports, it does seem to do very well in auto.

However, it does seem that it would be much better if it were setup to use the auto controls to quickly setup up the camera, then keep these settings in manual mode, with easy-to-use, intuitive, and ergonomically intelligent adjustment controls.

One step further, it would make sense to me to have on these cameras a "metering button" that would set the aperture with a press. This might be done in conjunction with a wheel, wherein you push the button to instantly set the aperture, then move the wheel for adjustment. Of course the button/wheel would also need a +/- adjustment as accompanies regular auto-aperture.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
PS1: in an ideal world, JVC would release an HM200 next NAB with a revised Exposure Control system and a "hot" shoe (the still camera works quite nicely in bright light) and then let the consumer group sell the current HM100 without the mic. handle at under $2500. This would undercut the Panasonic HMC40 which -- other than AVCHD -- looks very nice at $3200
I think the uncompressed sound is one of the best features in the camera. IMO right now this camera should be about $2000- 2500 range, take the sound unit away and it should not cost more then new Canon HF100 or Panasonic HS300
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Old June 30th, 2009, 05:35 AM   #8
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I think the uncompressed sound is one of the best features in the camera. IMO right now this camera should be about $2000- 2500 range, take the sound unit away and it should not cost more then new Canon HF100 or Panasonic HS300
I've read the HS300 is very nice, but even with some of the things we wish were different about the HM100 -- it would be unfair not to get more money for the HM100. The old HD1 was $2000 and the HD7 was $1800 -- and the HM100 (without the mic) is far better than any of these. So, an MSRP of $2000 would be fine by me.

But, here's the problem ALL companies are facing. If a consumer unit is $2000 -- the pro unit must be 2X higher otherwise there is not enough of a market division. That forces the pro model to $4000.

Were you to get your wish, the consumer unit would need to be $1000 to $1250 -- and that's just too cheap for what you get. Then Canon, Sony, and Panasonic, and JVC consumers units would need to fall to $800. Companies don't want to drive everyone into the ground.

Were the exposure system more "pro" than "consumer" -- I don't think the HM100 would seem "too expensive" at its current price.

PS: now that there is no tape-transport cover to fold-out down, WHY is the handstrap on ALL these palmcorders still mounted near the bottom of the camcorder so it allows the camcorder to twist to the left?
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Last edited by Steve Mullen; June 30th, 2009 at 08:14 AM.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 12:35 PM   #9
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Steve! I have a JVC HD-10.... that was as much my HD110 when it came out... and it really tanks compared to my 110. so I agree. $3,500 isn't too much.... now my head hurts looking at this... TELL me that the manual controls are better than the HD-10? I'll have to download the manual. I was thiking of getting one, or maybe a used HD-100/110
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Old June 30th, 2009, 10:37 PM   #10
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But, here's the problem ALL companies are facing. If a consumer unit is $2000 -- the pro unit must be 2X higher otherwise there is not enough of a market division. That forces the pro model to $4000.

Were you to get your wish, the consumer unit would need to be $1000 to $1250 -- and that's just too cheap for what you get. Then Canon, Sony, and Panasonic, and JVC consumers units would need to fall to $800. Companies don't want to drive everyone into the ground.
I look at this from a different perspective. The line between consumer and pro is just vanishing. I mean right now there are high school kids making killer content. I think prosumer group is getting larger, and this is going to be a future of the market.
BTW money talks. I shot with HM100 for a couple of days. I was going to purchase it, but so far I did not,as a job it was going to be used on is postponed till August or September. In the meantime I am watching what JVC is going to do about some of the issues with HM100 and decide later. So yes JVC, hope you are reading this.
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Old July 1st, 2009, 01:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Keith Moreau View Post
I'm not sure if JVC had enough focus groups or pro shooter testers in the design of the HM100, or if they deliberately 'hobbled' it so as not to compete with the HM700.
I'm available but not cheap!

Well, okay I am cheap.

Thanks for all the replies, am going to do some more testing this weekend if I can find some time during a break from a corporate edit. It really is a fun camera to use with absolutely top class pictures for it's spec, would be great to be able to er shed light on the exposure thing.

Cotty
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Old July 1st, 2009, 04:44 AM   #12
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In the meantime I am watching what JVC is going to do about some of the issues with HM100 and decide later. So yes JVC, hope you are reading this.
Same here, at first sight I thought "oh fantastic a baby brother for my HD100" something many have asked for over the last 3 1/2 years.

I was about to order yesterday but I decided to put it on hold for while at least until I can get some proper hands-on time with one- demo units are pretty hard to find.

The apparent clumsiness of the manual controls being the main reason.

I saw in a test that the fastest zoom speed is about 3 sec each way - so to manually focus crash in/focus back out would take about 8 secs - there goes the shot. This normally would take about 2-3 sec to do in manual lenses With a distance readout this would not be necessary as distance could be preset. 35mb codec won't help if I missed the shot fiddling with the exposure or focusing.

Or how about a "instant focus" button to blip into auto and off again and likewise for exposure these are the type of things that the fancier consumer cameras have.

The problem looks like to be the HM100 doesn't seem to know exactly what it is - it teases us with uncompressed audio, proper switches for white-balance and gain - but a teeny iris/shutter dial, tucked up against the battery. Right now the Pana TM300 seems to offer more direct manual controls (although not the canon fs100).

I looked at my (dead) VX1000 that that I still have lying around from what - 12 years ago. Ergonomically similar, but the "auto lock" button and exposure/iris wheel was on the side - I could live with that but have hand-held camera ergonomics really advanced so little?
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 12:27 AM   #13
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I look at this from a different perspective. The line between consumer and pro is just vanishing. I mean right now there are high school kids making killer content. I think prosumer group is getting larger, and this is going to be a future of the market.
BTW money talks. I shot with HM100 for a couple of days. I was going to purchase it, but so far I did not,as a job it was going to be used on is postponed till August or September. In the meantime I am watching what JVC is going to do about some of the issues with HM100 and decide later. So yes JVC, hope you are reading this.
I am afraid what kind of issues HM100 has? I wan to buy this camera, I have HD7 with me, and want to buy this new HM100. If you some can expain what problem HM100 is facing?

Kaushik
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 01:07 PM   #14
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Surely by pressing the 'Iris' button on the back (when in M for manual mode) the darned thing should stick to the F-stop set? Only locks when pressing the AE button and then locking it by pressing and holding the 'Adj/Vol' toggle. Can't get my head around this. All I want is a simple manual exposure where I can pop it from auto exposure (what the camera thinks is the right exposure) to fully manual so that I can adjust it (what I think is the right exposure) and it shall stay there until I command otherwise! So many button presses when an iris ring on the lens does it all quite easily on a proper camera but hey.

And why-oh-why doesn't the f-stop number displayed on the screen change when one adjusts the iris and/or AE? Press your iris button and see the f-stop number on the screen - now pan across from that dark shadow to that bright highlight and the lens stops down okay, but the number lies and stays the same. Flick it off, and then on again and the numbers updates. Would be nice to have it in real time!

I think this thread got side tracked. When in manual mode it it is still auto exposing. If you press the aperture or shutter button on the back then you are locking that value. If you press aperture and shutter you lock both and the value on the screen is the setting on the camera. If you press the button again to make the number go away then you are returning that setting to auto.

If you point the camera at something. Let it auto expose and then press aperture and shutter then it will lock the aperture and shutter speed at what it automatically determined to be correct.

There are 3 things the camera adjusts gain, aperture and shutter. It will continue to adjust whatever you don't manually choose. If you set the aperture and shutter speed but keep the gain on AGC then the camera will still auto expose but only by varying the gain.

Is that what maybe what was confusing you? I have talked to a couple people that thought they had to press aperture after they made an adjustment to 'set' what they had chosen but that just canceled what they had already set.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 12:29 AM   #15
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I think this thread got side tracked. When in manual mode it it is still auto exposing. If you press the aperture or shutter button on the back then you are locking that value. If you press aperture and shutter you lock both and the value on the screen is the setting on the camera. If you press the button again to make the number go away then you are returning that setting to auto.

If you point the camera at something. Let it auto expose and then press aperture and shutter then it will lock the aperture and shutter speed at what it automatically determined to be correct.

There are 3 things the camera adjusts gain, aperture and shutter. It will continue to adjust whatever you don't manually choose. If you set the aperture and shutter speed but keep the gain on AGC then the camera will still auto expose but only by varying the gain.

Is that what maybe what was confusing you? I have talked to a couple people that thought they had to press aperture after they made an adjustment to 'set' what they had chosen but that just canceled what they had already set.

Yes, it has to be locked; otherwise it will keep changing accordingly light! I have HD7; it is very similar to HM100. I never forget to press ok after done my all settings; otherwise it will be in auto mode!

So each time we have to lock shutter/ aperture both, we have to press and hold for some seconds and then display of num values will goes in different colours, so we can come to know that yes it actually locked! And if we press shutter/ aperture button two times continually it will go in auto mode! This is what I do with my HD7, and I am sure same would be with HM100.

And I keep AGC off, otherwise it will gives over expose and picture would be too bright. I only put AGC on when I shoot in night time or low light condition.

Kaushik
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