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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 August 6th, 2009, 09:19 PM   #1
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HM 100 am I missing something?

F stop goes only to F8? Also can't find grid line markers to show on VF or LCD. Am I missing something or JVC just decided to cut corners?
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Old August 6th, 2009, 11:06 PM   #2
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It is limited to F8 to avoid diffraction with such small CCDs. I'm actually glad they did it because it forces the user to use the ND filter on a bright day with no surprises. It is better to ND down or increase shutter speed instead of having an out-of-focus image.
BTW, the HM700 auto-iris limits can be set manually.

You won't find frame lines for 4x3, 2.35:1, safe action, safe title. That feature is reserved for the HM700.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 11:43 PM   #3
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You won't find frame lines for 4x3, 2.35:1, safe action, safe title. That feature is reserved for the HM700.
Why!?

That is out-of-line on JVC's part in my opinion.

I have an HM100. I went through all the hassle to get the flip out screen fixed that seems to have been a problem due to quality control. (Interestingly, when I first saw this arrangement on the prototype, I asked if it was as secure on other cameras. Received the assurance that it was, but as it turned out, it wasn't.)

And forgetting about all the other little cheesy aspects about the camera, and remembering it has an excellent auto mode and makes great pictures, why can JVC call it a pro camera and not put on guide lines.

My XH-A1, which is called prosumer, does have them. Why not a "PRO" JVC camera?

The HM100 is supposed to be a specialty camera for certain types of shots that go into a production shot on other cameras. So what does JVC expect? That the HM100 shots will be projected at a different aspect ratio than the rest of the program? Must be, or there would be guide lines.

Last edited by Jack Walker; August 7th, 2009 at 02:06 PM.
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Old August 6th, 2009, 11:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood View Post
It is limited to F8 to avoid diffraction with such small CCDs. I'm actually glad they did it because it forces the user to use the ND filter on a bright day with no surprises. It is better to ND down or increase shutter speed instead of having an out-of-focus image.
Thanks for the reply. However your statement doesn't make much sense to me. Majority of landscapes shot with F16 or F22 will result in better focus (both in foreground and the background). I don't see how limiting the aperture to F8 is supposed to help me in landscape shots, as it severely limits ability to control DOF. So no, I am not happy about it.


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Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood View Post
You won't find frame lines for 4x3, 2.35:1, safe action, safe title. That feature is reserved for the HM700.
Sorry, but this feature is on vast majority of cheap consumer cameras. My old Panasonic PV-GS300 (which was bought under $500 almost 4 years ago) had lines for 4x3 and 16x9. It's supposed to be a pro camera, right?
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Old August 7th, 2009, 01:02 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply. However your statement doesn't make much sense to me. Majority of landscapes shot with F16 or F22 will result in better focus (both in foreground and the background). I don't see how limiting the aperture to F8 is supposed to help me in landscape shots, as it severely limits ability to control DOF. So no, I am not happy about it.
That is true, with much larger size chips (and larger circles of confusion) but please read up on diffraction and you will see that even F/8 is bordering on the diffraction limit with a 1/4" CCD (especially with red.) This is why I always stress to use the "sweet spot" of a lens for best results.

I quickly calculated some hyperfocal distances using an online calculator (and a circle of confusion of 0.003 mm which was calculated based on JVC's assertion that 3.7mm focal length on the HM100 is equivalent to about 39mm fl on 35mm FF cameras.)
What I found was that if you set the aperture to F/8 any focus setting of 3 feet or longer will yield a suitable hyperfocal distance, meaning your landscapes will be in focus all the way to ∞.

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Sorry, but this feature is on vast majority of cheap consumer cameras. My old Panasonic PV-GS300 (which was bought under $500 almost 4 years ago) had lines for 4x3 and 16x9. It's supposed to be a pro camera, right?
Agreed. I was also surprised it wasn't included.
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Old August 9th, 2009, 11:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood View Post
That is true, with much larger size chips (and larger circles of confusion) but please read up on diffraction and you will see that even F/8 is bordering on the diffraction limit with a 1/4" CCD (especially with red.) This is why I always stress to use the "sweet spot" of a lens for best results.
Tim is totally correct. With tiny chips, my rule of thumb is shoot at f4. OK -- that's hard unless you have total light control. So a more realistic RANGE is f2.8 to f5.6. This is why having a selection of ND is important in bright light. And, why high-sensitivity -- or better yet, adding light is key in the dark.

OR, why a huge chip is a real positive -- hence DSLRs.

Really no difference than knowing to avoid extream zooms and to realize sharpness will not be high in corners. In the old days, reviews gave plots of exactly how a lens behaved at a set of settings.
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Old August 10th, 2009, 01:16 AM   #7
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TThis is why having a selection of ND is important in bright light. And, why high-sensitivity -- or better yet, adding light is key in the dark.
Which further highlights how odd are some of the choices JVC made on the HM100. On the one hand JVC restricts the lens closing down, but on the other does not provide two levels of neutral density.

The has a number of other --well documented here-- annoying shortcomings that shuld not be on a pro camera.

It's as if JVC made something special in the HM100, but half-way through the design process didn't take it seriously.

They made a $2000 camera (forgetting whatever they had to pay Sony for codec licensing) and there is an honest need for a $4000 camera in an identically sized package.

Unfortunately they are charging $3500 for the $2000 camera.

Nevertheless, I am using an HM100 together with an HD110 and an XH-A1 on a current project, and I expect some stunning results from the HM100 not possible in the situations we are shooting with either of the other cameras (or any other camera).
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Old August 10th, 2009, 11:31 PM   #8
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Tim is totally correct. With tiny chips, my rule of thumb is shoot at f4. OK -- that's hard unless you have total light control. So a more realistic RANGE is f2.8 to f5.6. This is why having a selection of ND is important in bright light. And, why high-sensitivity -- or better yet, adding light is key in the dark.
I just returned from 3 days shooting on Mt. Rainier. ND filter is weak, can't put polarized and ND at the same time, with F8 a limit it forced me to change the shutter from 1/60 to 1/100.
BTW this camera simply froze at about 28F, which never happened to me before. It simply quit and would not boot up. I shot with several cameras in the past in such conditions and did not have issues. As the matter of fact I used EX1 below 0F!
Also the lens is so recessed took me close to 40 minutes to put circular polarized filter on and now I can't get it off.

Last edited by Robert Rogoz; August 11th, 2009 at 03:11 PM.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 01:50 AM   #9
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It's as if JVC made something special in the HM100, but half-way through the design process didn't take it seriously.
The HD100 is an "upgrade" to an $1800 consumer camcorder, the HD7. Much of the fundamental design and even firmware is the same. The primary physical changes were the CCD block and the lens system -- plus disk to SDHC. For some reason several key "pro" functions didn't get into the design. Why? Cost? Time? Error?

My original assumption was that a compromise was made between Pro and Consumer groups to come-up with a camcorder both could sell. When that didn't happen, I figured that JVC had, based upon the their experience with the HD1 and HD10 (where so many folks bought the cheaper consumer version) decided not to allow that to happen. Which, of course, puts us back to -- why then were certain features left off the HD100?

My hope is that having seen the demand for a lightweight XDCAM EX camcorder, an HD100 follow-on will be funded to add better exposure control. Basically, as the VX2000 was a follow-on to the VX1000. This is the high volume point in the market. Getting this segment right can be huge for a company. (Although, I agree the price should be $3000 MSRP -- not $4000 -- to really drive monster sales and motivate consumers to up-scale to a better camcorder.)

PS: There does seems to be an HD7 replacement, but it's not a consumer version of the HD100. It's the GZ-HM400 that functions much like a Canon. But, alas, no 720p60!
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Old August 12th, 2009, 09:10 AM   #10
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Isn't the glass on the HM 100 the same as the HD7? I think that they both have the same 10:1 zoom ratio and lense diameter. 43mm I believe.
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Old August 12th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #11
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Isn't the glass on the HM 100 the same as the HD7? I think that they both have the same 10:1 zoom ratio and lense diameter. 43mm I believe.
Well, you believed wrongly - itīs 46mm
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Old August 13th, 2009, 10:27 AM   #12
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My hope is that having seen the demand for a lightweight XDCAM EX camcorder, an HD100 follow-on will be funded to add better exposure control. Basically, as the VX2000 was a follow-on to the VX1000. This is the high volume point in the market. Getting this segment right can be huge for a company. (Although, I agree the price should be $3000 MSRP -- not $4000 -- to really drive monster sales and motivate consumers to up-scale to a better camcorder.)
Here is my vote- I just received news about the next years project and looks like funding will be there. The project will require at least 4 cameras. Unless JVC fixes some issues our film company will deal with P2 cost and AVCHD (Panasonic), rather then deal with HM100. So I hope JVC listens to buyers like me very, very carefully.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 12:56 PM   #13
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Have any of you considered using a fader-ND filter like others use on the Canon 5DmkII and Sony EX-1? It should solve the ND issue in most cases.

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Old August 13th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #14
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Dan, the issue is the size and weight. The huge advantage of HM100 is the size vs picture quality. However it's too limited as far as controls and lacks a lot basic features- like safe areas. The lens design is also funky- it's so recessed it's almost impossible to screw on polarized filter. It's fragile- like I said it froze at 28F, something never happened to me before.
EX1 is heavy for the size, plus we already have HVX200 with a whole bunch of P2's. We will be purchasing more cameras for this project, they need to be small enough to carry them to 20 000 ft, but they also bust be durable and have enough light control.
Let's hope Sony will release their small camera soon, something like VX2000 with the EX1 codec.
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