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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 29th, 2009, 03:40 PM   #1
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Who designed and tested HM100?

I am just wondering about this camera. Really and honestly I am contemplating selling it. I keep discovering things about this unit, making it almost an unusable equipment. First F stop limited to F8, then lens which makes impossible to screw a filter on, one ND filter, no safe area markings on LCD/ viewfinder. Not to mention stupid dial for exposure control, and zoom impossible to work with. Not to mention no wide angle (39mm is not wide at all) making it necessary to use stupid wide angle converters, attached via 2 plastic threads- wonder how long this is going to last? Now I discovered I even can't use 180 degree shutter with all the recording mode settings. Turns out when you use 720/60p mode there is no shutter speed 1/120 second! The only options are 1/60, 1/80, 1/100 and 1/250. For crying out loud, it doesn't take a genius to figure out if you design 720/60p to give 1/120 shutter speed as option!
My question is also why these things were not caught in testing? And why JVC thinks it's OK to use paying customers as testers of the equipment? Yes, it's obvious I bought this unit and yes, I will make cash using it. But this is truly last time I buy JVC product for exact reason mentioned above. If I spend any amount of cash I want to have a decent product, working and without design problems.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 03:46 PM   #2
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A F8 lens?
Are you sure?

That's one hell of a slow lens.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 03:52 PM   #3
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Lens goes from F1.8 and maxes out at F8.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 04:31 PM   #4
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The design is that way on purpose. Aperture values smaller than f/8 will introduce diffraction.

But yes, I think you should definitely unload the camera and get something else. I can't
understand why a person would keep something they don't like and continue using it.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Rogoz View Post
Turns out when you use 720/60p mode there is no shutter speed 1/120 second! The only options are 1/60, 1/80, 1/100 and 1/250.
I also discovered this and find it disconcerting. Besides the problem of not having a 1/120 shutter speed when shooting 60p to slow down to 24p... I personally need 1/120 speed with certain existing lights, since I am in the U.S. and not Europe. This camera is supposed to shoot handheld on location... and it is a "PRO" camera... so it should have the appropriate shutter speeds to be used in the country in which it is sold, and in the locations in which it is sold to shoot.

While it's true that complaining doesn't solve much and gets tiresome, it's also true that it's appropriate to broadcast far and wide the truly unacceptable shortcomings of the HM100.

But what is more serious to me was to be told to my face by the U.S. national JVC rep/VP three "facts" about the camera that turned out not to be true, and that he knew were not true when he told me.

And when the truth comes to light, silence is not a sign of integrity.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #6
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I don't know about this, but is there a chance there are people who might be able to hack the HM100 and add a 1.120 shutter speed, guidelines, etc.?

This can't be that difficult for someone in the know, and I don't think it would be illegal.

Or maybe if we made enough requests JVC would offer a firmware upgrade for $300 or so that had the features that were left out.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 07:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
The design is that way on purpose. Aperture values smaller than f/8 will introduce diffraction.
Panasonic HDC-TM300 has aperture to F16. Even more- this CONSUMER camera has guide lines, and even live histogram! Panasonic HDC-TM300 Camcorder Review - Panasonic Flash Memory Camcorders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
But yes, I think you should definitely unload the camera and get something else. I can't
understand why a person would keep something they don't like and continue using it.
Simple economics. At the moment I HAVE to (at least) brake even. I am in a middle of a project and also don't want to hassle with trying to match the look of the cameras. I sunk in a whole bunch of cash into this and I can't afford to take financial hit. However I am pissed that this highly hyped up product doesn't have BASIC functions. This is goes beyond hype, it's just plain misleading.
I am also not willing to send this camera back to B&H, as it's not their fault. Some people would, but that would be beyond my set of rules and imo it would be unethical. I am voicing my opinion here for 2 reasons:
one would be to warn potential future buyers about these problems, as in none of the reviews these things were mentioned
second would be for JVC to listen and fix these simple problems.
Does this explain your question well enough?
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Old August 29th, 2009, 07:57 PM   #8
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A colleague uses the HM-700 series camera and swears by it.

But when he shoots for the news, the vision is as juddery as hell. Footy players look like cartoon idiots with legs flashing along at a million miles an hour. The colour is pasty and terrible when broadcast. Even with 'talking heads' its like the frame rate is about 15fps - yet he shoots in 720p with 50fps.

He has tried shooting interlaced, but the camera wont let him.. even a mate at the BBC said the camera should work OK - but it wont.

Me? I personally think the whole camera was tossed together at five to five on a friday afternoon.

Sadly, a really good advertisment not to buy a JVC.

Ben
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Old August 29th, 2009, 08:35 PM   #9
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My intention is not to bash JVC camera. I think it does produce nice picture and reproduces colors really well. I also like the dynamic range it allows- much better then most of the cameras I have used so far. However I am talking about very specific problems and issues with HM100, a lot of them could be fixed with firmware update. It pisses me off when I buy a "PRO" camera with unworkable zoom, no safe area markings on the screen or 1/120 shutter speed missing. I shouldn't be checking for these- this is a set standard at this day and age with PRO video equipment. It was a big chunk of change for me to buy it and the latest JVC firmware update basically upgrades the unit, so it can use class 10 cards!
A+ for concept, D- for delivery and F for follow-up and making customers happy.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 10:54 PM   #10
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this camera is totally uncooked

Luckily I checked the camera at B&H. The LCD is very cheap looking and viewing agle is low. In addition, there is a lag operating that zoom dial. Not to mention the lack of LANC. I wouldn't buy that camera. JVC - do your homework.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 12:14 PM   #11
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Updated

Robert, I share your disappointment with the camera. I have two of them and have struggled to find work-arounds to the shortcomings. The zoom is the biggest problem for me, although I am running up against limitations of the recessed 46mm filter threads. I have made numerous suggestions on this board and others for updates to the firmware that could address some the issues but JVC is non-responsive. The latest firmware update is simply disappointing in its scope.

I must also say that I feel let down by the reviewers who pumped this camera and completely failed to mention the shortcomings. The one review that is complete and truthful is here JVC GY-HM100 Review and nails every shortcoming. JVC needs to carefully read this and take some action. Unfortunately this review came too late for me.

I am in a small city and not able the handle the product personally, I purchased based on the strength of reviews and this was a mistake I will never make again. So what to do?

Sell the cameras - I don't want to accept the financial loss
Appeal to JVC for some customer support - Done but non-responsive
Continue too look for workarounds - which is what I am currently doing

Things I have come up with include:
Matt box and rails to mount filters on
TOS link adapter for remote zoom function (hi speed only)
Shoot primarily 720P60 to control motion blur issues
Bought Tim Dashwoods training DVD, which has some good suggestions

I would like to hear from others what workarounds they have come up with. That's it for now. --- Dan

Last edited by Dan Thomson; August 30th, 2009 at 12:16 PM. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old August 30th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #12
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Don't forget that many camcorders let you think (on shooting and on replay later) that you had dialled in an aperture of f/5.6 or f/11 (whatever). Generally any camera that has no switchable ND filter(s) is using undocumented internal ND, and as Chris rightly says, you certainly shouldn't be using a smaller aperture than f/4.5 at the wide and of the zoom with a camcorder such as this that employs such tiny chips. Not unless you don't mind diffraction losses becoming apparent, that is.

But you guys must've known about these 'shortcomings', before you splashed the cash, surely?

Me? Well I got suspicious the moment I read JVC's three page splurge on the HM100. This is a photographic tool, yet nowhere in three glossy brochure pages does it tell me any more than it has a, 'high definition 10:1 zoom lens by Fujinon'. No mention of focal lengths, 35 mm equivalents, no word on the maximum apertures at wide and tele.

Just think how we'd laugh if we opened a Canon EOS brochure and all they said was, 'This is a 5x zoom. This is an 8x zoom' and so on.

Not good enough JVC.

tom.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #13
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Yes, I agree with all of these observations. And honestly, had this been a $2000 camera and not a $3500 one, I might not want to be so critical. But you're all right, JVC touted this camera as a 'professional' camera. It says so right on the side. And so many of these things should be fixable in firmware, and yet the first firmware they release has not a single one of these things fixed or improved.

I honestly don't care too much about the annoying to use wheel on the back, but the ridiculously unusable zoom is enough to want to smash the thing to the ground sometimes.

As a 'grab and go' 'prosumer' camcorder I'd have few issues. It does produces sharp images and good color, at least in good light. The workflow is great, I do love the FCP compatibility, and that IS worth a fair amount in my opinion.

But some of these shortcomings are really almost unforgivable, especially since fixing them requires only some new code, and not new or more expensive hardware on JVC's part. It's a real shame that JVC seems completely uninterested in making this camera better.

BUT, I will say, many of these things people are complaining about, should have been easily found before purchase. I would never buy a camera without knowing the focal length of the lens, and was well aware of the 39-380 range of the HM100 zoom. It's not ideal, would have preferred 28-280 for sure. But oh well, I knew what it was going in.

But some easy things they should be able to fix, and don't seem interested to:

1. Refined zoom, somehow this should be able to be improved in firmware, perhaps as others have suggest 'zoom speed settings'. But also reducing the lag in the manual zoom wheel, it's pretty much impossible to do anything with any fineness with that thing.
2. 1/120 shutter speed for 60fps
3. LCD 'flip' mode for use with 35mm adapters.
4. Histogram
5. Intervalometer
6. SD gridlines in LCD and viewfinder

More flexibility with the user buttons.

Again, I want to say that JVC did some things right too, this isn't the worst camera ever made. The use of SD cards instead of insanely expenses SxS or P2 cards for instance, the .mov wrapper to drop right into FCP, is amazing for those who use it, a high data rate and good codec, no AVCHD nonsense.

I just wish they'd now 'refine' the camera in firmware to fix some of these glaring shortcuts that they took in prepping it.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 06:26 AM   #14
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Not sure what you mean by 6, Tim - SD gridlines in LCD and viewfinder. SD is the same as HD, so do you mean 4:3 safe area or do you mean over / underscan?

I'm right with you when you say a 28 to 280 mm equiv lens would have been far more useful in the real world of run 'n' gun, but to equal the sharpness and distortion figures of the dull 39 to 390 mm lens would have upped the price yet again. Upped from $3500 - for a " chipped camcorder - whooh!
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Old September 1st, 2009, 08:50 AM   #15
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Thread Pulled

I see that Robert Rogoz has had a forum thread pulled. He made a direct request to JVC for information on firmware upgrades. This is too bad, because I firmly believe JVC should respond to this issue, one way or another. Roberts request for information was valid and of high concern to readers of this board. Pulling the thread simply allows JVC to keep their collective heads buried in the sand.

My apologies for this reply. I see Tim has posted a sticky regarding this topic. Way to go Tim.

Last edited by Dan Thomson; September 1st, 2009 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Did not look before I leaped.
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