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Old May 31st, 2010, 10:22 PM   #1
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HM 100 - Quality of image for Broadcast?

Hi there.

I currently own a Sony HVR A1E HDV camera which I use for VJ work for an international news channel shooting 1080i50. I like the camera's size and the removable mic as I often work alone here in Guatemala and like to remain as inconspicuous as possible (there is a real danger of robberies in markets, on streets, in buses, etc).

However, the low-light level from the single CMOS 1/3" chip is dismal and I only carry a simple 10/20W top light (many people have inadequate lighting in their houses as well). The manual controls also leave much to be desired and I find are sometimes too cumbersome for run and gun situations.

I was looking at purchasing a Sony EX1R but am hesitant because of the size and pro-look (that said I haven't actually held one or placed one next to my Sony A1). I've also read that they can be awkward to handhold, which I sometimes am forced to do.

Then I came across the HM100 and thought this might be the answer. But upon further research have learned that the JVC has its issues too. I'm sure the footage will be crisper, manual controls better, and low light level superior, but by how much? Is the JVC that much bigger than the Sony A1?

I'm also looking to film documentaries while I'm here in Central America and wanted to know if many people have sold docs they've made on this camera. A friend of mine just made a doc for the channel I work for using his Sony A1, but he's a pro cameraman (and works for the channel full time). I know the channel says they don't normally accept HDV. What about 3 x 1/4" CCD recording XDCAM?

Oh yeah, I've read a few reviews of the Panasonic HMC 40 that rate it higher than the JVC for picture quality, low light, and ease of manual controls. However, I would like the option of shooting for both PAL and NTSC land. If I had to choose one it would be PAL, and the HMC 41 (sold in Europe) costs more than the JVC.

Sorry for the long post. Hope someone takes the time to read it.

Many thanks!
Dave
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Old June 1st, 2010, 02:29 AM   #2
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Hey Dave,

Check out this interview with Vaughan Smith on the MacVideo site. He used a HM100 in Afghanistan with great results:

MacVideo - Camera Technology - Interviews - Vaughan Smith: Return from Afghanistan

There's two videos on there, one talking specifically about the camera and there are also sample clips from the field.

I dithered between the JVC and Panasonic HMC41 for my new cam. I settled for the Panny because it has timelapse, remote zoom/iris etc and a couple of other things - and more importantly it was cheaper and came with a good bundle. And I don't have to trek through Guatamala with my cam! Anecdotal evidence (from various forums and talking to dealers) suggests that the JVC is physically more robust.

But for your work, the JVC seems more than suitable - the 35Mb/s codec may be more acceptable to broadcast companies as well.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 05:08 PM   #3
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Many thanks Mike. Some great work by Vaughan Smith in Afghanistan. He certainly is supportive about the HM 100 and its capabilities. Very interesting to hear. I've got a friend who used to be very involved in the Frontline Club and might ask her for Vaughan's email address to ask a few follow up questions.

Although everyone talks about the high quality of the images from the camera I'm still not sure how keen some channels will be to accept footage. If there's bullets flying during an embed I'm sure there's no question, but what if the images are not so exclusive and the story not as powerful (hard to get better footage than a war zone in Afghanistan)?

I'd be interested in hearing from other vjs/doc makers about the suitability of the camera for current affairs stuff.

Any idea how much smaller/less conspicuous the JVC is than the Sony EX1? Demo models hard to come by here in Guatemala ..

How does the Panny work for you? Have you sold any material to broadcasters?

Many thanks again!

Dave
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 03:06 AM   #4
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Hi Dave,

I'm only a hobbyist, not quite in the same league - I'm not sure anyone will be buying my footage any time soon! Unless the material was very compelling, they'd probably turn their noses up at AVCHD.

As to the size - when I was humming and hah-ing over what cam to buy, I printed out an exact size line drawing from the JVC manual, and it fitted on a sheet of A4 paper, including viewfinder and lens hood. Much smaller than my previous Sony V1, and smaller again than the EX-1. The fact that you can detach the top handle and XLR unit and look more "touristy" can be a big help too.

Also check Philip Bloom's review of the HM100: http://philipbloom.net/reviews-4/cvp...jvc-gy-hm-100/

I like this size of camera. With my Panasonic, I can stick it in one of the smaller Kata backpacks (R-102) and climb a mountain and not be exhausted. Rick Young's review of the HM100 on MacVideo has him trekking across country for a couple of hours with the camera without breaking sweat.
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Old June 2nd, 2010, 01:56 PM   #5
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Hm 100

Hi Dave
I have owned an A1 before my hm100.
I must say the image quality is much better, and it's more proffesional.
I used an EX1 lots of times and the image quality is better than the JVC, low light is much better.

The hm 100 is not so good in low light but better than the A1, and the gain up to 9db is claen.
also for the size it is very good.

Amos
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Old June 4th, 2010, 07:00 PM   #6
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Thanks Mike and Amos.

Mike - size comparison is really interesting. I have a Kata r-103 that I use for my Sony A1, extra batteries, tapes, lens cleaning kit, wired mic, etc. It's a great pack, good size, rugged, and not too flashy. I usually carry it on my back while filming and it doesn't get too heavy. When you checked, how much larger was the EX1? Like twice the size? I think it's about 2/3rds the weight.

Amos - great info on image quality vs. Sony A1. How "clean" is image with 9db gain? How fiddly do you find controls (especially servo focus and iris control). These are what I loathe most about my A1. Unfortunately I've never actually seen my footage on a TV screen as I live in NTSC land and my camera is PAL (the channel I work for requires PAL video). Do you know anyone who's successfully sold HD HM100 footage to a broadcaster (in Israel or anywhere else)?

Very best
Dave
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Old June 5th, 2010, 06:24 AM   #7
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Dave,

I didn't do a direct compariosn with the EX1 because it was waaaaaaaaaaaay out of my price range.

The Kata R-102/3 is a great bag (in case anyone is interested, the 103 has a laptop compartment and the 102 doesn't). The 102 is as small as I can get and still be useful. I do have to take my Rode mic off to make it fit though.

The JVC was a smidgen smaller than the HMC-40/41, so should also fit just perfectly.

One more HMC40 v JVC HM100U point - the JVC seems to have a MUCH better viewfinder. If you use the viewfinder a lot, the Panasonic one is a bit tiny.

Edit: and also, the HM100 has dual SDHC card slots, the Panasonic has only one.

Last edited by Mike Beckett; June 5th, 2010 at 10:39 AM.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 03:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mercer View Post

Any idea how much smaller/less conspicuous the JVC is than the Sony EX1? Demo models hard to come by here in Guatemala ..
Hi Dave - we bought the JVC to replace our A1E. As you know the whole audio module comes off, the camera is robust, tiny and light, and much smaller than the EX1. Ideal for your purposes, and currently on a JVC discounted offer (to end of une in UK).

Maybe if you want to be really inconspicuous you should consider a video DSLR like the Canon EOS 550d or T21 with eg 18-135mm lens, and a separate audio recorder like the Zoom H4N, in your pocket.
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Old June 12th, 2010, 08:00 AM   #9
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quality

Hi dave.
In Israel you can sell to broadcasters almost everything, so i didn't have problem doing documentaries, and behind the scenes stuff with it.
at 9db its cleaner than all the cmos cameras. but as i mentiond low light is thw weak point of the camera.
I use it a lot for corporate stuff.
I've seen my footage in a 17'' panasonic HD monitor and it's looks great.

Amos
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Old June 16th, 2010, 01:47 PM   #10
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"amos said:

Hi dave.
In Israel you can sell to broadcasters almost everything, so i didn't have problem doing documentaries, and behind the scenes stuff with it.
at 9db its cleaner than all the cmos cameras. but as i mentiond low light is thw weak point of the camera.
I use it a lot for corporate stuff.
I've seen my footage in a 17'' panasonic HD monitor and it's looks great."

amos-

thank u for joining the conversation.

a 17" panasonic hi def monitor is one thing but i have clients who want to put these images up on 50"+ plasma/lcd.

has anyone seem the hm100's footage on a screen that large?

if so, does the image hold together or begin to pixelate?

any and all real world experience would be appreciated.

be well

rob
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Old June 19th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #11
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rob - checked out your website. do you shoot exclusively with the hm100 or use it as a bcam/back up cam? have you had anything broadcast hd? was out for the past few days with cameraman with a sony ex1r. fantastic camera but still a bit bigger than i wanted .... very curious how the image from the hd100 stands up.

thanks to all!
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Old June 20th, 2010, 11:22 AM   #12
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dave-

thanks for adding to the conversation.

please don't judge my work by my website (i can't stand it and its up for a re-design asap. to all who are reading this, never let your wife's cousin do your website!)

as for the hm100, somehow i have confused you. i do not have a hm100. i have played with the hm100 at several demos and have been impressed by the limited images i have seen.

but i have not seen any hm100 footage screened on a large display. since a portion of my work for corporates and not for profits ends up on the web and dvd, i thought the hm100 could be a handy tool when a small, non-intrusive camera was desired.

i have worked with the ex1 and the image produced is very nice. it is physically larger, does much much better in low light yet the whole re-wrapping to pro res when i'm editing in final cut pro is a drag for me. the idea that the hm100 can go straight to .mov and seamlessly into fcp is motivation for me to keep looking at the hm100.

be well

rob
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Old June 21st, 2010, 04:40 PM   #13
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Dave I've had the HM 100 for over a year now and had no problems with the broadcast industry accepting my footage. My footage has been shown form the local affiliates to ESPN. Image quality is excellent!!
Here's some of my footage posted on Vimeo
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Old June 5th, 2011, 12:29 PM   #14
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Re: HM 100 - Quality of image for Broadcast?

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/jvc-gy-h...m-similar.html

Just came across this, the HM100 can be hooked to a nanoflash for higher mbps footage
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Old August 4th, 2011, 10:53 AM   #15
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Re: HM 100 - Quality of image for Broadcast?

Looks good.
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