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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 30th, 2010, 03:07 PM   #1
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Lost confidence

Hey gang,
I'm in a pinch here and looking for some info. After tons of research I purchased a brand new HM100 from B&H back in late May to shoot with on a year long project. I've added several batteries and SD cards as well as a few other accessories. I really liked the tapeless idea, the ease of FCS workflow and the small form factor for documentary assignments however...... After shooting on this project for three months now I've lost all confidence in the camera and am just about ready to ship it back to JVC. Everything I'm shooting on this project is a one time shot, no second chances or reshoots so the camera has to work properly. Unfortunately the last two days of shooting at a county fair have left me with very little usable footage. I shoot everything I can in manual exposure mode but do use auto focus most of the time as my eye sight has gotten worse over the years. Until Saturday my footage with this camera had been very good but now the camera is hunting focus constantly throughout the footage. It's just slight focus adjustments, sometimes the focus is just a bit jumpy.. Doesn't seem to matter if the camera is on a tripod with the OIS off, handheld with the OIS on or on a Glidecam with the OIS on or off. Day time outdoors, indoors or night time on the midway, I still received the same focus shifting. Almost impossible to see the focus shifting in the viewfinder or on the monitor, I didn't even see it until the footage was captured in FCS. I'm waiting to hear back from tech support at JVC but I already have a pretty good idea as to what their going to tell me to do with the camera. I've checked every setting I can think of and even tried to upload new firm ware but the JVC site was experiencing some technical difficulties and I couldn't get my camera info accepted. So I'm thinking of bailing out on this camera, switching to something else, but I'm already deep into this project and worried about matching footage with a different camera. I guess I should have kept my XH-A1 but really wanted something smaller and tapeless for this project. Any suggestions on what would come close to matching the HM100 footage ?

Thanks for any advice.

Steve
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Old August 30th, 2010, 03:29 PM   #2
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Why not buy a decent monitor for it and focus manually? Heck of a lot cheaper than buying a new camera. Especially if you like the camera otherwise.

But you did say something that makes me VERY cautious. I cannot fathom, under any circumstances, shooting one-off, live event work with a single camera. ANYTHING could happen. If it's that crucial, you need to find a way to roll more than one camera.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 04:18 PM   #3
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Hi Steve..................

County fair? Dusty paddocks and the occasional blast of dusty breeze?

Well, failing an actual, er, failure, I'd immediately suspect the focus sensor attached to the side of the lens.

As you will remember from the XH A1, the "well" in the lens hood for that sensor was/ is an exceedingly well designed crap catcher in dusty environments, failing to clean it out regularly gave exactly the symptoms you describe.

If the hm100 doesn't have one, then there's that theory shot down and it's back to an actual system failure.

Good luck with it, whatever the cause.


CS
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Old August 31st, 2010, 12:02 AM   #4
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Are you shooting scenes with lots of people in the shot?

I just some shots with lots of people, and the focus was "hunting" all the time. In out in out.

I went to manual focus, (use the focus assist) All ok now.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 08:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Why not buy a decent monitor for it and focus manually? Heck of a lot cheaper than buying a new camera. Especially if you like the camera otherwise.

But you did say something that makes me VERY cautious. I cannot fathom, under any circumstances, shooting one-off, live event work with a single camera. ANYTHING could happen. If it's that crucial, you need to find a way to roll more than one camera.
Thanks Perrone,

Yes, we have a second camera also shooting on this project but because of the scope of the project we're seldom shooting at the same location at the same time. A bigger and better monitor would be great but we're doing lots of run & gun shooting so it would probably get in the way.

Still waiting to hear back from JVC but so far nothing. Not real happy with their customer service at this point.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 08:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
County fair? Dusty paddocks and the occasional blast of dusty breeze?

Well, failing an actual, er, failure, I'd immediately suspect the focus sensor attached to the side of the lens.

As you will remember from the XH A1, the "well" in the lens hood for that sensor was/ is an exceedingly well designed crap catcher in dusty environments, failing to clean it out regularly gave exactly the symptoms you describe.

If the hm100 doesn't have one, then there's that theory shot down and it's back to an actual system failure.

Good luck with it, whatever the cause.


CS
Hey Chris,

Thanks for the reply. I do remember the A1 having that focus sensor on the side of the lens hood. It always focus great for me. Unfortunately the HM100 does not have the same level of technology as the A1 so there's no sensor. The focus issue started almost as soon as I arrived while shooting in broad day light. Don't know what the cause of the problem might be but it was not dusty in the beginning. Hoping the JVC folks will give me a direction, if they ever get back in touch. So far their customer service leave a lot to be desired.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 08:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Urtusuastegui View Post
Are you shooting scenes with lots of people in the shot?

I just some shots with lots of people, and the focus was "hunting" all the time. In out in out.

I went to manual focus, (use the focus assist) All ok now.

Andy,

Some scenes, like shots in the livestock barn, had several people walking around but other shots were of stationary objects. The shots in the livestock barn were simple shots of kids showing their livestock and much of those had the kids standing next to a show calf or goat so there was no reason I could see for the camera to hunt focus. The XH-A1 cameras we used never did that. I'll just have to wait and see what JVC says I guess.
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