hm100 upgrade to HXR-NX5U at

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Sony NXCAM / AVCHD Camcorders
Sony HXR-NX100, HXR-NX70, NX30, NX5, NX3/1, HXR-MC2500, HDR-AX2000, etc.

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Old August 9th, 2010, 08:16 PM   #1
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hm100 upgrade to HXR-NX5U

Hello all,

Well, I just recently bought a JVC hm100 cam and I like its size (weight), as its really easy to carry and use.
However, im not really happy with several features that are cramping my style in the field.

I am an amateur of course, but I am getting much better and fast... I am also looking forward to working with some pros (for free for experience) some local TV stations I have contacts at.

ANYWAYS... to make a long story short, I'm having some issues with the HM100.

The most of which is the zoom (manual and rocker button) are hard to control and results in a choppy and unusable zoom! I tried the HXR-NX5U and its a dream to zoom, either from the handle and the zoom control on the camera! or from the manual zoom ring! wow!

ok, well as I just blew a few thousand bucks on the HM100, can anyone give me some personal experience with the NX5U that will make me toss my camera and RUN to buy this one ??
I guess what I'm looking for is some positive feedback and a little push.

One thing i would like to hear about it going from 1/4 CCD to 3 CMOS... will there be a large difference in image quality ? I am shooting in 720-30P at the moment anyways... low light possibly ?

Come on guys, lend me your thoughts!!!! :)

thanks a bunch!

Andrew in Toronto
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Old August 10th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #2
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no help for me?

I guess no one is interested :(
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Old August 10th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #3
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As I said to some one in another forum, please have patience. This is a somewhat specialized question and it may take time to get to someone with the precise answer you want. . But, I'll drop an answer in here and maybe that will generate some additional responses that will help get you answers more in the vein of the kind of information you want.

Frankly, I have no experience with JVC cams, whatever. I do have an NX5 and am quite happy with it. I mostly do multi-cam shooting and moved to the NX5 from using the Canon XHA1, so my experience might not be directly applicable to the questions you are asking.

What I like especially about the NX5 is: (a) the low light capability that comes close to what I used to get from my old VX2000 cams; (b) how controls (such as gain etc.) seem to be in the right place for me; (c) the ability to record PCM audio with a built in audio limiter; and (d) the very wide angle view at the widest end of the zoom range coupled with a 20X zoom-in ability. It is even more with judicious use of the digital zoom abilities.

As far as I can recall, the JVC can record to either XDCAM Ex format or to Quciktime "mov" formats. (or maybe everything gets recorded within a "mov" wrapper. Seems like that might be useful if you edit with FCP or Avid MC5. The NX5 does not seem to have any comparable feature. Anything you shoot in HD with an NX5 will be recorded in 1920x1080 mts (1080/60i) AVCHD.

There certainly are are lots of other NX5 features and functions that I use regularly. (Smooth AGC and the "active steady shot" image stabilization are another couple that come to mind, immediately.) On the other hand, I liked the ability to use downloadable presets with the XHA1, which made it much easier for me to match up multi-cam footage between various cameras. There is nothing comparable in the XHA1.

For a lot of us, the only way to actually test a camera is the expensive proposition of buying it or the somewhat less costly alternative of renting it. I bought the XHA1 in reliance (in part) on what I read here on DVinfo.

I've found that I usually need more than a day or two to figure out a camera. In my case, there is nobody to rent from in the area I live in, But, your tagline says you are in Toronto. I would guess that there is a rental company in your area from which you might be able to rent a NX5 (or maybe an AX2000 or possibly a Z5). It owuld be worth doing that and work with it for several days, (For me, the ideal thing would be if Costco handled this kind of camera equipment so I could try it out an bring it back if it did not work for me. But, if Costco did that, everybody would have these things and it would be harder for me to earn my living.)

Another point, if you don't need the FMU recording unit and don't need the PCM audio, you might find the somewhat less expensive AX2000 more to your liking. When I bought the NX5 with an FMU unit (with a huge Sony rebate on the FMU), I was pretty sure that I would want the dual/tandem recording capability that I've had using MRC units with my HDV cams. However, I've had far fewer problems with AVCHD than I did with HDV. Actually, the MRC units have been so reliable that I've been dispensing with tape on the HDV cams on many jobs and just going entirely tapeless.

My preferences may be peculiar to me and the fact that I have a long history with Sony camcorders. I found that NX5 almost intuitive to use. You might or might not, depending on what you are used to.

That said, it strikes me that it is important to have a camera you are comfortable with. For instance, I've always liked the capabilities of my Canon XHA1 and I've been able to shoot some very nice video with it (for which people have paid me money), but I've never been able to get comfortable with using it. And, except for running it with a Sony MRC1 CF tapeless recording unit, it has always been hard for me to use.

So, you are finding your hm100 hard to use and not meeting your expectations. Try selling your HM100 through the DVinfo classifieds and then buying something that works better for you.

This ramble may or may not help you, but it will hopefully get some others with more directly applicable info to post here.
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Old August 11th, 2010, 06:16 AM   #4
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Thanks for the message, and I do appreciate it!

Yes, I can rent it and thats what I will end up doing this weekend.

Then I can make that call i guess.... i hope all goes well dumping it into my apple, as I have heard that
that process is sometimes problematic...

no issues BTW with the JVC as (as you stated) it records in Quicktime clips.

thanks again and Ill post my findings soon

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Old August 11th, 2010, 12:45 PM   #5
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A correction to the part of my post where I mentioned recording formats. I said that the NX5 "only" records to AVCHD in "1080/60i." Technically, the proper acronym is now 1080/30i. Also, it is the AX2000 that only records to 1080/30i while the NX5 also records to 1080/30p, 1080/24p and 720/60p. Both cams records SD video in mpeg2.

As for ingesting the AVCHD files to FCP, I remember reading several recent threads on ways of importing the AVCHD files for editing:

(1) convert to an intermediate format such as ProRes or Cineform. (While I have a PC and do not "have to" use intermediates for AVCHD --- I can edit 4 stream multi-cam AVCHD under PPro CS5 on my PC --- I usually find it easier to work with NeoHD intermediates).

(2) Use an offline technique for editing as discussed here:

Offline edit workflow using Sony NX5 AVCHD, Apple FCP7 & ProRes Proxy

(3) Use a re-wrapper like ClipWrap
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Old August 11th, 2010, 03:16 PM   #6
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Sorry but here is another correction to your correction:

Says B&H Technical Description regarding AX2000: “In addition to 1080/60i recording, the HDR-AX2000 offers a 1080/24p and 1080/30p Progressive Scan mode… Signals scanned at 24p/30p are converted to 60i (using 2-3 pulldown for 24p).”

Actually the only recording format that separates AX200 from NX5 is 720/60p.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 10:45 AM   #7
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It's an interesting comparison - the compactness and lightness of the 100 vs the much bigger and heavier NX5. But whereas I'd class the 100 as an enthusiast's camera, the NX5 is able and capable of taking on a far wider range of professional tasks.

The one huge difference is the lens. The 100's zoom has no wide-angle at all, as no-one ever called 39mm wide-angle. It's also slower at f/1.8 and on top of that it feeds much less sensitive ¼" chips. So two accessories you need from day one - a powerful wide-converter and a video light - items that rob the 100 of its lightness and compactness at a stroke.

It also has a single switchable ND whereas the NX has 3 of them. The smaller the chips, the more NDs there should be, as diffraction's always more of a problem with tiny chips. And the lens only has one ring - and where's the iris control and the barn-doors lens cap?

After you've accepted all these compromises everyone loves the 100's results, and you don't get the nasty flash banding of the NX. Mind you, you also don't get the amazing slo-mo, the GPS, the incredible Steadyshot, the 7 assign buttons, the sensibly placed top (touch) screen and so on.

OK, all these extras cost (and weigh). But in my view the NX is four times more capable than the 100 yet only 2x the price and 1.4x the weight.

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Old August 13th, 2010, 11:27 AM   #8
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I very seriously looked at the JVC. I'm a one man crew often working in rugged terrain. The size and simplicity of the JVC were very appealing. I've used JVC cameras in the (distant) past and I have always been very happy with them. All that said, if I get to a very difficult place to shoot at substantial expense, I'd prefer to shoot with all the camera I can when I get there. Don't use tape any more but I used to be fond of saying that the cost of a cassette was $4 getting on the plane. Coming back it's worth $4K.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 08:17 PM   #9
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tried it

hey all,

OK, I tried the NX5U and I found it great in some regards and poor (for me) in others.

I like to travel, and I shoot in locals all over the world. Many times jumping on and off trains, buses, boats, etc.. and the HM100 is a great size and weight.

However, I absolutely loved the wide angle and SUPER steady shot on the NX5U ! wow.
the 3 and filters were also cool.... and user friendly as they tell you when to put it on and at what level....neat

i must say however that even while testing the camera for a few hours, my arm was getting tired... no place on the shoulder to rest, but heavy enough to be a burden...

Im still no further ahead in the decisions, but I do appreciate your input...
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Old September 6th, 2010, 06:32 AM   #10
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it's funny, i've been shooting with the nx5 since it was released in the spring. no complaints and frankly it's one of the sharpest cams i've used. i really like it.

i shoot mostly on location interview/documentary work and i'm considering getting an hm100 in addition to the nx5 for use on the road. the nx5 is a bit of pig of a camera to lug around and i can give up a little quality for the ability to get where i'm going without the flight attendants trying to check my $4500 video camera!

as an interesting aside - the new canon xf100 that was just announced has caught my eye for the same reason. lots of options but when it really counts i'm using the nx5 no questions asked.

you mentioned it was a bit tough for you to hand hold the camera - i agree. the balance seems to be just off so that it puts quite a strain on your wrist. if i'm not shooting on sticks i generally support some of the weight of the camera with my left hand which takes some strain off my right wrist. i sometimes use a monopod or a cinesaddle if i can get away with it... there's definitely ways to get a bit of relief.

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Old September 6th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #11
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thanks for the honest input.

I have the Hm100 and I do like it, although it does have some drawbacks. This is why I am looking at the NX5. The size difference and weight have me worried though. I dont want to be in Thailand in Feb, and cursing the thing cuz im tired of lugging it around.

Even though its a better cam, I think I may stay with the hm100, for now anyways... we'll see. i may break down eventually :)
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Old September 9th, 2010, 10:06 PM   #12
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Inter-cut NX5 footage with HM100?

I do love the HM100 for the stuff that we do ... supporting the main news portal with video. In crowded impromptu press conferences where there's a lot of jostling between video and stills camera people, I can just lift the HM100 on a monopod over their heads and still get usable video and audio for the site ....

But we are also getting the NX5 and I was wondering if anyone has inter-cut footage between the two cameras?
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