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Old September 7th, 2010, 09:14 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Golden Outback, Australia
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Gidday and Shalom From West Oz


Another newbie from Australia here. From the outback in Western Australia, and many many miles from Perth!

I have quite a collection of camcorders and video cameras, from those old tube Saticon and Newvicon types from the late 70's/early 80s to Hi8 and VHS camcorders from the mid to late 80s like the famous JVC Videomovie GR C7 as shown in the film 'Back to the Future' right thru to both consumer and pro camcorders to the present day.

I have never counted nor even done a list of my cameras despite being a part time videographer doing mainly sports, but here are some I have:
Canon A1/A2 Hi8
Canon LX100 Hi8
Sanyo Xacti HD1010
Sony HDR-FX1 w/ mic holder

I have just ordered a serious camcorder which I hope will be here in the next week or so: JVC GY-HD200!

So now I look forward to learning much from the experts here and also contribute at some stage.


Gan Eden
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Old September 9th, 2010, 09:36 AM   #2
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Welcome to the throng.

Did you shoot for GWN ? I didn't but I did some stringer work for ABC from 75 - 83 with film cameras.

There are two other West Aussies that I know of who post here from time-to-time, one of whom drives a JVC GY-HD100, which is of the same family as your intended camera. One other used to but got flash and moved up to the RED.

Some serious quick hints in case you have not read them on posts here :-

Computer and camera must be powered "off" and "dead" at the mains switch on the wall when capturing footage via firewire. Touch the shield on the firewire cable to the metal body of the camera before plugging in to avoid carpet sparks going across.

Preferably buy a firewire cable adaptor which isolates the power pins which are found in the 6pin firewire plugs.

The firewire port on the JVC is not robust. It appears to be originally designed as a trade part for laptop computers and would have been re-inforced by the clamping of the two halves of the laptop casework. On the JVCs, this part is not re-inforced by the casework but is a clearance fit through it.

You need therefore to be very gentle with the plug, Do not bend it sideways to ease it out of the socket but draw it directly outward.

Within these caveats, the JVC GY-HD*** family remains a great camera system. There is somewhat of a learning curve as this camera allows you a lot of customisation of settings.

Take care if you have an optional Anton Bauer or V-Mount battery system on back of the camera. The two top screws which secure the battery adaptor take much of the lateral loads so don't be too violent with it.

If you have had a big battery on charge, give it about 10 minutes for the voltage to settle after taking it off the charger before mounting it to the camera. An internal fuse on the cameras sometime blows.

Take more notice of the advice of others here than I.

Search here for "Paolo Ciccone", "Trucolor" "Truecolor" and "Tim Dashwood" for hints. You'll be glad you did.

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Old September 10th, 2010, 04:28 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Golden Outback, Australia
Posts: 55
Hi Bob,

Well thank you. No I don't shoot for GWN but I know Pierre who does the main shots with his XDcam. I have been asked previously for bits and pieces for Nick Way at Ch10.

Oh I have certainly been reading a heck of a lot of reports and threads about the firewire issue with the HD series. I have managed to track down an adapter/isolator from the US here: FireWire Adapters - FireWire Port Isolator - 6pin

Oh I intend to treat the HD200 like my baby, well other baby amongst my camcorder grandchildren ha-ha.

Interested that the firewire port was original for laptops. Seems JVC really did cut the corner with that didn't they? Wow, if only....

The Hd200 I'm getting apparently has been used with those expensive Sony HDV tapes. I have also read much about tapes on here where there is a valuable wealth of info. People seem to think Sony's are bad due to the wet tape, other state they have never had any issues.....

I am tempted to run a JVC head cleaner thru it and switch to the JVC HDPro tapes. Any thoughts about that plan Bob? What tapes did you go with mate?

Another Q, can The HD200 utilise AB Propac 14 batteries? I have a "brick' of this and two Trimpacs (although they are labelled for the old Supercam) plus the two Trimpacs and a Tandem AC/charger.

Well all the best Bob and have a good w/end.

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Old September 10th, 2010, 12:35 PM   #4
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The firewire port observation is my own and may be wrong. However the rolled edge on the front, the unsupported split shield structure of thin metal the similar look and mounting method is what directed me into that assumption.

On Steve Rice's camera at various times, I cut strips of weetiepacket cardboard or icecream plastic to shove into the clearance gap around the port to give it a bit more support against the pull of the cable in the field when recording to the DR-100 recorder. It by the way worked brilliantly when the firewire was healthy.

A firewire plug which is a loose fit and going intermittant also does not do the camera any good. If you are also going to use a DR-100, immobilising that short firewire cable with some gaffer would be a good move.

As for cutting corners, the manufacturers have to make do with what mass producable trade parts they can get their hands on. Too many customised parts and the price goes out of control and uncompetititive.

To use a split casework at that position had they thought of clamping the port in place laptop-style would have weakened the camera structure unacceptably.

They do have my sympathies. The issue might not have been apparent on the prototypes. It is only when the product is turned loose to face the world that users and abusers like us get our hands on them.

Jim Frater might be a good resource to call for info on the 200. He had two 250's I think and has only recently replaced them with the current HM series and nanoflashes. He trades as Steadyvision Sales and has a website. He is offshore much of the time recently so getting hold of him is hit or miss. He also is on the facebook.

I think Adam Letch, who is in Perth's northern suburbs, has upgraded to a 200 or 250, so he might be also good to seek advice from. He has an email via this site.

The only after-market big-battery kits I have seen here have been for Sony v-mount style. I understand there is an AB kit for the JVC GY-HD*** camera family. An eBay search would probably bring some up.

I'm using the AB Titan charger/main power supply on the SI2K with AB batteries. They are a bit small though, meant for smaller cameras and need recelling.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 01:18 AM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Golden Outback, Australia
Posts: 55
Hi Bob,

Yeah I get what you are meaning now. The actual firweire port itself can get loose if you are too heavyhanded with it?

I am considering getting the DR HD100. Just working out how the heck it clamps onto the camera body. Seems that people using the case it comes in to attach to a thread on the handle or even the shoe?

Then I have seen pics of these magic arms attached with the DTE on the end. Seems a much better option.

Another thing to ask, Dionic 90 or Hytron 50 for the 200?

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Old September 14th, 2010, 04:07 AM   #6
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The only batteries I have seen on the JVC have been Sony V-Mount ENG style camera batteries. The Anton Bauers I don't know about for the JVC. If you search eBay under "Anton Bauer"+"JVC GY-HD100" or with your camera model substituted, there will be complete kits for sale which will likely identify the correct battery.

I have been using the Hytron 50 on the SI2K but they do not endure for long, say about 20 minutes because this camera is essentially a Xbox on roids and pulls a bit of power. In physical size, the battery is about the same size as the V-mounts we were using and those lasted a good long time with the JVC. So my guess is the Hytron 50 would be quite adequate.

With the V-Mount system, there was a D-Tap on the side which supplied the DR-100 via a custom cord, D-Tap on one end and a small round consumer power plug on the other which goes into the DR-100 from the bottom. The Anton Bauer flavour of battery adaptor for the JVC may have its own D-Tap which would be used to power the DR-100, but I am not sure. The DR-100 I understand has its own internal battery but we never used relied upon it.

The mounting system for the DR-100's cradle was custom to the V-Mount adaptor and fitted rather crudely to the right side by two screws. There was a short firewire cable with a straight plug on one end and a right-angle plug on the other.

There is a sort of stud on the back of the DR-100 which engaged in its own tapered slot almost like a V-mount. It can be hard to dislodge. Usually you have to wedge it up from the bottom with a strong thumb whilst drawing on it from above. If you try to strongarm it out by pulling on it, you may give yourself a fat lip when it flies. With time and use it gets easier.

To stop the firewire cable from shaking any more than it needs to I wrapped some self-glueing velcro strip round the cable and a matching strip on the front side of the red DR-100 mounting cradle. The cord can be ripped free when you do not want it to be there but the velcro stops it from flapping in use and gives it half a chance of not coming away if it snags a shrubby branch under it running through the bushes after the talent or whatever.

I do not much care for the "side-saddle" arrangement for carrying the DR-100. You also have to shift around from one side to the other to view the menu screen of the DR-100 and the camera LCD screen.

My personal preference would be to find a cradle which fixes it either to the top or rear of the camera but access to the big battery is the issue. There is not much space remaining to put it anywhere.

The menu systems of the JVC and the DR-100 take a bit of getting accustomed to. Once you have it sorted, it works like a charm.

Last edited by Bob Hart; September 14th, 2010 at 04:24 AM. Reason: errors
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