JVC GY-HD100 and Canon XL H1 Feature Set Comparison

JVC GY-HD100 and Canon XL H1 Feature Set Comparison
an article by Chris Hurd

This page offers a chart which compares some basic features and specifications of the JVC GY-HD100 and Canon XL H1 camcorders. It is certainly not intended to position one model as being better than the other; it is really intended for casual perusal only. It is my very strong opinion that a person who is actually considering a purchase of either camera should most definitely not use this chart as the basis for a final decision. Rather, one should physically compare the size, weight, ergonomics, heft and overall feel of both camcorders in person if at all possible.

Generally speaking, the most single important difference between the HD100 and XL H1 is the particluar flavor of the HDV format found on each. The JVC GY-HD100 is an HDV1 camcorder, using the 720p version of HDV, while the Canon XL H1 is an HDV2 camcorder using the 1080i version of HDV. Choose your format… then choose your camera. If you’re trying to decide on one versus the other, considering renting both and trying them out. The right one for you is the one which feels best in your hands, and whose image is most pleasing to you on an HDTV display. The overall look of the images these cameras produce, plus the way they feel in your hands, is far more important than any of the numbers and specifications which follow below.

Scroll down for the entire list, or go directly to a particular section:
Camera Head · Video Recording · Optical Group · Lens Options
Remote Controls · Displays · Audio Group · Time Code
Scene Files · Other Features · Connections · Power & Price

Camera Head: JVC GY-HD100 Canon XL H1
CCD Block: 3 x 1/3″ IT Progressive 3 x 1/3″ IT Interlaced
Total Pixel Count: 3 x 1.10 million 3 x 1.67 million
Effective Pixel Count: 3 x 0.92 million 3 x 1.56 million
Target Area Matrix: 1280 x 720 1440 x 1080
Pixel Aspect Ratio: 1:1 1.33:1
Pixel Shift Process: N/A H-axis
Digital Signal Processor: 12-bit A/D Canon Digic DV II
Uncompressed HD Output: Component HD-SDI, Component
Uncomp. HD Colorspace: 4:2:2 4:2:2
HD Recording Format: 720p HDV1 1080i HDV2
HD Compression: MPEG-2 at 19mbps MPEG-2 at 25mbps
HD Colorspace: 4:2:0 4:2:0
GOP Pattern: 6 frames 15 frames
HD Frame Rates: 720 at 30p, 24p 1080 at 60i, 30f, 24f
SD Recording Format: 480p DV (SP & LP) 480i DV (SP & LP)
SD Frame Rates: 480 at 60i, 60p, 24p 480 at 60i, 30f, 24f*
Optional DTE Recorder: DR-HD100 Hard Disk Drive FireStore FS-4 for HDV
Lens Mount: 1/3″ standard bayonet 1/3″ proprietary Canon XL
Stock Lens: Fujinon Th16x5.5BRMU Canon XL 20x L/IS HD
Filter Thread diameter: 82mm 72mm
Focal Length: 5.5mm to 88mm 5.4mm to 108mm
Equiv. 35mm f.o.v.: 39.6mm to 633mm 38.9mm to 778mm
Aperture Range: f/1.4 (wide to tele)
to f/16 (analog)
f/1.6 (wide) f/3.4 (tele)
to f/9.5 (24 steps)
Shutter Speeds: 1/6 sec. to 1/10,000 sec. in Program AE Mode 1/4 sec. to 1/10,000 sec. in Program AE Mode
Neutral Density Filters: 1/4 and 1/16, on body 1/6 and 1/32, on lens
Image Stabilization: No Optical (VAP)
Auto Focus: No Yes
Zoom Ring: Non-perpetual (manual) Perpetual (auto servo)
Focus Ring: Non-perpetual (manual) Perpetual (auto servo)
Iris Control: Analog (barrel ring) Digital (thumb wheel)
Shutter Control: Thumb Wheel Buttons (up, down)
Top Handle Zoom: Optional Yes
Flange Back Adjust: Manual Auto or Manual
Min. Focus Distance: 10cm in Macro mode 2cm at full Wide
Other Lenses: Fujinon 13×3.5BRMU none at this time
Wide Angle Adapter: WCV-82SC none at this time
1/2″ Bayonet Converter: ACM-12 none at this time
35mm Photo Adapter: third-party Canon EF
Remote Zoom Control: Fujinon 8-pin LANC (or FW to PC)
Remote Focus Control: gear + teleflex LANC (or FW to PC)
Remote Iris Control: gear + teleflex, CCU FireWire to PC
Remote Shutter Control: CCU FireWire to PC
Remote Camera Control: JVC RM-P210 CCU “Console” PC software
Viewfinder: 0.44″ 230kp 4:3 LCD 2.4″ 215kp 16:9 LCD
LCD Panel: 3.5″ 250kp 4:3 LCD None
EVF Controls: Ext. Dials + Menu In Menu
LCD with EVF: No N/A
Peaking Level Adj.: Yes No
Focus Assist Color: Blue, Red or Green White
Zebra Indicator: Yes Yes
Zebra IRE Values: 60 to 100, steps +10/+5 70 to 100, steps +5
Center Marker: Yes Yes
Action Safe Zone: No Yes
4:3 Safe Zone:   Yes
Underscan (All Scan): No No
Color Bars: Two (HD & SD) Two (HD & SD)
Hours Meter: Drum, Fan Motor No
Mirror (Reverse Disp.): Yes Yes
Zoom Display: No Bar / Numbers
Focus Dist. Display: No Meters / Feet
All Data Displays Off: No Yes
Battery Info: Basic Guage Basic Guage
Error Code Display: Comprehensive (14) Limited (N/A)
HDV Audio Rec. Format: 2ch. 16bit 48kHz Mpeg 1
+ 2ch. 16bit 48kHz PCM
2ch. 16bit 48kHz Mpeg 1
4ch. 16bit 48kHz Mpeg 1
HDV Audio Compression: 384kbps 384kbps (4ch. 192kbps)
DV Audio Rec. Format: 2ch. 16bit 48kHz PCM
2ch. 12bit 32kHz PCM
2ch. 16bit 48kHz PCM
4ch. 12bit 32kHz PCM
Onboard Mic Included: Mono Stereo / Mono
Onboard Mic Input: XLR Stereo Mini
Mic Wind Cut: Ch.1, Ch.2, Both Details Unknown
Ext. Audio Inputs: 2 x XLR 2 x XLR, 4 x RCA
Ext. Mic Pwr. Supply: Phantom Power Phantom Power
XLR Input Impedance: Line level / Mic level Line level / Mic level
Vol. Control Dials: Two Four
Audio Limiter: -50db, -60db Details Unknown
Locked Audio: Yes On, Off
Rec. Ch.1 to Ch.1&2: Yes Yes
Audio Speaker: Removeable None
Time Code Reset: The HD100 and XL H1 share nearly identical Time Code features such as TC Reset, Drop-Frame or Non-Drop Frame, Rec Run, Free Run and Rec Run Pre-set, Zero set memory, Date / Time character recording and User Bit settings. Both cameras have built-in rechargeable clock batteries. The primary difference is that the XL H1 can accept Time Code input and external User Bits from other sources and provides Time Code output.
TC Input / Output:
Time Code DF / NDF:
Rec Run / Free Run:
TC Preset / Regen:
Zero Set Memory:
Int. / Ext. User Bits:
D/T Char. Record:
Rechargeable Clock Batt.:
Stored in Camera: 3 (incl.) + 2 (user) 6
Stored on Card: 4 20
Included Presets: 3 None
Assign Custom Names: Yes Yes
Parameters Stored: Entire Menu Image Presets
Memory Card Type: SD (Secure Digital) SD (Secure Digital)
Full Automatic Mode: Yes Yes
AV / DV Pass-Through: No Yes
Hand Grip Rec. Trigger: Yes Yes
Cam Body Rec. Trigger: Yes Yes
Top Handle Rec. Trigger: Yes Yes
Top Handle Switch Lock: Yes Yes
Skin Tone Control: Yes Yes
Select Setup Level: Yes Yes
Black Stretch: Yes Yes
Manual Iris: Yes Yes
Manual Gain Control: -3db to +18db +0db to +18db
Man. White Balance: Yes Yes
WB Set Degrees K: Yes, range not known Yes, 2800° to 12000°
WB Memory Presets: Two (2) Two (2)
Man. Shutter Speed: Yes Yes
Clear Scan: Yes Yes
Motion Smoothing: Yes No
Still Photo Record: No Yes
Max. Still Image Size: N/A 1280 x 960
Auto Header Record: Yes No
Header Record Items: Bars, Tone, Black N/A
Rec. Pause Search: Yes Yes
Ext. Rec. Control: FireWire FireWire
User Buttons: Three (3) Two (2)
Assignable Functions: (10) Bars; Preset Temp.; Black Stretch 1,2,3; Black Compress 1,2,3; AE Level +,- (11) CP Bkwd; EVF B&W; Audio Levels; TC Hold; TV Screen; VCR Stop; Zebra; Index Write; Time Code; Flip EVF; Flange Back
FireWire (IEEE1394): 6-pin 4-pin
Component Video Out: 3 x RCA (Y,Pb,Pr) D-Terminal
SDI, Genlock, TC In/Out: No Yes
Composite Video In/Out: RCA BNC + RCA
S-Video In/Out: No Yes
Audio Inputs: 2 x XLR 2 x XLR, 4 x RCA
Audio Outputs: Stereo Mini (Line Out) 4 x RCA (Line Out)
Headphone Jacks: 2 x Stereo Mini 1 x Stereo Mini
LANC: No Yes
USB: No No
EVF Cable Connect: 6-pin (standard) 2 x Canon (proprietary)
Lens Pwr Cable Connect: 12-pin (standard) N/A
Accessory Shoe: “cold” (unpowered) “hot” Canon AAS
Battery Included: JVC BN-428U Canon BP-950G
AC Adapter included: JVC AA-P30U Canon CA-920
Rec. time w/incl. batt: appx. 40 min. appx. 160 min.
Pro Batt. Compatibility 3rd-party Adapter 3rd-party Adapter
Separate DC input: Yes No
Power Consumption: appx. 17W in rec. mode info not yet available
Weight, standard kit: 6.9 lbs / 3.1 kg 8.3 lbs / 3.7 kg
Availability: September 2005 November 2005
Appx. MSRP: $6,295 USD $8,995 USD

* “24f” and “30f” on the XL H1 is Canon’s Frame mode, which produces the same results as progressive scan, but by different means. Visually, the 24f and 30f Frame modes are indistinguishable from 24p and 30p. However, HDV format video shot in Frame mode on the H1 will not play back from any currently existing HDV tape transport (be it another camcorder or a VTR), except for the Canon XL H1 itself. The XL H1 must be used as a VTR in order to play back and capture video shot in either of its Frame modes.

I’d say this chart is at least 95% complete. If there is any certain comparable specification missing from this chart, or if I have listed something incorrectly, please report it to our online discussion boards at www.dvinfo.net/conf.

Written and thrown together by Chris Hurd.


See http://www.hdvinfo.net/articles/jvcprohd/comparexlh1.php


About The Author

After completing my degree in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas, I managed a video production studio "back in the tape days" while waiting for the digital video revolution to arrive and for the internet to become mainstream. Things started to get interesting in November of 1997 when I launched The XL1 Watchdog, my first web site dedicated to digital video technology. In January of 2001, that site morphed into DV Info Net — the Digital Video Information Network. More than fifteen years later, the longevity of DV Info Net is exceeded now only by its popularity and reputation as one of the leading technology information resources in the broadcast and professional video markets.

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