HM700 shipped to JVC for misc. annoyances at
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Old December 19th, 2009, 04:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Portland, OR
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HM700 shipped to JVC for misc. annoyances

Well, I finally found a window of time where I could be without my HM700 for a few weeks. (This window was created by cessation of bidding on projects and swallowing a loss of revenue during the holidays, sigh...)

My HM700 was an early version, delivered in June. My dealer tells me it was the first in the state of Oregon. However, it's not so early that it wouldn't accept the firmware upgrade.

Here's the reasons why I sent it back:

1. Stuck pixel on LCD from basically day 1. Green, right near the center. Annoying but does nothing to harm footage.

2. Genuine stuck pixels in the CCDs and recorded footage that come and go -- nearly every time the camera is used, there is a stuck pixel, often in a new place. I'd try the masking function in the new firmware, but I'm concerned by the frequency and come & go quality of these outbreaks. I also don't like being in a situation where I have to do a mask procedure before every shoot, and sometimes you can't see the stuck pixels on the LCD while you're recording. The problem is most acute when using gain, but still present even with zero gain. The camera is never flown and is stored in a case at constant room temperature, if that matters.

3. Generally noisy footage. The firmware upgrade with DNR didn't seem to change much. Noise is tolerable (but obvious) at 0db gain, and rampant at any boosted gain, so as to render boosted gain useless. In low light, I have much better luck shooting with a 1/30 shutter and a wide iris at 0db gain... any combination of boosted gain with shorter frame rate or narrower iris, which should boost sharpness is overwhelmed by the graininess. I have seen anecdotal reports here on DVInfo that suggest newer units may have less grain, so I'm hoping JVC can tweak the sensor block on my camera.

4. Audio "whine" on XLR inputs, especially input 1. This high-pitched whine, affected by gain, is present with any type of microphone and regardless of phantom power. It's not noticeable if you have a music bed playing in the edit, but for unaccompanied voice-overs it can be noticeable in the final production, and I've had a client complaint about this. Better, more sensitive microphones work better for this because you can record with lower gain, but the whine is still present in the recorded material, just at a lower level. My dealer's tech says he's heard that earlier cameras had a cooling fan placed too close to the XLR input block and that noise from this fan leaked into the audio signal stream.

So, I boxed up the camera in its original packaging and delivered it to the dealer yesterday. I'm told that turn-around from JVC is typically 3 weeks, but with the holidays it could be longer.

Anyone else have a similar warranty tune-up experience?
Bob Richardson is offline   Reply

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