Carlos Corral

Filmmaker / Producer

@mindwarpllc

The JVC GY-HM100 and JVC GY-HM700

May 06, 2009

My friend Phil Geotz from Texas Media Systems invited me to a small filmmaker get together where I met fellow Austin filmmakers Matt Iha and Rod Cole.  We all got to speak with Scott A. Burch, one of the JVC district sales managers from Texas. 

Scott recently returned from NAB 2009 and provided us with some hands on experience with the JVC GY-HM100 and its older brother the GY-HM700.  Allow me to post some fun facts about this camera.

JVC GY-HM100

This camera is TINY!  And when I mean tiny, I mean about 3 lbs.  This little guy packs a punch for its size and and it doesn’t call attention to you.  I really wish I could have had this camera last year when I went to Italy.  I could have easily taken this thing with me to the Vatican without raising an eyebrow. 

The JVC GY-HM100 has 3-CCD 1/4″ 16:9 Progressive Sensors that use Spatial Offset to achieve both 1280x720p and 1920x1080p resolutions.  The camera also has a fixed Fujinon 10x Lens, 3.7-37mm.  I wonder if a Redrock or Letus 35mm adapter would fit on this thing?

One of the best things about this little camera is that they included XLR inputs, which means you can get some great audio from this camera.  In case that’s too bulky, you can also remove the XLR handle and just shoot with the camera itself. 

The on-board mic will take over as the primary source of audio now.  If I ever need to shoot a documentary that requires me to sneak around behind enemy lines, this is definitely the camera I would like to use, especially if your projects require you to travel.

 

JVC GY-HM700

It’s big brother’s turn.  This feels more like the JVC I know.  It’s a little longer than the JVC GY-HD110 and just a bit shorter than the JVC GY-HD200.  The JVC GY-HM700 uses 1280×720 1/3″ CCDs and also uses sophisticated spatial-offset technology along with Adaptive Pixel Correlation.

This is great because when we shot our feature “Hands of God”, the JVC GY-HD110 had a big problem overheating, causing hot pixels to appear in our footage. 

The result is high resolution imagery comparable to full-resolution CMOS sensors without the known problems associated CMOS, including skew and “wobble”, making the camera an ideal for tool for sports, event coverage, and news gathering. 

Again, if you are working on documentaries, this is the camera to get because of it too also uses SDHC cards and can give you long record times at amazing resolutions.

Oh and the LCD Screen? Amazing! This this the kind of LCD screen I wish all HD cameras had. It’s sharp and you can use it to focus perfectly with JVC’s patented Focus Assist.

Did I forget to mention that these two cameras shoot native quicktime .MOV files for us Final Cut Editors?  This is a great feature because you can edit right away without losing time.  All you need is a USB reader with your SDHC card and a laptop if you are on the go

Not only that, but there is no log and transfer needed since the files can be brought into Final Cut and edited natively.  To be honest, I don’t know how to feel about this. 

I’m editor first, and I always log my footage so that I can edit faster and mold a story with exact shots that contain specific information.  By bypassing this step, your are left with all the fat on the clips and have trim everything on the timeline. 

Then again, most people who will use this camera are either Director/DP types who aren’t editors and don’t really have organization skills in the editing field.  To each his own I guess.

Speaking of being an Editor, another drawback about these two cameras is that they use the XDCAM EX codec from Sony, which is a 35Mbit 4:2:0 MPEG2 Long-GOP codec.

Not only is MPEG2 outdated, but it also means that not all of the information is there since it uses Interframe compression. As an editor, Intraframe codecs like Panasonic’s DVCProHD and AVC-Intra, which shoot 4:2:2 and are better codecs for Non-Linear Editors.

Again, you are only going to care about this if you are an editor first like myself.

Currently, the street price for the HM100 is $3495 and the HM700 will go for about $6995 with a 17:1 Fuji Lens.  The Canon 14:1 lens is due out in June and will be shipping with the HM700 as the stock lens.

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