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GY-HD100 Falling of the fence...


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#1 Julius Sokolowski

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Posted 23 December 2005 - 08:37 PM

Well, I have seen the HD100 att LLB trade show in Stockholm this past year. JVC was pretty good disguising it with a matebox, lens support and all the cine juju people put on their DVs to make them look anything like a DV and more like a CineAlta or with some luck the Arricam ST (I belive it was) a couple booths down the hall.

Anyway, as the amature I am, I got fooled, big time. Once I maneged (after some squinting) to distinguish the camera from the tripod head and plate I was struck how small the thing was. Something was wrong. An there shuerly was something wrong. For starters it was a miniDV (ok, ok, a HDV), but a miniDV non the less. There are not that many DV cameras with Fujinon lenses thats one, two, its a shoulder mounted one, not to many of those either, and three IT's small.

As ther simple rule of thumb says (in many cases at least) big things big bucks, smaler things smaler bucks. So I asked about the price. That's when things got out of hand. IT's cheep. Ok, it's not cheep. But here in Sweden it's cheeper than a Z1. ok, its about 50 % more expensive than the FX1.

So what a poor (and I do meen poor as in no money at hand right now) is to do. Buy the FX1 and be happy that I have a HDV and shoot the crap out of it. Buy the DVX100 (40 % cheeper) and live happy ever after (or until the next great format comes along) with my 24P. Or fall of the fence, hit my head on something hard and buy the HD100 that might in a year be a couple thousand crowns cheeper. Any of these cases include me slaving for the money during summer break. Question is only for how long I'm to sell my soul to the company I'm workning for. That's one problem, part two is: How the heck am I supposed to edit HDV. Avid Xpress Pro is about half the price of the camera. This might sound like a stupid problem considering I'm looking for a camera for my pure personal use in order to get some good practice shooting and editiong without some one looking at the clock all the time.

Any suggestions ?

PS. Anyone got a clue what the HD100E costs in Japan ? ( I think I'll put this in a topic on it's own )
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#2 Jeremy

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 12:43 PM

If you're a student, I defintely recommend buying the DVX100. It produces beautiful images (in my opinion much more beautiful than either the Z1 or the JVC). You don't have to worry about having all the needed space to edit, and you can shoot and shoot and shoot and make all the student videos you want.

We shoot a lot of HD, but we rent it when we need to shoot HD, and it's not something that can easily be edited at home (in your case) unless you want to upgrade to a monster system as well.

Best of luck with the decisions!
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#3 Michael Collier

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 03:10 PM

If you can handle the HD-100 I would go for that. Not because it has a higher quality than the DVX (it does) or less compression than the ZU1 (being 720p and 24fps it has aprox 1/2 the compression, the ZU1 is overcompressed)

I would recomend that camera to a beginner just out of respect to the lens. I fujinon lens (believe it or not) will help your photography in actual application. Sure its nice to have a compact lens whos inner workings are a mystery, but a solid manual lens has a meaning I cant quite describe. critical focus is easier to accompish (and maintain) you get a better sense for the optics properties when everything responds to your hand movement (with no electronics to dampen the input)

Also fujinons are very tough (I have a lens that has worked more than 10 years of news ENG use in Alaska (this includes shooting Iditarod at -10 flying down the track in a snowmobile) and the thing still holds up today.)

In the end the lens is the key. Since the rest of the camera function is very similar to other models, that is the feature that pushes it over the top.

another question that has never been answered for me (and it could be because the lenses in the handycams are not retrofocus, or maybe they are, i cant remember) how the heck do you adjust backfocus on those things! if they go out does the digital focal plane measurments mean nothing?

Now if you get that or another HDV cam let me give you some tips (I think im the only one on the board who has used HDV)

First if its going to be heavily color corrected or is for SD release I would recomend shooting mini-DV. HDV can be color corrected but in my experience that is limited. The limit exists not in its color space, but compression. there is something very unnatural about MPEG block noise. This noise is not apparent in the raw footage, but pushed too much and it looks really bad.

If you want the HD (And trust me it looks beautiful) get the following: (when money is availible)

1. polorizing filter (linear, and a circular if you want)
2. Real MAgics DVrack with the HDV extension.....very key to get into a professional cinema workflow. You need to know how to read a vect/waveform monitor.
3. A good tripod. nothing less than a bogen 501head with solid sticks.
4. A good monitor. Doesnt need to be pro, since you probably dont want to spend 10k on an HD monitor, but spend the 400 bucks to get a good HD CRT (not plasma or LCD) of a decent size (27" or so)
5. Get a good mic. the one they provide will not be adequate for moviemaking. look on ebay for a senhizer ME-66 or ME-88.
6. A good computer with adobe premiere 1.5


Editing with HDV is not really a problem. I can scrub timeline and make edits and renders
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#4 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 03:50 PM

Well, I have seen the HD100 att LLB trade show in Stockholm this past year. ...

Although there are some aspects of JVC's shoulder-mount HDV cam which seem OK at least on paper, I would strongly caution that you inspect the actual unit you're considering buying very carefully before making a final purchase commitment. And/or insure you can return or exchange the unit soon after you buy it if necessary.

There are many reports from early purchasers of this cam concerning a so-called "split screen" issue, in which one half of the frame (left/right) is lighter or darker than the other. I believe this issue is most apparent when the cam's electronic gain is turned-up, but it might occur under other conditions.

It's possible this issue only affects a relatively small number of final production units, but it might be serious enough to warrant very careful testing on your part.
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#5 Julius Sokolowski

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 04:17 PM

Yeah, the lens is what's keeping me up all night. I really like the lens. Most o the stuff I done up to now has been on handycams. It was just during this last year I got my hands on some more serious gear. I had a chance to try the DSR400 ( if only for a minute or two ) and a couple other cameras. And it has given me a great respect for the lens. That is more or less what the problem is coming down to right now. That and the HD. I am trying to motivate why I should spend 60 % more money on those two things. The fact of the matter is right now that for the money I would pay for the HD100 or the HVX200 I can get the DVX100 + tripod with a 501 head + a anamorfic lens + a manfrotto camera remote + a chrosziel matebox or follow focus. I am kindoff leaning in the direction of the DVX100 just because I get o full kit. It has more or less all the functions I need, (well, it's not a shoulder mounted camera, and does not have the fujinon lens). My goal is to work on my own little projects and practice shooting and editing, maybe do some work for all the poor indi people who just don't have the money to rent the stuff and hire a DP.
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#6 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 05:11 PM

... for the money I would pay for the HD100 or the HVX200 I can get the DVX100 + tripod with a 501 head + a anamorfic lens + a manfrotto camera remote + a chrosziel matebox or follow focus. I am kindoff leaning in the direction of the DVX100 just because I get o full kit. ...

Concerning the DVX-100 series, the current version is DVX-100B (note the "B" at the end). The "B" version is much improved over the original DVX-100 model and the subsequent DVX-100A model. The price for the "B" model is about the same as what the "A" model sold for just a few weeks ago.

And yes, you might not want to spend your entire camera package budget on just the camera itself instead of buying or renting a more complete, more useful package.

You might also consider investing more in a better tripod & head before considering investing in an anamorphic lens attachment and follow-focus -- depending on the type of crews and projects you'll regularly participate in.
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#7 Michael Collier

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 06:44 PM

I would recomend the HD first and then add to your package. That lens for a beginner is key. Its litterally the difference between learning to be a good DP and a being a good wedding photog. (maybe not quite that much, but the improvement of operation is quite significant and very important)

If you have any question of how good it looks compared to DV, look at my post in the 'in production' set. Under 'Bee-Keepers, and Alaskan comedy' I have a few screenshots at full resolution (though heavily JPEG compressed) which will give you an idea of the resolution (imagine regular DV to be about 1/6 the resolution)

While you can buy the DVX-100 (and dont let me stop you, I shot a movie on it and it looked beautiful) It probably isnt the best camera to learn on. Having a manual Iris, manual focus and servo zoom, is key to the learning proccess.

The SSE as its called, or Split Screen Effect refered to earlier doesnt seem to be a huge problem, in my limited experience with the camera. I am told it happens when the internal setup registers a shift in dynamic range, affecting half the screen as 2% brighter. Gain up would highlight this problem, but doesnt cause it from what I know. I have heard that just re-whiteballancing the camera is enough to fix it. Either way watch for it and correct where you see it (I have yet to see it)

Now for the complete package, yes you do need a full set, but dont let it limit camera selection. You probably will only buy one camera every 5-6 years. You are already at the lowest price point availible for cameras that deliver anywhere near proffessional level, so you cant cut price on the cam. Since it sounds like you just want to learn and do free projects with friends on weekends, you are in no rush to get the whole package. Buy the camera, then a month or two later buy a 501 tripod for around 400, a month later buy a shotgun and a boompole on ebay for 200-300 (used senhiezer ME-66 or ME-88 are my favorites) and keep adding as you find what you need.

Also I would not recomend the ZU1 (sony HDV) I am shooting a feature on it now and find it too compressed. apparently its a non-square resolution. I think the chips maybe close to full HD (1080x1920) but the actual compressed res is 1080x1440. at 60 feilds a second that is a lot of info. Compared to the HD-100 which shoots full HD (720p) at 720x1280 at a true 24p is about half the compression (they both compress to 19.2 Mbs) Theye do not need to be 1080i and their image quality suffers.

The DVX-100B and the HD-100U are probably your best bets. I would recomend the HD just for the lens. (although the resolution is BEAUTIFUL on an HD monitor) Definatley go with the HD if you imagine film festivals or anything requiring a screen of greater than 42"


***EDIT***

I have been rushed on my last two posts to address editing, one of your questions.

I edit on a newer Dell computer (about 1 year old) it has been upgraded to 2bg ram, though 1 gb was just fine. I think its around a 2.8, 3 ghz pentium 4 (single core) so it isnt the fastest of the bunch but its good.

Get adobe premiere 1.5 student (your learning right?) make sure and apply the internet patch and you get full resolution native HDV editing. Compared to the premiere 4.2 system I had when I was 14 (1998) this system is much quicker, even with the added computation time HDV adds. I can scrub (a feature I wasnt sure HDV would give me) and renders are reasonable and only needed for transitions and such.

If your computer cant handle the HDV just yet, switch the camera to DV mode and shoot with that until you can handle the HDV.

Edited by Michael Collier, 26 December 2005 - 06:54 PM.

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#8 Julius Sokolowski

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 07:45 PM

I can tell you this, you are not making it easy for me. I must say that the HD100 is verry tempting. The problem is that it is also is almost twice the price. On the other hand it is a superior camera, no doubt there. And all your input is verry valuble to me. I think that the current state of things is as follows: there is no practical discussion of placing any orders right now, the earliest I can even start windowshoping is in about 9 months. The HD100 i a verry tempting, and in the long run a more sound investment. Once I'm there I will no doubt see to it that I can test the camera first hand. I have a strange feeling that the DVX100 is on it's way out since the HVX200 is on it's way in so this issue just might resolve itself. In 9 months the price might drop thats another thing. For now I think that the way to go is to shoot the crap out of my miniDV and edit so the harddrive smokes. I must calculate and se what my needs are.
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 08:12 PM

Hi,

If the HVX-200 had a manual lens option, this decision would be moot, even though the thought of buying a P2 device is rather offputting.

As it is, I dunno.

Phil
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#10 Brian Wells

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Posted 26 December 2005 - 08:30 PM

The "B" version is much improved over the original DVX-100 model and the subsequent DVX-100A model.

The revised models provide several user interface enhancements which make life a little easier sometimes, but they all produce a very similar quality of images. At least, I have never been able to see a difference...
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#11 Julius Sokolowski

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 05:44 PM

The revised models provide several user interface enhancements which make life a little easier sometimes, but they all produce a very similar quality of images. At least, I have never been able to see a difference...


Yeah, I was looking at the 100B ofcourse. But the question remains: DO I NEED HD ? The obvious answer is "hell no" since I'm in this for practice and can rent a HD once I am proficient enough and have a job that requires HD. On the other hand "Hell yeah !" because if people want to shoot their little features they want them shot on 16 mm or the next best thing, thus HD. So soon their will be no market for DP's with their own gear that is not HD. As my friend says "Poor people can't afford cheep stuff", I have a strange feeling he might just be right.
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#12 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 06:09 PM

... So soon their will be no market for DP's with their own gear that is not HD. ...

In a world where the latest, greatest thing is (among other things) the Apple iPod Video with its relatively tiny screen, video format is the _least_ important thing you need to worry about.

Your priorities/concerns should probably more rightly be: Story, story, story first, followed by story, story, story, then (in some order) directing, acting, sound, lighting, composition, editing and ... somewhere farther down the list, the resolution of the camera/format.

If the story is compelling enough, almost no one will care what a film was shot on!

Edited by Peter DeCrescenzo, 27 December 2005 - 06:10 PM.

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#13 Brian Wells

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 09:19 PM

soon their will be no market for DP's with their own gear that is not HD.

DP's don't usually even touch the camera on "bigger" shoots, fyi. DP's are hired for their photographic talents and perhaps because of the lighting gear they own. People that get hired because they own an expensive camera are usually not very talented, rather they have thick wallets from working in another industry or something... At least in my observation of several people who own HD cameras and do not know how to light.
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#14 Julius Sokolowski

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 09:16 AM

DP's don't usually even touch the camera on "bigger" shoots, fyi. DP's are hired for their photographic talents and perhaps because of the lighting gear they own. People that get hired because they own an expensive camera are usually not very talented, rather they have thick wallets from working in another industry or something... At least in my observation of several people who own HD cameras and do not know how to light.


I am aware of all this. But bigger shoots not something that is on my map at the moment. Geting a job in the relativley small swedish market is hard as it is, I can't afford to be choosey. The curent situations is not verry good. That is why I am trying to figure out what I need in order to practice and do smaler shoots. On the other hand, in order to be as flexible as possible (and get the jobs once I feel I am able to do them) I need to have the equipment that can cover as many of the possible requirements as my budget can allow. I feel it should eventually (once my skills are up to the chalenge) give me an edge over other selfthouht DP's if I provide my own gear.
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#15 Michael Maier

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Posted 05 January 2006 - 08:51 PM

First if its going to be heavily color corrected or is for SD release I would recomend shooting mini-DV. HDV can be color corrected but in my experience that is limited. The limit exists not in its color space, but compression. there is something very unnatural about MPEG block noise. This noise is not apparent in the raw footage, but pushed too much and it looks really bad.


Just convert you m2t files to an uncompressed codec and edit it in an uncompressed environment and all this is over. Just color correct away.



4. A good monitor. Doesnt need to be pro, since you probably dont want to spend 10k on an HD monitor, but spend the 400 bucks to get a good HD CRT (not plasma or LCD) of a decent size (27" or so)


People are doing fine also with Apple Cinema Displays or DELL 24?. That?s for set preview also, not only editing.
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#16 Raymond O'Neil

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 02:55 PM

I must thank Mr. Collier for his great input.

I, myself, just bought the HD100 and am shooting a short film with a very small crew (DP, AC and couple of ohter crew members). The images that came out so far are very beautiful (I am shooting in black and white).

So far, I own HD100 camera only and I had to rent the rest of the equipment (tripod, jib arm, etc. Lights and some other useful stuff came with my DP). I was wondering about the tripods and monitors and HD editing PS systems and Michael's post covers it very nicely.

I only have one question, which monitor could I buy for not expensive that I can use in the field? I understand that in Michael's post HD CRT monitor is for desktop/post production use...?

Also what is Real MAgics DVrack with the HDV extension?

Overall, I like the HD1000 very much. I bought it refurbished though and it came with a few problems of its own. During the third of the shoot it died all of a sudden. No prior symptoms whatsoever. We had to wrap that day and I lost some money because of that. I sent it to the HVC repair center (they were astoundigly fast) and it came back in 2 days flat. Turns out the fuse blew and they replaced it. I've been using it since and it's been fine (its been one week only though and I only worked it for couple of hours per day, not the 18 hour days we did during the shoot).

Another issue, that I found is the on-board mic. It either does not record sound or something else is wrong, and I could not figure out what it is. I adjusted the sound rec levels and they move during the recording session. But when I do the play back there is not sound. Also, during the shoot, there is no sound coming out of the headphone... or very very little. You have to be in a sound proof room to hear that there is actually sound coming through headphone its so low... I am not sure wehat to do. Should I send it again to JVC? Its pain in the ass to go to the post office, etc although they were very quick the first time...
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