April 13, 2005


JvcprohdJVC is ready to give the Sony HDV-based cameras a run for their money. The JVC GY-HD100 ups the ante for filmmakers with true 24p and the higher resolution ProHD format. Not to mention superior audio features, and much more.

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    I spent considerable time with the GY-HD100U at NAB. It is a very well thought-out product. It looks durable and easy to use in most situations. Like the Canon, you can swap lenses, and the Fujinon 16X that comes with it is an HD lens - important point. I also like the earphone with padding that is placed next to the color flip-out viewfinder. Off of sticks, it is definately nose-heavy (also like the Canon), but it can be balanced with a Anton-Bauer Battery pack - which is another cool feature. I also saw a neat device that is made by a third party that allows HDV to be recorded directly to disc.

    I read a pretty good review at http://www.dvshop.ca/camera/jvchdv.html (DV SHOP) and there is a streaming video piece on the new camera at http://wiredmetro.com - I also heard the camera will be available in July. There's also a good photo of the camera at: http://blogumentary.typepad.com/dtv/2005/04/jvc_gyhd100u.html

    Posted by: Chris Saris | Apr 23, 2005 12:37:16 AM

    Thanks Chris!
    Just saw your comment over at DVX forum too...

    Not really related but I saw some documentary footage shot on the Panasonic DVX100A tonight and was blown away - I thought it was a much higher end camera. That seals it for me as my next camera (plus I can actually almost afford it).

    Posted by: Chuck | Apr 23, 2005 4:35:52 AM

    I haven't seen this camera yet, but a few shows I work on in LA-LA Land have used the Sony HDV cameras (both versions) and I was very impressed by the picture quality.

    We plugged the camera directly into our hi-rez control room monitors, and it looked great.

    Taking into account that producers usually hire inexperienced operators for the DV camera shoots (usually behind the scenes stuff), this camera has vastly improved the look. Now if they could only learn how to use a microphone...

    Posted by: PaulDV | May 11, 2005 12:36:32 PM

    Necesito comprar en Chile esta camara de video. Gracias

    Posted by: Luis Jofre Perez | Jun 7, 2005 11:58:19 AM

    Hey chris, you say tha you saw a third party that allows HDV to be recorded directly to disc on the new JVC camera, I have been lookig for that all over the Internet without luck, any idea of what that device was ? anybody ? Hope you can help me.

    Posted by: falconking | Sep 4, 2005 1:55:34 AM

    I've just used this camera for a doc project and ran into a few problems - it's so new that it wasn't compatible with the sound mixer we were using. As well, now I'm trying to transfer footage to computer and it's not compatible with latest edition of final cut pro - the driver that you need to do this isn't available for another week or two and it also costs $260 - so now I've to find an editing house to see if they can transfer to DVD - again having trouble there because camera is so new.

    Has anyone run into this?

    Posted by: persaur | Oct 6, 2005 12:38:39 PM

    yikes... thanks for the info.
    i don't have one myself but people tend to find their way here from Google, so hopefully someone will respond.

    Posted by: Chuck | Oct 9, 2005 6:08:37 AM

    Just to be clear, the GY-HD100U is not compadable with Final Cut Pro as of yet.

    Posted by: Robert | Dec 1, 2005 12:19:56 PM

    So no one is aware of the inherent chip problem in the GY-HD100U ?
    Boost your gain to the max, shoot a dark image and see the vertical split down the middle of the image. This is reason enough for discontinuing the model.

    Posted by: andrew Bigosinski | Dec 21, 2005 10:10:01 AM

    The following includes tech specs from JVC, email correspondence with JVC engineers, and information gathered from conversations with JVC representatives, video professionals, and various reviews and reports:

    To: David Jones/JVC
    From: Kris DeLaney

    Thank you so much for taking the time to explain your products. Below is a list of the comments which may have some merit concerning the "split-screen" problem relating dual-scanning of the GY-HD100U CCD's. In truth, I have not been able to determine if this is a significant issue or not:

    1. This link is to the JVC Faq page for the product http://pro.jvc.com/prof/Attributes/faq.jsp?tree=&model_id=MDL101539&itempath=&feature_id=13 . The following is the relevant excerpt from that page:

    What is the native resolution of the chips in the GY-HD100?

    The GY-HD100U uses three newly developed CCDs each with a full HD native resolution of 1280 x 720 square pixels. By using a native resolution that matches the encoding, recording and display systems, up-scaling and down-scaling are eliminated, and the result is higher picture fidelity. Not all HD cameras can make this claim. Some use rectangular pixel CCDs that capture partial HD resolution, and then record a down-sampled HD signal to tape. JVC starts with a full HD 1280x720 progressive CCD, encodes and records 1280 x 720 progressive, ready for transfer to an array of broadcast, transmission and display systems--all without artificial scaling or deinterlacing.

    Under rare shooting conditions, a small difference in the shading or color may be noticed between the left and right portions of the screen. This is a characteristic of the CCD readout method employed in the GY-HD100U and should not normally pose a problem.
    To fully understand why the condition exists and how to avoid it, one must first realize that the GY-HD100U represents an unprecedented technological achievement with the implementation of full HD resolution 1/3-inch progressive scan CCDs. Competing 1/3-inch cameras have either used CCDs with lower horizontal resolution, use interlace scanning, or both. Reading out a small CCD with 1280 x 720 pixels 60 times per second (48X in 24p mode), generates a considerable amount of heat which must be dissipated. At the required 74Mhz clock rate, the imager's power dissipation would be excessive and the chips would self-destruct.

    JVC engineers developed a clever solution called HSTR (High Speed Twin Readout) which simultaneously reads the right and left portion of image into separate domains at a reduced clock rate. Several computers continuously manage the GY-HD100U's operation, including HSTR. However, very slight pixel non-linearity at low light levels can create subtle left-right picture variation. This is not a defect. If present, these differences, a characteristic of HSTR, are visible on the LCD monitor and are easily eliminated by the user adjusting operating parameters (iris, shutter, picture content, illumination, etc.)

    For optimum results, JVC recommends:
    When possible, permit the camera to warm up for five minutes prior to shooting;
    White balance prior to shooting;
    As with all sophisticated cameras, gain boost and Full Time Auto White (FAW) are recommended only in extreme circumstances.
    2. This is email I received after asking JVC's pro video department a series of questions:

    When we designed the GY-HD100U we decided to not sub-sample the data as the other cameras do. Other cameras may record 1440 x1080i instead of 1920x1080 or even some record 1220x1080i and 960x720p. Our implementation using progressive images provides:

    Lower compression of 17 to 1 (14 to 1 in 24p) versus 22 to 1 for other HDV cameras;
    Full provision of HD as 1280x720 not 960x720 or 1440x1080 or 1220x1080;
    Group of pictures of 6 instead of 15;
    Data rate of 19 Mbps instead of 25Mbps which allows us to have 3Mbps of error correction versus none for them;
    Real interchangeable lenses so precise optics can be added to the camera without going through a built in lens;
    True 24 frame imaging not “manufactured” in the camera in any way. We actually just take 24 pictures a second;
    Record to HD on tape for low cost archiving for future customer use;
    Modern MPEG2TS codec instead of 15 year old 100Mbps DCT codec.

    However this desire to not subsample the image in the camera means that we must do 1280x720 pixels in a 60th of a second while the other cameras don’t have more then 1440x540 in that time segment (they are interlaced – 540 lines at a time).

    This means we must Analog to Digital convert each pixel in a 1280th of a 720th of a 60th of a second. It turns out this is not possible for $6000. No one can do this. Not any of them and not us.

    So we double the number of A to D conversion chips from 3 to 6. Two for each CCD instead of one. This High Speed Twin Register design allows us to analyze the pixels from the right half and the left half at the same time. This cuts the data rate in half with full resolution.

    It is possible for these two halves of the image to have an extremely slight difference in dark levels in halves of the image. This isn’t seen in literally all shooting situations but if one wants to show it you can point the camera towards a plain dark wall, turn down the lights, turn up the gain, and close the iris down. While this may show a very slight difference between the two halves of this dark poor image of nothing, it may not represent the way or the content that most shooters encounter. You normally have to try to make it visible. If one has a reasonably visible subject in a reasonable representation of a lit scene, you don’t see it even at 12 or 15 dB of gain. It also is less when the camera warms up for a few minutes.

    This is the best camera on the market for $6000. One could suggest that the next best camera on the market is not a $70,000 HD camera but in fact the next best camera on the market is a GY-HD100U with the $12,000 lens for $17,000. And the next, next best camera is likely a GY-HD100U with prime lenses in a $30,000 range. This is a very good camera.

    So this is a trade off in this camera design.

    3. My telephone conversation with the JVC Pro regional rep for central Florida was interesting. The rep stated that the problem was there, but you had to basically put the lens cap on, or shoot under unrealistic conditions, or turn up gain, to make it happen. These are all situations that would never occur unless you went out of our way to try.

    This is a PRO camera, and not for point an shoot. It produces a vastly superior product in the hands of professionals. ABC news has reportedly purchased over 50 units, and National Geographic is reportedly using the JVC GY-HD100U for advanced documentary projects.

    The JVC GY-HD100U shames the Sony HVR-Z1U! The controls are much more friendly and professional, and much less complex, the image quality is much better, its construction is of a light, strong metal alloy, a great number of accessories for field and studio are available, and because it is "true" 720p, the end product is vastly superior and infinitely more flexible without all the bad blocking and framing artifacts you get from in-cameral 1080i conversion of the Sony and Canon. Besides, you can go out straight to film, or to a much higher quality of 1080i using the JVC BR-50U deck. Even down-sampling using the JVC un paralleled work flow result in a vastly superior DV image for DVD. I call that down sampling, because the 720p’s smooth, "film-look" is vastly superior, will go directly to film (unlike interlaced "i"), and the JVC is ingeniously capable of putting its superior data to inexpensive tapes or out to FireStore, HD, or directly to other type of decks or DTE’s! Wow! What a camera for $4,600 (B&H Photo). The Fujinon lens alone is worth more than the Sony (which is merely prosumer, and does not even have interchangeable lens).

    It helps in this business to know your product, and its intended use. The JVC is not intended for anything other than professional use. It has not automatic controls, and requires knowledge and resource to yield the maximum quality it is capable of (which, by the way goes up exponentially with the quality of lens added and crews expertise.

    All electronics have idiosyncrasies. Because JVC invented Mpeg, they simply had the smarts to one-up Sony and Canon by figuring how to capture pure, native 720p from the CCD’s and put the data to small tape. The advantage of this one feat is staggering! The JVC puts quality to cheap tapes that the others either are not capable of producing in the first place, or have to put out through cable to a $30K deck.

    The Panasonic would be an amazing camera if were not for P2, which I predict will die practically before it is born, especially on a camera without interchangeable lens or the ability to put anything other than DV to tape. Two 8 Gb cards equals 16 minutes of 1080p. However, “food for thought”, is that’s about 40 minutes of 720p (24p), which is as much quality as any HD TV can handle. So if you can live with the poor tape quality and fixed lens, put up $4K for P2 cards, and drag a portable HD along to dump the data in, the Panasonic may has some value in specialized situations… but don’t expect to see it in the studio, beside the JVC, or in the hands of journalist. Why have 1080 progressive in an inflexible container. What is a prosumer going to do with all that data (up to 1 GB/min)? What was Panasonic thinking? Most people can’t even plan how to archive their digital still-camera photos. Wait till they try to manage 10 or 20 Terabytes of digial data. Some of the HDV camcorder manufactures thought the FireStore would be a solution to managing and even DTE. It may have been so in the lab, but Firewire proved inadequate for the data transfer rates involved. There is a rumor that a third party has an HD/DTE that plugs into and uses the high-performance P2 port.

    FireStore IS a GREAT and viable enhancement for the JVC.

    If you are pro, or budding-pro, buy the JVC. If you are a point-and-shooter, just buy the Sony and its Deck and you will be extremely happy (but don’t expect it to hold up to the JVC). If you like to waste money, and would like to do multi-camera shoots producing inferior, interlaced digital data, but the Canon. If you have LOTS of money, just wait a few months (or a year or so) for the release of the BlueRay (1080i/1080p to BlueRayDVD) camcorders. These will be the ultimate video devices of the near future.

    But in any case, be certain you actually go and test the model you buy, and determine if it is the right solution for your needs BEFORE YOU SPREAD CRITICISMS ON THE WEB, AND REPORT “DEFECT” WHICH DON’T REALLY EXIST.

    Interesting fact: PAL (foreign) models of the JVC include a removable internal hard drive.

    Posted by: Kris DeLaney | Dec 25, 2005 2:57:37 PM

    haha...quite the comeback...nice ;)

    Posted by: Chris Green | May 12, 2006 9:45:12 PM

    I'm a teacher in a communications program. We just bought six JVC GY-HD100U packages for about $8000 each. In the past two months since the semester started, three of the six cameras have died. We sent them back to JVC and have heard nothing. I'm trying to get some answers.

    The first time, we assumed it was a student error, but the second time I was present and nothing happened. First the camera was working, then we turned it off put it away, when we tried to turn it on 15 minutes later, it was DEAD. Then this past weekend a third camera died exactly the same way.

    Does anyone have any suggestions about who to contact about this?

    Posted by: Dana Dorrity | Oct 24, 2006 3:05:26 PM

    i am ethiopian in nation then i am interesting in jvc tv thechinology and i wont to dicose about the compnent of jvc tv.my best quation is wha is the cose of picthure flow to down?
    thanks to you

    Posted by: yetneberk tafesse | Nov 7, 2006 2:27:13 AM

    I've had my HD-100E for a few months now, and to be honest because the company i work for provide the kit i use on a day to day basis haven't needed to use my own camera.
    I've noticed the spilt screen problem, and as i shoot music videos it is proving to be a major problem.
    It's OK for JVC to say that to get rid of the problem you may have to change shot....whats that all about?. Why should the camera have a say in what shots you take? I shouldn't be restricted by a design fault, which JVC are aware of.
    The camera i have at the moment is the second JVC HD-100E i've owned, the first one had to be returned because the split screen problem was more severe. The company i purchased it from checked with a JVC rep, who happened to be in the office when i called. He told them that JVC were aware of the problem, and in his words, " We thought we got all of them, (cameras with a split screen problem)", JVC replaced my camera without question, but i doubt that they will replace the one i currently own.
    I really don't know what to do now.


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    Posted by: Ashok c.pomal | Jun 29, 2008 5:43:46 AM

    JVC's Prohd opens up the world of hd digital cinematography with the introduction of the GY-HD100U. True high definition recording on inexpensive and reliable tape, or optionally onto hard disk, and real 24 frame progressive capture give this camera performance characteristics found only in high end cinematography cameras.


    Guaranteed ROI

    Posted by: hazel | Oct 9, 2008 10:46:31 PM

    JVC's GY-HD100U opens a new area of digital cinematography, letting you unleash your creative potential with results that are nothing short of spectacular. Special features are Full High Definition progressive recording at 24 frames per second, Compact shoulder style for stability, comfort and mobility, Three newly developed 1/3-inch CCDs with 1280 x 720 pixels, Interchangeable lenses with standard 1/3-inch bayonet mount
    Rugged die-cast body, Extensive user adjustable parameters can be stored on SD memory card.

    Guaranteed ROI

    Posted by: Alice | Oct 9, 2008 10:50:23 PM

    The JVC GY-HD100U is a 3-CCD camcorder that uses the HDV codec to capture images in a 24-frame mode. As with other HDV camcorders this unit can use DV consumer tape and is capable of recording standard definition video as well. Professional details like die-cast all-metal construction and a fine grade Fujinon lens will not disappoint experienced shooters. The camera is a shoulder-mount design for the most stable hand-held shooting positions.

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    Posted by: Diana | Oct 9, 2008 11:38:05 PM

    VC's ProHD opens up the world of HD digital cinematography with the introduction of the GY-HD100U. True high definition recording on inexpensive and reliable tape, or optionally onto hard disk, and real 24 frame progressive capture give this camera performance characteristics found only in high end cinematography cameras.Professional form factor: beauty that's more than skin deepOne look at the GY-HD100U reveals the obvious: this is not a 'prosumer' camcorder, nor is it a derivative of a consumer model. Controls and switches are laid out in the same manner as on higher end production cameras. Because of extensive customization capabilities there are menus, but critical performance controls are right at your fingertips where you expect them. Deep inside the GY-HD100U is a truly advanced progressive camera that sets a new benchmark in the industry.

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    Posted by: Angelina | Oct 10, 2008 3:20:04 AM

    The smallest and most affordable HD Cinema production camera available! JVC's GY-HD100U opens a new area of digital cinematography, letting you unleash your creative potential with results that are nothing short of spectacular.

    Guaranteed ROI

    Posted by: jeniferlopaz | Oct 10, 2008 5:50:27 AM

    Hi there, I own a jvc gy-gd111e, Really love the camera and have put it to the test here in South Africa shooting in extreme conditions.

    One thing i've noticed is that the camera gets very hot after about an hour of shooting, There is no real problem as it still works fine, I was just wondering if this is normal?

    Is there an internal fan? Because the menu seems to suggest this

    Posted by: Ed | Nov 1, 2008 5:39:44 AM

    With all of the bailouts going on trying to save the country's financial situation, the govenment really shot itself in the foot on the digital switch.

    In protest, people will simply keep all the over the air signals and not pay one red cent towards cable tv because it won't be needed. Then people will simply only keep internet.

    That would disrupt the entire cable industry since the mandate requires for over the air signal and ironically, all the cable companies agreed to this without thinking how they will lose all of the paid cable services since its no longer needed.

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