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Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E

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tdavidWhy SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on Apr 23, 2007 at 8:14:43 pm

Hello All,

Just thought I'd give everybody a heads up on the JVC HD200 series...

I am primarily an editor, occasionally a cameraman on small shoots. The crew I work for has been working with a Sony FX1 for about a year, and just invested in a JVC HD201E.

The Sony has been performing flawlessly, no footage ever lost or corrupted. Yes, it's only 50i and the image quality (colors, saturation, sharpness) is nowhere near as good and adjustable as the JVC, but it does the trick on projects for the internet.

The JVC is a professional camera, no doubt. 50p, razor-sharp picture (in the hands of a good cameraman), adjustable everything. But....

It's not meant to be handheld, due to it's weight. But that's fine, you can get used to it.

The real turndown, is that within 20 drum hours, the camera produced us 2 unusable 60 minute HDV tapes. With recording format set to HDV 50P, it ended up giving us a tape that is DV50I, while the other tape shows only images of the recorded footage every 5-10 seconds, and even those look jagged (not sure what's the word for an image that looks like it is made up of 40x50 pixels only).
The camera was used by professionals, who have been using other JVC HD cameras on movie productions, so misuse is out the question.

If these cameras require maintenance ever 20-30 drum hours, then this isn't a professional camera.

So far, our experience with this camera has been a disappointment. Sure 50p looks great and all, but to force us to buy a Firestore drive for it so we can be sure that our footage is safe, is outrageous.

Does anybody else have a negative experience with these cameras, or is it just our luck? :)

Thanks
David T


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Kyle_SRe: Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on Apr 23, 2007 at 11:08:56 pm

Sounds like a malfunction, it would not be the first piece of equipment to malfunction and I am sure will not be the last. We once had a digibeta which mangled the second tape that went into it and had to go back to Sony 3 days after coming out of the box.


"It's not meant to be handheld, due to it's weight. But that's fine, you can get used to it."

Not meaning to pick on you personally, but those kind of comments crack me up. I guess I am just ancient but having run up and down a football sidelines with a betacam unit which had a 3 tube front end I can't relate to any of those cameras as being too heavy for handheld work. I can shoot rock steady with something that has some weight and is balanced on my shoulder. Ask me to do that with something like an FX1 and forget it.

K


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David TimarRe: Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on Apr 24, 2007 at 6:08:15 am

Hello Kyle,

Yep, you are right about the weight. Weight can give you that balance and therefore the steady shots. Unfortunately, in our situations the camera has to be handheld / on shoulder for about 9 hours straight, in a room of around 28 Celsius. :)

I am just plain worried about the JVC. We got another one shortly after the first one (before seeing these problems) and it produced 4 very nasty drop-outs in a single 20 minute recording. And this was the same type of camera, hardly used before it arrived from the dealership.

Right now, we are talking to the JVC guys, to see what they have to say about this.

David



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Justin FerarRe: Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on Apr 24, 2007 at 6:25:59 pm

Hey guys,

Thought I would mention one thing regarding dropouts. I hear a lot of stories about dropouts. One thing that people often forget is that the drop outs may be originating from the playback device and are captured during digitizing. Then they go and playback the source tape and find out the drop was never on the recording- just an error during digitizing. I'm not saying you haven't done this- just putting it our there for others to see.

Regarding hand held- the JVC is the ONLY HDV camera in it's range that is built for true handheld work. I have never heard a camera operator who makes his/her living as a shooter go to bat for the "handy cam" form factor. I just want to make it clear that I'm talking about professionals, not dabblers.

Anyway, we have 2 HD200's and after four shoots have seen one dropout using JVC's Pro HDV tape.



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David TimarRe: Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on Apr 24, 2007 at 8:23:44 pm

Hi Justin,

Yep, did that. We got 2 identical JVC GY HD201E models, and tried playing the tapes in both cameras. Tried forwarding to a part on the tape, where the recording all of a sudden was fine, then rewinding, but nothing.

David


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P. J. in HollywoodHand-held JVC-HD100, 250, etc.
by on Nov 11, 2007 at 6:21:25 am

You are right. The HD-100/250s are excellent for hand holding. Ask anyone who's used a 25 lb. camera sholder mounted all day. The HD-100 is a breeze. The little handi-cam form cameras are not usable for fast-moving ENG style shooting, in my view.

Hand holding and getting good shots is a matter of skill and muscle control, mostly isometrics. It's kinda like marshal arts. There's no substitute for drilling, drilling and drilling. It can be hard to get good hand held stuff as a "week-end warrior". The secret professionalism is drilling.

Also, as we know, the HD-100/250s are the only cameras in their class with real pro lenses with pro controls. The Sonys and Panasonics don't have the same controls. Those little wheelie thingie iris controls just don't make it for fast moving ENG-style shooting.


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jurgen doc.Re: Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on Apr 26, 2007 at 11:11:54 pm

If you have to repair your camera be prepared to wait 6-8 weeks. The service of JVC regarding 200/250 is a whole nightmare. It seems that every screw has to be imported from Asia BY SHIP. Absolutely not pro service.


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David TimarRe: Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on May 14, 2007 at 8:02:03 am

HELP! DOES ANYBODY HAVE AN EMAIL OR PHONE NUMBER FOR JVC IN EUROPE (NOT A DEALERSHIP)?

This is insane. We took our JVC into the Hungarian Dealership, and after 7 days of exchanging emails with the JVC in Germany, they said that our problems are firmware related, but JVC hasn't released a new firmware to fix these issues.

I simply cannot believe this. I cannot believe these problems are on our camera ONLY. I know I have seen many posts on forums regarding the same problems. What the heck is wrong with JVC?

What do you guys think? Does JVC know what firmware I have on the camera, from the serial number? If so, does anybody know a contact email or phone number, where I can get a straight answer directly from JVC, saying that the firmware I am running is really the latest.

ANY help is appreciated.

Thanks.
David


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Nik NastevRe: Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on Jul 11, 2007 at 4:10:27 pm

Try this:

Quality Assurance Dept.
JVC Professional Europe Ltd.
Gruener Weg 10 * D 61169 Friedberg/Hessen
fon: 0049 (0) 6031 605163
fax: 0049 (0) 6031 605280

I hope they are the same yet.



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i-videoRe: Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on Aug 10, 2007 at 1:25:19 pm

I had that problem on a Sony VX2000 once. Much experimentation revealed seriously contaminated video heads. Cleaning tape helped some but I only got it cleared up by using precision cleaning solvent (from Markertek) with a q-tip. "Video Tape and Head Cleaner" (Also Markertek) might be better, mine had evaporated. Alcohol wouldn't touch it. Kinda tedious. Be careful, it's delicate in there. Let your tech guy do it if you have one.


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Matt NortonRe: Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on Sep 12, 2007 at 5:33:58 pm

I have been doing JVC HDV for three of four years now. The problem is that we are cramming sow much
info into a tiny tape with tiny heads with little if any redundant back up. unlike DV with 4 channels of
audio back up. many times will get a drop out or glitch and not even bat an eye but when you have a
clogged head or a bad tape you lose frames. I found that a high quality tape helps and minimizes drop outs
as does cleaning the heads. also fast forward and rewind all tapes before using them to record and don't
touch them until you are ready to capture. Don't blame the machine it may be the tape you are using. the
cheep Sony tapes are terrible. These will help reduce drop outs but really buying a hard drive is not a bad
idea it is cheaper in the long run then putting out $50, $100, or $200/tape for large formats and it is
instantly accessible. Oh and never reuse a tape for anything that is important.


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David BrucknerRe: Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on Feb 14, 2008 at 6:54:45 am

I am considering buying either the HD200 or a Sony EX1. I've had an HD200 for a couple of days to demo. The image is great and I prefer a shoulder mount camera so I'm leaning towards the HD200. However I've run into several major dropouts during playback. I'm guessing I'm using a different brand of tape than previous users. Can you depend on tape, or are most users using a Firestore and avoiding the dropout problem? How reliable are the newer Firestores? Thanks!




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David TimarRe: Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on Feb 14, 2008 at 1:14:28 pm

Make sure you use JVC HD Pro tapes only. never put sony in a JVC camera. those dropouts can come from old firmware or dirty heads. get a cleaning tape and make sure you have the latest firmware. go to your jvc dealership and get them to update your camera to the latest firmware. be prepared that your camera might crash and would have to be sent for repair, but it should be fine after that. :)

firestores are great, but if there are problems generated by the camera, they WILL make it to the firestore files.
Also, make sure that you use something like Total Commander to copy split files from the firestore, onto your harddrive. the firestore splits long movies automatically, but it's stupid enough so that the only way you get your movie back into a single file, is if you write to Focus and ask their support on how to combine 2 files....

Also, I STRONGLY suggest that get to know MPEG Streamclip and MPEG2Repair. Google them and get them!

Streamclip will allow you to chop up an m2t file without any re-compressing. :)

MPEG2Repair, will test and repair your m2t files. This small little things has save my life many times. Our JVC had a period when it was recording some really nasty errors onto the files on the Firestore. You run this little program, and it tells you exactly what's wrong with it, and tries to fix it. Works 90% of the time. :)

If you get errors in your files and this little utility tells you about it, then first reset your firestore completely. if the error still remains, change the firewire cable. if it still comes up, call your dealership and pray to God... :)

David



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David BrucknerRe: Why SONY FX1 could be better than JVC GY-HD201E
by on Feb 16, 2008 at 5:09:49 pm

David,
Thanks for the info! At work I've mostly shot with large and small Sony cameras, and now full size Hitachi's with hard drives. Each camera has its idiosyncracies but I've always been able to depend on the camera to record properly. Though the JVC is exactly what I want for shooting with, it seems unsettling to always wonder if you're accurately recording what you're shooting. Maybe I'm exagerating the problem but when you're on a tight schedule for a client it seems risky. Hmmmmm, I may have to take another look at the EX1. Thanks for your input! This forum has been extremely valuable!



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