There have been discussions on other boards but we were pretty set on the GY-HM700 after a demo. Then we demoed the Sony EX1 with the 1/2 inch chips and just seemed to see a bit sharper, smoother blacks image. Plus, with a 1/3" to 2/3" lens adapter and HD Primes we realized that with 1/3" chips we would have a harder time getting decent shallow depth of field. Better with the Sony.
But workflow with the JVC was butter. And we did get decent images, just some issues with blacks. And we liked the size of the camera.
Anyone here want to defend the 1/3" chips on the JVC vs the 1/2" on the Sony cams?
It's an aesthetic but I really like the DOF control with 1/2" chip. It all depends how important that is to you.
You mention workflow. I've been using SDHC in my EX1 since January if that was a concern for you.
I can import the MP4 into FCP using CalibratedSoftware's MP4 import plugin ($80).
I am concerned (although can't confirm) how the JVC handles overcrank. Sony at 720p24/60 is recording at about 87.5mbps on to SxS. Apparently JVC is not recording at that data rate so they must be doing "tricks' in their overcranking. Also the JVC only overcranks to double the frame rate. One way to do a comparative test though is to record at 720p24/48 or 720p30/60 on both cameras and note how quickly it fills a 16GB or 32GB card. Someone (not I) did this test and apparently verified the JVC is recording at a lower data rate which must mean either those clips aren't playing back at approx. 35mbps or there's some kind of interpolation going on.
Also the EX can do interval (time laps) recording whereas the JVC HM can not.
That said, there's certainly lots of nice things about the JVC including the form factor but I thought you should take measure of the above.
Given the above I'd still chose the EX over the HM but I certainly wouldn't fault anyone going the other way. I like 1/2 chips. I like the low light capability that brings as well and I like interval recording and the slightly better overcrank features.
"Anyone here want to defend the 1/3" chips on the JVC vs the 1/2" on the Sony cams? "
I believe when looking for a camera it is best to consider the front end before the recording end of any camera. The EX1 has an amazing Exmor CMOS 1/2 sensors and if you combined the Convergent Design Nano Flash with it you will have a cameras package that reviles the XD Cam HD (700) units that cost more than 4 times what you would spend on the EX and Nano. Plus the workflow is the same as the JVC as the Nano can be set to create Quicktime files or MXF files so no added re-wrap time is required.