Purchasing New Camera
I am about to buy a new camera and I am considering a JVC GY-HD200u. I am coming from shooting with a Panasonic DVX 100. I make documentaries and I am divided between the JVC and the Panasonic AG-HVC200. I just got the funding and I would like to take into consideration if I am going to run into any issues while editing in FCP 5 or, in fact, any other issues that I should be aware of. Many thanks in advance!
The JVC cameras are great. For DOC's they work because you can attach a hard drive and record for hours without worrying about tapes or dropouts or anything. I don't think FCP5 supports the JVC Codec's for 24p, 25p, 50p or 60p. An upgrade in software would be a good plan if you're considering the JVC HD200. I personally use the HD250 and love it. For factor, lens options, accessories and value are all considerations for this camera. And if you are buying a new HD200, they come with SD card slots for direct recording to the SD's. Pretty cool. Let us know if you have more questions or which route you choose.
Thank you for your quick answer and for mentioning the need to upgrade FCP.
I just got funding to buy an HD camera. My first choice was the JVC with a 17:1 lens, a couple of extra batteries, filters, etc.
What seems so atractive about the JVC is the interchangable lens, the quality of the picture and the ergonomics.
I make documentaries. I worked for the most part in South America and I am not sure that I am going to be able to find the Fujimon or compatible lenses that will give me full advantage of the feature I like the most. The other option will be to get an adapter but they cost around $3000 and that is out of the question, at least for now.
All the sudden "my" JVC has become, at least for a while, a great camera with a fix lense, at least until I get more funding. In he meatime I will start shooting for my next project and the possibility of getting a Panasonic with P2 cards starts to make more sense.
Given my present situation would you still go for the JVC? What would be a good approach to think of the JVC as a better machine that the Panasonic if I am not having the possibility of changing lenses.
Many thanks for taking the time to write back.
Well it's good to hear that you're considering all of your options BEFORE you dive in, always the right thing to do. I personally use the Fujinon 13x HD Lens and love it. The standard lens isn't great but you have to keep in mind that it is still a manual lens with everything you'd want at your fingertips. If you already have some 16mm or 35mm primes then get the PL Mount and use those, I've heard good things, considering it myself. It's going to come down to what you need and can afford. The Panny is a great camera too, but these really are two different cameras. Are you in S. America currently?
Most of the time I live in the Boston area where I teach literature at Boston College.
The 13x D lens looks great but it is out my budget.
Is there any other lens that will justify the use of the JVC but that will be priced under $ 5,000? It seems to me that if I am not taking advantage of the great lenses that one could use with the JVC is probable not the best decision for me at this point. My doubt about the Panny is the workflow given that in many cases I will be out on my own in which case I will have to use a hard drive recorder instead of the P2 cards. You are right when you say that there are two different cameras, I was trying to make room, so to speak, for an upgrade later on.... but the price of the lenses will mean sacrifices that are out reach for now.
I also have the "impression" that when Scarlet is out "early" next year the industry might take a different road. What is your take on this?
Many thanks for taking the time, it is a big help to be able to talk to somebody how works with the JVC and like it.
I shoot docs all over the world with the JVC 110. I've shot a beach soccer doc in Brasil with the DVX100. Brasil requires you to use a local production company for at least 50% of the project, so sneaking the big rig in as a "tourist" wasn't going to work, hence the DVX100.
Since I was used to a shoulder mount camera,the DVX100 was tougher to use, but it actually worked fine. The down-sides (which apply to any handy-cam type cameras, including the HVX200) were: After a long day of shooting, not being able to shoot from the shoulder made for very heavy arms, and the 12x lens just isn't enough for ceretain things. Not sure if it's the same for the HVX200 Panny, but another small issue with the DVX100 is that for the best image, using the anamorphic adapter was necessary, which added to the front heavy feel.
The stock 16x lens on the JVC has worked fine for me. The key is, don't push the extremes. It loses it at wide-open iris or extreme tele, but you can get pretty much all of its range. The breathing issue with racking hasn't been an issue with the stuff I've shot.
I'm very happy with the form factor. As for batteries, I'm assuming the HD200 comes with an AB or JVC pack. If not, get one; for longer shoot times, and for better balance of the camera.
My 2 cents USD,
Thank you for all your input. I need to investigate more about possible issues with post-production (FCP) on each of those cameras. I am use to work with the ergonomics of the DVX100 but when I tried the JVC I thought that it was great. Besides any issues in post, the other only issue will be to the workflow with the P2 cards. Your comments are most appreciated.
PS: the issue of passing customs with the JVC is a consideration, even though I was born and rasised in Argentina, the great looks of the JVC could attract attention from the wrong people.
One more thing....
The JVC package I am interested in looks like this:
JVC GYHD200 CLPS17 package includes the camera, the 17:1 lens, tripod plate adapter, the Anton Bauer TrimPac battery and Tandem 70 charger/power supply, a 60 GB hard disk recorder and the mount for the recorder ______________________$ 8,045
Anton Bauer Hytron 140 extra battery ______________$ 520
Is this OK as far as prices go? And also, is the difference between the 16 (stock lense) and the 17 that is part of this package, a worth while option?
I can't speak for the price, but as for the lens: Here's what someone on another JVC forum, who bought the lens, had to say (I'd post the link, but The COW frowns on giving links to what they consider competitors' sites, argggghhhh!). You can find other forums by googling (or e-mailing me directly, if my e-mail is even listed) firstname.lastname@example.org
I also think that since you'd get the hard drive, you would only want to use tape as an emergency backup. There aren't any issues I'm aware of with FCP, I use it every day.
>>>I bought the fujinon 17x5. I consider it a great step up from the stock 16x lens. CA is better than the 16x, but, still noticeable. But, resolution throughtout the zoom range is considerably better than the 16x, especially at 17x. The optical element aperture is noticeably larger then the stock lens, this is the reason for the increase in weight. The other thing I like about the 17x is the metal lens barrel. The 16x has a fairly flimsy and cheap plastic lens barrel. Not good when attaching a matte box to it because it distorts and jams the focus ring.<<<