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    Chinese Garden - JVC GY-HM700 Test
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    This is a test on JVC GY-HM700 with Canon KT14x4.4KRSJ lens. It has been out for a year but I have only gotten my hands on one recently.

    First of all, I must admit I fell in love with this camera at first sight. I feel it is the sexiest and most beautiful video camera around, having the best of both worlds between full shoulder-mount and handheld cameras. Shoulder-mounted for additional stability, interchangeable broadcast quality lens, affordable SD card media, very FCP friendly, proper viewfinder and yet compact and light enough for my not-so-young body.

    We did the test over two days at Chinese Garden, Singapore. The first day was very cloudy and we made a big mistake by not adjusting the back focus for the lens. We assume that the back focus was already adjusted and everything did look sharp on the big 4.3" LCD built-in screen. But apparently it is still not large enough for precise focusing. Hence, a few scenes in this video appear somewhat soft.

    For the sake of the narrative, I have included them in the editing. We adjusted the back focus on the 2nd day and everything looks sharp as expected and the day 2 scenes form the majority of the video. The day 1 scenes are mostly in the beginning and the end.

    Settings
    ========
    We shot in 720p25 since the CCD sensor was supposed to be native 720 interpolated to 1080. So we figure the optimum is 1280 x 720. Everything is set to default except:
    - Cinema gamma
    - Cinema vivid tone
    - Knee - 75%
    - Black-stretch Level 3 (seems to give more dynamic range)

    Editing
    =======
    Largely ungraded except for some exposure corrections. Therefore colour is what we get from camera.

    Canon KT14x4.4KRSJ lens
    =================
    I had high hopes for this lens. However, the chromatic aberration (purple fringing) is a significant issue. If you view the video at full size, you can find a lot of chromatic aberration in many contrasty areas. I heard the Fujinon 17X5 has less chromatic aberration but I am not too sure since I didn't have one to test. I also wish I have more zoom with the Canon during some shots. But the wide angle is really quite useful. The macro ring also seems to affect the back focus a little although we are not really sure. Lastly, the Canon 14x breathes a lot.

    Conclusion
    ==========
    There are already some detailed reviews around, so I would just list a few observations:

    Pros
    ----
    * Nice big LCD screen
    * Useful focus assist
    * Excellent form factor and robust body (good build quality)
    * Affordable SD card media
    * Interchangeable broadcast quality lens
    * Very FCP friendly (just copy SD card and drop clips into timeline)
    * Compact and light
    * Good amount of tweaking in menu
    * Ergonomic and intuitive to use (good positioning of buttons)

    Cons
    ----
    * Reds not as good (same as other 4:2:0 colour sampling cameras, but there is an option to record full quality from SDI-out)
    * There is something about the green that I don't like - a bit artificial (but this can possibly be compensated in the menu settings)
    * Fragile LCD screen hinge - seems like you could break it easily
    * A little noisy - Some noise in certain scenes
    * Poor low-light performance - not seen in this video but I did some low-light tests
    * Gets very hot after some time - not really a significant issue


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    Low Budget Ninja Nathyn's Avatar
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    I've said it before, JVC doesn't get half the credit but kicks a lot of butt.

    -Nate

    MAKE YOUR MOVIE NOW!

    Writer/Director/Producer/Editor/Composer/Prop Master/Action Hero
    Canon T3i/Apple Final Cut Studio 2/After Effects CS3/Action Essentials 2/Garageband 4.1.2

    The Fourth Beast-2003 | Wages of Sin -2007 | Epitaph: Bread and Salt -2011


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