The GY-HM150U Compact Handheld 3-CCD Camcorder from JVC is an ultra-compact professional HD camcorder that records 35 Mb/s Long-GOP MPEG-2 to SDHC/SDXC cards. Offering an integrated 10x Fujinon zoom lens and three progressive CCD imagers, the camcorder debuts a Dynamic Digital Signal Processor from JVC that processes the full 1920 x 1080 signal, regardless of recording mode. Despite its tiny size, the HM150U slides right into most professional workflows in ways that far surpass the flexibility of AVCHD-recording models.
The camera records 35 Mb/s 1080i video natively as QuickTime files for effortless integration with Final Cut Pro, or it can be saved in MP4 format for compatibility with XDCAM EX workflows. And building on the success of its predecessor, the HM100U, the HM150U adds a proprietary Rotary Optical Image Stabilizer (ROIS), pre-rec & time-lapse recording, and standard-definition recording, for compatibility with SD workflows that require fast turnaround times.
The HM150U also features wider options for recording to its two SDHC/SDXC card slots: You can set it record either sequentially or simultaneously to both cards, for instant backups. With dual 64 GB SDXC cards installed, you can record full HD video for hours without changing out media. This endurance, coupled with its small size and removable handle, make the HM150U a strong choice for capturing fully professional video under adverse conditions that might require surreptitious operation.
- Three 1/4" Progressive-Scan CCDs
- Three 1/4" progressive-scan CCDs – one each for red, green and blue – provide rich, accurate colors. To separate primary colors, JVC has incorporated a high-accuracy Fujinon glass prism and a proprietary mounting technology
- Diagonal Offset Technology
- The Red and Blue pixel locations are shifted relative to Green, allowing the sampled luminance information to be significantly increased in both horizontal and vertical directions. This results in much higher-resolution images without sacrificing sensitivity. Furthermore, using a global shutter, the design minimizes wobbling during quick pans and fixed-pattern noise in low-light conditions, contributing to a more stable image
- Fujinon 10x Zoom HD Lens
The GY-HM150U utilizes a high-definition lens by Fujinon, a world leader in HD lens technology. This lens features three aspheric elements that minimize the weight and space required, while producing less distortion, ghosting, and flare. In addition, the lens surface is coated with a new Electronic Beam Coating (EBC) that greatly reduces degradation caused by light reflecting off the lens surfaces leading to greater light transmission and reduced flaring and ghosting. To protect the lens, a flip-in cover is provided, eliminating the need for an external cap
The focal length of the lens ranges from 3.7-37 mm (39-390 mm at 35 mm film equivalents), offering a good balance of wide angle and zoom. For wider angle shooting, the built-in lens hood can be removed and an optional wide-angle converter fitted.
Focus is controlled manually or automatically. A smooth servo zoom is controlled with a conventional rocker on the handgrip, or manually on the lens. For close-up shooting, a macro mode allows for shooting subjects as little as 2-inches away from the lens. Exposure (iris) is automatically or manually controlled, letting the shooter adjust the depth of focus by selecting the appropriate F stop. The current F stop is displayed in the viewfinder in the manual mode
- Rotary Optical Image Stabilizer
- With the increased resolution and sharpness of HD pictures, even a small amount of camera shake becomes noticeable to the viewer. Newly developed for this camcorder, JVC's Rotary Optical Image Stabilizer (ROIS) corrects for lateral and vertical movement of the camera without the degradation of image quality associated with digital image stabilization systems. The result is pristine HD images that remain sharp and stable
- 1080p Digital Processor (DSP)
- At the heart of the GY-HM150U is a custom JVC-developed dynamic digital signal processor. Processing is performed on the full progressive 1920 x 1080 signal, regardless of the camcorder's settings, ensuring the highest picture quality in any shooting mode. All major HD resolutions are supported, including 1920 x 1080, 1440 x 1080, and 1280 x 720, as well as 720 x 480 (SD). Integrated into the chip are five digital noise-reduction technologies that evaluate the signal and apply the appropriate compensation while increasing vertical resolution by about 30%
- Upgraded 35 Mb/s MPEG-2 Encoder
The GY-HM150U utilizes the encoder technology developed for JVC's renowned GY-HM790 series camcorders that are used at major television stations. JVC's proprietary codec is capable of providing highly efficient compression up to 35 megabits per second, a bit rate that can support full 1920 x 1080 encoding. This is significantly higher than the data rates used in other handheld camcorders, and it results in recorded images of exceptional quality. MPEG-2 long GOP is the most widely accepted broadcast standard compression, supported by all popular editing systems and broadcast servers.
The GY-HM150 supports all major HD signal formats, including 1920 x 1080, 1440 x 1080, and 1280 x 720
- Standard-Definition Recording Capability
- Responding to the needs of the industry, the GY-HM150U, in addition to its capability as an HD recorder, offers standard-definition recording for maximum flexibility. Recording in SD provides a time-saving alternative to down-conversion of HD material for SD broadcasts, which is still an industry standard in many countries worldwide. This feature offers a fundamental advantage for professionals with time-sensitive SD workflows
- Native File Recording
Because it uses QuickTime as its native file format, the GY-HM150U is the perfect choice for users of Apple's Final Cut Pro editing system. Both HD and SD MOV files recorded by the camcorder can be dropped directly into Final Cut Pro, keeping them first-generation and eliminating the time-consuming process of file conversion.
For users of all major NLE systems, including solutions from Adobe, Avid, Grass Valley, Sony, and Apple, the GY-HM150U supports the MP4 file format, which can be brought into your editing system without re-encoding. HDV-compatible M2T files can also be created from these MP4 files using the ProHD Clip Manager (Version 1.1).
Finally, the popular type-2 AVI file format can be recorded in SD for easy import into almost all current and legacy NLE systems
- Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC), Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC) Recording
The GY-HM150 records on widely available SDHC Class 6 or Class 10 memory cards, currently available in capacities up to 32 GB, and SDXC memory cards for capacities up to 64 GB and even higher. The camera provides two memory card slots, for a total of up to 64 GB of SDHC storage – enough for more than 6 hours of continuous HD recording (at 720p).
Dual SDHC/SDXC card slots make the GY-HM150U a truly versatile camcorder. Footage is recorded either to both cards simultaneously, or from one card to the other in relay. Simultaneous recording means that it easily creates backup or duplicate files while shooting without the need for any external equipment – either for a client copy or simply for peace of mind. In relay recording mode, shooting is continuous and seamless over multiple cards. When one card is full, the camcorder switches seamlessly and automatically to the other card. And because cards are hot-swappable, there is in effect no limit to the continuous shooting time in any mode, even with lower capacity cards. Hot-swappable media also means it is possible to start editing footage from one card while still shooting to the other. The dual card slots also offer the flexibility of scene-by-scene card selection. Additionally, while the Rec trigger is used to pause and unpause recording on one card, the other card can act as a continuous backup that overrides the pause function. Also, when recording, clips separated with the Rec trigger can be saved as a conjoined clip using Clip Continuous mode, and the Clip Cutter mode allows you to separate clips by using the User button as a trigger.
SD media offers the best combination of price, availability, capacity, reliability, and transfer speed. With no moving parts and no pins or other extrusions, SDHC/SDXC cards are both durable and reliable, and compare favorably with all other media types on a cost-per-minute basis
- Uncompressed Audio with Manual Controls
- The GY-HM150 records two channels of uncompressed LPCM (linear pulse code modulated) 16-bit audio sampled at 48 kHz. Audio levels can be controlled manually, or automatically using AGC. An audio meter is provided in the LCD and VF displays to facilitate adjustment. Balanced XLR connectors are provided on the handle for an external microphone and/or wireless receiver. 48V phantom power is available for each microphone. Versatile input switching allows the microphone signal to be directed to the desired channel. A shotgun microphone is provided, as well as a built-in stereo microphone for ambient sound pickup
- Compact Handheld Form Factor
- The GY-HM150 is the smallest pro format 3-CCD camcorder available – about the size of the lens of a 2/3" camera. At only 3.1 lb (including BN-VF823 battery, SDHC/SDXC card, and microphone), it can be used comfortably for hours, and without the need for clumsy support bracing. Its size makes it ideal for handheld POV use and for applications where a full-size camera would be impractical – such as traveling into potentially hostile situations. For a smaller footprint and less conspicuous shooting, the handle can be easily removed. When media needs to be concealed, Micro-SDHC memory cards can be used with a card adapter
- Shooter-Friendly Controls and Layout
Ergonomics has played a major role in the design of the GY-HM150U. The handgrip makes the camera very comfortable to hold for any operator, even on long shoots. And despite its extremely compact dimensions, all the camcorder's main functions are accessible directly from controls and switches on the camera body, right where you would expect them to be. To conserve on space, a single ring is used for both manual focus and manual zoom. When holding the camera by the grip, zoom and trigger controls operate the same as on full-size cameras. Available controls on the camera body include:
- Lens zoom/focus selector
- Iris dial with manual/auto switch
- White balance: selectable between preset and 2 user settings
- Auto white set
- Gain (L,M,H)
- Full auto (on/off)
- Auto/Manual focus
- ND filter (in/out)
- User1/User2/User3 (dedicated) User4/User5/User6 (shared) (allows user to predefine functions such as Focus Assist, Color Bars, TC setting, LoLux, Zebra, Tele/Macro, Clip continuous, Clip cutter, Backup trigger, AE area, Clip review, Record and Stop)
- Shutter (shutter priority, set)
- Record start/stop
- Still/video select
- Audio controls: Independent CH1/CH2 controls; manual/AGC select (independent CH1/CH2); mic/line CH1/CH2 select switches; headphone volume level
- Media management functions: Quick review; live/playback select; display
- Patented Focus Assist Function
- Achieving exact focus with HD signals is critical. JVC's Focus Assist turns focusing into a fast, easy, and accurate process. When Focus Assist is activated, the picture in the viewfinder becomes monochrome and all objects which are in focus appear with colored edges. Focus Assist works equally well in the viewfinder as on the LCD panel. The Focus Assist function can be assigned to any of the User buttons
- Pre Rec Mode (Retro)
- How many times have you missed a crucial moment because you didn't hit the record button in time? With Pre Rec enabled, the camcorder continuously buffers up to 5 seconds of video, so that when recording is started the cached video is included in the recorded file, giving you up to a 5 second head start
- Time Lapse (Interval) Recording
- The enhanced time-lapse feature offers variable recording intervals and frequency settings, allowing for total control when creating time-lapse effects
- Wired and Wireless Remote Control
- The GY-HM150U comes with a wired remote interface (3.5mm connector) for operating the camcorder remotely when using a tripod, jib, crane, or boom. However, the wired remote is not included and must be purchased separately. An infrared remote control is provided, which is a great tool for operating the camera remotely
- Versatile Manual Controls
When operating the camera in the manual mode, depth of field can be adjusted by manually setting the iris. Aperture priority automatically selects the correct shutter setting based on the iris selection. Shutter can be manually adjusted from 1/4 to 1/10000 seconds. Other manual adjustments include:
- LoLux mode – a JVC-exclusive feature that permits shooting in adverse lighting conditions
- H detail and V detail adjustment
- Knee setting (AUTO/LOW/MID/HIGH)
- Zebra pattern with range specification is possible
- Color matrix/gain adjustment: gain settings of 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 dB & ALC can be assigned to the "L/M/H" gain switch
- Gamma adjustment, which gives rich expression of gradation
- Data Battery
- When used with JVC Data Batteries, the remaining battery power (by percentage and remaining recording time in minutes) can be checked with the touch of a button, even while the camera's power is off. One BN-VF823U Data Battery (7.2V, 2190mAh) is provided for a recording time of over 2 hours
- 2.7" LCD Display
- The 2.7" (230,000 pixel) 16:9 aspect ratio LCD monitor provides not only an alternative to the viewfinder when shooting, it also displays a wide array of monitoring and setup indications. To the left of the screen is a mini joystick and push button for navigating menus and selecting options, as well as a zoom control and a recording start/stop button
- Video/Audio Outputs
- For external monitoring or capture, the GY-HM150U is equipped with a variety of video output options, including HDMI and component output for HD or down-converted SD video, and composite output for SD video only. HDMI output is via a standard HDMI connector and outputs full uncompressed HD video as well as uncompressed digital audio