JVC GY-HM150U Compact Handheld 3-CCD Camcorder

JVC GY-HM150U Compact Handheld 3-CCD Camcorder

JVC GY-HM150U Compact Handheld 3-CCD Camcorder

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Product Highlights

  • 3-CCD
  • Integrated 10x Fujinon Zoom Lens
  • 1920 x 1080i @ 35 Mb/s (MPEG-2)
  • Also Records SD (480i)
  • QuickTime, MP4, or AVI File Formats
  • Ultra-Compact Form Factor
  • 2.7" LCD - 230,000 Pixels
  • Two SDHC/SDXC Card Slots
  • Dual XLRs & Included Microphone
  • Rotary Optical Image Stabilizer
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JVC GY-HM150U overview

  • 1Description

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
In the Box
JVC GY-HM150U Compact Handheld 3-CCD Camcorder
  • BN-VF823 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack - 7.2V, 2190mAh
  • AC Adapter
  • Battery Charger
  • Shotgun Microphone
  • Wireless Remote Control
  • Component Cable
  • A/V Cable
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    JVC GY-HM150U specs

    Image Device 3-CCD, 1/4" progressive sensors with diagonal offset technology
    Signal System HQ mode, 1920 x 1080 (35 Mb/s VBR, MPEG-2 MP@HL)
    1080/60i, 1080/50i, 1080/30p, 1080/25p, 1080/24p, 720/60p, 720/50p, 720/30p, 720/25p, 720/24p

    SP mode, 1440 x 1080 (CBR, 25 Mb/s, MPEG-2 MP@H-14)
    1080/60i, 1080/50i

    SP mode, 1280 x 720 (CBR, 19 Mb/s, MPEG-2 MP@H-14/HL)
    720/60p, 720/50p, 720/30p, 720/25p, 720/24p
    SD Video, 720 x 480 (DV compression, 25 Mb/s, 4:1:1, 8-bit)
    Video Codec MPEG-2 Long GOP
    File Format QuickTime for Final Cut Pro (HD/SD)
    MP4 (HD)
    AVI type 2 (SD)
    Lens Fujinon 10x lens, 3.7-37mm (39-390mm 35mm equivalent)
    Filter Diameter 46mm (no hood)
    Screw pitch: 0.75mm

    72mm (hood attached – filters only; no tele converters or wide converters)
    Screw pitch: 0.75mm
    Built-in Filters Neutral Density: 1/10, Off
    Stabilization Optical image stabilizer
    Sync System Internal synchronization (built-in SSG)
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio Not specified by manufacturer
    Horizontal Resolution Not specified by manufacturer
    Sensitivity Not specified by manufacturer
    Minimum Illumination 5 lux (typical, 1920 x 1080 mode, f/1.8, +18 dB, with 16-frame accumulation)
    Vertical Smear Not specified by manufacturer
    LCD Monitor 2.8", 230,000 pixels, 16:9, color
    Viewfinder 0.24", LCOS, 260,000 pixels, 16:9, color
    Memory Card Slot 2x SDHC (Class 6/10) / SDXC
    Shutter Speed Range 1/3.75-1/10000, EEI
    Gain Selection 0 dB, 3 dB, 6 dB, 9 dB, 12 dB, 15 dB, 18 dB, LoLux, AGC
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio Not specified by manufacturer
    Maximum Recording Time With 2x 64 GB SDXC cards in 35 Mb/s mode: Approx. 400 minutes
    Audio Signal Format Linear PCM 2-channel, 48 kHz/16-bit
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio Not specified by manufacturer
    Input and Output Connectors Composite Video Out (480i, 4:3/16:9): 1x 3.5mm mini jack
    Component Video Out (480i/720p/1080i): 1x multi-pin cable
    HDMI Out (480i/720p/1080i): 1x HDMI Type A
    Analog Audio In: 2x XLR, mic (+48V) / line
    Analog Audio Out: 1x 3.5mm mini jack
    Headphone Out: 1x 3.5mm mini jack
    Remote Control In: 1x 3.5mm mini jack
    USB 2.0: 1x USB Mini-B
    Power Requirements 7.8V DC (with battery)
    11V DC (with AC adapter)
    Power Consumption 7.8W (with VF and LCD screen backlight set to Standard)
    Operating Temperature 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
    Storage Temperature -4 to 122˚F (-20 to 50˚C)
    Operating Humidity 30-80%
    Storage Humidity Under 85%
    Dimensions (WxHxD) 5.5 x 7.1 x 14.5" (13.8 x 17.9 x 36.6 cm)
    Weight 3.1 lb (1.4 kg) including battery, microphone, cards
    Packaging Info
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 13.2 x 11.6 x 9.9"

    JVC GY-HM150U reviews

    GY-HM150U Compact Handheld 3-CCD Camcorder is rated 4.3 out of 5 by 65.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great camera with everything you need. As specifyed in the headline, great camera with everithing you need in a small design. Everything means: XLR mic, ND filters, manual setting, full auto and easy shotting, ect. I come from many other models but this one is excellent. The small design is a plus for travellers but could be a problem if yours customers judge your work by the size of your camera. The final result after acquisition is a very good picture. In my opionion better than other cameras at the same level. Then the plasti lens hood has a 72mm size so you can easily find extra filter and optional. I personally use this camera together with a redrock micro M2 cinema adapter, and is very good.
    Date published: 2012-06-05
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Pleased I am a mountain climber and need light, portable gear. With the quality features inherent in this camcorder and its lack of bulk, I have been very pleased with the whole package. Would be nice to have a more crush proof body but that goes for me too and hey, who is out to be crushed? I like the ability to change from auto to manual quickly for those times prior to belaying when I want to be an artist instead of recording the grit and sweat of the unexpected. I like everything about this little machine. I got the idea for purchasing this upgraded model from a course on mountain lions. One of the instructors had nothing but praise for the HM100 and I feel the same about this upgrade.
    Date published: 2011-11-22
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Little Camcorder This was my first camcorder purchase in 30 years. After spending a bit of time with the manual, I was shooting video like a pro. The video quality is very good and all the controls are easy to get. to. It takes a little while to get use to their positions but they are laid out perfectly. The unit feels substantial as if it's built very well. On the negative side, I wished that it had a slightly larger font size in the viewfinder as it's hard to see without my cheaters. Additionally I'd like to see a little more zoom on the wide angle side. Other than that it's a great camera.
    Date published: 2012-02-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Works great in full auto mode. I was looking for a companion camera to use unmanned for wide shots of stage performances while I operated tight shots. I needed a camera that worked well in full auto mode and kept accurate iris and good focus. Very pleased with the performance. Happy with the layout of controls and user options. It would be hard to beat the picture quality at this good price point.
    Date published: 2012-12-02
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from I feel let down I recently purchased this camera and shot a few test scenes in 60i 501 24p 30p all in 1080 and a few in 720. I shot outside, woods, moving cars and some inside and low light too. I was extremely excited to find this camera but once I brought the footage into FCP X I was very disappointed. I previously worked with a far cheaper Canon and felt it produced far better quality of picture. I even imported that footage from iMovie and felt even after going through that ringer the Cannon footage still looked better that the JVC. Also, i felt the autofocus was slow and didn't lock onto things in full-auto as well as I thought it should. I think I'm going to return it and get something else.
    Date published: 2012-04-15
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from New GY-HM150U JVC Camcorder So far, so good, I expected quality and got it, now I will start to enjoy the ride. Easy to set up, was shooting in less than fifteen minutes, quality is unbelieveable, HD Live Feed blew us away! All features are easy to find and use, mic is good quality, picked up conversations clearly more than 8' away. A few of the controls are a bit tricky, need small fingers and with the monitor I purchased, tough to get to, but overall I'm extremely satisfied, great value, buy one and start shooting your indie!!
    Date published: 2012-04-15
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great image quality Will be using this for making indie low-budget movies. Had experience using an earlier model and after researching other models, I decided this model offered everything I needed at a reasonable (though not the cheapest) price. I don't mind paying the extra as B/H has excellent return policy and I didn't want to risk buying from someone just to save a few bucks. Image quality is stupendous, probably due to 3 CCD and nice lens. This model has super quiet zoom function and nice clear LCD. Menuing makes sense, and directions are very complete, though not pleasure reading. I like the double bay for SD cards, and I put 2 @ 32 GB in there. Very nice FULL auto feature, which can be set to full MANUAL for everything (iris, focus, White Balance, Sound). All in all, a great camera for the level of work I am doing, and worth the extra money.
    Date published: 2013-11-25
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice. Real nice I study Audio Video Production so I use this camera for all sorts of things. What attracted me to it was the XLR inputs as well as the color sampling, bit rate, XD CAM implementation, dual card slot and of course the price. I have gotten very good, crisp picture quality with this camera even in 720p! The onboard stereo mic does a good job, the shot gun mic is decent. I do cut on Avid as well as Final Cut 7 and I am even messing with Premier Pro. I have had no problems ingesting the footage. Link to AMA works just fine. Premier responds better when dealing with MP4 files. The batteries could last longer. As with any type of videography, always manage your lighting situation. No camera will fix bad lighting for you. It's lightweight, easy to operate and the focus assist is a handy tool.
    Date published: 2012-04-24
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