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Today, for under $10,000, several excellent video camera kits exist which would have had me laughed from the room had I suggested them ten years ago. JVC is making a very compelling case for its brand new GY-HM790U media camcorder. This camera has every feature you need to capture high-quality footage, both in the studio or in the field.
To mention a few, it packs 3 CCD, 4:2:2 processing; built in Gen-lock; bayonet lens mount; and it features a recording data rate of up to 35Mbps, which will give you more than three hours of uninterrupted shooting (if you use two 32GB SDHC cards in the dual hot-swappable card bays). The camera automatically starts recording to the second card when the first is full, and then switches back to the first when the second is full, so as long as you continue to replace full cards with empty ones, you can get virtually unlimited recording time.
Featuring native support, the camera’s footage can be dragged right into a Final Cut timeline and edited right away without any converting or transcoding, for an incredibly quick shoot to edit work flow. The camera also records in MP4 format for use in other popular NLEs.
For use in the studio, the HM790U supports large lenses, and has a high resolution flip-out 4.3-inch LCD viewfinder (800x480). Its modular design sports a 68-pin chassis connector to attach a whole slew of modules without any external cabling. JVC has some great optional features to soup up your camera, including a studio sled, 8.4-inch viewfinder and a 26-pin multicore module to connect the camera to a CCU.
This is an exciting, flexible and affordable camera that should prove invaluable both in the studio and in the field. The JVC Pro-Spec package comes with a Canon 14x HD lens that performs really well, with consistent brightness from wide angle to telephoto (4.4mm-62mm) with no F-drop. It also includes the KA551U tripod adapter plate. The HM790U is available without the tripod plate or as a body with shotgun mic - without the canon lens or tripod plate.
Some noteworthy news: All the other cameras in the JVC ProHD line have just had experienced price reductions. This includes the handheld GY-HM100U, the compact shoulder-supported GY-HM700U and the tape-based HY-HD250U. All these excellent cameras are now even friendlier to your pocket book.
Have you had any experience working with any of the JVC camcorders? Tell me all about it in the Comments section below.