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JVC's Popular HDV Camera Adds New Features
JVC updates their popular GY-HD100

By Kyle Doris

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JVC has listened to their customers by giving the widely popular GY-HD100 a nice revision. The HD100 was one of the first camcorders released by JVC using their new ProHD high definition format. ProHD, a 720p version of the HDV standard also adopted by Sony, Canon, and Sharp in late 2003, has been a popular high definition alternative to more expensive formats such as HDCAM and DVCPRO HD.

What sets JVC's ProHD apart from other HDV standards is the fact that it shoots progressive images at 24 fps with a smaller GOP or group of pictures. ProHD groups pictures by 6, 4 times a second (hence 24 frames per second) instead of the more popular 15 frames per group, twice a second, incorporated by both Sony's and Canon's 60i HDV formats. Many video editors prefer this standard because it requires less workstation rendering, saving time and processing power while preserving image quality. This attribute, plus interchangeable lens capability, earned the camera wide support from independent filmmakers around the world. The GY-HD110 is the result of JVC listening to its user-base in an attempt to build on the GY-HD100's success; much like Panasonic did with the AG-DVX100A revision of their acclaimed AG-DVX100.

The camera preserves the same form-factor as its predecessor while incorporating many new features for added usability. These include simultaneous use of both eyepiece and the attached LCD when powered by an Anton Bauer or IDX battery; a useful option when covering live events such as sports and weddings.

Focus Assist, which allows the camera operator to verify whether or not the image is in focus, has been improved with high, mid, and low functions. This is an especially useful feature when using HD cameras, as LCDs often have lower pixel-counts than the high-resolution format being recorded. JVC has also made the process of focus checking easier by including a Black & White mode in the viewfinder. This increases contrast and gives more accurate detail representation in certain situations.

Event coverage will benefit from the new time code slave lock function, which allows multiple cameras to be time code synchronized. This is especially helpful for recordings at concerts or other live events where camera operators want to match time code between multiple cameras in order to save time culling through footage in post. With the increased support for multicam functions over the spectrum of NLE's, such as Avid, Final Cut Pro 5 and Premier Pro 2.0, this feature is a wonderful tool for event videographers.

JVC has also increased the quality of the viewfinder image. Eyestrain can be quite a problem during long shoots, this should be alleviated significantly by JVC's reduction in vertical jaggies. The color shift problem that plagued the HD100 has also been eliminated. Lastly, a simple mirror option has been included for the LCD so the operator can see the frame without reverse-image when in front of the camera. These updates, plus audio enhancements to avoid clipping have made the GY-HD110 a welcome revision to the otherwise wonderful GY-HD100. I'm looking forward to personally testing out all these new features myself!

B&H is now accepting orders on the GYHD110.

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