JVC GY-HM790 anyone?

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2bit
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Hi all

We're looking a camera channel solution that we can also go and shoot vox pops/ENG style with. We've looked at various cameras in our price range (EX3s, 320s & the Panasonic equivalent) but were very very impressed by the JVC GY-HM790 we saw up at BVE yesterday. Its in our price range, has a very neat camera back channel solution, shoots to SDHC & has a fibre CCZ option.

We just cant seem to find any user reviews or writeups or anything on the web at all which is more than a little disconcerting (its either an excellent camera with no issues at all but not that great that anyone feels the need to shout its merits, its user base dont know what the net is or there arent any out in the wild).

Has any one got/used one at all? Any feedback would be much appreciated.

We produce lots of live events, often with 90 minutes installs, and have live cameras (relay, IMAG etc) via a CCU or PPU to projectors/plasma etc. We also record the events (ISO & mix) and produce DVDs, video, audio etc.

We currently sub in a range of cameras depending on the job but these vary from Sony D30s to D55s to occasionally Z1s or EX3s depending on budget.

Much appreciated

lowlight
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I haven't seen a review, but you should be able to see the full specs and I believe download a brochure/manual from the JVC eu website:

http://www.jvcpro.eu/jpe/global/product.3315.140.html

2bit
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Hi low

We've seen the pdf & specs and had a great long chat with JVC & TNP Broadcast but it'd be great to hear from any actual users...

paulears
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JVC have a number of colleges with installations on the go, so they'll be some coverage soon. I mentioned in the BVE topic yesterday that I was also impressed - although fibre is still expensive - £8K.

infocus
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2bit wrote:
.......but it'd be great to hear from any actual users...

I've used a 250, which has a lot of similarities to this camera, and the one thing I and colleagues are agreed upon is that in terms of ergonomics it is far superior to any other cameras of this price/size/weight. That's especially the case for handheld operation.

I think JVC have quite a big market share in certain countries where absolute cost is more important than absolute performance. The same criteria may well hold true for low budget corporate etc setups in this country.

You mention the PMW320, and if affordable I'd suspect it to be a better option than the JVC camera - I would expect it to be more expensive though. How much do you want to pay.......?

paulears
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Around 8-10 years ago, the manufacturers suddenly dumped studio facilities from the camera range - JVC were amongst them. The full-size cameras often had a 26pin output - either as one of the model variants, or an add on module, and Sony style cables allowed proper studio style remote CCU and panel operation. In the states, there were plenty of 'real' local broadcasters, but here in the UK pretty well the only market was education - with college and university studios being the main customers.

When they stopped this, there was still usually a remote connector for a simple system, but it left the users having to loom up power, video, comms and r/c into a home-brew, cobbled together system - meaning that swapping a short cable for a long one was nigh on impossible.

The education market didn't actually need amazingly high picture quality for most uses - the actual output rarely having any purpose other than archive and internal interest - however, as the aim was to train people for the industry, they needed certain facilities - so zoom and focus demands, proper remote panels, comms etc were critical so professional practice could be taught and to a degree, mimicked. Losing remote facilities really compromised the educational market. Cameras with the facilities were outside of their price range, and using even the popular high quality, affordable cameras remaining limited them in terms of 'studio' features.

Sony, Panasonic and JVC were always the three main brands in this market sector - but Sony and Panasonic sort of gave in and dropped out. The only option left was JVC, but just one isn't really much of a choice. I looked back to a project done in 2008 and the JVC251 was pretty well it!

Sony and Panasonic should be there, but I expect they just don't see a demand.

Now the HD spec has risen, JVC have moved with it, so deserve the sales they get for staying with the concept.

Although not at the show, I note there's also now a proper studio box lens now for this size sensor cameras.

The money is there - the project 3 years ago was over £100,000 for basic equipment cost - but how many education studios will get built in the current climate?

The Sony XDCU-50 unit for the 320/350 on the surface seems to offer the same facilities BUT you need 3 cables, camera +2 x HD (on BNC) so you still need to make up a taped up system.

2bit
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Hi Paul

Thanks for that - interesting read on where we are now & why!
TNP said that they'd sold quite a few units recently to educational setups but not many to anywhere else.

We've been looking at the 320 & XDCU-50 but its a fair bit more expensive than the JVC & when looking at a 3 channel PPU it all adds up.

If/when anyone hears/sees/tests anything on the JVC GY-HM790 an update would be much appreciated

Cheers

johnmercer
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You make some excellent points there Paul. In the States the JVCs are being picked up for local news and networks quite successfully and JVC have really developed a balanced product line and strategy. They are very popular in Europe for some of the same reasons but seem less so in the UK.

I'm interested in these cameras too for some of the same reasons. I like the CCD and form factor. Broadcasting here too is going to go increasingly independent locally and JVC make a pretty convincing case in some of their marketing blurb for the economies of scale and ease of use. We don't have 720p50 broadcasting in Europe even though the EBU say they prefer it to 1080i.

I wonder if Alan is going to test this camera, I'd be very interested? The JVC's ProHD seems never to have been considered but I'd love to see how they stack up.

RCJardin
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I started with JVC kit 25 years ago but moved on for one main reason - depreciation. At the time I could not afford a Sony 3 machine high band edit suite but a JVC was achievable. Years later spares were not available for the JVC kit and the value was zero so it all went in the council skip. If I had paid that bit extra Sony spares would have still been available and the kit had a good second hand value. Having said that the kit paid for itself many times over and was very reliable until spares were suddenly pulled.

foxvideo
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Mate of mine just bought a 790 to go with his 700, so far he's well pleased with it.

(PS - he got a free iPad 1 with it, now in use as an autocue system for the camera)

Dave Farrants Fox Video Editing

johnmercer
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Bruce Rawlings wrote:
I started with JVC kit 25 years ago but moved on for one main reason - depreciation. At the time I could not afford a Sony 3 machine high band edit suite but a JVC was achievable. Years later spares were not available for the JVC kit and the value was zero so it all went in the council skip. If I had paid that bit extra Sony spares would have still been available and the kit had a good second hand value. Having said that the kit paid for itself many times over and was very reliable until spares were suddenly pulled.

Believe me I have a small warehouse full of Broadcast Sony SD gear and selling that is proving very hard, depreciation massive. It's heading for the skip one day too, I can see. Obsolecence is a far greater problem than spares and all makes of gear face the same fate.

I'm really interested in today's JVC product and if Alan is going to do a test of the GY-HM790 specifically, thanks.

sleepytom
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Have you looked at the panasonic system Jamie? It offers remote / ccu with comms via a double BNC connection. http://www.panasonic-broadcast.com/en/products/camera-systems/AG-CA300-BS300-EC4/AG-CA300.php

Though if you have existing DXC-D50 stuff then the sony HXC-100 heads make the most sense. You can use existing triax and even the RCPs from the old DXC range. These are a LOT better than the JVCs yet the total ownership cost may not be too much more if you have existing DXC kit.

You can contact me at http://tombassford.org
People interested in live production might like to check out http://atemuser.com 

johnmercer
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sleepytom wrote:
Have you looked at the panasonic system Jamie? It offers remote / ccu with comms via a double BNC connection. http://www.panasonic-broadcast.com/en/products/camera-systems/AG-CA300-BS300-EC4/AG-CA300.php

Though if you have existing DXC-D50 stuff then the sony HXC-100 heads make the most sense. You can use existing triax and even the RCPs from the old DXC range. These are a LOT better than the JVCs yet the total ownership cost may not be too much more if you have existing DXC kit.

The DXC-50 range is SD and the whole infrastructure would have to be changed to HD for HXC-100. The GY-HM790 would fit into the existing DXC kit too in SD. They are undoubtedly better than the 1/3" JVCs but the total cost of ownership is far more than the JVC solutions.

sleepytom
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As I understand it, that is not correct.

The HXC-100 uses the same triax cable as the SD DXC range - the OCP / RCP panels for the CCUs are also reusable as the SD ones work with the HD CCUs . Other things may need upgrading to deal with HDSDI whilst some items may not (patch panels and the like are the same, routers etc are not)

The HXC-100 is 2/3rd inch B2 mount lenses - your old SD lenses will work as a stop gap until HD lenses are required. For IMAG type scenarios SD lenses will be OK anyway, it's only really full HD broadcast that requires HD glass. The JVC cams use 1/3rd inch lenses, the choice of which is really limited. Ok so you can get an adaptor for normal 2/3rd inch lenses but you then have to deal with crop factors and incorrect lens marks. I wouldn't want to try and get a JVC onto an adaptor and then mount it in a large box lens.

The JVC heads will also need lighter tripods and different quick release plates, the HXC-100 wil happily use the same tripods and plates as the D50.

Really the HXC-100 is the cheapest professional HD camera chain. All the cheaper options require bolt on bodges and dangling cables, the JVC system is the most complete for sure but it's still prosumer kit designed for schools, as such the image quality and robustness are not upto the standard of the sony kit.

It kind of depends what kind of work you have for the system, the JVC makes sense if its low end corporate stuff where your looking to own everything you'll ever need, and you don't have any existing investment in professional caneras. The Sony stuff makes a lot more sense if you ever need to integrate into a more broadcasty environment or if you want the ease of hiring in extra camera chains or big box lenses or whatever, and if you already have triax cables and large tripods / peds etc.

Its a shame that sony haven't given us an intermediate format between the EX3 and the HXC-100 - personally i'd like to see a studio system based on the PMW-350k - this would sit where the DSR-570 was.

You can contact me at http://tombassford.org
People interested in live production might like to check out http://atemuser.com 

johnmercer
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sleepytom wrote:
Really the HXC-100 is the cheapest professional HD camera chain. All the cheaper options require bolt on bodges and dangling cables, the JVC system is the most complete for sure but it's still prosumer kit designed for schools, as such the image quality and robustness are not upto the standard of the sony kit

Sorry but have you understood the OP's market sector:

We produce lots of live events, often with 90 minutes installs, and have live cameras (relay, IMAG etc) via a CCU or PPU to projectors/plasma etc. We also record the events (ISO & mix) and produce DVDs, video, audio etc.

Secondly have you actually worked with JVC's gear. I've shot and produced several broadcast documentaries on a HD100 and I've got DSR570s and HPX500 and regularly hire in HDCam. Many TV stations in the US are using JVC's comprehensive and thorough broadcast solution. There is nothing else at this price at all that fulfills studio and location uplink needs. 1/3"may fall into the prosummer sector but the full product line up of ProHD is far from kid's stuff. My film school years ago had full studio cameras and Arri SRs too.

Of course 2/3" full broadcast studio gear is much better but you are not going to rig out the full HD Sony system for anywhere near the price of the JVC system.

sleepytom
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johnmercer wrote:
Sorry but have you understood the OP's market sector:

Yes I do understand the OP's position within the sector - Jamie (2bit) is the AV manager at a large and prestigious London AV company, I've known him for many years and I have no issue comprehending the scale and type of event they do.

Quote:
[Secondly have you actually worked with JVC's gear. I've shot and produced several broadcast documentaries on a HD100 and I've got DSR570s and HPX500 and regularly hire in HDCam. Many TV stations in the US are using JVC's comprehensive and thorough broadcast solution. There is nothing else at this price at all that fulfills studio and location uplink needs. 1/3"may fall into the prosummer sector but the full product line up of ProHD is far from kid's stuff. My film school years ago had full studio cameras and Arri SRs too.

yes i've used JVC gear as well as Sony stuff. It is prosumer kit which though capable is clearly not as well built or designed as proper pro gear from Sony / Panasonic etc. JVC's use by lots of US local TV stations is irrelevant to the needs of a live event company in London. (Most US cable is still NTSC - their "HD" channels are mainly 720p)

Quote:
Of course 2/3" full broadcast studio gear is much better but you are not going to rig out the full HD Sony system for anywhere near the price of the JVC system.

Have you actually priced up the JVC gear? Last time I did so the jump in price from a complete JVC studio channel to the HXC-100 studio channel was surprisingly small. It gets smaller if you have existing DXC-D50 level kit which can be reused.

Do you have any understanding of the UK events market? Any idea what the competing event companies are using? This is my number one reason for suggesting the HXC-100 as it is the industry standard events camera. XL Video purchased 50 camera chains last year and as such this system which utilises existing components from the old D50 chains is the most cross-hireable system in the UK. I believe both CT and VisionsOB also stock HXC-100 chains.

Can you tell me where i can hire a JVC chain from? In the past i've actually tried to hire an HD250 chain but i've not found anyone who can supply more than the basic camera. Actually can you tell me where to hire a 1/3rd inch lens from? If i can't even hire the basics for the cameras then they are not a very flexible option really. (never mind the fact that there are only a very small number of lenses manufactured for the 1/3rd inch camera format)

This is why the JVC system falls down for me - it simply isn't popular enough to make cross-hire a viable option.

If you are going to go low end then I would get EX3s and just run loomed cables to them for remote + comms. This is a budget solution (cheaper than the JVC chains) but has the advantage of significantly better image quality as well as the ease of hiring in extra cameras (owner operators are much easier to find too)

JVC is IMHO the worst compromise - its not fully professional, and yet it is not popular enough to have ease of crosshire and operator familiarity. As a solution for an independent, self-contained production company it isn't too bad, but if you need to crosshire extra gear sometimes or depend upon freelance operators then the JVC gear has some very serious drawbacks.

You can contact me at http://tombassford.org
People interested in live production might like to check out http://atemuser.com 

johnmercer
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sleepytom wrote:
Do you have any understanding of the UK events market? Any idea what the competing event companies are using? This is my number one reason for suggesting the HXC-100 as it is the industry standard events camera. XL Video purchased 50 camera chains last year and as such this system which utilises existing components from the old D50 chains is the most cross-hireable system in the UK. I believe both CT and VisionsOB also stock HXC-100 chains.

Can you tell me where i can hire a JVC chain from? In the past i've actually tried to hire an HD250 chain but i've not found anyone who can supply more than the basic camera. Actually can you tell me where to hire a 1/3rd inch lens from? If i can't even hire the basics for the cameras then they are not a very flexible option really. (never mind the fact that there are only a very small number of lenses manufactured for the 1/3rd inch camera format)

This is why the JVC system falls down for me - it simply isn't popular enough to make cross-hire a viable option.

If you are going to go low end then I would get EX3s and just run loomed cables to them for remote + comms. This is a budget solution (cheaper than the JVC chains) but has the advantage of significantly better image quality as well as the ease of hiring in extra cameras (owner operators are much easier to find too)

JVC is IMHO the worst compromise - its not fully professional, and yet it is not popular enough to have ease of crosshire and operator familiarity. As a solution for an independent, self-contained production company it isn't too bad, but if you need to crosshire extra gear sometimes or depend upon freelance operators then the JVC gear has some very serious drawbacks.

No I don't do much events though I have used JVC gear on some big events and it was more than good enough. I do broadcast, commercial and corporate mainly and I'm well acquainted with all spectrums of equipment. So I'll take your word for stuff but to my mind there is no way events producers need full broadcast 2/3" studio spec a la BBC/ITV/SKY and I've never seen that, it would be total overkill in my view. Sports events for broadcast yes, but not conference, expo and corporate.

You never mentioned availability for hire and if this is sparse or non-existent in the UK then I can see your reasons and I'm personally not talking about crosshire. I simply don't agree that the JVC gear is not good enough for your use (events), I've used it for broadcast, got my own online suites, deliver the stuff to broadcast, as I say, and there is simply so much twaddle talked about what is good enough or not.

I'm sorry but you've come up with another solution for the OP. I respect that you've done your sums. You know him and his existing kit better than I and I'm sure he'll listen to you. But there is simply no way that fully integrated 'broadcast' solutions from Sony (or anybody else) and JVC compare in price and the fact that it has been overlooked in the UK is to my mind a shame, when it is perfectly workable and professional in the right hands and nothing else in this sector exists like it. In my mind to offer a bunch of lashed up EX1s as an alternative fails to take note of a proper fully integrated studio and live product solution. We both accept that 2/3" is a different league from 1/3" that is something I've never questioned but it is being used in both Europe and the US for more than schools I can tell you and nobody should accuse those people of not being professional.

But I'm only interested in this thread about the GY-HM790 so if you don't mind I'll confine my interest to that area at the moment, thanks.

paulears
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I'm a bit confused by some comments - The JVC is no more 'prosumer' than the other HD offerings, and looking at the specs, and having a play with the camera at the recent show - it shares very little with consumer products. The range of accessories, and the style of operation are hardly stretched consumer product. It's a 1/3" sensor, sure - but so is the 370(301) which were also quite popular.

The important point is the price - going up to 2/3" is a fairly hefty jump. I don't think there's a problem with the Sony, far from it - BUT the OP doesn't seem to be quite in that market sector. Of course, cross hire with XL Video would be great - but the figures suggest that buying in product of the same model for smaller companies may not be cost effective due to XL being able to discount them more than a smaller firm.

I'm doing a show tomorrow - usual kind of event with a few screens and cameras - a music event, and these JVCs would be ideal - I'm still using JVC 4:3 SD 5000s, and apart from the 4:3 aspect ratio, there is no need whatsoever for a picture quality hike for events of this kind. So for me - and being honest, business at the moment doesn't warrant me doing a complete swap out - I'd consider the JVCs with no qualms at all. If I had them, I'd be able to come in well under XLs price because I'm in a very different market. XL are a great company - their flightcases cross my path quite frequently - but I don't need 2/3" size or price.

Some comments are a bit daft

Quote:
It's not fully professional

It's sold by JVCs professional division, it's clearly intended for professional users, and has a professional spec. The extra features are clearly aimed at professionals too.

There's a bit of snobbery at the moment. Same thing we used to have when u-matic went to beta, then beta-sp, then digibeta - but the truth is that people buy features and benefits - and although I never have liked the shape of these JVCs, theres no doubt that JVC have designed them to hit a specific market area. Not as high as the Sonys - but much cheaper - and more affordable.

We've also moved far from the original post where the OP wants to be able to shoot vox pops and other material - a system camera doesn't really work - I know the sony we're talking about here is not actually a genuine suggestion, just a bit of off topic text.

sleepytom
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You both make some good points - the dual use of the JVC is a serious advantage over both "better" systems cameras such as the HXC-100 and the more direct competition which all need loomed cables rather than the neater JCV 26pin.

I guess on reflection I'm annoyed that the JVC hasn't been more popular in the UK market, it would make sense for much of my work, if only I could hire the damn things! I also find the wide range of very similar models to be a bit off putting, as they seem to subtly change the spec fairly frequently which would make adding more cameras at a later date a potential head ache.

But to come back round on-topic I actually quite like the look of the 790 - it seems to of moved on a fair bit from the older prohd range. its good to see a 26pin output that works for handheld as well as on the studio sled. The CCD appeals to me as it is much less problematic than cmos for stage lighting conditions.

You can contact me at http://tombassford.org
People interested in live production might like to check out http://atemuser.com 

johnmercer
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Do you know what? I'm thinking of opening up back in the UK and if there's a market for JVC hire I'd like to look into providing a solution for it.

I think JVCs native 1280 x 720 CCD chips in 1/3" make a lot of sense (infact they are currently the only CCDs in this sector) especially for news, events and web. 720p50 is a great format it scales easily to both SD and 1080i. It compresses better for broadcast across low bit rate MPEG2 and MPG4 in both conventional and mobile/coming 4G Wifi. I like how JVC have stepped into a niche market responding to a specific need for real media professionals which is away from the ridiculous playing at pretend cinema tools. It is only sad that they are the only ones unless you are at the very top end.

Put good lenses on the JVC cameras (the 17x or 13x) and they are definitely pro cams. Their form factor is just right and their build quality is good, the HD100 I have has been battered to hell and still trucks on, the newer HM700/790s are further more robust. They ideally need to be used in 720p50 mode, it suits the chips, is less noisy and codec compression is the most efficient. People can argue all day long about how great the picture quality of EX1s and XF305s etc. is but I could personally not live with plasticky form factors and the difference in picture quality of all cams these days is less than pixel watchers claim for those who actually make programmes and the public who consume them.

The UK is essentially public broadcasting centric even allowing for ITV etc. and therefore commercial decisions on equipment don't often follow sound business sense but this is not the case with the US and most of Europe/Asia. I look to those markets increasingly for content and media equipment planning.

KrisHill
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johnmercer wrote:
You make some excellent points there Paul. In the States the JVCs are being picked up for local news and networks quite successfully and JVC have really developed a balanced product line and strategy. They are very popular in Europe for some of the same reasons but seem less so in the UK.

I'm interested in these cameras too for some of the same reasons. I like the CCD and form factor. Broadcasting here too is going to go increasingly independent locally and JVC make a pretty convincing case in some of their marketing blurb for the economies of scale and ease of use. We don't have 720p50 broadcasting in Europe even though the EBU say they prefer it to 1080i.

I wonder if Alan is going to test this camera, I'd be very interested? The JVC's ProHD seems never to have been considered but I'd love to see how they stack up.

I trust that this proves of interest

http://www.jvcpro.co.uk/jpe/en/article.1621.html

2bit
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Hi all

I've only just come back to this thread so apologies for my absence & many thanks for all the input.

Valid points all round - We dont currently own any camera channels at all but the cross-hire situation is something we're very very aware of & is probably the biggest reason we havent jumped in with JVC already.

As Tom (hello mate, hope alls well) points out its that balance between us wanting to own our own camera channels, affordably, and being to sub/cross hire for larger jobs whilst being able to provide a variety of quality live & production services.

We found out about the JVC offer of 2 years interest free credit last week & are organising a demo of a whole system ASAP. 2 yrs at 0& is very tempting indeed.

We'll let you know how we get on.......

KrisHill
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Joined: Mar 22 2011

Dear all,

The creation truck will be back in the UK very soon complete with fibre for demos.
I am looking to meet with all interested parties so please contact me directly if you would like to arrange a visit.

Kris Hill
JVC Professional
07770 800231

http://www.jvcpro.eu/jpe/default/article.1657.html

KrisHill
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Joined: Mar 22 2011

Dear all,

Circa 12no fibre channels will be in the UK hire market very soon with more to come. Through our 0% finance offer we are bridging the gap and delivering ideal equipment for live event / av production companies

Cross hire opportunities will now be available.

Our creation truck is still available for demos should you require one.
I am looking to meet with all interested parties so please contact me directly if you would like to arrange a visit.

Kris Hill
UK Sales Manager

JVC Professional
07770 800231

http://www.jvcpro.eu/jpe/default/article.1657.html

KrisHill
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GY-HM790 now available to hire in UK

Dear all,

Please note you can now hire up to 12 channels of the JVC GY-HM790E fibre solution from:

onyxpresentations.co.uk
audiotechuk.com