The Kit I Use Daily

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My Camera - JVC GY-HM100 Review


Great little camera. I use it daily! Natively shoots 720p/i but with very good upscaling to 1080i/p.

Shoots on cheap SDHC cards, class 6 or higher (a firmware upgrade may be needed to get it to recognise higher but this is a fairly simple process).

The camera encodes to Sony's proprietary XDCAM EX to either .MOV for Mac use or .MP4 for Windows at a maximum bitrate of 35mbps.

The camera is very small for a semi-pro camcorder. It comes with a detachable soundboard and mic mount with blanaced phantom powered XLR sockets for up to two microphones with indivual gain controls. When detached the camera boasts an onboard stereo mic but to be honest I've never felt the need to try it out.

The filter threads on the camera are 46mm on the lens and 72mm on the detachable hood. With any filter on the camera, either on the hood or the lens itself a vignette appears on the wide end of the lens and a zoom of about 2x is required to remove. The lens cap on the camera is actually built into the hood so if you plan on leaving this off for the majority of your shooting you may want to purchase a fairly good quality lens cap.

The camera has only a 1/4" CCD sensor. This is surprisingly good considering even most consumer cameras have a 1/3" sensor, however there are two downsides to this sensor:

  1. The camera has almost no depth of field. This is fine for most applications such as seminar filming, family holiday recordings or other events where you want the majority of the shot in focus. With enough of a distance between the object on which you want to focus and the background you can still get fairly nice subject definition however it has to be said that without a depth of field adapter this doesn't lend itself well to the "film" look that most digital cinematographers strive for these days.
  2. You need a fairly decent amount of light around the subject you're filming for the camera to expose correctly.

While most higher end prosumer and pro cameras/camcorders use CMOS sensors to record their images this can cause problems in the realms of 3D animation integration as CMOS sensors record pixel by pixel horizontally and then vertically, line by line. This means that on any object that moves horizontally you can often times see a wobble, known as rolling shutter or jelly effect where the object seems to stretch across the screen. This causes problems for camera tracking software which rely on accurate representations of the image (straight lines should be straight) to calculate how the camera is moving, CMOS rolling shutter will often make straight lines curved, causing false data for the tracking software. The CCD sensors in this camera were my primary choice for this camera as I do a lot of visual effects work.

Overall 7.5/10