Dancing with Light


The JVC100 HD I have always found intriguing.  Probably because it looks similar to the production beta cams and appears to be a camera I would be comfortable shooting with.

Like the other 3 cameras it can produce remarkable pictures.  It has a mechanical lens that enables the operator to easily adjust focus when in the manual mode.  The macro is ideal for impromptu tabletop shooting when you need to record an object or a pamphlet for example for b-roll.  The lens is interchangeable with a wide angle lens which I hear goes for about $13,000.00 if you wish to buy one.  The camera and standard lens cost about $6,300.00.

There is no image stabilization so hand held work will be difficult.  You should plan on using a tripod if you want steady shots.  The JVC HD100 is shoulder supported.

Unfortunately, we heard the camera could break down easily.  I believe if you own the camera instead of renting it, you will automatically take better care of the camera and not be concerned with it breaking down.

USING GAIN, lighting exercise:
When compared with the other 3 cameras in the lighting test we did in the class featuring me as the subject, the image was brighter on the classroom monitor considering the low light level.  We had about 6 foot-candles lighting a chart and myself.  The picture was cooler then the other cameras and was also contrasty.  When we switched in 6db the noise was noticeable.  Oddly at 12db the noise was not noticeable as much.  I believe you should not try using gain if you are doing an interview.  Plan on bringing a light or two if you are concerned about light level.

We spent a little time in the afternoon setting up 2 of the new larger Litepanels and a small Litepanel for an interview setup.  We had a window behind the subject.  Outside, the sky was overcast and there was plenty of foliage to help break up the background.  We set iris for the window (5.6) and did not dial in any ND filter.  The Litepanels provided more then enough level to see our subject.  The Litepanels were 5600 and when we white balanced the JVC, it produced an excellent image of subject and background.  I should mention there was also a white wall making up the other half of the background behind the subject.  The light spread of the litepanel surprisingly did not light up the wall behind the subject taking into account it was a small room and the subject was about 3' from the window and wall.  I was pretty impressed with the end result.  We could see detail outside and inside equally.

Another interesting test that was done by another participant attending the course was using the macro.  He shot extreme close-ups using the macro and the only light he used at times were floor lamps or daylight coming in through the window.  The images were fantastic.  You could clearly see the selective focus area with the foreground and background out of focus.  The JVC produced remarkable pictures.  If your recordings include many extreme close-ups of objects to support your stories, then you should seriously consider using the JVC.

When I first saw the JVC HD100 at a trade show I was intrigued by its design.  I still am intrigued but I know I need to be extra careful when using the camera out in the field.  Perhaps my hand held work is good, but I never really considered how much the image stabilization on other cameras might be the reason I get good results.  So, because it has no image stabilizer I don't think I would consider it a rental if the client were expecting a lot of hand held work.  I understand from the Instructor t