JVC’s GY-HD100U is not yet a year old but has already been improved-upon. It was unequalled for 720P support in HDV (OK, the only 720 P HDV) but it did not support 60P. 60P carries twice the data as 60i (aka 30i) and is a better solution for shooters who do not want to learn the techniques necessary to successfully shoot at the lower temporal sample rates of 24 and 30 P.
As we suggested a few days ago, JVC announced two new cameras to complement their GY-HD100U camcorders.
The new JVC GY-HD250U multi-purpose camcorder is a compact shoulder-mount form factor which supports 60P. The GY-HD250 records true 1280 x 720 progressive at 60 frames per second thanks to a new advanced codec that provides ultra efficient compression without visible motion artifacts. The camcorder can be used for ENG, Digital Cinematography and can be reconfigured as a studio camera.
Other significant changes from the GY HD100U include 12 frame GOP for 60P, 4:2:2 HD-SDI output with embedded audio, improved CineGamma mode and, like the Canon XL H1 Genlock in, Timecode in, composite video for monitoring and mounts for pro camera batteries. Unfortunately both new camcorders are still 1/3" chips.
The GY-HD250U offers a studio configuration using the HD-SDI output with the KA-HD250 Studio kit and an optional Camera Control Unit for studio integration. The CCU offers multi-core remote control of power, genlock, color balance, black level and intercom up to 100 meters (330 ft.). The HD250 can use the GY-DV550U existing multicore cable and CCU. Going out the HD-SDI output bypasses the MPEG-2 processing and gives 4:2:2 10 bit directly off the chip.
If you do need to record, the MPEG-2 encoder for HDV is claimed to be "twice as good" as the predecessor. This is to be expected: with DV we saw constant improvement in encoders over time. This will drive the quality of HDV higher over time as the MPEG-2 encoder is the most significant factor affecting HDV quality.
The new HD200, is targeted for independent filmmakers and stringers, this high definition camcorder carries the Compact-Shoulder form factor popularized by the GY-HD100U, and is capable of HDV720/60P true progressive image acquisition due to the implementation of JVCs new Super Encoder developed for the latest line of ProHD products.
60P provides 60 full frames of information per second, excellent for viewing and analyzing motion, as well as for delivering an overcranked recording for superb slow motion when the final output is 24P.
The new HD200 features an optional Arri PL mount adapter, the HZ-CA13U, so film schools and rental facilities can use lenses they already own. The camcorder has an "image flip" function to accommodate primes that reverse the image. Like the other two camcorders the HD200 shoots 24P, 24PA and 60P.
The GY-HD200U utilizes all of the accessories currently available for the GY-HD100U, including the new 1/3 mount HD lenses being introduced at NAB 2006.
The two new cameras are superficially similar to the older HD100 but with the pro camera mount. The GY-HD200 will sell for about US$7995 (subject to change) when it ships in the fall of 2006 with ; the GY-HD250 will be sell for about US$9000, but without lens, and will also be available this October.
Both new cameras support Focus Enhancement’s optional DR-HD100U Hard Disk Drive Recorder, which records to tape and disk at same time. An 80GB drive supplies more than 7 hrs of HD. Files on the DR HD100U files directly into Final Cut Pro using native .mov structure.