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Thursday, November 13, 2014

New 4K Camera For $4.4k ! From JVC

Well there you go, JVC has again brought out another innovative camera. The original HD-100, 200, 250 where pretty innovative cameras when they came out. With tweaking they made really great images and had all the connectors you'd expect once you got to the 200 or 250. JVC has continued that line into the 700 series recording to SD cards, 1080, and WiFi making for a camera I see a lot being used for local news shooting. At IBC JVC had shown a prototype of this camera and now out of the blue they have it available at B&H for $4,450. Just when I thought I was going to seriously consider a Sony FS7 for 2.5X the price in a shootable config, along comes this camera. While it has some hints of palmcorder, its got a S35 sensor being made by JVC that uses some new sensor design. The raw sensor is 4.5 m/pixels but because its not using a conventional bayer pattern is more like a 15mb/pixel chip, but with much larger pixel area. That translates to much better light sensitivity, all things being equal.

Whats not being talked about is dynamic range. No specs anywhere. So what does that mean ? excellent question I don't have an answer for. I can't just plunk down $4500 to test it and see if its 10, 12 or more stops. Realistically I'd expect about 12 stops of DN but we'll see. At some point JVC or first buyers will put that number out there. This of course makes canon look all the more lamer in the C100 Mk2 update. I mean its a really great camera for 1080, but not for $5k. Unless the JVC turns out to be a poor performer which I totally doubt, its going to give everyone some serious competition. All the other specs about the camera like great - Mpeg2 50mbit 422 1080, AVC 150mbit UHD. No 4096, but really, for this price, who cares ?

So one odd choice - the use of a M4/3's lens mount for a S35 sensor. Well you know what ? who cares. Given that the M4/3's mount is highly adaptable for just about anything including PL, EF and whatever, its a good choice. I some how fail to see that they would of went with something like a Sony A or E mount or a EF mount as the primary lens connection. So putting your glass of choice should not be an issue. Its already been shown working with a Metabones M4/3's to EF adapter.

Interesting times indeed.... as for canon... well if they want to stay in the game the base specs of their new camera HAS to be 4K, 14+ stops DN, a REAL codec using a REAL data rate. Its almost like Sony's management moved over to canon in thinking that users will just pay up to get those one or two critical things they need for 2-3X the price of the base model... that the base model could deliver if it wasn't being intentionally feature limited. Maybe they need to read Clue Train Manefesto again, maybe a few times until it sinks in... we aren't stupid, we communicate, we aren't being fooled. Of course don't get me wrong, I just so love the look of canon cameras as they just seem to get a great look thats very pleasing... because if they didn't have that I've of sold my C100 for something else a while ago....