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Interview: Dave Walton, JVC

Shawn Lam and Dave Walton discuss the JVC GY-HM650 2.0, JVC's newly updated dual-card/dual-codec ProHD camcorder with built-in FTP and live-output capability and a 23:1 Fujinon lens.

GY-HM650 2.0 Basic Specs, Fujinon Zoom

Shawn Lam: What can you tell me about some of the basic specs on this camera?

Dave Walton: The GY-HM650 is a one-and-done handheld-style camcorder that records directly to SDHC solid state memory cards. It has two card slots, and you can record to both cars simultaneously or one and then relay to the other if it fills up. Much like a lot of our other products, it has a 23:1 Fujinon zoom lens, which has a very wide-angle 29mm capability and then zooms all the way in to 667mm. So it’s a great zoom lens for news gathering and for run-and-gun-type shooting.

It's a very good, long lens, and it makes it really easy to get shots that are quite a ways away. Traditionally, news photogs have preferred to have 2x extenders just for that reason. So you need a lens that can get you a long shot when you need it, but can provide good wide-angle capability because you're often in very tight quarters, trying to interview people in a crowded situation, and you need to be able to get back so you can get good shots. Just like at a trade show when it's as busy at the JVC booth is. You can't be too far away or people are walking in front of you.

EBU Certification for ENG

Shawn: In terms of performance, I heard a little report coming out of the EBU, the agency that does research for the BBC and certifies cameras. What can you tell me about this camera and how it did?

Dave: Well, the EBU certified this camera for ENG, for the market in the UK, which is actually quite impressive. We haven't had a similar study in the United States, but we know already that it is. We have a lot of broadcasters that have purchased these and are using them. So it's a validation of what we already knew.

Shawn: So if that was where all the features stopped, this would be a great camcorder.

Dave: And, in fact, if you stop there, you have the GY-HM600, which is a couple of thousand dollars less, and it performs equally well with the same lens and everything else.

 

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JVC's GY-HM650 is a new three-chip CMOS camcorder with computer-like functionality that enables Internet connectivity and a second encoder that enables shooting and storing two different formats to SD card, or storing one format and transmitting live streaming video. Part 1 of this 2-part review details the mechanics of the online and dual-codec capabilities. In the second, we'll look at the GY-HM650 as a traditional camera and test quality and usability.
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In performance testing, the JVC GY-HM650 produced exceptionally sharp quality. It offers very good manual controls and outstanding auto-mode performance, and shoots very well-balanced pictures in a range of lighting conditions.