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JVC GY-HM200U COMPACT HANDHELD CAMCORDER

Camera 1Another Affordable Church Video Production Option

By Dave Kalahar

I recently had an opportunity to review JVC’s latest compact camcorder. As more and more church media teams move to video for productions and live streaming, this compact camera is an excellent choice. It is a complete production package with most all the features you would need to shoot quality video. What excited me was the 4K capability of this camera – I wanted to see just how much image difference is available with a camera recording 4K, using a single 2.3 inch CMOS pickup sensor.

Whenever I test a piece of gear, I always start with Dave’s “tear open the box and get it going” approach. In other words, forgo reading the manual and see how intuitive it is out of the box; the GY-HM200U passes the test. Out of the box, the lithium battery is ready to go. I easily attached the battery and the carry handle that includes the audio controls and the lens shade, inserted a 64 gb SDHC memory card and found the power on button, and was able to make a video right away. Full auto capability is available for major controls, but I set for
manual iris and focus after using the on-screen menu to set video to HD 1920 x 1080 at 60i in Quick Time.

This translates to 50Mbs using a YUV422 color space. Initial video was sharp with excellent color and detail. I do recommend spending some time digging into the instructions; however, as you will get the most out of the the many camera features this way. Use the menu to switch the camera from HD mode to 4K. The 4K mode was set to fi lm 3840 x 2160 at 30p, with a bit rate of 150Mbs. It’s important to make sure your SD card has UHS-I
U3 or higher specifications to record 4K content. HD content needs a class 10 or higher SD card.

We shot a sunset street scene in both HD and 4K to compare the footage, and imported both fi les into an AVID HD project so I could see the 4K footage in the HD environment. The 4K shots had a greater dynamic range and increased sharpness in the video and it looked great. I would shoot with this mode when appropriate. I also brought this camera along to a shoot we had in LA. The plan was to pick up some b-roll with the JVC in HD mode. We operated the GY-HM200U in a wide variety of lighting and color balance situations, and the controls were easy to manipulate and right in the location I would expect them to be. The built in ND filter is a huge plus. While the quality of the color side pop-put LED screen is not as sharp as I would like, the good news is this camera has both HDMI and SDI outputs, so attaching external monitors is a cinch. This also makes connection to a video system or streaming appliance easy to do.

Another feature of this camera is its’ wireless connectivity. If you connect a wireless LAN adaptor into the compartment in the rear of this camera, you will have access to more features. It can connect with a web browser over Wi-Fi, and that includes your smart phone or tablet as well, providing a useful ability to make camera adjustments CCU style. You can Dave reportalso view files and – best of all – stream live, with excellent video in 1080i at 12Mbps.

The JVC GY-HM200U is affordable. Given the number of features and 4K capability it’s a real deal. This camera is a good choice for just about any kind of church video production.

Dave Kalahar is the Director of Media and Broadcasting Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfi eld, CA. www.valleybaptist.org

 

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