JVC's GY-HM700 First Thoughts gets an exclusive first look before the official NAB launch. gets an exclusive first look before the official NAB launch.


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Corey Boutilier with GY-HM700's Corey Boutilier with an early look at JVC's new GY-HM700 in Central Park, New York City.

Today JVC has done what no other camera company has done before.  A couple of things actually.  Today JVC announced that in a special working arrangement with Apple and Final Cut Pro, their two new camcorders will shoot directly to .mov Final Cut Pro native editing files.

Over the past few years, for those of us who follow these things, have seen how the format wars have battled on since the awkward transition from the easy use of mini-DV camcorders to high definition shooting.  Some things to consider here are the lens, the format, the hd spec, the form factor, and acquisition format, ie. mini-DV tapes.

It's been interesting to say the least.  Sony gave us the VX1000, Canon gave us the GL-1 and XL1.  Panasonic gave us the DVX100 and 24p capabilities on mini-DV tape, then Sony gave us the PD150.  Apple gave us a professional editing software suite that we could run on our lap tops.  Then with the advent of High Def a new round of confusing specs that didn't play very well together and our simplicity of DV was gone forever.  And it left all of us wondering when the new round of HD 24p camcorders would be available.  And it seamed like none of the camera companies wanted to take a stab at it because perhaps they felt that smaller inexpensive cameras would eat away at their 25,000 to 75,000 dollar cine alta and varicam cameras.  Then JVC introduced the GY-HD100 720p 24p ProHD camcorder.

Sony's HDV format knocked on the doors of Apple asking "can you add our format to Final Cut Pro".  Panasonic with their HD format asking Apple to add their spec to Final Cut Pro, and yes even JVC with their 720p ProHD HDV spec had a similar story.

Actually, Apple in one of their latest rounds of upgrades to Final Cut Pro made a really big deal about how in their workflow you could edit all of these formats together on the same timeline, including smaller sized DV files.  Something that will still be very important in the coming years.

But what makes today so different is JVC's partnership with Apple, taking a reverse approach to the workflow by working directly with Apple to shoot natively, in camera, to Final Cut Pro's quick time.  This time JVC approached Apple and asked, "what can we do on our end to be native to Final Cut Pro".  (Technically JVC's new camcorders are shooting to Sony's rock solid XDCAM format wrapped in a native Final Cut Pro .mov file.)  It's so simple it's mind blowing it took this long.

What this means is a seamless workflow solution with the number one editing solution Final Cut Pro.

The second revolutionary announcement is that these new JVC camcorders shoot to SDHC media cards.  The tiny inexpensive cards that we have been using in our still cameras for a few years now.  They are so inexpensive they are almost archivable.  It makes one wonder what Panasonic will do with their P2 card based camcorders.  Now that apple has removed the wide PCMCIA card slot from their laptops, and the price of P2 cards never really came down like the industry had hoped.  Or at least not fast enough.

My first thoughts, since I got to play with the camcorder for a little bit in Central Park.

I have been a JVC HD100 shooter for a few years now.  I owned my HD100 even before Final Cut Pro accepted the 24p camera spec.  So I can speak with some authority on the new changes that have been introduced in the new GY-HM700.

- The GY-HM700 shoots directly to tiny SDHC media cards.  So no tape drop outs.  

- The camera will have a brand new Canon Lens standard that ships at about 20% wider than the current Fujinon lens.  Canon has developed this lens just for the GY-HM700.

- The GY-HM700 has brand new technology implemented into the new view finder and flip out lcd panel which are also larger.

- There are also some new controls on the side that make it easier to access the professional switches.

- The small shoulder mount ENG format is basically still the same.

- And just to be clear, there is still an option to shoot in other formats if you are not using Final Cut Pro.

- The image quality was stunning and clear, even that much stronger than the GY-HD200 series.  

- The GY-HM700 shoots to both 1080p or 720p.

- An introduction of a USB port and Firewire.

-And the footage looks amazing.

More information is expected to be announced at NAB later this year.

It will probably be inevitable that other camera companies will follow suit with what JVC has done.  But at the end of the day JVC is currently the only company to do this and they will always have been the first.

Tags: Final Cut Pro, GY-HM700, JVC, ProHD