Post Magazine

August 2015

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REVIEW 46 POST AUGUST 2015 he first thing I noticed when I picked up the JVC GY-LS300CHU — one of three in the product family (and the first with Super 35 CMOS imag- ing) — was that it felt and looked like a real production camera. I know, what does that mean? Simply, there was a familiar weight (6.5 pounds) that I was used to, yet it wasn't too heavy. The GY- LS300CHU had all the familiar controls that one would expect from a camera in this price range ($3,995) plus some other gems that I will touch on a little later on. The review process itself lasted a couple of weeks, with both studio and on-location shoots, allowing me to get a good look at what the camera could do as the starting point of the production/ post workflow. Then, it was right to post, which for some of my clients, means money in the bank. ROCK SOLID FEATURES WITH LOTS O' FLEX The camera offers a range of controls for expanded focus, iris, markers, and focus assist (for old eyes like mine) and the built-in ND filter offers 1/16, 1/4, and 1/64 settings. The adjustable gain available in 3db/ISO increments for low, medium and high settings added even more flexibility to the camera, which in turn ended up helping once in the post process. Good thinking also went into the audio controls and functions, as there were two XLRs on the supplied handle, shotgun microphone, and line/mic switching. It was nice to have the option to use the eyepiece or the 3.7 LCD flip-out screen. I tried both, and truth be told (since I wear glasses), the flip-out was easier. I really liked the zebra function and looking at the record time and audio levels all at the same time. Even so, a col- league who tagged along during some of the testing suggested a small additional monitor on top, but I felt comfortable and confident with the information and the image displayed. The GY-LS300 also has a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens mount, and includes an exclusive Variable Scan Mapping technol- ogy. Essentially, this electronically adapts the active area of the Super 35 CMOS sensor to provide native support of a va- riety of other lenses allowing the camera to adjust and stay true to the angle of the lens. This is where the shooter in me got very motivated. The ability to shoot in a variety of formats and be able to adapt to the lens we already had on-hand seems like a strong selling point for JVC. We have to be able to say, "Yes we can shoot that," or "Yes, we can shoot in that format." Get it? I also tried three different lenses on the camera, two primes and one zoom, shot both in 4K and HD in a variety of frame rates. I checked my footage (studio and location) going back and forth between the prime and the zoom using an Eizo ColorEdge CG-318-4K self-calibrating monitor, which in itself was outstanding (more on that monitor in an upcoming issue of Post). The result was crisp, clean imaging, outstanding depth of field, and color reproduction right from the camera and in playback. Needless to say, when you can go native, you should. It's always my first choice. But again, one of this camera's many strengths is its ability to flex to the demands of the shoot, the post, and the necessity to go live, sometimes all at once! But before we get to the final word, I have to get to the part where this camera could be the saving grace heading into post. (We are Post magazine, after all). POST PROCESS After shooting, I obviously needed to get to post. I recorded on the Ultra SD Cards. I thought it was a great feature set that I could record the same material to both the A slot and B slot cards at the same time as a backup protocol or just roll from one card to another for those longer takes. But, I was also able to record the 4K signal output from the HDMI 1.4 connection of the GY- LS300CHU to an external recorder like the Atomos Shogun. My editor grabbed the cards and went right to Adobe Premiere on a MacBook Pro, running OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite. The 4K 150 Mbps H.264 .mov files were no problem. We started cutting some very beautiful, cinematic imag- ery right away. The images had deep saturations and dynamic range. I am not a colorist, but can say my editor was duly impressed. Again, we were using that Eizo self-calibrating monitor, so the imaging was true to form. Additionally, since these files are about half the JVC GY-LS300CHU SUPER 35 (CMOS) 4K CAMCORDER A SOLUTION THAT SHINES IN DEMANDING MULTI-FORMAT PRODUCTIONS VITAL STATS MANUFACTURER: JVC PRODUCT: GY-LS300CHU Super 35 (CMOS) 4K camcorder PRICE: $4,395 (MSRP); $3,995 (street price) WEBSITE: • Solid production camera • Range of controls and features • Smart audio features and functions BY M.J. FOLEY PRESIDENT BLACKROCK MEDIA GROUP COVENTRY, RI BLACKROCKMEDIAGROUP@ GMAIL.COM The GY-LS300 can record in 4K while streaming HD, thanks to its built-in IP address. T

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