JVC have expanded their GY-HM series with two new cameras: the GY-HM850 and GY-HM890. These will be on show at this year’s BVE, where JVC will be talking you through how they plan to “set a new benchmark in ENG camera network capability”, but in the meantime here’s what you need to know.
Both cameras feature three 1/3″ 2.07 effective megapixel CMOS sensors which can capture full 1920×1080 images. According to the official press release, “the imagers provide 12-bit processing, F12 sensitivity (50Hz) and excellent signal-to-noise ratio to produce superior colour reproduction.”
Again, both cameras boast the same glass, shipping with a 20x autofocus zoom lens provided by Fujinon. Its key features include auto-focus, built-in optical image stabilisation and chromatic aberration correction. It’s a 1/3″ bayonet lens which also includes manual focus and iris rings.
The recording workflow
The GY-HM850 and GY-HM890 record HD and SD as FCP X (.mov), XD CAM EX (.mp4), AS-10 (.mxf), AVCHD (.mts) and H.246 (.mov), meaning it’s compatible with most major NLEs. The official announcement goes on to reassure us that ‘footage can be recorded using MPEG-2 or H.264 compression at a variety of bit rates, frame rates and resolutions.”
Both the GY-HM850 and GY-HM890 have dual slots that can record to either SDHC or SDXC cards. A variety of modes are supported, including simultaneous recording to both cards for instant backup and relay recording for continuous shooting, alongside standards like interval recording, variable frame rate recording and a ten second pre-recording cache.
Streaming from the camera
Leading on from the GY-HM650, the GY-HM850 and GY-HM890 both feature FTP and GSM connectivity that allows you to stream HD footage directly from the camera. “We believe the future is with the live video streaming and FTP service fully integrated into the camera, as demonstrated with the GY-HM850 and GY-HM890,” explained Gustav Emrich, JVC’s European product manager. “With the recent advancements in GSM availability and bandwidth, service providers can deliver reliable high-speed connections that can support HD streaming with a single modem. This technology is here now, and will continue to progress and improve.”
Because of the GY-HM800 series’ dual codec design, you can now transfer files in the background while recording as normal to your other card. All you need to do is connect your camera to a GSM modem or WiFi adapter via USB, and then transmit your footage in realtime – a massive boon for any ENG crew. UDP, TCP, RTP/RTSP and ZIXI streaming protocols are supported. Advanced Streaming Technology is used to provide content-aware error correction, bandwidth feedback and reliable feedback on your streaming status.
JVC are using a mysterious, proprietary set of algorithms that ensure reliable transmission by maximising bandwidth, and can compensate for up to 30% packet loss.
Controlling your camera with WiFi
In addition to all this fancy live streaming stuff, with the GY-HM850 and GY-HM890, you can also do slightly more prosaic things like control your camera via WiFi from any iOS device, Android device, Mac or PC. You can also edit metadata on any of those devices, including GPS data.
Do you need the GY-HM850 or the GY-HM890?
While both models include genlock and timecode terminals, HD/SDI out, HDMI out, a 3.5mm jack and a four channel audio system with stereo AUX inputs and two XLR mic/line inputs with phantom power. They also have ten assignable buttons and focus assist. But only the GY-HM890 has the kind of pro features that make it ideal for multi-camera studio setups. You can add fibre or multi-core camera modules, and the camera is compatible with a full range of studio components, including studio sled, zoom and focus controls, viewfinders and box-style lenses.
LANC and remote controllers are supported on the GY-HM890, too, along with an HD/SDI pool feed input that can record and stream video and audio from another camera or SDI source during press conferences or other pool feed environments – all of which is a no on the GY-HM850. So if that’s where you’re heading, go for the 890.
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By Liz Sunter