JVC have announced version 3.0 of the firmware for their popular GY-HM600 and GY-HM650, and they’ve even had the good grace to make it free.
The firmware, which is available to download from JVC’s support site, is said to significantly improve the performance of the GY-HM600 and GY-HM650. Headline features include:
1080p 50Mbps recording in XHQ (extreme high quality) mode, which gives you “virtually lossless H.264 recordings with high bit rates of 50Mbps.”
An enhanced autofocus system, which includes selection of the focus area.
Advanced streaming functions for the GY-HM650, including ZIXI data transfer technology and support for new bit rates and resolutions.
1080p 50Mbps recording in XHQ
Why the addition? Well, as JVC explain, “highly efficient H.264 video encoding provides consistently better recording results compared with MPEG formats, and you can continue to use your SDHC/SDXC cards rather than more expensive media,” which is pretty hard to argue with. Those cards will need to be class 6 or 10, by the way.
Designed to improve usability, the new autofocus system allows you to choose from three focus response time settings in order to get the best speed for whatever type of project you’re working on. JVC have also added an ‘area’ option to their Focus Assist function – something that was previously only available in manual focus mode. All you have to do is turn the focus ring slightly to the right or left to access this mode, then decide whether you want focusing to be centred on the middle of your image, or to the left or right based on the ‘golden ratio’.
Streaming enhancements for the GY-HM650
The GY-HM650 has been the recipient of IP-based updates, expanding the range of supported bit rates to 200kbps – 8Mbps and adding new resolutions. You can also transfer data streams using a satellite phone, and RTSP and ZIXI streaming portals are now supported.
ZIXI fans will be pleased to hear that its new Advanced Streaming Technology is included in the JVC update, providing you with a content aware error correction tool that’ll handle up to 30% packet loss, as well as efficient bandwidth shaping. JVC’s own contributions include a ‘Stream Confidence’ feature that gives you realtime feedback on your signal quality and streaming status.