Ever since the first DSLR started shooting video there has been one dream, the functionality of a camcorder with the sensor and lens mount of a DSLR. All in an affordable package.
This might be just that.
If you want to buy one, here is a place that sells it.
JVC has lended me the camera for a few weeks to try out. What Im mostly interested in is if:
- Its as good as the specs makes it out to be.
- If it can be both a true Run n Gun camera and something for cinema.
- If it is the ultimate camera for vintage lens junkies.
Here is what ought my eye.
- MFT Mount
- S35mm Sensor
- 4:2:2 HD
- Prime Zoom
- External Controls
- Built In NDs
It is light and small but doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy. I would say it feels just like theses DVX type camcorders always does. Not 5D rugged, but solid.
Setting it up was super easy and intuitive, I mean its a camcorder… its great.. its like riding a bike.
Getting all the features I want like zebra etc when fast, they where all exactly where you would suspect them to be.
The ND wheel feels nice, so does most of the controls and buttons. The audio wheels are clickless, thats a tiny complaint but no deal breaker.
The first lens I tested was a m4/3 12-42mm. Its the kit lens from my GFs GM1. It worked and surprisingly id didn’t vignette at the wide end in s35 mode. In other words its both a normal MFT zoom and a s35 wide angle.
It also turns out that there where sensor size stops between s35 and MFT!
Here are some pics.
Here are some files for download so you can play around with them.
One is a test of the Dynamic Range. It was shot in s35 with a m4/3 kit lens so there is severe barrel distortion, but no vignette.
The other is a portrait of Gunpowder with a vintage Yashikor 55mm
My advice for grading is to treat it as Rec709 and don’t push the shadows to much. The mids and highlights can take more of a beating.
DR test Ungraded
No highlights blown, sky is preserved for the sake of the test.
The files can be downloaded here: http://www.filedropper.com/jvc
Today we where heading out for a walk in the park and I grabbed the LS300 for a test run.
Unfortunately I underestimated the wind, which was quite strong, and brought a low weight tripod.
So prepare for some shaky footage.
I used a dumb adapter and two Canon EF-Lenses, the 35mm f2.0 and the 24-105mm f4.0.
This resulted in no aperture control and no stabilization… yeah, even more shakes.
The reason for this was simple. I tend to shoot vintage glass, soft filters and use heavy grading.
Lots of people like myself find it appealing. But some want a clean and digital sharp look.
And just to get that out of the way I used “L” glass and just a mild grade.
Next time we will go full “Instagram”.
The shooting experience was great. Its easy to use, everything works nicely.
Again, its like riding a bike.
I also added grain to one version which is uploaded to Vimeo.
(In my experience Youtube can’t handle grain.)
Here are some before and after shots.
On the way home I tested the prime zoom which is amazing. Only negative effect Ive seen so far is some moire, but moire I can handle.
More of that to come.
Full HD at 105mm
Full HD at 105mm with prime zoom
One of the biggest perks with the camera in my opinion is the MFT mount. With it the camera can use pretty much any lens.
This is some quick test frames from an old 55mm that I got at a flee market for 10 dollars.
And here is something different.
To illustrate how it is working with a real camcorder with peaking, NDs, etc I uploaded an unedited clip with the lens.
I graded at a random point, so the grade doesn’t consider the exposure changes.
AF and IS is Good
Today I received the Metabones EF to MFT Smart Adapter. First thing I did was to make sure the stabilization in my EF lenses worked.
I also, even though I rarely use it, tested the auto focus. And I was quite surprised.
It was pretty decent on both lenses.
Better however on the 24-105, much more quite as well.
I was packing up the loaner thats shipping back to JVC when I thought I would do one last thing. Some experimenting with the Cine Gamma.
There is a WDR mode as well as some custom settings that I will experiment with.
Thats it for now.