March 13, 2013

BBC buys 500+ GY-HM650 cameras

JVC has recently made a big breakthrough in broadcast news use with the order of more than 500 units of its GY-HM650 ProHD network-enabled camcorder by BBC News for use in newsgathering throughout the UK and globally.

The lightweight cameras record HD or SD in multiple file formats, including native XDCAM EX (.MP4), Final Cut Pro (.MOV), and AVCHD, to SD cards. The 650 also supports MXF files for metadata.

One of its advantages for news is that it has dual codecs, so that it can record full HD files on one memory card, while simultaneously creating smaller, web-friendly files (1/4 HD or SD) on a second card. It also has built-in FTP client and network connectivity, so that it can deliver the footage back to a station without a microwave or satellite connection (all it requires is a WiFi connection or mobile broadband).

It has a secure web server built-in, to allow you to take full control of the camera – including zoom, Rec start/stop and metadata editing – via any browser-enabled device such as an iPad or smart phone.

Other features include: three, 1/3-inch 12-bit CMOS sensors, each with 1920x1080 pixels; a 29mm-667mm (35mm equivalent) Fujinon 23x autofocus zoom lens with optical image stabilizer; manual focus, zoom and iris rings, plus three ND filters; auto-focus with face detection; good low-light performance (F12 at 2000 lux in extended mode); a 1.22MP colour viewfinder and 3.5-inch LCD; a second trigger and servo zoom control on the built-in handle to make it easy to record while holding the cameras at low or high angles; Pre Rec to continuously record and store up to 15 seconds of footage in cache memory to help prevent missed shots of breaking events; built-in stereo microphone plus two XLR inputs with phantom power; separate input for a wireless mic receiver; LANC remote connector; time-code synchronization input; plus HD-SDI and HDMI outputs. It also has Flash Band Correction, to avoid rolling shutter problems if you shoot an event there are flash guns going off.

The camera has been tested by Alan Roberts (whose reports are always worth reading) and met the EBU’s criteria under EBU Tech 3335 for journalism use (Tier 2J), and will also meet the requirements for general long form HD programming (Tier 2L), when used with a suitable external recording device supporting 50Mbps or greater recording (it records up to 35Mbps internally).

By David Fox

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