IBC 2011: JVC 4k camera, Sony F65 and more

This is my last written blog report from this year’s IBC. There will be a video report that I presented for CVP TV later in the week, but I just wanted to share with you some cool stuff that I saw.

Top of the list today had to be the little JVC HM10K (I think that was what it was called!), a 4k camcorder in the body of the JVC HM100 which I did a review quite some time ago here!


I stupidly left the flyer for it at IBC but what I remember spec-wise is this:

1/2″ 4k CMOS sensor.

Records at 144 mb/s AVCHD. To do this it has FOUR SDXC slots onboard (!) to record the 4k image split into 4 quadrants. There are also 4 HDMI sockets to externally record 4 streams. Bundled software with it joins the 4 quadrants on ingest before going into your NLE.

It records 24p, 25p, 50p and 60p.

It has what I believe to be a 10x zoom lens

It is a “technology preview” but unofficially they “could” be looking at releasing in February and it “could” be priced around the £4.5k mark. Remarkable if it happens.

I saw footage playing from the camera and it was pretty sweet.

This is a TINY camera and a very cheap price for a 4k sensor camera. I guess we will see in the next few months if it comes to fruition.

My initial thoughts are 1/2″? 4 SDXC cards? Post workflow? But we will have to wait and see. I could imagine they might bring out an eSATA/ Firewire 800/ USB3/ Thunderbolt style 4 SD card reader so you can determine which clips to ingest and which not to, as otherwise would you not just see a corner of a clip? Not enough to decide if it’s a good take or not. There are no proxies that I am aware of.

Of course if/ when the RED Scarlet comes out then that will be a much better high resolution solution. A larger chip (although still too small for me) 2/3″ and 8 x fixed zoom recording on one media in RAW. Definitely better…it’s just when?

Remember JVC are tech innovators. For better of worse they invented VHS and HDV…

Right on the other end of the price spectrum but the same resolution (albeit of an 8K chip) is the much anticipated by the movie industry F65.

It effectively replaces the F35 – well it at least supersedes it. Still a Super 35mm sensor but with WAY more bells and whistles for a fraction of what the F35 cost when it came out. In what must be a reaction to the price of the RED Epic and the ARRI Alexa, Sony have aggressively priced this. €85k you get this!

  • Sony F65 Camera Body with Mechanical Rotary Shutter
  • Sony HDVF-C35W Color Viewfinder
  • Sony SR-R4 Digital Recorder
  • 1x Sony 256MB SRMemory Card
  • Sony SR-PC4 Data Transfer Unit
The Mechanical Rotary shutter camera is more expensive. The camera is CMOS unlike the CCD of the F35 so to remove any trace of rolling shutter artefacts, they have made a special mechanical rotary shutter model. ZERO artefacts!
If you want just the plain F35 and no bits with it, I have heard you can get it for under €40k! Please buy through my Amazon.com store as I get 4% 🙂 Kidding!
The camera records to solid state SR cards and the current max size is 1TB. It can record up to 120FPS too and of course it’s 444.
Sony really are taking on RED with this camera and it’s a pretty stunning camera. A lot bigger than the EPIC though. Be interesting to see what ARRI come up with next in the high end 4K wars!
I got to see a working Atomos Samurai too. I am using and loving the AJA KiPro mini which I have on loan and have to give back soon. This could well be a great replacement as it’s cheaper, though I do love my KiPro mini! 800×480 LCD screen on top of a ProRes and soon Avid DNx recorder. Records up to ProRes HQ with HD-SDI. It’s around £1000 which for what it does is pretty good. It also does pull down removal for recording progressive signals. It records onto hard drives. I recommend SSD ones!
If you need an HDMI recorder then this is not for you – you need the not quite so good Ninja as the Samurai does not have HDMI, BUT they have this neat little gizmo not much bigger than a Sony NPF battery which is an HDMI to SDI convertor and vice versa. It has a built in battery which lasts two hours and a hot plate for a Sony NPF battery which will last well over a day’s shooting and, even cooler, the other side is designed to fit onto a Sony NPF plate, so stick it on your Marshall monitor and you have HDMI in, HD-SDI out convertor on the monitor. Sweet! It should be out in a couple of months and will be just £220!


  1. I think the megapixel wars will start up again. I think the next generation of DSLRS will first have 1080p 60, which we see now on pocket sony cams. But 4k will be the new buzz word on HDSLRS very soon. Its really just a matter of increased buffer size and storage limitations. Clearly Epic can do 4-5K even at higher shutter rates and write to single SSDs.

    1. i don´t see a chance for a 4k dslr in near future (5 years – i would even say 10, but many things can happen in 10 years ;)). the videofunction is a feature not the mainpurpose of a dslr. and there is no need for 4k in the massmarket – not for cameras, not tv (channels and tv-set). remember, you need to be able to work with the material on a consumer pc, remember heat and datarates and remember photographers.

      they need to take care about many other stuff – anti-alising, moire, codec, lowlight, autofocus and sound (and maby fps and is).

      i don´t even see 4k as a standard for camcorders (just for the proclass). 3d might be the actual battlefield for that.

  2. Can’t wait to see thousands of Epic VS F35 comparisons on YouTube !… lol

    At that price (which is more or less “the good price tag” I think for what it has to offer) the F65 makes the Red Epic appear mire like a steal !

    But more cameras means more possibilities for this and that so it is just good business.

  3. There is only a marketing “war”. Red has pushed this for years and the key isn’t just the pixel size but the codec. avchd has enough problems with HD sized information and now they are trying to cram all that from 4k. h.264 was never meant to be an acquisition medium and because of cost, the major players have forced it down the populations throat. We don’t need good enough, our money deserve the best.

    1. wouldn´t it need to be 21k to fix the moire-issue and aliasing ;). and a new model would also have a pixelboost for the stills… so 28k with mark III.

      external recording with better codec would be great and a realistic innovation. they could keep the consumercodec and would´t scare away the mainconsumers (photographers, you know). just a better internal codec wouldn´t mean a pro codec…

      1. No… you’re confusing megapixels with resolution. Although the 5D mk II is a 21 megapixel camera, it records on a resolution of 5616×3744 pixels (= 21.026.304 pixels), or what we could call 5.6k in digital cinema terms. In order to get this to FullHD (1920×1080) on the fly, Canon implemented a line-skipping technology. It works, except for repetitive patterns (ugly moire).

        But you are right: if the 5D mark III comes out with an even higher pixel count, rumored to be at 28 megapixel (and thus an even higher resolution), the moire issue is likely to get worse instead of improve. Unless, of course, Canon finds some smarter method of translation to FullHD (better algorithms? faster processors? filtration?).

        I do not expect them to give us a native output resolution – even if we’d have to record it on a separate device. Technically, HDMI only supports a thru-put of 4096×2160 pixels (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI#Version_comparison), but this would be really cool to have.

        1. thanks for clerification! i never really new/cared about resolution but your explanation was very helpful and short (always thougt 1 megapixel is 1k and never crushed my head about it (iam not a cameraman ;))- wich doesn´t make any sense, simply because of the aspect ratio… quite obvious when you think about it :))

          funny thing these megapixelboosts – photographers don´t like it because of the noise and videographers don´t like it because of the moire and aliasing, but there always an element for every new model.

        2. Canon and Nikon DSLRs are notoriously terrible for video recordings for a whole host of reasons. You need to use the Sony SLT Alphas 65 or Alpha 77 DSLRs if you must record video using a DSLR.

          1. The amount of love towards Sony is UTTERLY ludicrous. It is clear you either work for them or are so blinkered as to not even be aware of certain things Frank! Don’t get me wrong, I love Sony but to the extent that I ignore everything else. I own an F3, FS100, Ex3, F350, DSR 450 and NEX5N. So a fair few Sony cameras.

            But the Alpha 65 is 30p. Useless. The 77 not out yet and is pretty much untested and it also is region locked unlike the Canon and even the new Nikon cameras. Sony love to region lock their cameras.

            It’s great that you love Sony but maybe dial it down a notch for your comments please? They are a great company with great products but it’s sounding really fanboy right now.

  4. Wow guys just too much hardware coming out to really invest in any of it . Just budget rental for gear…. Just too much change in industry…editing platforms changing fast ….Os changing… computer hardware changing fast…It.s all a blur!!!

    Guess I am getting too old..too easy to invest in obsolesence..Yikes

    1. Too much gear to invest in any of it? Really? Personally, I don’t purchase every piece of equipment that comes out, typically only equipment that will make my life easier or increase potential earnings. That JVC camera looks very enticing though!

  5. Hey Philip why is the Atomos Ninja not as good as the Samurai? Is just because the Ninja is HDMI? Or is there something internal to the Ninja that makes for a slightly inferior product. If you could describe the salient differences between the two that would be great.

  6. I’m not sure what the point of 4k avchd would be. It would be 4:2:0, right? the bit depth is seeming pretty cool, but i’d rather good bit depth paired with 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 and stick with 1080p (or hey maybe just 2k?) is that so crazy? i’ve said since the HDV revolution that i’d take a higher quality image that’s smaller over a larger one at a lower quality. What do you think, philip?

    1. 1920*1080p really is not that sharp. Its only a two megapixal image. It’s the motion that hides the soft image and the refreshing of the monitor.

      It’s better to go as high as you can so that movies that are filmed today will look good on newer super HDTV sets that are coming out soon.

      Who knows we might even have 16k or 32k someday and the better you record with older footage will upscale better.

      1. yes and no…it’s not strictly true. The 1920×1080 refers to lines of information, not strictly pixels. Take the Red EPIC for example. That has a 5K sensor and yet take any frame grab and it equates to 13 megapixels.

      2. You definitely would need 4K resolution recording capability now for future-proofing and extended shelf-life of your filmed products. In fact, I think 4K is more future-proof than 3D. Other than the eternally experimental Red, the best choice today for high-end 4K shooting and recording is provided by the upcoming Sony F65.

        Sony is promising a working F65 right off the bat. On the other hand, Red is promoting their Epic as a camera that can be used and then they ask the users to provide feedback to the company so they can make the camera better. I kid you not, check it out on their web site!

        1. Frank,

          I appreciate all the comments but your anti-Red attitude which has run through a number of your comments, and in one which crossed the line, is not needed. It’s anti-fanboy stuff. So you don’t like Red that’s cool. I cannot tell you what to like and dislike but keep it for your own blog unless it’s truly constructive.



          1. red is always known for listening to the customers and you can see that in their products. that is nothing i would count as a disability.

            the epic seems to be the most complete package right now, but evolution is speeding fast. companys “promising” everything to sell their gear. we will see which place the f65 will conquer when it´s out.

            in the end, it´s not about the numbers. every camera has his very own visual style and many pros and kons (doesn´t really everybody know that since the camerashootout?).

            and how many people are talking about 4k+ and make a living of weddingvideos and webshows… to me, the weight of resolution is really clear, if you see a film on youtube. you can choose between the resolutions, but the film is still the same ;). consumers don´t see that much of a difference anyway.

            i understand that it´s a little important for a dp, but i think it´s much more important to a bad dp. the craft is eveything but the gear and resolution is not futureproof, content is!

  7. Let me start with a disclaimer. I have worked with Sony engineers in the past – programmed the first 2048 x 2048 CRT they made. I have also worked for Sony. About a dozen of the US Patents I am listed as principal inventor on were with Sony. I am definitely biased in favor of Sony.

    My belief for what it is worth is that Sony has a better understanding of imaging than most other manufacturers. They teamed with Panavision which made a custom version of the Sony F900 so that they could begin learning what cinematographers were looking for. Long before that they were SID members (Society for Information Display) and that is how I first got to work with them. I was working at Hughes Aircraft in the displays section. Hughes engineers were also SID members. Sony had a 2048 x 2048 Trinitron CRT but not the expertise at making video controllers. We did at Hughes and helped them build one used to bid on air traffic control displays. Having been teamed one-to-one with Sony engineers and worked for Sony, my engineering opinion is that Sony understands imaging about as well as anybody out there.

    As for what resolution makes most sense, my opinion is that 1080P will be the viable display standard for quite a while yet. Video streaming is one limiting factor – data throughput (“bandwidth” if you prefer) gets out of hand for resolutions greater than 1080P. Most here probably won’t remember how long it took to standardize HD for TV in order to get past NTSC. I would bet it will take at least that long to move from 1080P to so greater resolution display that is being manufactured for a mass market so that the price can come way down to reasonable. Making an LCD display for 4K wide res will be no mean feat – the quality control to avoid pixel dropouts at that size isn’t so easy. So my hunch is that most films will be released as 1080P for a good while yet. I personally wouldn’t worry so much about future res needs if I was shooting a video today. That said, I think a camera that shoots directly to 1080P is a pretty good choice for most INDY films shot now. The exception would be where large amounts of image manipulation (compositing, etc.) will be done – then shooting at higher res might be worth considering. For feature films that will go into theaters that have higher res projectors, an F65 or other higher res camera might be useful but this is a declining market so for most folks I suspect the Sony F3 would be a very capable camera with superb image quality … and a viable choice for quite a few years yet. To every rule there is an exception though – 120 fps on the F65 might make me lust after it.

    Before you label me a “fanboy” consider that I have disclosed my biases up front, I haven’t named other manufacturers or disparaged their products, and my interest and experience in imaging goes way back (combat photographer in Vietnam 1968-70). As someone who has a BFA in Film from when it was “film” and worked as an R&D engineer in imaging systems for several decades, my opinion for whatever it is worth, is that Sony knows what they are doing when it comes to imaging and video.

  8. If you decide to go with an F3 and are interested in having an HTML copy of the operator manual and manual supplement send me a snail address (to: homestead taosnet com) and I will mail it on CD free. I’d do it as an attachment but we live way out there in the boonies now and only have dial-up. In my opinion PDFs s__k for real-time docs and all these guys ought to be offering HTML5 doc so you can have quick easy linked access on laptop, tablet or even smart phone. Having converted lots of Sony doc in the past I did the F3’s doc as I am also on the fence myself between F3 and F65 (only because I’d love to have 120 fps – I expect 1080P to satisfy my needs for quite a while yet but in the past have shot 16 mm film at up to 400 fps and I have been lusting after a video camera that could do 120 fps which makes for pretty useful slo-mo).

    I added a few sections to my HTML version of F3 doc on the f-stop loss for full frame lenses on a Super35 sensor, etc. So in addition to my attempts at de-Nipponizing the doc it has a few worthy extras. I am willing to mail out a CD to Preston and the first 2 others who ask, free. As is always the case with PDF to HTML conversions, there may still be a few bugs but I left page markers in so you can easily check back to the PDF to verify anything that looks kind of iffy.

    Let me offer one other comment as regards image quality. A company like Sony that has a dedicated in-house company that designs and manufactures the images sensors and display panels has a real advantage on image quality in my opinion. I do not know whether that is true for Canon video camera or not but suspect it must be, it almost certainly is true for Panasonic, but I don’t think it is true for Red. I am not trying to disparage anybody’s product. There is a lot of high quality gear from all these companies out there compared to just a few years ago – really amazingly good. I am just offering up my opinions … out of all the places I did imaging R&D engineering Sony was by far the best so I am definitely biased in their favor (full disclosure).

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