GY-HC500 & GY-HC550: JVC’s new cameras break the 10-bit barrier + add ProRes & J-Log1 (10-bit) for HDR

JVC has so far answered 2 of the 3 initial questions I asked regarding missing information in the press release and website.

I am very excited to share that JVC’s new 1-inch type sensor GY-HC500 and HC550 cameras now break the 10-bit barrier, not only with inboard 10-bit recording formats including J-Log1 (if you want to invest time grading) and ProRes422(HQ) (if you want the best 10-bit “baked-in” quality, to edit and publish it ASAP), but also with the corresponding internal 10-bit processing. Previously, all JVC cameras had 8-bit internal processing, even those with an HD-SDI connection, which by SMPTE 292M’s definition is 10-bit or greater. It is quite understandable why JVC handled it this way with its prior cameras, tike the GY-LS300, GY-HM200 and GY-HM170. Since this wasn’t specified in the press release or website, I had to ask about this with regard to the new models, and I was quite happy to receive the official response: The GY-HC500/550 are based on the new ASIC, same as new 2/3” GY-HC900: 10-bit 4:2:2 processing and output. Ahead learn more about these cameras, the other questions I asked, and the responses I received so far.

Quick rundown of these new JVC cameras/camcorders/streamcorders

The new GY-HC500 (US$3595 from B&H) and GY-HC550 (US$4990 from B&H) models share the following common features:

  • a welcome 1-inch type sensor
  • 10-bit ProRes 422/422HQ/422LT, at 4K resolution and 50/59.94p frame rates recording to M.2 SSD (requires optional caddy)
  • 4K UHD 29.97p/25p/23.976p 4:2:2 10-bit / 4:2:0 8-bit (150Mbps) and various HD recording to SDHC/SDXC card
  • HDR recording, HLG or J-Log1 (10-bit)
  • Newly-developed 3-ring 4K lens with 20x zoom (f=28mm-560mm 35mm equivalent)
  • 40x lossless dynamic zoom
  • 4-inch high resolution LCD monitor
  • LCOS Quad VGA viewfinder
  • XLR audio connectors
  • High performance 1080 60p/50p live streaming (4K Rec + HD streaming + 4K HDMI output)
  • Low latency and high-quality streaming up to 20Mbps
  • LAN terminal (Streaming/IFB/Remote) in addition to USB host (v3.0)
  • Return over IP (Return video and IFB)
  • Auto FTP to upload native video clips automatically

Then the more expensive GY-HC550 (US$5500 from B&H) adds:

  • Built-in wireless LAN with Zixi error correction for streaming
  • Overlay on video and streaming

My second question to JVC, regarding timecode

According the published specs, these new cameras include timecode over an RCA connector.

However, I specifically wanted to know whether these two new cameras also offer timecode embedded on the HDMI output, given that’s the direct way that the wonderful audio recorders like the Sound Devices MixPre-3 (pictured above, reviewed here, AmazonB&H) and the higher capacity MixPre-6 (AmazonB&H).

JVC’s initial response:

TC is embedded in SDI, need to double-check HDMI.

I’ll update this article after JVC confirms this answer.

My third question, regarding the use of dockable USB LTE modems for live contribution without a microwave

JVC’s initial response was:

We recommend the SFE-CAM for Bonded LTE performance.

JVC was of course referring to its own US$3,999, high-end solution (shown above). But I insisted specifically regarding the much more affordable Pantech UML295 (show below, currently ≈US$189 via Amazon) which work with the GY-HM170 and GY-HM200 and I covered in more detail in this article. Then JVC confirmed affirmatively, that the Pantech UML295 is fortunately still supported 🙂

More info in January

This cameras should be available in January 2019, when I’ll likely have much more to say about them. Be sure to subscribe or re-subscribe to my mailing list after the GDPR change.

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No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur , BeyondPodcasting or TuRadioGlobal programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own.

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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is an award-winning broadcaster & podcaster, bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994,…