At NAB 2017, JVC Professional Video just announced the free version 4.0 firmware upgrade for its GY-LS300CH 4KCAM Super 35mm handheld camcorder. This update increases color resolution to 4:2:2 in 4K mode recording and expands 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160) output to include 59.94p and 50p. JVC is demonstrating the new capabilities at its booth C4315, from April 24-27 in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. There are many technical details related to this upgrade that I’ll cover ahead.
As I have covered in past articles, despite some innocent misinformation published on some dealer websites, the GY-LS300 (Amazon link — B&H link) as well as its lower cost sisters with smaller sensors, the GY-HM200 (Amazon link — B&H link) and GY-HM170 (Amazon link — B&H link) are all fortunately worldcam models in all modes except for SD (standard definition). All HD and 4K modes in all of these cameras are fortunately worldcam, even when sold in the United States.
The free firmware version 4.0 for the GY-LS300 provides 4:2:2 (8-bit) 4K recording at 23.976/exact 24/25/29.97p onboard to SDXC media cards. (As of press time of this article, it is clear that the GY-LS300 offers exact 24 fps in Cinema 4K and Cinema 2K, but possibly not in 4K UHD or in HD modes. This makes sense, since exact 24 is mostly for filmout and DCI.) In addition, IP remote function will now allow remote control and image viewing in 4K. When using 4K 4:2:2 recording mode, the video output from the HDMI/SDI terminals is scaled down to HD. The version 4.0 firmware upgrade is free of charge for all current GY-LS300CH owners and will be available in late May according to JVC. For internal recording, the decision to record your 4K at 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 will depend how you want to manage your maximum bit budget of 150 megabits per second when recording at 4K, as I have also covered in past articles.
After the new 4.0 firmware update, the GY-LS300CH will also now have the capability to output 4K Ultra HD at 59.94p/50p via its HDMI 2.0b port. Through JVC’s partnership with Átomos, the GY-LS300CH will operate seamlessly with the new Ninja Inferno and Shogun Inferno monitor recorders, triggering recording from the camera’s start/stop operation. Plus, when the camera is set to J-Log1 gamma recording mode, the Atomos units will record the HDR footage and display it on their integrated, seven-inch monitors.
“The upgrades included in our Version 4.0 firmware provide performance enhancements for high raster recording and IP remote capability in 4K, adding even more content creation flexibility to the GY-LS300CH,” said Craig Yanagi, product marketing manager, JVCKENWOOD. “Seamless integration with the new Ninja Inferno will help deliver 60p to our customers and allow them to produce outstanding footage for a variety of 4K and UHD productions.”
Designed for cinematographers, documentarians, and broadcast production departments, the GY-LS300CH features JVC’s 4K Super 35 CMOS sensor and an industry standard Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens mount. With its unique Variable Scan Mapping technology, the GY-LS300CH adjusts the sensor to provide native support of MFT, PL, EF, and other lenses, which connect to the camera via third-party adapters. Other features include Prime Zoom, which allows shooters using fixed-focal (prime) lenses to zoom in and out without loss of resolution or depth, and a built-in HD streaming engine with Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connectivity for live HD transmission directly to hardware decoders as well as JVCVIDEOCLOUD, Facebook Live, and other CDNs (content distribution networks).
As of press time of this article, it was not yet clear whether 4K 4:2:2 will be able to be recorded externally. I’ll update that detail when I receive the response from JVC, or publish a new article.
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