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Surprise! 4K Super 35mm JVC GY-LS300 costs just $4K


Andrew Reid
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jvc ls300

JVC had a prototype of this camera (missed by almost everybody) at IBC.

Now the LS300 is available for pre-order at B&H for just $4450 with an expected shipping date of February 1st 2015. It features a Super 35mm sensor, snuggly fitting in a Micro Four Thirds mount able to take advantage of lens adapters for almost anything, with an internal 150Mb/s 4K codec at 30/24p. It also has a built in ND filter and 3G-SDI output as well, so great for external recorders like the Atomos Shogun... at least at first glance.

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Angle of view with m4/3 lenses seems to be preserved without a crop according to bhphoto.com

When the camera is used with MFT, Super 16, and other size lenses, using JVC's proprietary Variable Scan Mapping feature will allow you to maintain the lens' native angle of view. This gives filmmakers the flexibility of using widely available MFT lenses as well as high-end cinema lenses. It is also possible to attach the camera to microscopes and other devices using a MFT/C-mount adaptor.
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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Wow this seems lovely. A very worthy rival for the c100 mk II (this one has 4K and 50mbit 4:2:2 internal over the mk II) and also a very worthy rival to the FS7 and AF100/200.

Now we just need to see the image, I bet it's pretty good as a modern s35 4K image. But knowing JVC, they probably have something stupid like hedious rolling shutter, terrible aliasing, a hediously over contrasty baked in profile, anything... Hope they got it right here!

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

What do you think is wrong with the design Andrew? It looks like a proper usable camcorder to me like a C100. More like a. XF200 which I absolutely love using. It seems very strong, has XLRs and full audio controls on the top handle which is removable, it has a fully articulating screen and a usable EVF, and conveniently placed ND filter wheel. There are dedicated switches for gain/ISO, White balance, Zebras, Shutter angle, and IRIS, plus a few assignable buttons right on the body. It also has SDI and HDMI 4K outputs. It looks quite perfect in design for a handheld camcorder just like a C100 for example. That m43s mount is a very good move too. Didn't we think m43s mount wasn't large enough for an APS-C sensor? At least I though so.

It looks like what everybody wanted the AF200 to be. I hope there's no major flaws and it will be a very successful camera for broadcast and small production companies.

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I almost wish I didn't hear about these cameras untill they were in users hands.  It's going to be months before we see a sample from this.  We havent even seen anything from the c100 mk2 yet.   I'm not holding my breath for a miracle with this.  There will be something wrong with the image, there always is with these semi consumer cams.  semi consumer meaning anything from a mainstream company under 20k.

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Quite surprising how little C100 2 footage there is out there. You'd have thought filmmakers would be all over it. Perhaps they're all too busy shooting with better stuff, from Sony and Panasonic and Arri and Red.

 

Expected availability: End of December 2014

 

...

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I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but if the LS300's sensor is the AltaSens AL41410C, the dynamic range is theoretically only about 10 stops, and that's with a rolling shutter.
 
As to whether the the 4K is 4:2:2, I suspect it is. JVC also announced the GW-SP100E remote head camera system, which seems to use the same sensor. Among the specs: "Up to 4K Ultra HD 50/60p recording at 4:2:2 150 Mbps" and "4K single file recording at 150 Mbps." I assume that if the GW-SP100E can record 60p 4:2:2 at 150 Mbps, the LS300, at 24/30p and 150 Mbps, is probably also doing 4:2:2. I suppose the latter spec means that JVC isn't using their goofy process of simultaneously recording to four SD cards, RAID-style, but is recording as a single file.

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As to whether or not the camera supports an active mount, all the features needed are certainly built-in. If you zoom in on the BHPhoto image, you'll see electronic contacts inside the lens mount. There are also OIS and iris buttons on the side which would further reinforce the use of an active mount. I would assume this hardware would be to support features on micro four thirds lenses since that is the mount it comes stock with which would not have the optics to cover the sensor. It will be interesting to see how all this works out.

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It's good to know that the native field of view of the lens will be preserved. A m4/3 lens will only use as much of the sensor as it needs to, to preserve it's field of view. In other words, my Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens will have the same angle of view on the LS300 as my GH2.

I wouldn't call this a "crop" because what we see won't be cropped. In fact I haven't seen anything re. the LS300 that mentions a "crop" - quite the opposite. It would be better to call it a multi - sized/ aspect sensor.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

It's good to know that the native field of view of the lens will be preserved. A m4/3 lens will only use as much of the sensor as it needs to, to preserve it's field of view. In other words, my Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens will have the same angle of view on the LS300 as my GH2.
I wouldn't call this a "crop" because what we see won't be cropped. In fact I haven't seen anything re. the LS300 that mentions a "crop" - quite the opposite. It would be better to call it a multi - sized/ aspect sensor.


Of course the sensor will be cropped off from its 35mm size to a m43s window. You have a lens that doesn't cover the s35 sensor, it only covers a center part of it, so you crop out the black area around it, and you get the native field of view of the lens as you do on a m43s sensor, what it's designed for. It's just heir choice of world is quite confusing.

Since it's a native 4K sensor at s35, cropping to m43s would mean less that 4K, something around 2.8K, and cropping to s16 it will be around 1080p, what I don't get is what would be the point of a crop mode when the camera can already give you the entire sensor window. Why not just shoot on 4K s35 and crop to m43s and end up having 2.8k image. Crop modes only made sense when cameras had >4K sensors but only output a 1080p image, therefore using a center area meant using a new part of the sensor with no loss in quality (even increase in most cases). I bet the m43s will be 1080p anyway so shooting 4K and cropping to 2.8k will be the way to go I imagine.
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