Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


This was one of the few mornings that the rain stayed off to allow me to film outside with the new JVC GY-HM650. I am also producing a review of the Canon C100 and used the JVC 650 to film the studio shots.


This is as natural a skin tone you could wish for out of a camcorder and the new settings that JVC have implemented to reduce noise are stunning for a 1/3″ camcorder, when I talk about this camera you would think I was working for JVC but the pictures speak for themselves.


This is an interview we did with St Mirren goalkeeper Chris Smith with the JVC GY HM650 in the boot locker, I had 2 LED lights, one behind Chris with a 3200K gel and on in front with 5600K diffused.


One of the main differences between the 650 and the 600 is the ability to send a WiFi signal out of the 650 onto an iPad, it’s not real time but for surveillance or wildlife this may just sway you towards the 650.

You really have to view the pictures on a 40″ screen to appreciate just how good this JVC camcorder is, I will be editing the C100 Review this weekend and you will be able to see for yourself in 720p HD the pictures from the JVC GY-HM650 camcorder.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

8 thoughts on “Reviewing the JVC GY-HM650

  1. Which tripod head were you using for the GY-HM650?
    I am looking to buy a new tripod system when I buy my GY-HM650 and would like a recommendation of a good head for the camera weight, yet smooth enough operating at end of the long zoom. I am invested in 501PL plates and would like to stay with a compatible head, Manfrotto, Vinten, some Sachtler.

    HDW : It was a Manfrotto 504HD.

  2. Thanks Philip… looks like my recent choice for the HM600 has been confirmed, seeing as it’s the same basic camera. Your comments about the picture quality give me a lot of hope.

    Do I see you using the EVF and LCD screen at the same time in the first pic? Woohoo!

    HDW : Yes not only can you have both switched on but you can if you wish switch the VF to B&W

  3. I am looking at the 600 and need to get back to Kris soon once I have secured a contract. Cracking picture on this camera for its size!

    Cheers for the reviews Phillip

  4. Hi Philip.
    Thank you for a great and interesting review of the HM600. Looks like a fantastic camera. I noticed you did a review on the JVC GY- HM700 a while back. How do you find the HM 600 in comparison? Low light and overall picture? I am looking for a companion camera to my EX1R and not sure whether to choose an HM750 or HM600. Lowlight and noise is important to me. Keep up the good work. Thanks

    HDW : The 700 was a great camera in good lighting but has CCD sensors that don’t shine in low light, the CMOS 600/650 are the same cameras apart from the 650 which has WiFi and the ability to record 2 codecs and upload footage to a server.
    The 600/650 will outperform the 700 because they have CMOS technology. I hope to get a loan of a Sony EX3 and do some comparisons today.(Saturday)

  5. Thanks, Philip. Looking forward to your results. It will be interesting to see how the HM600 holds up to the EX3. I guess what I would really like is an HM600 in an HM700 body. It has been a while since I owned a shoulder mounted camera. I mostly miss a proper viewfinder, and have been thinking about buying an Alphatron.

  6. How does the HM650 compare to the Panasonic AG-AC160A at 20X+ power. I am looking for a new camera for Wildlife videography! Also can it take an extender?

  7. I had noticed you dont have a review of the canon xf300 itself. Unless I have overlooked it and was wondering if you have a review of that camcorder itself. If not I was a bit confused about the review you did on the jvc hm600 becuse with canon being able to record full 4:2:2 color and the jvc not I was wondering how the jvc did better in color over the canon since the canon cost more over the jvc. I would apreciate some input on this matter and thanks.

    HDW : It was a low light test between the two camcorders, remembering the JVC was about 2-3 years newer technology than the Canon XF305. I owned a 305 and although looking back produced very good pictures it suffered from “white out” in many shots.
    It’s contrast range seemed very limited thus giving you poor exposures and white faces.
    Have a look at this film produced with the Canon XF305, admittedly for the 1st time but I never resolved the “white out” problem.

  8. So sounds like the jvc hm600 is a better choice over the canon xf 300/305 even though the hm600 is limited to 35 bit recording?

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