Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Reviews take a fair bit of time to produce and its all done for free so they get re scheduled to accommodate paying clients. Someone mentioned they had seen the 850 at BVE and were not impressed with the viewfinder “the pictures looked a bit muddy” when I got the very same camera after the show the VF was set up wrong. Firstly you cannot judge any camera that is an engineering sample too critically, I used the LCD on day one and VF on day two both were fine to me but was assured by JVC that production models would be slightly better again…final tweaks.


The JVC GY-HM850 is a cracking camcorder remembering my version is a engineering sample but the 1080 50p pictures are stunning and noiseless at 0dB.


I took the camera down to Ayrshire to Ayr United to film my friend Calum producing an internet radio commentary.



A frame from the second days shoot out of the camera the frame above is 100%, finding critical focus in the VF was not a problem as long as you have some peeking.


The WiFi dongle is in a far better position on the 850, I hope to demonstrate this for both live streaming and camera control.

The 850 is well balanced and on the video review I caught up with Mike Turner of JVC a fantastic engineer who went over the back focus on the AF lens, tricky unless someone demonstrates it to you. The “Video Review” is in 2 parts as I had no time to go over the complex networking features of the 850 so JVC have agreed to send the camera back up at the end of March, part one should be up by Saturday lunchtime.


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.

4 thoughts on “JVC GY-HM850 Video Review in 2 parts…Update

  1. As the one who noted the “muddy” viewfinder at BVE I’m looking forward to the video review. Particularly the basic features of lens, viewfinder & resulting picture quality, also JVC’s new 50 Mbit codec. I hope they match up to the cameras excellent ergonomics.
    The networking/uplink features are secondary to me at the moment, but a serious bonus as I think these will become increasingly useful in online tv & news provider market. JVC are ahead of the game on this.

  2. As a full time HM790 user, I can tell you these series of cameras have horrible viewfinders. I have found that turning up the VF brightness has the effect of altering the gamma of the observable picture. The darks get darker, and being an LCD, they basically grey out and loose all detail. I find it necessary to turn the brightness down to no greater than 75%. The picture is not as bright, but the contrast is much improved. Also, setting the peaking to HIGH produces fine crispening similar to a broadcast camera. The other peaking settings produce muddy, blurry, and noisy picture, which makes focusing at higher gain settings nearly impossible.

    I am to be issued a new HM890 shortly, and I am looking forward to it very much. Thank you for your excellent reviews!

    Paul Anderegg

  3. Lots to like about this cam, but I’m not adapting to the kit (fujinon 20x) lens – I’m getting quite a lot of soft shots. I’ve set the back-focus up 3 times! I know I need to stop zooming in to focus, but it’s the habit of a life-time, and as far as I know the lens should stay focus through the zoom range. For my money, auto-focus doesn’t just suck in it’s own right – adding it ruins lenses! I’ve tried the old (cheapo) stock fujinon 16x from one of our HD cameras, and I’m getting sharper pictures. Partly it’s because I know the lens- (it’s rubbish with the iris opened up wide, closed down, and zoomed right in … but where it’s sweet, it’s sweet, and at least the focus has stops and the there are no servo motors between fingers, focus, iris and zoom.) Any tips, thoughts or grumbles on using – or getting used to! – the lens much appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *