JVC GY-HM100U and Final Cut Pro–A match made in heaven



While most still photojournalists are fawning over the wonderful DSLR/video hybrid Canon 5D Mk. II, JVC quietly unveiled a new tapeless ProHD camcorder that shakes things up a bit in the news-video world. The soon to be released (April 2009) JVC GY-HM100U has some killer features that I have been waiting years for.

First and foremost, JVC built this camera to record in native Final Cut Pro’s QuickTime file format. Its files need no ingesting/transcoding like an AVCHD files do. Nor does it re-wrap the file to an editable format like my Sony XDCAM EX-1. What this means is you can start editing video from the camera  immediately. The GY-HM100U is built to work seamlessly with Final Cut Pro 6. I’m not sure if Final Cut Express 4 is supported with this camera yet.

Second, it records to cheap SDHC media cards. Instead of having to buy Sony $800 dollar 16 gig SxS cards or Panasonic’s P2 media, 40 bucks will get you a 16 gig SDHC card for the GY-HM100. It has two card slots for a combined total 64 gigs of storage space.

Third, the GY-HM100U  has a small form factor. It weighs just three pounds. My wrist sometimes hurts when I shoot with my much heavier Sony XDCAM EX-1, so this full-featured, but light weight camera would be a welcome relief.

The GY-HM100U seems to have all the bells and whistles I’d expect from a pro camera:  A decent HD lens, dual channel balanced audio inputs, full manual controls, for focus, white balance, shutter, iris etc.

Finally cost. JVC says it will be priced below $4000.00. That is right in the price point of the popular tape-based Canon XH A1.

High fives to the JVC engineering team for listening to their customers. This is a shot fired over the bow of Canon who has yet to produce a tapeless pro camcorder. Codec’s like AVCHD are fine for consumers who have the time wait for the files to be converted, but not so in deadline environments newspapers work in. Lets hope this is the beginning of a new generation of video cameras that will make transcoding and file rewrapping a thing of the past.

Here a couple of links for more  info on the JVC GY-HM100U:

GY-HM100U product video

JVC GY-HM100U Info page

28 thoughts on “JVC GY-HM100U and Final Cut Pro–A match made in heaven

  1. I agree! I read a review on this just after it was introduced – and like the same things you’ve seen, including lighter weight, QT format and true HD on SD cards. Nice! But alas, don’t think I can justify any new cameras any time soon 😦

    May be if you get one, you can have an open house and we can all come and fondle it 🙂

  2. Colin, add to that the camera shoots XDCAM EX footage as an alternative to the native QT and you’ve got yourself one helluva package! Or at least a sweet second camera to match your EX-1 to!

    BTW, thanks to Sony’s latest EX-1 firmware update you can now use third-party ExpressCard adapters to use the very same SDHC cards in the EX-1! Check out DVInfo’s thread with all the details here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdcam-ex-cinealta/138485-summary-sdhc-substitute-sxs-cards.html

    Only down side is no over/under cranking with the SD cards, so those SxS cards will come in handy once in a while.

  3. Pingback: I have seen the future and it is GY-HM100U and 5D Mark II. « Rural Schools Blog

    • good article on the hm100…However to call it a Prosumer camera is in my opinion totally incorrect. I own one and also a hm-700. They are both absolutely incredible.
      Thanks and keep writing.

  4. prosumer jvc cams don’t have the best track record for being good cameras. but they may change the game with this camera. only time will tell. but putting this cam up to the hmc150 or A1, i think it will fail. it has chips almost half the size. and for HD, i think that will make a big difference. your depth of field will not be as shallow and it will probably suffer greatly in low lighting conditions. but the native fcp workflow will be a very attractive feature. but for me, i’m sticking with my HMC150.

  5. Since I am going to have a hard time convincing my newspaper to spend 3K for this camera or the Panasonic AG-HMC150 – does anyone have any recommendations for a solid video camera which writes to a SD card and has both a mic input and a head-phone jack?Any help would be appreciated.

  6. to “Todd”:

    The JVC is nice, but go with the HMC-150. it’s a solid camera, and it’s out and available most everywhere.

    plus it’s panasonic, so that should say it all.

    the only thing that’s a chore with this is the AVCHD garbage… if you don’t mind converting, then go for it. the JVC GY-HM100u and it’s brother, the 700 look like they’ll both be good cameras, but the ambiguous “Quicktime” format scares me.

    “Quicktime” what?

  7. The lines of this camera follow a predecessor – the GY-DV300u. I purchased one in 2002 after mulling over the Sonys and Panasonics and Canons.

    It had two XLR inputs, a focus ring, and easily accessible manual iris, white balance and audio controls.

    My only complaints have been the short (10x) tele lens and plastic feel to the body.

    But the camera is still running strong six years later, so I guess it could be considered a classic.

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  9. From what I understand, the new JVC cameras are using the XDCam EX codec, and wrapping it in a Quicktime format. There are only two benefits I can see with the HM100U over the HMC-150:

    1. Quicktime wrapped files (start editing sooner, not that big-a-deal for me)
    2. 35Mbs vs. 24Mbs (higher bit rate means less compression, but not always a better image)

    Until we can see side by side footage, it will be hard to tell if the JVC will compare with the Panasonic. The HMC-150 has proven to be a pretty rad camera.

  10. Hi

    Does anybody know if there is a way to transfer video files without the camera?
    Smart card reader? I use a mac.



    • Sorry, to be clear I was referring to the GY-HM100U for transferring video files.



    • Its great because not only is it light as a feather…but its feature intense like the other high priced, heavy cameras. Have fun!

  11. I know this is for the JVC GY-HM 100u camcorder, but is anyone familiar with JVC GY-HD 100u and the import settings with FCP? It would be very helpful. Thank You

  12. A couple things, though. Yes it’s a great camera. Good low-light performance, light, and fast for editing.

    Overall, I like it.

    Two things really make me angry though.

    1.) No place for a camera strap. Seriously? 3k and no place to hook a camera strap? I had to wrap it around the handle.

    2.) Super crappy battery life. As in, if you’re shooting a football game, you won’t make it to halftime. Why, why why why. The battery? That’s a great way to make your customers angry. I’m not asking for crazy stuff here, just a battery that lasts longer than 20 min of footage. And no high capacity option either.

    Arrrrg. These two things soiled JVC’s reputation for me. Surely in the testing phase somebody said, “Camera strap?” or “Should we make it able to record for more than 20 min on one battery?”

  13. Hi, my name is Martin Gibskov Bruun, a Dane living in Zambia. I don’t know if this is the right place for a question, but as Internet her, is very expensive and extremely slow, I will post it her.

    Questions about JVC GY-HM100U comparability with a Mac G4 (Only USB 1) and Final Cut Pro HD 4.5 (Production suite).

    As a small independent video producer based in Zambia, I have in long time wanted to go tapeless. I have had/still have, a love relationship with Sony/Mac, but GY-HM100 looks extremely good.

    My editing solution is a G4 (10.3.9), dual 1 GHz processor, 2 GB RAM and FCP 4.5 HD.
    Old, but haven’t gone down in 5 years. Camera PD100, again old, but it do that I need it to do. (Or at least until now).

    1. Can my editing solution work together with the JVC GY-HM100U (fast file transfer etc.)?
    2. Can I get a fire wire based card reader?
    3. Can FCP 4.5 handle the Sony/JVC XDCAM codex?

    Best Regards

    Martin Gibskov Bruun

    • Martin, have you heard anything? I’m also using my trusty old FCP 4.5 HD and I’m looking to get a new miniDV that won’t necessitate updating my editing hardware or software. Have you learned anything since your Jan. 25 post?

  14. I just bought a GY-HM100U, but I cannot get Quicktime or my Final Cut Pro v.5.0.4 to play the .mov videos. Can anyone tell me what to do? Please help!

  15. There are all kinds of compatibility issues between the new cameras recording to SD cards and hard drives. I’m attempting to sort through them, but the surest way to find out is to do what you two are doing…ask someone who’s been there. You might also check out the Yahoo newspaper video group…they’re folks with gear who work daily with cameras and computers and are always trying to find workarounds.

  16. I have the camera and like most of the reviews say it is not good in low light. Also, the camera is very finicky about SD cards. SO far, none of the 32gb cars have worked!

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