A cool film blog...the praise is quite good.......
The JVC GY HM100 is currently the smallest and lightest "semi-pro" quality camcorder avalable. It is selling for about US $3,500. Announced in January, 2009 the HM100 became available in most markets in May. Hardly bigger than the larger consumer camcorders with built-in hard drives, it weighs just over 3lbs. From a size perspective, it needs to be noted that the carry-handle with attached shotgun mike and mixing panel is completely removable (as will be discussed shortly), making the HM100 a very low profile camera. Early reports are that this camera is quickly becoming appealing to pros needing the smallest and least conspicuous camera possible for discreet location work and for use as a "B" cam.
But, in addition to that constituency I believe that JVC has targeted the HM 100 at users who are relative newcomers to video making, yet who want near-broadcast-quality images combined with ease of use at an affordable price.
Features and Foibles
Of particular note is that this is the first video camera to shoot directly to Apple's QuickTime movie format (.MOV). JVC has licensed the format from Apple and has also licensed the Sony XDCAM EX codec from Sony. Thus, shooting XDCAM EX wrapped in a .MOV envelope, all one needs to do is drag files off the card directly onto the Final Cut time line. No transcoding, no rendering, no format conversion. This is a first, and JVC is to be loudly applauded for it.
If you are not a Mac user editing with Final Cut Pro (that doesn't make you a bad person) then you can choose to shoot to the MP4 codec for editing on any Mac or Windows PC with other non-linear editing software, such as Adobe Premiere or Sony's Vegas. These editing packages will see the JVC's files as XDCAM EX, just as if they'd come from a Sony EX1 or EX3 camera. How cool is that!?
Parenthetically, JVC used to be part of the Panasonic family of companies, but separated to become completely independent last year. This type of cross-licensing activity clearly shows that JVC intends on now marching to the beat of its own drummer rather than that of its previous corporate parent.
If you have the CAKE for this little baby, BUY IT!