Report on the JVC GY-HM600 Camera Workshop

JVC GY-HM600 Camera Workshop
Camera Workshop at JVC’s London HQ

The first Camera Workshop

I must admit to being more than a little chuffed to get asked to be part of a camera workshop on JVC’s wonderful GY-HM600 and GY-HM650 camcorders. Alongside Mike Turner, our aim for the workshop was to give existing users a better understanding of the many and unique features and controls of this series of cameras.

The first of these took place on a foggy day on 11th December at JVC’s HQ in North London and was attended by ten owners of the camera who were hoping to discover their camera’s full potential. The delegates included a complete mix of experience and familiarity so it was difficult to pitch the presentation so that everyone walked away better informed.

Having had this camera for the past month or so it was great to be able to share some of the things that I had learnt about the deployment of this camera in the field. It was also really useful to have feedback from more experienced delegates that have been using the camera for much longer. With such a feature-rich piece of technology it’s unlikely that anyone could know everything there is to know about it, but between us we covered all the main functions and controls in an information sharing and friendly environment.

Updating Cameras

One of the most revealing sessions of the day for me was the software update session. These days, like any other technology, cameras are software driven and updates to performance and additional features are introduced long after the camera is released for sale. The GY-HM600 series is no different in this respect and since launch there have been a number of software versions which have improved the camera and added useful features for the user. These improvements really only come to light once the camera has been used in the field and JVC have been quick to develop these and release them to existing users via their website.

Delegates were asked to bring their cameras with them to the workshop so that they could follow sessions with their own camera to help retention. When we came to the software update session the most surprising thing for me was that none of the people on the workshop had the latest software version installed – and at least one had the original version when the camera was first launched. Not only did these guys walk away better informed but they also had better cameras from when they arrived. JVC also learned that their system of informing users on software updates had room for improvement, so everyone was a winner.

Another one of the revealing sessions was on the use of the camera in low-light situations and between us we established the best working practices that enable users to attain the best possible pictures in difficult situations. We also covered the camera’s strengths and weaknesses in full-auto mode and established the best practices in attaining and maintaining correct focus using features such as Focus Assist, Expanded Focus and the Face Detection mode.

Advanced Camera Workshop Session

The day was split between my session on general camera use and after lunch a more advanced section by Mike Turner for GY-HM650 owners covering its streaming, remote monitoring and networking functions. This was great for me as I’d not really tested these capabilities; features which are unique on this model of the camera.

Mike Turner
Me and my co-presenter, Mike Turner

Post-workshop feedback was still coming in whilst I wrote this blog but the comments from delegates on the day were all very positive. As this was our first attempt there were some things that we’ll do differently on future workshops, but overall a good first attempt. We hope to announce the next workshop date very soon, but it’s looking like being the end of January at JVC’s London HQ again.