In the world of broadcasting and video production, it’s rare to find what you’re looking for at a reasonable price.
It’s even rarer to find everything you need bundled into one product. If you’re lucky enough to come across one of these unicorns, you may ask yourself “What’s the catch?”
So naturally, when the JVC GY-HM200SP first crossed my path, I had those exact reservations. However, using it quickly dispelled my concerns. This camera never sacrifices simplicity in its quest to be versatile and functional, making it perfect for simplified sports broadcasting.
Note: It’s important to clarify that I’m not loyal to any particular brands when it comes to production equipment. I am not being compensated for this review. My focus is on providing valuable information about high-quality products that do the job at a sensible price.
BUILT-IN SCORE OVERLAYS
This is probably the biggest differentiator of this camera amongst its competitors. Typically, if you’d like to include score overlays for your events, you’ll have to purchase a TriCaster, video switcher, or other service. However, with this JVC camera, you can include overlays directly from the device. Just use a web application to control score information from a phone or a tablet, both of which can be easily mounted to a tripod.
Connecting my phone to the camera did take a few steps, but once I connected it, it stayed connected. I tested the basketball, football and soccer functionalities. The minimal time-delay to add a score, down, or penalty was quite impressive, not to mention the ability to start and stop the play clock directly from my phone. I found that the control over score data rivals that of professional sports broadcasts.
HDMI AND SDI OUTPUTS
Many cameras at this price point only output video over a HDMI connection, which can be frustrating if you want to run a video signal for over 50 feet or if you need a more secure and professional SDI video connection. The option to output to either signal means that this camera can scale with you as you add more professional video equipment.
For my explanation on the differences between HDMI and SDI video connections, check out this video)
LIVE STREAMING STRAIGHT FROM THE CAMERA
If you don’t have the ability to output video to a live-streaming encoder, like BoxCast’s BoxCaster, the GY-HM200SP allows you to deliver a live video stream directly from the camera. This is a great feature to have, as long as you have a very strong wireless internet connection or hotspot. It’s notable that JVC allows you to simultaneously record on the camera while you’re streaming live.
A SWEET HANDLE MOUNT, AND XLR INPUTS
The camera comes with an attachable handle that mounts to the top of camera, letting you mount a shotgun mic and 2-channel XLR inputs to send microphone audio and broadcast announcer audio directly into the camera from your audio mixer. I love that this handle lets you press record from the top of it and adjust incoming audio levels directly from the handle itself.
DUAL MEMORY CARD SLOTS
If you’re like me and record and stream a lot of events, it’s nice to have extra storage. The dual SD memory card slots on this camera let you switch over to a new card, should the one you’re using fill up (think of it like having two gas tanks in a car).
1080p VIDEO AT 60fps 1080p Video at 60fps
This feature is great for sports. If you’re familiar with frame rates and resolutions, you understand why a higher frame rate is better for streaming sports. If not, let me break it down: with the speed at which many sports are played, a higher frame rate like 60fps will allow for a smoother, fluid viewing experience for your broadcasts and recordings.
Oh, did I mention it’s a 4K camera? On top of all the awesome features you’ve seen above, this camera records in 4K locally on the camera (which makes the dual memory card slots extremely useful). I should note, however, that the score overlay functions do not appear when recording in 4K.
Though JVC has done a great job packing in professional features into this camera, the fact remains that it’s still a handheld device. You can fit it into almost any camera bag making it perfect for run-and-gun broadcasting and videography.
THE PRICE IS GREAT
Last, but most certainly not least, is the price. For all that the GY-HM200SPU offers, it still comes at the price of a prosumer, non-4k, non-overlay capable device. You won’t find another camera at this price with this many professional features.
If you’re a one-man-show in video, or even a beginner in the sports broadcasting space, you’re going to love this camera. Its rockstar functionality is easy to learn and, more importantly, it lets you provide your audience with a professional-quality viewing experience.
Josh Clemence is the Video Content Specialist at BoxCast. Whether it’s producing live events, flying drones around cities, animating short explainer videos, or telling stories through documentary style shorts, Josh loves anything and everything video.
During his time in college, Josh found his true love for media and entrepreneurship. Pairing these passions with his degrees in Marketing and Entrepreneurship enabled him to co-found his own video production and design company.
A native of Akron, Ohio, Josh loves being in the Downtown Cleveland tech scene. In his free time, Josh will likely be trail running, playing basketball, making videos or doing anything else creative.