can mount just about any lens on the LS300. Paired with the LS300’s
Variable Scan Mapping, you can use everything from PL mount
lenses to old SLR lenses to recent DSLR lenses. Using a Metabones
EF-MFT adapter, I was able to use my Canon glass easily. VSM and
Prime Zoom are both innovative and unique features that I suspect
the rest of the industry will be attempting to copy.
The detachable handle, with its XLR inputs, audio controls and
recording controls, is well designed. The built-in ND filters offer
functionality that will seem like a magic wand to filmmakers who
are used to filming with a DSLR. Focus peaking, with its dedicated
button, is another standout feature on the LS300. It is as easy to use
as any version I have yet come across. Finally, the use of inexpensive
UHS-I Speed Class 3 SDHC/SDXC cards as a storage medium is
welcome. In the same vein, the LS300 has a number of options that
make use of its dual card slots. For example, you can tell the camera
to switch cards when one is full, and then hot swap out the old card
for endless recording times, or you can simultaneously record in
the AVCHD format on one card and then in the MOV format on
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
The LCD and the electronic viewfinder are weaknesses on the
HOW IT COMPARES
LS300. The LCD is dim and has a lower resolution than most other
cameras in this segment. Particularly when used outdoors, colors
and exposure are difficult to judge. Sadly, even though they are
becoming commonplace, JVC chose not to make the LS300’s LCD a
touchscreen. A high-resolution touchscreen LCD would have really put
the LS300 over the top. Instead, the subpar LCD just ends up being
a drawback to work around. The EVF isn’t much better; it is small and
low-resolution with a limited range of motion. In addition, the diopter
seems to wander from its setting. While readjusting is quick, it is also
Interchangeable-lens 4K prosumer cameras are a small, but
growing segment of the market. Canon’s XC10 is less expensive
than the LS300 but has less optical flexibility and mostly still-camera
ergonomics. Sony’s a7R II has received positive reviews and is slightly
less expensive than the LS300 at $3,200. However native lens options
for the Sony are less numerous than the LS300 MFT mount (though
adapters are available). At $1,300, the Panasonic GH4 has become a
popular budget filmmaker’s 4K solution since its introduction in 2014.
While it has a number of competitors that give the LS300 a run for
its money in various areas, none of them combine price, lens options
and feature set in quite the same way.
Josh Root, a Washington State-based photographer, writer and editor, is
also the former editor-in-chief of photo.net. He is passionate about his wife
and two sons, fast lenses, fly fishing and a strong coffee.
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