JVC Introduces first Handheld 4K Camcorder

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Thu, 01/12/2012 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

JVC has announced the GY-HMQ10 which the company says is the world’s first handheld 4K camcorder. Powered by JVC’s Falconbrid large-scale integration chip for high-speed signal processing and a 1/2-inch CMOS imager with 8.3 million active pixels it delivers real-time 3840x2160 footage at 24p 50p or 60p. “We’re witnessing the birth of what is destined to become a broad market for full 4K end-to-end production ” says Edgar Shane general manager of engineering. “The GY-HMQ10 is a breakthrough product that opens up 4K imaging to users who previously wouldn't have considered it.”

 High-resolution 4K still picture imaging has been around for several years in DSLR cameras. Motion video capture with these cameras has always been done at a lower video resolution because of lack of processing power. Likewise high-end digital motion picture cameras may capture 4K images but often provide a raw data output to an external storage array for later processing—again due to lack of processing power in the camera. There just hasn't been the ability to capture process display and record full 4K images in real time until now.

JVC's exclusive Falconbrid LSI processing takes raw image data from the camera's CMOS device and dematrixes (deBayers) it in real time. Unlike many high-end 4K cameras the GY-HMQ10 is able to output 4K images to a monitor or projection system in real time with virtually no latency. Using MPEG-4 technology and a variable bit rate H.264 codec operating at up to 144 Mbps the GY-HMQ10 records up to two hours of 4K video to economical SDHC or SDXC memory cards.

 In addition to 4K imaging the GY-HMQ10 also captures and records1080i or 1080/60p full HD with detail provided by its 8.3 megapixel imager and superior lens. HD is recorded on a single memory card in a format compatible with most editing systems. 

Similar in size to JVC’s popular GY-HM150 ProHD camcorder the GY-HMQ10 includes a build-in F2.8 10x zoom lens with optical image stabilizer as well as a color viewfinder and 3.5-inch touch LCD monitor with a new intuitive user interface. The GY-HMQ10 is built in a familiar comfortable and lightweight form factor for hours of field production with minimum fatigue.

The GY-HMQ10 is equipped with manual level controls for audio with audio metering in the LCD and viewfinder displays. A microphone holder and two balanced XLR connectors with phantom power are located on the handle. The camera is equipped with a built-in stereo mic for ambient sound pickup.

Other features include JVC’s patented Focus Assist as well as manual and auto control of focus iris gain shutter gamma color matrix and white balance. Plus the camera has the unusual capability of live 4K output via four HDMI terminals. “Historically JVC has been a leader in camcorder and display technology and the GY-HMQ10 is our latest breakthrough ” says Shane. “It's part of a larger move at JVC to bring 4K technology to a wide range of customers.” The GY-HMQ10 will sell for $4 995 when deliveries start in March.