New JVC Announces GY-HMQ10 Handheld 4K Camcorder

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It took a while for the whole world to catch up to the HDTV movement, but nowadays you have to go out of your way even to find a TV that’s not HD. A similar situation exists with camcorders, although there are still plenty of SD camcorders for sale. Even so, JVC has just announced the GY-HMQ10, a handheld 4K camcorder that you’ll be able to buy in March.

4K refers to the horizontal resolution of the video image which, in the case of the GY-HMQ10, is close to 4,000 pixels—3840 x 2160 to be exact. Everyone gets excited about HD video, which has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. But HD video pales in comparison to 4K video, which offers four times the resolution. As proof, note how you can fit four 1920 x 1080 images into the space of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

Until now it has been difficult to process 4K video in real time, and other 4K camcorders have had to record raw data in a proprietary format that is processed later on. But the GY-HMQ10 uses a ½-inch 8.3-megapixel CMOS image sensor and a Falconbrid large-scale integration (LSI) chip to produce 3840 x 2160 footage at 24p, 50p or 60p. The camcorder uses MPEG-4 technology and a variable bit rate H.264 codec to process the 4K video in real time at speeds up to 144 Mbps. Real-time processing allows a live signal to be output via HDMI to a projector or monitor and also to be recorded on SDHC or SDXC memory cards.

Other features of the GY-HMQ10include an f/2.8, 10x zoom lens, optical image stabilization, a color viewfinder and a 3.5 inch touch-panel display. 4K video offers so much resolution that you can crop an HD image from it. You can do it in post production or during playback using the GY-HMQ10’s trimming feature and touch-panel display.

The GY-HMQ10 is fully automatic, but it also offers manual controls for audio level, focus, iris, gain, shutter, gamma, color matrix and white balance. It has a built-in stereo microphone as well as a microphone holder and two balanced XLR connectors with phantom power, if you prefer using external microphones.

The GY-HMQ10 joins JVC’s line of 4K projectors geared for the home-theater market, and high-end 4K projectors used in commercial flight simulators and planetariums. While 4K video is ideal for professional use, it might find a home in your home sooner than you think. 4K TVs are looming on the horizon.

Sensor 8.3MP, 1/2" CMOS
Processor Falconbrid LSI
Lens 10x zoom, f/2.8
Max. Resolution 3840 x 2160
Recording format(s) MPEG-4/H.264 & AVCHD
Storage SDHC, SDXC
Display 3.5" 920K-dot touch screen

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...so will there be a 30P option upgrade on the horizon?

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So far we have no information regarding any upgrades to this camera.  As JVC makes changes or releases new information, we will be sure to post updates.

Hi How does its post workflow operate? Do you need a devise that can take 4xHDMI to plug into your computer? As I understand, you can't copy the raw footage off the cards, because the 4K image is divided between all 4 cards. How can you ingest the footage off this cam? Thanks

Right now the workflow is for mac only. You would connect the camcorder to the computer through USB and use the 4K Clip Manager Software that will ingest the 4 streams into one. It is explained here: http://pro.jvc.com/prof/attributes/tech_desc.jsp?model_id=MDL102132&feature_id=02

Pls explain the work flo of this 4K Camera to me - can I continue using fcp7 for Editing ?

The feature set on this camcorder seems aimed at a high end hobbyist rather than a professional film maker, which is who would more than likely have the need for the 4K image quality. While I believe 4K will probably make it into the home video market with sub 1000 dollar cancorders and LCD TV's in the coming years, I wish they wouldn't. Present HDTV is enough for the average consumer, and 4K might just be the advantage that event videographers can market for a short time. It's bad enough we have to compete against the consumer's pocket HD camcorders and HD iPhone camcorders, whick lowers the percieved value of a professional's work. Can you imagine the perceived value of your work on the day when a 4K iPad provides better imaging than your 5000 professional HD cam?

So are you having trouble competing on the basis of quality? (instead of pretty equipment?)