Unveiled: JVC GW-SPLS1 UAV-Mountable 4K Camera
JVC was the first to bring wireless streaming to a camcorder, the first to market with a prosumer HD camera, and, most recently, the first to market with a prosumer 4K camera. It seems it is first to market again, this time with an ultra-compact 4K camera—the GW-SPLS1—light and compact enough for mounting on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) while also being capable of delivering broadcast-quality 4K video. The camera features a new Super35 sensor developed by JVC that can shoot in both DCI 4096 x 2160 and UHD 3840 x 2160 resolutions for cinema or television, respectively, at frame rates up to 60 fps.
The biggest hurdle JVC faces against adoption, arguably, is whether the FAA will approve UAVs for commercial use.
The GW-SPLS1 is built into a specially made gimbal that keeps the camera level and helps isolate it from vibration caused by the UAV's rotors. Built into the gimbal mechanism is an SDXC card slot for internal recording. In addition, the camera features the same IP technology found in the GY-HM890—also just announced—allowing it to stream HD resolution wirelessly using LTE broadband. The LTE connection can be used for FTP upload after the fact, or as a way to stream an event live without needing a satellite truck or Wi-Fi access point.
With this camera, it is clear JVC is going after two markets at the same time: the digital cinematography market, by providing a relatively inexpensive way to capture high-resolution aerial footage without having to hire a helicopter, and the broadcast news market, giving news crews an alternative that is not only cheaper than a news helicopter but also more quickly deployable, even under a lot more circumstances. The biggest hurdle JVC faces against adoption, arguably, is whether the FAA will approve UAVs for commercial use.
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