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|
|Lens||10x zoom, f/2.8|
|Max. Resolution||3840 x 2160|
|Recording format(s)||MPEG-4/H.264 & AVCHD|
|Display||3.5" 920K-dot touch screen|