Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Compact hi-def camcorders coming from JVC
with up to 10 hours HD recording on hard drive

At last week's PMA trade show in Las Vegas, JVC announced a pair of new high definition Everio hard disk camcorders that offer high picture quality in a dramatically reduced size. The new JVC GZ-HD6 and GZ-HD5 HD camcorders are 45 percent smaller than JVC’s previous top-end HD camcorder, the GZ-HD7, without any sacrifice in image quality.

To provide the best possible quality, both new HD camcorders feature a Fujinon HD lens, a progressive scan 3CCD imaging system and JVC’s HD Gigabrid engine that delivers 1920 x 1080 Full HD recording. In addition, they offer 1080p 60 frame per second output via HDMI 1.3 with x.v.Color™. Collectively these technologies capture and maintain optimum image quality for videos and stills through every stage, from the lens on through to recording. Both camcorders offer a long recording time in 1920 x 1080 Full HD – 10 hours for the 120GB GZ-HD6 and five hours for the 60GB GZ-HD5. They record up to 24 (GZ-HD6) or 12 (GZ-HD5) hours in the 1440 LP mode. Recordings are stored on either the built-in hard disk drive or on an inserted microSD card (optional). Both models also offer a microphone input and a wide range of manual controls. The black GZ-HD6 also features a lens hood and headphone jack. The smaller silver GZ-HD5 weighs just 1 lb 3.9 oz with battery.

The GZ-HD6/HD5 also come supplied with Windows® applications for editing and authoring to DVD and Blu-ray disc, as well as plug-in software to facilitate data import into various Macintosh applications. And to make it easy to share and archive recordings, JVC will continue to offer the CU-VD40 Everio SHARE STATION for HD which enables one-button burning of video data to DVD.

The HD Everio GZ-HD6/HD5 feature an F1.8-F1.9 10x zoom lens that offers nearly the same brightness throughout its 39.5~395 35mm equivalent (f=3.3mm~33mm) zoom range by virtue of its three aspherical lens elements, one made of indexed glass. In addition, the lens surface is coated with a new Electronic Beam Coating (EBC) that greatly reduces degradation caused by light reflecting off the lens surfaces, leading to greater light transmission and reduced flaring and ghosting. This HD lens was specifically designed by Fujinon, a leader in the professional camera lens market for HD moving images, in conjunction with JVC engineers to offer optimal characteristics for the camcorder’s Progressive Scan 3CCD system.

For bright, realistic colors the HD Everio camcorders use three 1/5-inch CCDs – one each for the primary colors red, green and blue, incorporating 16:9 progressive scan CCDs. This voluminous raw information is then processed using pixel shift technology to essentially quadruple the pixel count to create an even more detailed image, providing 2.27 Megapixels total and 2.14 Megapixels effective resolution.

Using the highest quality FHD recording mode, the user can record approximately 10 hours (120GB model) or five hours (60GB model) of full HD 1920 x 1080 MPEG2 Transport Stream video with MPEG 1 Layer 2 audio. This is truly native HDTV resolution that requires no conversion on the part of the display device to show high definition images.

Also, because it records in the MPEG2 Transport Stream video format, HD Everio recordings can be archived onto Blu-ray discs using provided software and a high definition Blu-ray recorder.

JVC’s new HD Gigabrid video engine, which processes in full 1920 x 1080 progressive video, is the result of years of experience in signal-processing technology, and uses five digital noise-reduction algorithms as well as signal processing to improve vertical scan resolution by approximately 30 percent over JVC’s previous interlace technology for an extremely clear and sharp image.

By enabling output of a 1080p 60 fps progressive signal, this function enables HD Everio’s recordings to be enjoyed on high-end displays. Using the same high-power Genessa technology as in JVC’s advanced displays, conversion to 1920 x 1080p at 60 fps provides seamless natural video, free of motion judder during fast action, jaggy lines on angles, and moirĂ© patterns on fine detail when zooming. 1920 x 1080 HD discs played back via the camera from the CU-VD40 SHARESTATION are also converted to 60 fps progressive.

JVC HD Everio Camcorders record using x.v.Color™ technology. In this universal standard x.v.Ycc, known as x.v.Color™, provides more accurate color reproduction with more detail and shades that looks more natural to the human eye. It can display 100 percent of the colors that the human eye is capable of perceiving, whereas the traditional sRGB system can display only approximately 55 percent. The difference in color reproduction performance is especially noticeable in greens and yellows. These new HD Everio camcorders output to televisions directly using HDMI™ (V.1.3. with x.v.Color™).

To preserve the Full HD quality, the HD Everios feature optical image stabilization, avoiding the signal degradation caused by electronic image stabilization, which might be particularly noticeable in HD footage. In short, HD Everio matches its high-definition recording capability with a proven HD lens section that has proven its value in the broadcast industry.

While HD Everio camcorders offer fully automated operation for point-and-shoot simplicity, they also offer a wide range of manual controls. These include a manual focus ring, manual white balance, exposure control, shutter priority mode, aperture priority mode and sharpness control. In addition, a Focus Assist function displays the edge of the in-focus elements in color while the rest of the image is black-and-white, making it easy to check which image elements are in focus. And a Zebra function displays a striped pattern across highlight areas on the image in the LCD monitor, making it easier to manually set the exposure.

Depending on the model, HD Everio camcorders feature either an embedded 120GB or 60GB hard disk drive, allowing upwards of 10 hours (120GB model) or five hours (60 GB model) recording at the highest quality FHD mode. In addition to this mode, three more are offered to let the user choose the appropriate mode for any situation. There is an SP mode with a resolution of 1440 x 1080 and maximum bit rate of 22 Mbps., an LP mode offering the same resolution but at a slower maximum bit rate of 15 Mbps., and an HDV-i.LINK streaming compatible constant bit rate 1440 CBR mode.

By connecting the GZ-HD6/HD5 directly to the optional CU-VD40 HD Everio SHARE STATION via USB, the user can burn HD 12cm DVD discs to make backups and permanent archives of selected scenes in any desired order with just a few simple steps. There are several options for selecting clips to be burned to disc — all clips, manual selection of specific clips, clip files not yet copied, by date, video playlists created in-camera and comprised of multiple user-selected clips, or by event type for those clips that have been tagged with an icon representing an event category (e.g. birthday, baby, graduation, vacation, etc.).

HD Everio camcorders are equipped with three digital interfaces – USB, HDMI and Firewire/i.LINK. USB is primarily for file saving, HDMI for digital viewing on large screen displays, and Firewire/i.LINK streams high definition video in full resolution or the 1440CBR mode. High definition video streamed by Firewire/i.LINK in the 1440CBR mode is HDV-compatible and allows footage to be edited using HDV-compatible software (functionality might be limited with some applications). HD recorded material is down-converted for output in DV over Firewire/i.LINK, or in standard definition via the analog component/ S-Video/ composite output.

For editing and archiving via PC, the HD Everio comes with the CyberLink BD Solution software suite for Windows. This includes PowerDirector for HD video editing, PowerProducer for authoring high definition Blu-ray discs and DVD-Video discs, and PowerCinema for HD file management and playback. Also included is a plug-in that works up to 1920 x 1080i with Apple iMovie HD and Final Cut Pro video software for the Macintosh.

The JVC GZ-HD6, offered in black, and the GZ-HD5, offered in silver, will be available in March for $1,399.99 and $1,199.99, respectively.
This is a preview, not a review.

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