March 13, 2013

JVC GY-HM70 shoulder camera

The new JVC GY-HM70 AVCHD camera should be of interest to many of our readers, as our now-ancient (October 2010) post on AVCHD shoulder mounted camcorders is our most popular ever…

The GY-HM70 will ship in May, and has a list price of $1,995 (apparently the UK street price is likely to be under £1,200), and some nice features, even if it doesn’t have XLR audio input.

It is designed principally for event production, and to make it useful for covering long-form events, such as weddings or conferences, it has hot-swappable batteries (pictured below - a first in this price bracket), so you can keep shooting continuously, without interruption. 

Being shoulder-mounted, it should also be a lot more comfortable for long-term use than more compact cameras (although it isn’t particularly big), and is reasonably light, weighing about 3kg (6.7lb) with one battery attached.

It can record 1920x1080 HD at up to 50p or 60p in AVCHD Progressive, to dual SDHC/SDXC memory cards (Class 4/6/10) at up to 28Mbps. It will also shoot at 250 frames per second at 720x576 (for 50Hz/Pal production) or 300fps at 720x480 (for 60Hz/NTSC countries), and offers 50/60i shooting or SD at lower bit rates. 

Interval recording in steps from one second up to 80 seconds is also an option, as are still images at up to 4000x3000-pixel resolution. Stills in 12Megapixel can be shot at the same time as video or stills can be shot at 2Megapixel resolution.

The camera should also be pretty useful in low light. It uses JVC's Super LoLux technology to enhance image quality and offer more accurate colour capture indoors or in dark situations (there is a minimum illumination of 1lux, which is certainly good, but hardly exceptional).

The F1.2-F5.6 GT Lens has a 10x optical zoom, plus a 16x “dynamic zoom” that only works with the optical image stabilisation turned off and makes use of the overabundance of pixels on the sensor by reducing from 5.4Mpixels to 2.07Mpixels (there is also a 200x digital zoom). 

The lens delivers a not-particularly wide wide-angle of 29.5mm – to 476mm if dynamic zoom used (35mm-equivalent), and was developed specifically for the 1/2.3-inch 12Megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor (apparently the same sensor used in JVC’s GY-HMQ10 small 4K handheld camcorder), which is claimed to deliver “high resolution, high sensitivity, and excellent colour reproduction.”

The camera features manual or auto focus (with focus assist), manual iris and shutter, manual or automatic white balance, and optical image stabilization.

There is a 3-inch 16:9 230K-pixel Touch Screen LCD display plus a 0.24-inch LCOS 16:9 260K-pixel colour viewfinder; an internal stereo microphone (plus a mini-jack microphone input); remote-control input; while outputs include an HDMI Mini connector and RCA video and audio ports. It comes with an AC adapter (AP-V20); battery pack (BN-VF823); composite/audio cable (RCA x 3) and USB cable.

By David Fox

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