January 11, 2012

If You Wanted a '$3K for 3K' RED SCARLET, JVC Has Something for You: a New 4K Camcorder for $5K

As I predicted, RED killed their "3K for $3K" fixed-lens SCARLET camera. If that small-chip, big-resolution camera was something you were interested in, JVC has stepped in with the GY-HMQ10 (rolls right off the tongue!), a 4K (3840x2160, or "Quad HD" in RED parlance) compact camera with a fixed 10x zoom lens, which will land in March for under $5k. Recording to a VBR h.264 codec at up to 144Mpbs, the camera also does 1080p at up to 60 frames per second (something that many cameras at double or triple the price can't do). Does the new JVC hit a sweet spot or does it put the "K" in "OK" (or something)? Press release and larger picture (it looks like what you'd expect) below.

The main thing to keep in mind is the CMOS sensor is 1/2", so if shallow depth-of-field is your thing, steer away. Then again a Citizen Kane-like deep focus should help with pulling perfect focus in 4K!

Press Release

(Wayne, New Jersey--January 10, 2012) JVC Professional Products Company, a division of JVC Americas Corp., today announced the GY-HMQ10, the world’s first handheld 4K camcorder, which captures, records, and plays video images at four times the resolution of high definition television. Powered by JVC’s Falconbrid large-scale integration (LSI) chip for high-speed signal processing and a 1/2-inch CMOS imager with 8.3 million active pixels, it delivers real-time 3840x2160 footage at 24p, 50p, or 60p.

“We’re witnessing the birth of what is destined to become a broad market for full 4K end-to-end production,” said Edgar Shane, general manager of engineering. “The GY-HMQ10 is a breakthrough product that opens up 4K imaging to users who previously wouldn't have considered it.”

High resolution 4K still picture imaging has been around for several years in DSLR cameras. Motion video capture with these cameras has always been done at a lower video resolution because of lack of processing power. Likewise, high end digital motion picture cameras may capture 4K images, but often provide a raw data output to an external storage array for later processing—again due to lack of processing power in the camera. There just hasn't been the ability to capture, process, display and record full 4K images in real time until now.

JVC's exclusive Falconbrid LSI processing takes raw image data from the camera's CMOS device and dematrixes (deBayers) it in real time. Unlike many high end 4K cameras, the GY-HMQ10 is able to output 4K images to a monitor or projection system in real time with virtually no latency. This capability opens up applications in cinematography, medical microscopy, telepresence, specialized observation / surveillance, and live wide-view event coverage.

Using MPEG-4 technology and a variable bit rate H.264 codec operating at up to 144 Mbps, the GY-HMQ10 records up to two hours of 4K video to economical SDHC or SDXC memory cards.

In addition to 4K imaging, the GY-HMQ10 also captures and records astonishing 1080i or 1080/60p full HD, with extraordinary detail provided by its 8.3 megapixel imager and superior lens. HD is recorded on a single memory card in a format compatible with most editing systems. This combination of superb 4K and HD imaging was requested by attendees of JVC's 4K forums, conducted throughout North America last year, and is unique in the camera industry.

Another feature requested by forum attendees was the ability to crop an HD image from a 4K frame. This can be accomplished in post production or in real time during camera playback. The “trimming” feature makes HD cropping easy using the camera's touch panel LCD monitor.

Similar in size to JVC’s popular GY-HM150 ProHD camcorder, the GY-HMQ10 includes a build-in F2.8 10x zoom lens with optical image stabilizer, as well as a color viewfinder and 3.5-inch touch LCD monitor with a new, intuitive user interface. The GY-HMQ10 is built in a familiar, comfortable and lightweight form factor for hours of field production with minimum fatigue.

The GY-HMQ10 is equipped with manual level controls for audio, with audio metering in the LCD and viewfinder displays. A microphone holder and two balanced XLR connectors with phantom power are located on the handle. The camera is equipped with a built-in stereo mic for ambient sound pickup.

Other features include JVC’s patented Focus Assist, as well as manual and auto control of focus, iris, gain, shutter, gamma, color matrix, and white balance. Plus, the camera has the unusual capability of live 4K output via four HDMI terminals.

“Historically, JVC has been a leader in camcorder and display technology, and the GY-HMQ10 is our latest breakthrough,” added Shane. “It's part of a larger move at JVC to bring 4K technology to a wide range of customers.” In September 2011, JVC introduced an affordable line of 4K projectors to the home theater market. The company's high-end 4K projectors are widely used in commercial flight simulators and planetariums. “4K is the logical step beyond HD,” said Shane. “And JVC is uniquely positioned to lead the industry in this new direction.”

JVC's innovative approach to professional 4K will be unveiled in a series of industry announcements beginning at CES and continuing throughout 2012.

At a retail selling price of $4,995, the GY-HMQ10 launches today, with market deliveries beginning in March 2012.

[via Film and Digital Times]

Your Comment

70 Comments

This is cool and all, but I'm kind of getting tired of all these posts about just cameras...

January 11, 2012

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Ien

Koo does a pretty good job mixing it up, and with CES going on right now as well as this in general being the best time for low-budget filmmakers to get an amazing picture at a low price, I think the camera posts are warranted. I was waiting for his write-up on this actually, was hoping for an opinion piece actually though, I had already read the press release.

January 11, 2012

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chris

I agree. THis is getting into too technical stuff, which is not bad, but it's becoming monothematic. I've already been through a super tech phase and left my filmmaking aside, I just don't want to get into that again.

January 11, 2012

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maghoxfr

There are many sites that post on a variety of film-related topics, this is not the only one. If Koo wants to post more camera stuff than anything else, we as his audience have the choice to either read and, or shut the fuck up and read something else.
It's his site, he can post what he wants. As long as it's free to the reader I'm happy.
/rant

January 11, 2012

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Jonathan

Noo... I feel like this site has the perfect balance between tech and not. A lot of camera stuff is driven by news, so there's going to be a little more of that. And there's a ton of non-camera stuff as well! Best of both worlds.

January 11, 2012

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There should be more non-tech stuff in the near future. Right now there's a perfect storm of:

1. Unprecedented camera news/developments
2. New writers aren't quite hired/trained yet
3. I'm busy

I hear you all though! Improvements on the way.

January 12, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Thanks Koo! You're the best! Thanks for keeping up all the work!

January 12, 2012

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Matthew Reynolds

I like all the tech stuff. I'm new to a lot of this. I've produced before, handled locations, art direction, production design, etc.

But I never went to film school, and I'm trying to learn all the tech stuff now, because as beneficial as it is to hire a crew, I still want to be self-sufficient.

Aliasing, pixel aspect ratio, sensor size, 2K vs. 4K, various codecs, compression, Final Cut X vs. CS.5...these are all things I've learned being on this website, either directly or I've read about them here and it's triggered me to go somewhere else to learn what it means.

I'm going through my own personal film school right now. A lot of you probably don't know what's it like to teach yourself this shit from scratch. Maybe you do. It's like Quantum Mechanics when you first start looking into it. It's not fun when you're trying to figure out why the video you shot keeps getting stretched when converted to QT, and the reply on a message board is, "Your camera's codec doesn't shoot true 16x9 1920x1080, but is actually shooting 4:3 at 1440x940, with a rectangular Pixel Aspect Ratio, so your compression is stretching the image to compensate for the widescreen output."

Thanks Koo. I rely on this site a lot.

January 12, 2012

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Kyle Kapetanakis

Perhaps you didn't read the article above. 4K at $5k is a big step. I'd love to test one of these things out.

January 11, 2012

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mcblakewich

Truth.

January 12, 2012

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Rev. Benjamin

JVC camcorder produces footage that is too videoy, very sharp (sharpened sharp, not detailed sharp). this 4k cam could be used in some special circumstances but i don't think it could produce something organic.

January 11, 2012

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Marvin

WSweet! Just in time for the documentary I'm shooting in April!

January 11, 2012

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Who Needs 4K with a fixed lens? maybe to shoot home movies and screen it in cinemas? really don't get the point, to me looks like just marketing, I don't think a fillmmaker could be interested in a 4K like that even to shoot a documentary... I mean if in the need to buy a camera I'll choose something maybe the Panasonic AF100 for that price range... could be the next standard for consumer cameras, waiting for 4K Monitor... please enlighten me!

January 11, 2012

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Not great for run and gun.

January 11, 2012

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moebius22

Exactly. Your Cooke primes will not take to documentary work like they will to shot-a-day narrative work.
There's a bunch of doc shooters who have been shafted by the lack of a 4K "camcorder" that will line up to buy this thing.
By the way, cameras from JVC are officially relevant again o_0

January 11, 2012

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Jonathan

Yeah this could be a fantastic camera for documentary filmmakers. It has lots of upsides:

-big resolution without fiddly super shallow DoF to worry about
-big resolution means you can *get the shot* and worry about perfect framing later by cropping in post, helpful also for news shooters
-big resolution means you have lots more leeway when it comes to stabilizing shaky footage because there's way more around the edges you can afford to lose
-not having an interchangable lens can be a good thing...if something starts happening right in front of you all of a sudden and you need to get the shot, would you rather have a fixed zoom lens so you can pick up and shoot right away, or something with interchangable lenses so you've got to take off that 80mm prime and fiddle around for something wider before you can start shooting?

personally, I shoot only documentary stuff. I probably wouldn't buy this camera -- for $5000 I'd still rather have the FS100, even through the interchangable lenses can be a pain, I like having shallow DoF when I have the luxury of time to compose a shot -- but I can understand why plenty if people would, especially at that price. If we were gearing up for our doc now, I might have considered this camera, along with maybe a Canon 60D or GH2 for b-roll. Having the option of 4k (and the option of 1080p 60 fps) would certainly come in handy. (As it is, we have a HMC150 and a 60D, which seemed like the best options at the time we were gearing up).

January 12, 2012

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I see your point..to me I like the idea of being able to re-frame a shot if you decide it can help you tell the story better. This wouldn't be the only reason to purchase it but if you can have something comparable to red for less cost and less of a pain in post, why not give it a shot. (sorry for the pun)

January 12, 2012

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ew lol, camcorder? people still use those?

January 11, 2012

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John Jeffreys

I believe this is JVC's go-to moves - attempt to release a camera in a market (in this case, the low-end pro camcorder) before anyone else has gotten there. If I recall correctly, they released one of the first HD cameras in this same market before anyone else really had.

January 11, 2012

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Yeah, I remember that too. Although JVC has never quite been the powerhouse in the video market that Sony or Panasonic is (in sales or quality), they have always been the first to release new technologies at a consumer level, and I with that they pick up a whole lot of patents that Sony and Pany require in the process. Not totally sure on that, but for some reason I recall that factoid being a part of JVC's business model.

January 11, 2012

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Drew

One of the first 3D cameras as well I think...

This could prompt other manufactures to develop similar spec'd cameras at similar prices, and one of them will eventually remove the lens in favour for a mount.

January 11, 2012

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Tyler F

If camcorders like this take off we may soon have 4K large sensor camcorders in this price range.

January 11, 2012

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moebius22

We already do. Canon's 4K HDSLR concept is a reality and will be releasing this year.

January 11, 2012

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John Jeffreys

I bet you Canon will charge 10k for that 4K dslr

January 11, 2012

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I quite like this idea.. just shoot in 4k and crop ( in camera? lol ) to HD .. this would be great for JIBs :) pan, punch and stabilize in post even.. I can see this being great to use for that kinda stuff..

January 11, 2012

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8.3 million pixels on a 1/2" sensor sounds miserable. How bad must this camera be in low light?

These pixels must be tiny - unless JVC is doing something tricky like they did with the HM700 - which shoots and monitors in 1080p but only actual had a 720p sensor.

January 11, 2012

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Joe

People always say 'well I don't need that resolution', but the real advancement with this camera isn't the resolution per say, it's the bit rate that the processor must be able to handle to put out 3840×2160 at 60p. If you took that same bit rate to a C300 1080p image, then I would imagine 60 fps would be possible or more likely even more, maybe 120fps. Or with 1080p/24, I'm assuming a much less lossy codec would be possible such as prores maybe? The C300 operates at 50mbps, and this JVC runs almost 3 times higher at 144 Mbps, so I'd say that's where the significance lies - higher bit rates for a fairly cheap price.

January 11, 2012

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Clayton Arnall

There are already applications for this camera, but indie cinema isn't the first one in my mind. Sports? Medical? Surveillance? All of those would benefit from 4k resolution and less so from shallow depth of field. VIdeo-y looking footage is just fine in those applications.

January 11, 2012

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SPG

"Video-y" footage has nothing to do with depth of field, more so with frame rate and interlaced/progressive.
I believe Koo mentioned Citizen Kane in the article, perhaps you've seen it?

January 11, 2012

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Jonathan

That was an unnecessary and bitchy comment. Be nicer.

January 12, 2012

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Moore

No thanks, I'll wait for 8k...and since indie film is going to VOD I'll wait ten years until people have 4k tvs to watch this stuff on.

January 11, 2012

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jdoe

a little presumptuous considering no footage has been shown

January 11, 2012

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jime

Definitely like the images that came out of the 110u; who knows, this may look just as good. I'd say it easily competed with the HPX in the day. Good price point for this guy, just want to see some footage.

January 11, 2012

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Killer Porn camera. I can start a porn production company and website around this camera. People will pay for premium 4k sex. I think that will be this cameras biggest market.

January 11, 2012

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nagato

Who wants to see that much detail?

January 12, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

But think of the repo possibilities!!

January 12, 2012

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Rev. Benjamin

Oh please. Dont tell me you wouldnt like to see an anal creampie in 4k

January 12, 2012

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John Jeffreys

Im glad they're releasing this, since someone else has to kick the industry in the butt besides red to do 4k mainstream. but doing a 4k h264 camera is just not interesting to me as the compression is already terrible on every dslr, although this is a higher bit rate but still a crappy codec. But good on them for getting out there first at this price range!

January 12, 2012

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Who seriously needs all of this K, common now? I hope to see the next canon cinema dslr be a 2k camera for under 10,000, rather than a 4k dslr for 10,000.

January 12, 2012

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Rob

RED is completely gonna out of game ............. So what happened? RED throw words & others did it in real.. It reminds me when JVC introduced 24FPS 10 years back , This is just a beginning .........................

January 12, 2012

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arn

Nice!!!
Quick question though, I do most of stuff using DSLRs but I have been researching a lot about video cameras lately... so Sony FS100 vs JVC GY-HMQ10? Who wins?

January 12, 2012

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I'd wager the fs100 by a long shot, but I guess I haven't seen a shoot out either.

January 12, 2012

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Rev. Benjamin

thanks man.
the fs100 is more expensive definitely. but is the price difference worth the features?

January 12, 2012

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Good news for greenscreen shooters - shallow DOF is a killer for pulling good edge mattes in Nuke or AE. I wonder what the dead pixel ratio will be in JVC this time around considering the ProHD line had huge issues with it even though the secret menu option did have a temp solution.

January 12, 2012

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What a joke. 4K and no seperate zoom and focus rings!?! They are taking the piss.

January 12, 2012

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waiting for this camera...will this be the real game changer ?

January 12, 2012

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wesley

Just back from CES. Saw this camera in action. The picture is jaw dropping (of course when viewed on a 4K monitor). They were also showing an interchangeable lens version as a prototype. 4K (and beyond) is where we're headed. Every major TV manufacturer was showing some piece(s) of the 4K food chain. Sony had it soup to nuts. Canon is rejecting the idea of 4K out of hand by saying it's not practical at the moment (meaning they aren't in the game) and Panasonic hadn't even seemed to have heard about 4K yet. But, it is coming rapidly.

January 13, 2012

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To those complaining about things being "too techy"...you can't stay relevant if you are rolling in the dark...or playing catch up. Do your home work and give yourself the power of "effective choices" in 2012! Keep these type of posts coming. We appreciate it!

January 13, 2012

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Brian Fire

I've been shooting with a t2i, and I'm finding it very hard to keep things in focus when people are moving a lot, even after turning up the aperture. I think I might get this for things where it might be hard to keep things in focus.

January 13, 2012

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TehRandax

I don't know how well this camera will do (both in sales and in operation), but I think the most important thing about this camera is the affordability. I could see this ushering in the affordable 4k generation. Won't be long before other companies will start making similar cameras.

January 13, 2012

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Anton

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