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JVC's HMQ30 is a New Nikon Mount 4K Camera Oblivious of the Marketplace

06.14.13 @ 11:36AM Tags : , , ,

jvc2-HMQ30-lensEvery once in a while a company announces a product completely out of left field and it’s unclear if they’d actually asked regular shooters for input. The new HMQ30 is a new 4K camera from JVC that was teased at NAB 2012 and has now finally seen the light of day. We didn’t know much about the camera at that point except that it was going to have a Nikon F-mount and a 1.25″ sensor (which is slightly smaller than M4/3), but now it’s been revealed that it is more or less just a big brother to the GY-HMQ10, another 4K camera from JVC that records to 4 SD cards.

JVC-HMQ30-No Lens

Some of the basic specs for the HMQ30 (from the JVC website):

  • 8.91 million pixel CMOS Sensor
  • Image area: 4K2K: 829 million pixels
  • HD: 829 million pixels (dynamic zoom OFF)
  • 2.07 million pixels 8.29 million pixels – (dynamic zoom ON)
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F-mount
  • Shutter: 1/15 to 1/4000 (auto shutter range 1/60 to 1/4000)
  • Gain: 0dB, ​​2.5dB, 6dB, 12dB
  • LCD: 920,000 pixel 3.5-inch LCD, 16: 9, color, touch panel
  • Viewfinder: 260,000 pixel 0.24 type LCOS, 16: 9, color
  • SDHC / SDXC (Class 6/10 recommended), SD slot: × 4
  • 4K2K setting: 3840 × 2160/60p/50p/24p
  • 4K: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (. MP4) // HD: AVCHD (. MTS)
  • VBR, 144Mbps (Max) MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio: AAC 2ch 48kHz 16bit 384kbps
  • HD set: 1920 × 1080/60p/60i/50p/50i
  • 60p/50p mode: VBR, (Max) 28Mbps
  • UXP Mode: VBR, (Max) 24Mbps/XP Mode: VBR, (Max) 17Mbps /
  • SP Mode: VBR, (Max) 12Mbps/EP Mode: VBR, (Max) 5Mbps (1920 × 1080i)
  • Audio: AC3 2ch 48kHz 16bit 256kbps
  • Frame rate: NTSC setting 4K2K: 3840 × 2160/59.94p, 23.98p
  • HD: 1920 × 1080/59.94i, 59.94p
  • PAL setting 4K2K: 3840 × 2160/50p HD: 1920 × 1080/50i, 50p
  • Mini HDMI output × 4 (4K: HDMI × 4 HD: HDMI × 1)
  • MIC, +48 V / LINE — (has built-in stereo microphone) XLR × 2
  • USB 2.0
  • Price: 1.7 Million Yen (Roughly $18,000)


On the surface, this isn’t the worst idea in the world, but there are some major problems with the implementation if this will actually be the product released outside of Japan. Having to record to 4 SD cards for 4K (actually UHD 16:9) is about as cumbersome as it gets — which is probably one of the reasons the HMQ10 more popular. Needing 4 cards for high-resolution shooting means you need at least 8 if you’re going to keep shooting before offloading. If you need to shoot even more, marking them is going to be even more essential.

If $18,000 is anywhere near the final price, there are going to be a lot of these sitting on shelves. At that price, even if image quality was mind-blowing, it’s going not going to stand up favorably with anything else in that range. If JVC had gone with HDMI 1.4, they could have used two ports instead of four to output 4K 60fps, and then you’d only need one to get 4K 30fps.


I’m glad to see an interchangeable mount, though it looks like there will be no electronic controls built-in. According to JVC’s website, you’ll still be able to control newer Nikon lenses that don’t have aperture rings. It also seems like the sensor is slightly smaller than Micro 4/3, which makes it a bit curious why they didn’t just try to build a Micro 4/3 mount. This camera would probably be a lot more interesting with an active MFT mount recording to standard SSD drives. $18K would still be a little steep with those specs, but at least in that case it might fill a need. As it currently stands, I’m finding it hard to imagine who would be interested in the HMQ30, even if it finds its way somewhere around $10,000.

What do you guys think? Is there any price where recording 4K onto 4 SD cards is worth it?

Link: JY-HMQ30 — JVC Japan Website (English Translated)

[via Nikon Rumors & Engadget & AV Watch]


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Description image 56 COMMENTS

  • JVC has never made a camera that I’ve ever wanted.

    • Wrong in my opinion. I have thought about getting one of the 700 series cameras. I hear they are great cameras for the price.

  • What happens if one card fails? Is it as simple as you made it sound, or are the 4 cards raided together somehow with protection?
    I don’t think I could think of a worse idea than that.

  • “I’ll shoot on HMQ30!”- Said no one ever….

  • VinceGOrtho on 06.14.13 @ 12:04PM

    This is a sad situation.

    But on a happier note: THE SIGMA 18-35MM 1.8 PRICED HAS BEEN ANOUNCED AT $799 and not $1K-$2k.
    No word on quality on the lens though.

  • This one probably needs to be priced around $10K-12K to be competitive in the US.

    • You could give these damn things away for free and you’d probably still be hard pressed to get anyone to take them off your hands. If price weren’t an issue, I’d literally stick with my $1,300 GH3.

  • Mher Hakobyan on 06.14.13 @ 12:07PM

    i will buy RED scarlet for this price 16,960$,
    and will get 120 fps in 720p, but the main is i will get 4k RAW footage, not mpeg-4, how they can create so REGRESSIVE thing? and + so very expensive, this camera price must be maximum 4000-5000$, not much!

    • It’s not competing against cinema cameras. This type of setup is for ENG and a RED would not be a good ENG camera since it’s more difficult to just run and gun with.

  • Media management nightmare. I wouldn’t buy this camera even if it was cheap, and I own lots of Nikon glass.

  • This camera’s niche would be better served in the Af-100/1 price range. With the exception of the 4 simultaneous card recording, it is what AF-100 peeps have been wanting. Well, sort of…

  • Clayton Arnall on 06.14.13 @ 12:32PM

    I’m always worried a card will die before backing it up. So with this cam it’s 4x more likely to have a card problem. Sounds wonderfull.

  • Your headline nailed it.

    • i agree with the headline as well. i don’t wanna be overly negative or unkind, but this is a dumb idea. couldn’t they have gone for 2 CF cards, or just 1 SSD? as if the camera isn’t expensive enough, now you have to carry 4x the amount of media to store the footage.

  • Chris Lambert on 06.14.13 @ 1:56PM

    Wouldn’t worry about the lack of ND too much either with this things sensitivity (assuming its same as old model) short of pointing it into the sun, it wont be missed.

  • Surprised they went ahead with this.
    This cam featured at NAB or IBC a couple of years ago, and most people thought the whole 4 screen record was odd and unworkable.
    Someone told me big companies never listen
    I guess it’s true.

  • Anthony Marino on 06.14.13 @ 2:30PM

    A 1dc in a heartbeat

    • D1C has its own media idiosyncrasies, if you follow Phil Bloom’s blog. In any case, I wonder if JVC released it simply because they have been working on something for way too long and decided to see if they can get some of their investment back. Arguably within 3-5 years, 4K will trickle down to the likes of Best Buy and JVC’s strength is the consumer market anyway – TV’s, camcorders, etc.

      Of course, within these 3-5 years, a $2,500 camcorder might have the performance of F65 or Alexa. Let’s see what they exhibit at the 2014 CES along with other major manufacturers. It could be a major step forward from where we are today.

      • Anthony Marino on 06.14.13 @ 8:29PM

        It’s like were in a prototype era. If the iPhone is any indication where video is headed, I agree it’s just a matter of time before everyone has 4k resolution in their hands. The truth is for me I don’t care one hoot about specs. Though they matter and we must know their limitations etc. I just want beautiful highlights, useable DR and the ability to push the footage into artistic directions and still looks great. Too many tradeoffs even in today’s market. I imagine the 2nd and 3rd generation blackmagic cam will come close. Once they improve on useable DR and low light they will have a nice well rounded tool we’ll be able to use for many years. Like this camera most new cameras seem outdated they day after they arrive. This one, maybe even before.

  • I applaud them for removing the “proprietary” from the multi-flash-storage system… just wish it wasn’t what it is, and that the upfront cost was more reasonable.

    • Ha ha…why would any one else what to copy such a ridiculous multi-card approach anyway when SSD is so affordable now?

      Looks like the JVC salarymen haven’t heard of Blackmagic yet…

  • Its amazing they are producing this at any price range. I’d be really curious to see how many of them sell, I’d also be really nervous if I was the guy who came up with the idea for this cam.

    • Thanks for sharing! Who’d have expected the Washington Post to care so much about 4K cameras?

  • $18k, that’s Red Scarlet range. Then just get a Ninja for the Red and your pleased as punch.

    BTW, shouldn’t every 4K camera have SDI out?

  • shaun wilson on 06.15.13 @ 1:08AM

    I’ve shot on a HD201 since 2007 and its the best camera I’ve ever filmed with in terms of ergonomics, but this one is going to have to shoot RAW, high speed and have mind blowing dynamic range to even come close to other cameras that are one quarter of its estimated price range. If it was $5000, then yes, doable but $18K, I could kit out three BMC 4Ks at this price…

  • How this dopey company has survived so long with their funky, overpriced cameras is beyond me!

  • At 3000$, I think I’d buy it. (Then really, really regret I did…)

  • There’s one stat I don’t think Joe mentioned in the article, but which caught my eye in the write up at DSLR News shooter: four 32gb = 2 hours of recording at 4k.

    If I’m reading this properly, that’s quite a saving in space, if one cares about such things, versus the other 4K cameras. Eg I think the 1DC is more like 7gb a minute.

  • Off Topic, more low price 4k tvs from China

    HiSense 4k tv, coming to America later this year”

    50″ for $2000.00
    58″ for $3000.00
    65″ for $4000.00
    84″ for $10,000.00
    110″ for (I think he said) under $15,000.00

  • Anyone heard of JVC GC-PX100? It’s supposed to be 40 MB/s MOV and affordable.

  • “Off Topic, more low price 4k tvs from China”

    Great stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!! looking forward for the new 4k TV price war!

  • according to TV Tech, it’s currently available for $17.5K in the US.

  • people still buying china merchandise,,nothing made in usa,,the bailout of the banks was because china owned 14 of the country because of bad bank debt,,,thew bailout had to buy back the land or china would have taken control of parts of the usa.people still buying chinese goods,,,,keep selling off your country,,,,who cares.

  • francis lau on 06.20.13 @ 11:23PM

    I have heard this from the rumour mill for the longest time, maybe someone here can verify things: JVC is the prototype arm of Panasonic, before Panny gets anything firmed up under its banner, JVC will always roll out the beta versions first (as a test bed). I have been observing how the 2 companies move their marketing, and this seems to be the underlying modus operandi

  • It would be better if you could take calls and text on it.

  • I’ve been waiting to see what they do. The last camera seemed to be a delayed version from a few years before it’s release, when there was no 4k HDMI or higher speed SD cards. I could say this new one is incredible, but I don’t care. It is a $1800US camera, or should be, not $18000US. The manufacturers seem to be under the delusion that the old ultra HD technology is a “luxury” item, rather than a technology that should have been released in 2007 but delayed ever since, that the Chinese are selling panels for starting at $700, last year, with a price war.

    This year we have displayport, thunderbolt 2, new HDMI, that can do this all in one port, if you want to implement an preliminary spec, or two, which you are more likely to find compatibility for than four ports. We have cheap hard drives that can write far more than 144mbs constant, and cheap ssd’s. Are they going to pay people $18000 to own one instead of the competitions camera that also has greater data rate quality.

    I was hoping a new camera would lead to the existing cameras replacement coming down to $1800, I suppose this answers that.

    I think JVC’s are great, they get nice cheap products out there first, a dv500 was one of the first production cameras I used. This however is not at that price. This is a camera that needs fewer ports at a cheaper price, and a 288mb/s version at a more expensive price. Come on JVC, raw HMQ20 4k for $1800US?

  • Wacka Flacka on 12.27.13 @ 8:43AM

    This is like the Virtual Boy of the camcorder world.