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CES: JVC Unveils Handheld 4K Camcorder

Complete Coverage: CES 2012

JVC Professional Products Company is demoing what it is billing as the world's first handheld 4K camcorder at CES.

The GY-HMQ10 captures, records, and plays video images at four times the resolution of high definition television.

"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."

The camera is built around 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. That allows the camcorder to deliver real-time 3840x2160 footage at 24p, 50p or 60p.

Improvements in processing power played a key role in the launch of the new product. High resolution 4K still picture imaging has been around for several years in DSLR cameras but video capture with these cameras has always been done at a lower video resolution because of a lack of processing power.

Similarly, high end digital motion picture cameras were capturing 4K images but the lack of processing power in the cameras meant that they were generally providing a raw data output to an external storage array for later processing.

JVC's Falconbrid LSI overcomes those problems and is capable of processing raw image data from the camera's CMOS device and dematrixing (deBayers) it in real time so that it can 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, JVC believes.

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

In addition to 4K imaging, the GY-HMQ10 is also capable of capturing and recording 1080i or 1080/60p full HD.

Similar in size to JVC's 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.

The camera is priced at $4,995, with first product deliveries in March of 2012.