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JVC ready to bit(e) into Ultra HD with new 4KCAM camcorder range

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 12:00 AM

JVC ‘s new 4KCAM range launched today, and true to form, the cameras are packed full of features. But it was a surprise package - a mini camera - that caught the eye of Patrick van Weeren, WTS’ Production Specialist.

JVC 4KCAM UHD professional camcorder range

The launch of JVC’s new 4KCAM (UHD) camera line-up today may have caught everyone unawares but what won’t come as a surprise is that the cameras remain true to JVC’s tradition of packing its small camcorders with more options than some of the big competitors could ever imagine would physically fit in there.

But JVC wouldn’t be JVC if there wasn’t something unexpected – it’s a company that’s always been known for finding a small niche in the market. For me, it’s the GW-SP100E – a tiny, mountable UHD remote camera head and professional recording unit with 7” monitor – that seems to be the typical JVC-style solution that others didn’t think about.

JVC GW-SP100E 4KCAM camera


In a market flooded with small action cameras, JVC have upped the ante with this professional mini camera head, capable of shooting in Ultra HD. It has a recorder unit attached via a cable up to 15 metres long. The recorder has four slots to record both in UHD (2x) and HD (2x). It features a seven-inch screen and CCU remote and camera panel. The MFT interchangeable lens mount gives the unit a MacGyver-style aura.

Its maximum resolution is 3840x2160 UHD, but this is the only one in the 4KCAM line-up to do up to 50/60p at 150Mbps in UltraHD (though the older GY-HMQ10U also has this capability at 144Mbps). It promises to be an interesting unit for HD production too, due simply to its versatile mounting and rigging possibilities. With the UHD acquisition, it is possible to crop or stabilise the image without loosing full HD quality. This should prove especially beneficial for action-cam-style shooting.


Internally all the new GY cameras in this 4KCAM range record to dual SD  memory cards. While this means that the UHD recording is limited to 150Mbps, JVC has been able to maintain 4:2:2 colour-sampling. For UltraHD the SD cards need to be XC or HC Class 10; HD in MOV mode requires a minimum of Class 6; and AVCHD a minimum of Class 4. The cameras can also record in dual formats or double up the recording for back-up reasons.

JVC GY HM170E 4KCAM UHD camcorder


The camera itself can record Ultra HD (3840x2160) (150Mbps) and HD 4:2:2 (50Mbps). It features a CMOS sensor with a built-in 12x lens (≈ 29.5 – 354mm), which can give 24x zoom when used in HD mode, thanks to JVC’s innovative seamless pixel mapping.

It also has a UHD output via HDMI. 4K is recorded in H.264 mode in a MOV container at the classic frame rates (NTSC 29.97p/23.98) (PAL 25p). AVCHD is recorded in an MTS container.

JVC GY-HM200E 4KCAM UHD camcorder


The additional features on this camera include professional XLR audio input via the handle, and live streaming HD-video. The camera has the same built-in 12x lens as the GY-HM170E.

JVC GY-LS300E 4KCAM UHD camcorder


This is the Super35mm version of the new JVC 4KCAM camera. Fitted with a Micro Four Thirds mount, it can work with several different varieties of lenses including Super 16mm, which are readily available on the second-hand market. The camera uses JVC’s clever Variable Scan Mapping to adjust to the native angle of view for the different lenses, so a simple mount converter instead of a more expensive speedbooster should do the trick.

The 4KCAM line-up will be augmented in the future by a full 4K PL-mount shoulder-style camera – JVC’s first cinematography-style camera.

I’m looking forward to testing these units when they’re available – especially the GW-SP100E, the flexibility of which is likely to see it become the Swiss Army Knife of the cameraman’s toolkit, providing a solution to almost any tricky angle or situation.

More news to follow…

You can find full details of the new JVC 4KCAM camcorders in WTS' online store.

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