Most digital still cameras these days are fairly capable in the video department and there are numerous examples of camcorders that can snap high resolution photos. JVC says that its new GC-PX10 is neither format, but a true hybrid of both. Capable of capturing 12 megapixel stills and recording full high definition 1080/60p video at 36 Mbps, the all-in-one solution also benefits from a new high speed imaging engine, a tilting LCD monitor, and a 10x optical Konica zoom Minolta HD lens.
Doubtless in recognition of its new hybrid status, JVC has positioned many of the controls on the GC-PX10 away from the rear of main body and onto the front of the camera - on the lens housing. On one side is a digital SLR-like PASM mode dial, exposure/focus control and power button, as well and the interface bay for such things as external microphone, HDMI-out and USB 2.0 port. On the other is the SD/SDHC/SDXC media card compartment and the built-in flash. The stereo microphone grills sit on top.
To the rear of the camera is a 230,000 dot resolution, 3-inch tilting touch panel monitor with the zoom/volume control at the top right and some physical buttons underneath. JVC has opted to retain some familiarity for camera users, however, by placing the shutter release button on the top of the body grip.
Within the housing, JVC has included the company's new FALCONBRID high speed imaging engine, first used in the GS-TD1 HD 3D camcorder, and a 4000 x 3000 pixel resolution, 1/2.3-inch back-Illuminated CMOS sensor. The GC-PX10 features a ISO100 to ISO6400 sensitivity range, optical image stabilization and a generous 32GB of internal solid state memory.
The zoom capabilities of the F2.8 - F4.5/f=6.7 - 67mm 10x optical lens can be bumped up to 19x using dynamic zoom, with JVC claiming no degradation in image quality. There's an Intelligent Auto feature that selects the best settings for a scene, face recognition and a brisk 60 shots per second continuous shooting at 8.3 megapixels or 30 frames per second at full resolution.
The hybrid is said to be capable of simultaneous full HD video and stills capture, although the latter is at a lower resolution of 8.3 megapixels. Users can also drop the video quality down to VGA (640 x 360) resolution and take advantage of 300 frames-per-second video recording which can be used continuously for up to two hours, enough to record a full game of soccer in super-slow motion.
Rounding off the specs is Eye-Fi card compatibility, and K2 audio technology that's said to restore sonic detail lost during compression.
The GC-PX10 is available this month for US$899.95, and comes shipped with LoiLoScope FX software for Windows.