Announced several weeks ago, and now in our hands at the Gadling Gadget labs – the new JVC Picsio GC-WP10. This HD Camcorder looks like a real winner on paper, but can it deliver on that promise in real life usage? Read on for our thoughts!
As I said – on paper, the new Picsio camcorder is a good looking camera – Touch screen controls, 30FPS 1080p video, stereo sound, waterproof up to 10 ft, Eye-Fi memory card support, 5MP photos, HDMI and AV outputs and a built in rechargeable battery. All for a little under $200.
Now on to the real hands-on; the camera feels like a very rugged little device, not too heavy, but plenty of signs that it’ll withstand some good outdoor fun. On the left side is a locking door that hides the memory card slot, MiniHDMI connector, MiniUSB charger/sync port and an AV/headphone jack. On the other side are physical buttons for power, lock, photo/video mode and shutter control. On top is the microphone and a tripod thread is on the bottom.
On the back is the large touch screen (resistive), and I’ll let you know right away that it is a well implemented feature. Controls are well laid out, and respond quickly. The interface is quite well designed – you switch between record and playback mode, and the background color changes from red to green, and once in each mode, you can pick video, photos or audio.
In playback mode, you are presented with a very easy to navigate photo/video browser, with content sorted by date. Video clips can be edited with a few basic options like trimming. All options respond really quickly, with no delay or touch panel annoyances.
The connector panel is covered by a sealed and locked door – and as long as you keep it clean, you’ll be able to take the camera swimming in up to 10FT/3M of water, without water leaking into the unit.
The large touch screen on the rear works reasonably well in the sun, but you’ll obviously want to keep it away from direct sunlight or you won’t see a thing.
Now of course for the most important feature – video and photo quality. For video, you can record in 1080p, 720p, iFrame and QHD. You can also select 0.5, 5 and 40 second time lapse recording, which should make for some really neat video effects.
And speaking of effects, you can record video in B/W, Sepia, negative, 24FPS film mode and slow-mo.
Video quality is actually quite good for such a small camera. The 1080p video clip you see here is recorded in H.264 with AAC stereo audio, 1920×1080, 29.97 FPS and a bitrate of around 13 mbits/sec.
Since there is no optical zoom, your only zoom option is digital, which makes for a dreadful clip, so I’d recommend avoiding that. Really quick movement results in some artifacting, and without optical image stabilization, you’ll need a fairly steady hand. Still, for a sub $200 camera, the video results really are quite good.
One other important factor to take into consideration is that 1080p video clips are big – really big. The clip above is 70MB, and editing it on a basic computer is going to be a major undertaking, so for your day to day content, I’d recommend sticking to the 720p mode.
Included on the camera is a Windows video editing and sharing suite called LoiLoScope EX – which (besides the crazy name) is a remarkably decent little package for doing basic edits. In this app, you can also do one-click uploads to Youtube, Facebook and Vimeo, as well as DVD recordings. Included in the box is a hand strap, USB cable, USB extension cable and an AV cable. You will need to provide your own SD memory card.
The Picsio GC-WP10 will be available on September 25th from most major electronics retailers. To learn more about the camera and its other features, check out the JVC Picsio product page.