JVC used the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as the launching pad for its new $4995 GY-HMQ10, a handheld camcorder that captures and records at 4K, or four times the resolution of 1080p HD (3840×2160), using a 1/2-inch CMOS imager with 8.3 million active pixels. It has a non-interchangeable f2.8 10x zoom lens with optical image stabilization, a color viewfinder, and a 3.5-inch touch-screen LCD monitor. The camera records 4K images at 24p, 50p and 60p, and also supports 1080i and 1080/60p HD.
The HMQ10 uses JVC’s Falconbrid LSI-chip to de-Bayer the image in real time, allowing live 4K monitoring or projection (live 4K output is enabled using four HDMI terminals). It records up to two hours of AVCHD video to SDHC or SDXC memory cards at a bit rate of up to 144 Mbps.

JVC said the camera’s HD capabilities were added as a result of “4K forums” it held last year, where customers also suggested it should be easy to crop images to HD resolution from the full 4K picture. That feature, known as “trimming,” is available using the HMQ1’s touch-screen LCD.

JVC's 4K GY-HMQ10 camcorder

The camera has manual audio level controls, a built-in stereo microphone, and two balanced XLR jacks with phantom power on the handle.

Don’t expect the HMQ10 to be JVC’s last word on 4K – certainly not for the professional market, though the XLR inputs should extend this camera’s usability out of the pure consumer realm. The company promised more 4K news throughout 2012, which we suspect will include some NAB announcements. The HMQ10 ships in March.