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JVC intros first AVC/MPEG-2 HD camcorders

updated 08:25 am EDT, Mon June 16, 2008

JVC Everio HD30 and HD10

JVC this morning unveiled three new HD Everio cameras that all offer something new to camcorders. The HD30 and HD40 (shown) are the first camcorders to capture HD in either AVCHD (H.264) or MPEG-2 format and give users the choice of format based on their editing environment; users can either record in the more efficient AVC format or else pick the larger but more widespread MPEG-2 format for easier editing on some computers.

The HD40 is also the longest-running HD camcorder available, JVC boasts: a built-in 120GB hard drive allows as much as 50 hours of 1920x1080 video with quality throttled back to Extended Play mode. Full quality is still long at 15 hours. The HD30 offers the same recording capability with a more modest 80GB hard drive, while both cameras include microSDHC card slots that add over three hours of HD on an 8GB card (one hour at full quality) or else a means of offloading videos.

A third camera, the HD10, carries just a 40GB hard drive and is limited to a 4:3 ratio 1440x1080 resolution for up to 16 hours (five at full quality) while keeping the microSDHC slot and most other features.

All the new Everios support HDMI 1.3 output with Deep Color on compatible HDTVs, a newer HD Gigabrid Duo image processing chip, and the choice of using either Firewire or uSB for transfers. The camera lines come with Windows editing software and a plug-in to allow MPEG-2 editing in Final Cut Pro and iMovie. AVCHD support for the camcorders is already built into Apple's newer software, JVC says. The camcorders ship in August at a price of $800 for the entry HD10, $1,000 for the HD30, and $1,300 for the HD40.

by MacNN Staff



  1. MacScientist

    Joined: Dec 1969


    AVCHD or MPEG-2?

    It is unclear if MacNN is being deliberately misleading or simply doesn't know any better. Neither AVCHD nor MPEG-2 are editable formats. However, MPEG-2 is easier to transcode into an editable format.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Long GOP...

    Right; they both compress using long GOP (group of pictures). At this point, iMovie 08 can read and transcode AVCHD; so can Final Cut Express. The benefit of using Mpeg-2 is questionable, especially since AVCHD is rapidly maturing in image quality. I'm sure MPEG-2 will continue to have value as the final destination compression format (Blu-Ray, or standard-definition DVD), but in camcorders, especially disk- or solid state memory-based ones, AVCHD seems to point to the future.

  1. csimon2

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It is incorrect to state that neither format are "editable". You can edit both MPEG-2 and AVCHD. You can't edit them with frame accuracy due to the GOP structure of course, but they can certainly be edited. MPEG-2 is a lot easier to edit than AVCHD in practice (for workflow reasons mainly), but as was mentioned above, some of the AVCHD cameras are now bettering MPEG-2 on quality, which is primarily where it counts in this market.

    Also, I am pretty sure MacNN is once again incorrect, this time about the HD10. While it may have only a 1440x1080 image sensor, this does not mean it is limited to 4:3 display aspect ratios. 1440x1080 is a 4:3 Pixel Aspect Ratio (also the native resolution of 1080i HDV), which when displayed at 1:1 is actually 1920x1080. So it records HD 16:9 in anamorphic resolution, which for a sub $1000 camera is pretty standard.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Still better?

    MPEG-2 takes twice as much space as (subjectively) same quality AVCHD.

    As for 1440x1080 anamorphic resolution, today, vast majority of sub- $1000 camcorders already have sensors and AVCHD (or HDV) chips that capture and compress video in full 1920x1080 resolution.

    Right now, with Canon's Vixia HF-100, we are perhaps just one generation away from AVCHD camcorders that provide superior video quality under any and all conditions over HDV. Perhaps once they up the bitrate to 19mbps...

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