JVC next week launches a digital media camera that delivers both digital picture and movies at very high quality. Most new digital video cameras can take digital stills, but quality is poor.
The Everio is also the first camera that comes with a large-capacity, card-type removable hard disk drive or Microdrive. There is also a separate SD card slot.
The Everio lineup consists of two models: the Cube Style GZ-MC200 has a rotation grip, while the cheaper Vertical Style GZ-MC100 is just a slim and pocket-sized camera with no moving parts (except for the LCD screen). Technically, however, they're identical.
Both models (costing from € 1199) are equipped with a 2.1-Megapixel CCD and a Megabrid Engine, the main image processor. The newly developed 9-group 11-element structured lens, which offers 10x optical zoom, includes a glass-molded aspherical lens.
The DVD-quality MPEG-2 pictures can be recorded for one hour in ultra fine mode or up to five hours, while up to 5595 JPEG stills can be saved.
Biggest drawback: the camera won't work with a Mac. Apple's QuickTime format has no support yet for AC 3 audio, which JVC uses for its camera.
The Everio won't be the only fully integrated digital still and video camera on the market, but JVC seems to have a head start. The Reg experimented with two early models, and in particular the anti-hand shaking correction had an almost Skycam type of quality.
The cameras make their public debut at Photokina 2004, the leading trade fair for the photographic and imaging sector which opens next Tuesday in Cologne. ®