Is JVC's New GC-PX10 The Mythical Hybrid Video/Still Camera?

The concept of a video/still camera didn't excite me much. But maybe that's because I've been waiting for a true video/still Hybrid. The sasquatch of the A/V forest.

The JVC GC-PX10 is, let's just say it, weird-looking. It's like someone got a handycam drunk enough to sleep with a DSLR and their progeny was this contraption with a skinny back and pointy nose. Looks aside, it sounds like this thing actually has some horsepower. It shoots 12MP stills and 36Mbps progressive 1080p HD video, which is a pretty serious bitrate for a consumer camcorder. It's got a 1/2.3-inch back-illuminated CMOS sensor, which should give it solid low-light performance, and it's got a 10x optical zoom with optical image stabilisation.

There are two features that have really piqued my interest, though. This sucker can shoot video at 300fps, which is pretty good for a consumer camcorder. Play it back at 30fps and that's one-tenth of real time. You can't do that in full HD, but it at 640x360 that's plenty for standard definition or posting online. It can sustain shooting in that mode for a full two hours, which means you can probably record an entire sporting event in super slo-mo. Also handy for sports shooting is it's burst mode which can shoot an insane 60 shots per second, up to 130 shots per burst (when shooting at a slightly reduced 8.3MP). No dSLR currently on the market can do that, however the Nikon 1 can (and probably takes better photos, too).

What remains to be seen is how good the shots and footage looks. If photos are more important, you'll probably want the Nikon, but if video takes priority, this might well be worth a look. It'll be available for $US900 later this month. [JVC]

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