The first of the series of prequels to the X-Men films, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, hit cinemas this week, so what better time to don fitted leather bodysuits and get hands-on with the JVC Everio X, a camcorder with super-powers?
The X shoots full high-definition 1,920x1,080-pixel video. It's recorded in AVCHD format at 24Mbps up to 50 frames per second with a 1/2.33-inch CMOS sensor. Just as Professor X does all the thinking for the X-Men, the brainwork is handled by a Gigabrid Premium II image processing engine. This powers features such as face detection, which will find up to 16 faces in the frame, rather like how Cerebro finds mutants.
The X will capture impressive 9-megapixel stills, or 5-megapixel stills while shooting video. You can shoot up to six full-resolution stills at 15fps, or an amazing 11fps with flash. Cor.
The ability to move reeeeally sloooowly wouldn't be much of a superpower, but the X has a plethora of slo-mo options. 10x slow motion shooting plays back 2.8 seconds of recorded video over 28 seconds -- that's a speedy 500fps, but only at 640x72 pixels. You can also choose from 250fps or 100fps settings.
As on previous models, the X includes an export button to convert your video to iTunes-friendly format, ready for watching on an iPod or iPhone.
One feature we love is JVC's take on optical image stabilisation. Peer closely at the lens and you'll see mysterious shivering mandibles inside. Instead of shifting the sensor to compensate for camera shake, an extra lens in front of the main Konica Minolta lens dances about to correct those tiny wobbles. It's interesting to see just how much wobble there really is in your hands, even when you're trying to hold still, and brings home the importance of image stabilisation.
Click through our gallery to see more of the Everio X.
The X feels weighty, but that's more to do with its tank-like construction than its actual weight, a dainty 298g including battery and memory card. It looks scorching, with sleek lines and a brick-like shape.
The X is built like solid rock over a titanium chassis. The right-hand side is finished with a nifty textured carbon-fibre feel, and the rest of the camera has a no-nonsense black finish and brushed silver accents.
This is the export button to ready your video for iTunes. Video is also compatible with iMovie, on newer Intel-powered Macs. Above it is a one-touch upload button for YouTube and other video-sharing sites.