After a great dollop of recently announced, you may have been wondering whether JVC was going to bring the high-definition goodness to the pocket-friendly Everio range in 2008. The answer is yes and yes, as we meet a brace of hi-def hard drive camcorders: the Everio GZ-HD5 and GZ-HD6.
The two models are, according to JVC, 45 per cent smaller than JVC's previous top-end HD camcorder, the GZ-HD7. They boast three 16:9 progressive-scan CCD sensors, delivering 2.14 megapixels of effective resolution.
Both cameras offer 'Full HD' 1,920x1,080-pixel video. They also manage 1080p 50 frame per second output for smoother footage. The 120GB GZ-HD6 stores 10 hours of Full HD video, while the 60GB GZ-HD5 shoots for five hours. This goes up to a Jack Bauer-friendly 24 hours for the GZ-HD6 or 12 for the GZ-HD5 in 1440 LP mode. microSD cards give an alternative to the hard drive.
USB, HDMI and FireWire connections are present and correct. Windows software is bundled to author to DVD or Blu-ray, while the cameras are also compatible with Macs.
Optical image stabilisation keeps the Fujinon F1.8-1.9 10x zoom lens steady. It has a 35mm equivalent of 39.5mm at the wide angle. Other features include a manual focus ring, shutter and aperture priority mode. A focus-assist function displays the edges of the in-focus elements on the screen in colour while the rest of the image is black and white, making it easy to see if you're in focus. A charming Zebra function also displays a striped pattern across highlight areas to aid with setting the exposure.
The GZ-HD5 comes in silver, while the GZ-HD6 is black and also features a lens hood and headphone jack. Prices for the pair are yet to be confirmed, but we'll keep you posted. -Rich Trenholm