Water is the source of all life on Earth -- unless, of course, you're an electronic device, such as a camcorder. In which case, the merest drop of the stuff could spell instant mortal doom. Normally, judicious non-underwater use of your equipment is the only way to prevent it from dying a horrible, soggy death. Recent months, however, have given rise to a new strain of camcorders that have managed to evolve their very own resistance to the fatal potential of water. The JVC Picsio GC-WP10 is one such device, and can be yours for the sum of £230.
The cam from Atlantis
The GC-WP10's ample 3-inch display is built into the rear-facing side of the unit. Interestingly, the screen is touch-sensitive, although hardware buttons are provided along one edge for starting/stopping recording, switching between photo and video mode and locking the screen. Presumably this isn't because JVC has limited faith in the usability of the touch interface -- it's more likely intended to provide an alternative set of controls that are more suited to underwater use. In fact, the touch-control system is pretty easy to use, largely by dint of the fact that the GC-WP10 makes only the most basic options and settings available. The only problem with the large screen is that, disappointingly, the real-time video preview only occupies the top third of the display as you film -- the majority of the screen is given over to soft touch-buttons.
Figures at your fingertips
Inside, the Picsio has a single CMOS sensor that can record HD-quality video at 1080p and 720p, storing them on SD, SDHC or SDXC cards as MPEG-4 AVC/H.264-format files. Standard-definition and photo modes are also available. The 5-megapixel camera is able to capture still shots at up to 2592x1944 resolution. HDMI, standard-definition AV out and USB connections are available, though the WP10 doesn't feature the built-in USB plug of the FM2. There aren't many accessories included, just a wrist strap, composite video lead and a short USB cable. There isn't even a power adaptor, though the Picsio is powered via USB.