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JVC Picsio GC-WP10 review: JVC Picsio GC-WP10

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Typical Price: £230.00
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The Good Waterproof to 3m;. very easy to use;. useful, simple built-in software;. large screen.

The Bad More expensive than other video cameras in its class;. very noticeable rolling shutter issues;. light on features, accessories and options.

The Bottom Line It's small, tough and -- yes -- it's waterproof, too. But resistance to fluids alone isn't enough to justify the JVC Picsio GC-WP10's comparatively high cost, particularly when much cheaper camcorders often offer similar quality video and a wider selection of features.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.5 Overall

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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

We recently reviewed JVC's Picsio GC-FM2 and, since they share a great deal of their electronic DNA, it would probably be fair to say the FM2 and the WP10 are more than just kissing cousins. The main difference, of course, is that the GC-WP10 is waterproof up to 3m -- that's 10ft in olden-day terms. Though the rugged, water-resistant housing makes it somewhat chunkier than its stablemate, the GC-WP10 is still extremely portable. It has the same general approach to its design as the FM2, not to mention many other so-called 'pocket' video cameras. It's small, with a slab-like appearance that makes it look more like a compact digital still camera than a video device. It's meant to be held upright like a camera phone and, unlike many larger camcorders, there's no fold-out screen.

The WP10's waterproof claims certainly proved true with our review unit. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding -- or, the bucket.

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.

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