JVC Professional Europe has expanded its ProHD camcorder line-up by introducing two professional solid state camcorders, which record in QuickTime format designed for use with Apple's Final Cut Pro editing software. The QuickTime files are recorded onto SDHC media cards.

The compact hand-held GY-HM100 3CCD camcorder is being released in April, while the compact shoulder GY-HM700 is scheduled to ship in March 2009. Both camcorders record 35Mbps high definition video and uncompressed audio to SDHC media cards.

JVC says that compatibility with major non-linear editing (NLE) systems requires codec converting or re-wrapping format files, a process that significantly slows down the post production process -- so the company has adopted the Apple QuickTime file format for Final Cut Pro. In a clear dig at Panasonic's P2 and Sony's XDCAM EX media format, JVC says that it has selected the 'reliable yet inexpensive' and 'widely available' SDHC media card format for the cameras.

The QuickTime files use proprietary codec developed by JVC, which the company says is capable of providing highly efficient compression at up to 35 megabits per second, a bitrate supporting full 1920-x-1080 encoding in the HQ mode. Additionally, both cameras can record 720p (19/35Mbps) and 1080i (25Mbps) in SP mode, assuring compatibility with a wide range of NLE systems.

Both units record on SDHC memory cards, presently available in capacities up to 32GB. The cameras provide two memory card slots, for a total of up to 64GB of on board storage -- which JVC says is enough for up to six hours of continuous HD recording. The cameras automatically begin recording on the second card when the first card is full.

JVC says that the GY-HM100 is the smallest professional format 3CCD camcorder available. The company says that this makes it ideal for applications where a full size camera would be impractical, such as tight quarters and operating in potentially unsafe situations. For a smaller footprint and less conspicuous shooting, the handle can be easily removed and the audio can be recorded via the built-in 2-channel microphone.

The GY-HM100U utilises a high definition lens by Fujinon, with three aspherical elements. The lens surface has a new Electronic Beam Coating (EBC) that JVC says greatly reduces degradation caused by light reflecting off the lens surfaces, leading to greater light transmission and reduced flaring and ghosting. To protect the lens, a flip-in cover is integrated in the lens hood, eliminating the need for an external cap.

Focus is controlled manually or automatically. A servo zoom is controlled with a conventional rocker on the handgrip, or manually with the lens ring. For close-up shooting, a macro mode allows for shooting subjects as little as two-inches away from the lens. Exposure (iris) is manually or automatically controlled, allowing the shooter to adjust the depth of focus by selecting the appropriate F stop. In the manual iris mode, the current F stop value is displayed in the viewfinder.

The GY-HM100 also features a newly-designed JVC’s original Optical Image Stabilisation, a colour viewfinder and LCD display, two-channel balanced audio inputs, mic/line switchable with built-in phantom power supply, an HDMI output, a USB 2.0 interface

The GY-HM100 will ship in April, with a list price expected to be under €4,000 (around 3,600).

Full details of the GY-HM700 shoulder-mounted camcorder will be released next month before its launch in March. The preliminary features list includes a compact shoulder form factor of less than 4 kg in operation, a high-quality 1/3-inch progressive 3CCD with unique JVC’s H/V spatial offset, a newly developed 14x high-quality interchangeable lens by Canon, a high-quality LCOS viewfinder, a large LCD display, a ouble-memory hybrid recording system using optional KA-MR100G SxS memory card recorder, and an HD SDI output, with an SD downconvert capability over IEEE 1394 interface.