JVC updates pro camcorders with GY-HM620 and GY-HM660

Streaming camcorders

Improved streaming: the JVC GY-HM660 supports direct connections to streaming services, as well as IFB

JVC has announced updates for its popular 1/3-inch sensor camcorder range: the GY-HM620 and GY-HM660.

The new cameras are based around three, 1/3-inch chips and will replace the company’s GY-HM600, as well as the GY-HM650 model used by the BBC.

The two new models are based around a new sensor, which JVC says has 13 stops of sensitivity (at 50Hz), as well as better low-light performance. The camcorders use a three-chip design, and an integrated 23x zoom lens. This covers the 35mm equivalent fields of view of 29mm to 667mm.

Externally, the two new camcorders are similar in design to previous models, including a lens with three separate control rings and ND filters, an LCD screen and microphone to the top, and a viewfinder to the rear.

JVC has, though, upgraded both the LCD screen and the viewfinder, the latter with a LCOS display.

The GY-HM620 and GY-HM660 record to SD cards in QuickTime (h.264) .mov files, at up to 50mbps in HD. The cameras feature relay recording and a 15-second pre-record buffer. In addition, the GY-HM660, like the GY-HM650, supports live streaming, and the camera can record video internally and stream at the same time.

Although the GY-HM620 gains the new chip, viewfinder and LCD, many of the improvements are focused on the GY-HM660 camcorder’s streaming capabilities.

The GY-HM650 was capable of live streaming direct from camera – without the need to connect to an external streaming kit – and the GY-HM660 builds on this by adding forward error correction, using SMTPE 2022 and Zixi protocols. The new model also supports RTMP, allowing direct connections to content distribution networks.

Including the protocol also means that the camera can stream directly to Ustream or YouTube Live without any additional hardware. The camera has a USB port for connecting third-party 4G or WiFi dongles.

A future firmware update will add IFB talkback for reporters and presenters in the field to the GY-HM660. This will allow producers of live events and broadcasts to speak to on-screen talent directly from the studio, without the need for additional hardware.

JVC has yet to confirm pricing or the date for the firmware upgrade, but the camcorders will be on show at this year’s NAB in Las Vegas.