JVC ProHD Camcorders First To Go Native With Quicktime for Final Cut Integration

JVC has expanded its ProHD camcorder lineup by introducing two professional solid-state camcorders, the industry’s first to store files in the native Quicktime format for Apple’s Final Cut Pro onto reliable and inexpensive SDHC media cards.

“For the first time, Final Cut Pro editors are able to work with a camcorder that records video as native QuickTime files, eliminating the need to transcode or rewrap prior to editing,” says Rob Schoeben, Apple VP of applications product marketing. “With the combination of JVC’s new camera and Final Cut Studio 2, the industry’s leading video-production suite, the promise of file-based acquisition can finally be realized.”

The compact hand-held GY-HM100 three-CCD camcorder and compact shoulder GY-HM700 record 35-Mbps high-definition video and uncompressed audio directly to inexpensive SDHC media cards in the native Quicktime format used by Apple Final Cut Pro.

JVC says a growing trend in the professional video market is to record directly from camera to solid-state memory, and the current leading solutions have made the workflow quite expensive for most users, relying on proprietary media and file formats. In addition, compatibility with major nonlinear editing (NLE) systems requires codec converting or rewrapping format files, a process that significantly slows down the postproduction process. But professional users are yearning for a simple, fast solution that allows instant editing of recorded material without file conversion, and a media cost approaching the economy of tape.

To meet this demand, JVC has adopted the Apple QuickTime file format for Final Cut Pro. And, to keep media costs as low as possible, the company selected the reliable yet inexpensive SDHC media card — one of the most widely used solid-state memory cards on the market today.

“We are pleased to support a seamless experience for professional videographers working with Final Cut Studio 2,” says Hiroyuki Takekura, managing director of JVC’s Professional Systems Division. “We expect that pro video users will find huge workflow benefits as this optimized workflow bridges the gap between production and postproduction tasks.”

Both camcorders natively record the file format used by Apple QuickTime for Final Cut Pro. Video clips are dragged directly from the storage media onto the non-linear editor’s timeline, eliminating the need for transcoding that can consume excessive time and disk space while maintaining original first-generation image quality.

In addition, JVC developed a proprietary codec capable of providing highly efficient compression up to 35 megabits per second, a bitrate supporting full 1920 x 1080 encoding in the HQ mode. MPEG-2 long-GOP encoding is the most widely implemented broadcast-standard compression and is currently supported by all popular editing systems and broadcast servers. Additionally, both cameras can record 720p (19/35 Mbps) and 1080i (25 Mbps) in SP mode, ensuring compatibility with today’s most popular professional NLE systems.

Lastly, both units record on widely available SDHC memory cards, currently available in capacities up to 32 GB. The cameras provide two memory-card slots, for a total of up to 64 GB of on-board storage — 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. Also, unlike other professional solid-state media, the per-minute cost of SDHC memory is comparable to professional videotape. Moreover, SDHC media becomes the first practical solid-state solution for physical archiving.