The AVCHD format is fast becoming the standard for HD camcorders. With the release of the Everio GZ-HD40, HD30 and HD10, JVC has finally jumped on the bandwagon. But where the HD40 and HD30 still hedge their bets by offering MPEG-2 compression as well, the Everio GZ-HD10, released at the same time, goes all the way. It only offers AVCHD, and it also misses out on the Full HD resolution offered by its bigger brothers.
The HD10, again like the other new additions, also relies on a CMOS sensor rather than JVC's usual trio of 1/5in CCDs for its HD models. In this case, it's a 1/4.5in sensor with an effective 1.84-megapixels, and in fact only 0.95-megapixels are used for video - which is less than the native resolution of the video format used. The HD10 records AVCHD, but at the 1,440 x 1,080 resolution variety of HDV and the first AVCHD camcorders. Stills can be captured at up to 1,920 x 1,080, but here again the camcorder is using only 1.55-megapixels. So in all cases interpolation is being employed to make up the difference. A 10x optical zoom is available, or you can add 200x digital zoom, and a manually operated shutter is used to protect the lens.
Three recording modes are available, all using 1,440 x 1,080 and interlaced fields. The top XP option records at a healthy 17Mbits/sec, currently the fastest data rate available in any AVCHD camcorder, and matching the top options from Canon's HF10 and HF100, or Panasonic's HDC-SD9 and HS9. Below that, there are 12Mbits/sec SP and 5Mbits/sec EP modes. A 40GB hard disk is used for storage, which is enough for a healthy five hours of footage even in XP mode, and 16 hours in EP. There's a microSD slot available as well, which can be used for both still image and video recording.
Although the HD10 is aimed lower than the other new members of the range, it still has a few features for the enthusiast. A standard-sized accessory shoe is available. However, this is covered by a plastic panel, which isn't secured and simply comes off, so you will either lose it or leave it permanently in the box. A minijack is available for a plug-in microphone, and you can even control the audio levels manually from +2 or -2. However, since there is no headphone jack you won't be able to monitor the audio to check for unwanted buzz or background noise.