There are a few extra features here, which the PICSIO GC-FM2 doesn't offer. The WP10A has a few more discrete buttons, for switching between camera and camcorder modes, and toggling record. Most functions are operated by the touchscreen, which might prove hard to control when swimming, so these allow you to use the camcorder one-handed without the screen. The WP10A also has an audio recorder alongside the video and photography capabilities. This allows it to grab sound in MP3 format.
To go with the audio recording is a headphone minijack, although this lurks beneath the waterproof panel, which will get in the way somewhat during use. There’s a face detection facility with its own button as well. Although focus is fixed, the face detection will pick up human faces and set the exposure accordingly. When not in this mode, you can set exposure by touching a reference point in the frame (just like the FM2).
Part of the reason for the success of the pocket Internet camcorder so far is that most examples haven't skimped too much on image quality, particularly in low light. A device you can easily slip in your jacket is even more likely to be used in widely varying levels of illumination, such as at rock concerts. Like the FM2, the WP10A particularly excels in darker conditions compared to most budget camcorders, thanks to its large CMOS sensor. In brighter lighting, the WP10A shows more detail than other camcorders in this class, due to its 1080p recording. Colour fidelity isn’t perfect, and neither are exposure or contrast, but overall results are good for the price.
Like any self-respecting pocket Internet camcorder, the WP10A comes with editing software built into internal memory. This loads onto the host PC the first time you hook the device up. However, due to the constraints of waterproofing, there is no USB 2.0 plug integrated. Instead, a small USB cable is supplied, for the port under the waterproof flap.
The software is the same as that included with the GC-FM2. Going by the somewhat unusual name of LoiLoScope EX, this app has an interface that is equally strange. It’s nothing like other Windows apps, with a freeform approach to window layout. However, the features are relatively strong compared to other pocket Internet camcorders, with the ability to trim clips, add effects that can be customised, and string footage together with titles and a soundtrack. There’s also a comprehensive selection of video streaming websites supported, including both Facebook and Vimeo alongside the ubiquitous YouTube.
With this generation, JVC has taken the pocket Internet camcorder format and enhanced it with some of the qualities of ‘full fat’ models. The PICSIO GC-FM2 was the best example yet of the genre, but the PICSIO GC-WP10A takes the same set of features and encases them in a waterproof shell. Although the FM2 is expensive for this type of camcorder, and the WP10A is pricier still, if all you want is a point-and-shoot camcorder you can use at the beach as well as around town, JVC has a unique proposition for you.