JVC puts an oversized Super 35mm sensor in its upcoming Micro Four Thirds 4K camcorder

jvc puts oversized super 35mm sensor upcoming micro four thirds 4k camcorder gy hmq10 side 2

After recently joining the open Micro Four Thirds standard, JVC Kenwood has shown off two prototype 4K Ultra HD camcorders at NAB in Las Vegas. Both come with a Micro Four Thirds mount, meaning that all lenses from Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma, Voigtländer, and others made for the system can be used on these camcorders. But this isn’t really the interesting part, as JVC is neither the first to create a dedicated Micro Four Thirds video camera, nor the first to create a 4K-capable camera with Micro Four Thirds mount.

What’s really interesting is that JVC has decided to put an oversized Super 35mm sensor behind that Micro Four Thirds mount. The Super 35mm format comes from the days of film, and is slightly larger than the sensor in regular Micro Four Thirds cameras. In fact, this reminds us a bit of Sony cramming a full-frame 35mm sensor behind its E-mount, which was originally created for the smaller APS-C-sized sensor.

There is little information available on the two devices as of right now, but here’s what we know so far. The larger of the two is a shoulder-mounted camcorder called the GY-LSX2, and is capable of recording 4K Ultra HD at both the cinematic framerate of 24p, and the more common video framerate of 30p. It is also said to be able to output HD and standard definition video at the same time, and uses SDHC and SDXC as recording media. The smaller device, the GW-SPLS1, actually comes in two pieces: a mount-plus-sensor unit that can be attached to a gimbal, and an external monitor-plus-recorder unit. It uses the same Super 35mm sensor as the GY-LSX2.

Now the question is whether the Micro Four Thirds system lenses will be usable on these devices at all, considering they were designed for a smaller sensor area. The answer is a definitive yes and no. The thing is, each lens has a specific imaging circle, that varies in size from lens to lens and depends on many factors including the lens’ focal length. As a general rule, lenses with a longer focal length (e.g., telephoto lenses) can cover a larger sensor area than lenses with a shorter focal length (e.g., wide-angle lenses.) So in the end, it really depends on the lens.

Does this mean that we will see Micro Four Thirds still cameras with larger sensors in the future? Probably not. For one, this would require new lenses to be developed, just like Sony’s full-frame E-mount cameras need a new set of lenses that cover their full sensor area. This doesn’t make a lot of sense for Micro Four Thirds, which already has a vast lens selection. Also, the Micro Four Thirds system already has a very good balance of size and quality, and the size part would definitely be compromised by using a larger sensor.

For cinematography, however, using the larger Super 35mm format actually makes a lot of sense, because it’s already an established standard in the movie world. Cinematographers are used to thinking in terms of the Super 35mm format when looking at lenses, not in terms of the Micro Four Thirds format. So the larger sensor makes it easier for them to determine the angle-of-view a lens will yield when used on JVC’s new camcorders. In addition to that, the choice of the Micro Four Thirds mount makes it possible to adapt many different lenses from various systems, and even full-fledged cine lenses that were designed for the Super 35mm format in the first place. And that makes JVC’s camcorders very flexible in theory.

Check out photos of the prototype camcorders, as well as one for an aerial drone, at DVInfo.

(Via NoFilmSchool)

Product Review

With outstanding image quality, the ‘basic’ Sony A7 III excels in every way

Replacing the four-year-old A7 II as the new entry-level model in Sony's full-frame line, the A7 III is an impressively capable camera that gives more expensive models a run for their money.
Emerging Tech

DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs Mavic 2 Zoom: What’s the real difference?

DJI's Mavic 2 series drones are ready to fly -- but which one is right for you? The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are nearly identical save for their cameras. Here's what you need to know about these powerful new UAVs.
Product Review

Fewer pixels, better camera? The Nikon Z6 shows the beauty of restraint

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.

Full frame or 4K for less than $1K? These 4 older cameras still have a lot to offer

Looking for a great camera deal? Sometimes, you might be better off buying one that's a few years -- last generation's professional models may not cost much more than today's entry-level models.

Golf ball-sized Lume Cube Air is a pocketable LED for photos and video

Off-camera lighting for smartphones and GoPros just got even smaller. Meet the Lume Cube Air, a smaller portable LED light designed for photos and videos that weighs only about two ounces.

Edit portraits with A.I. and adjust focus in the new ON1 Photo RAW 2019 editor

ON1 Photo RAW 2019 now has a dedicated tab for portraits that automatically recognizes faces to help with retouching. The update also brings a new focus stacking tool, enhancements to layers, and improvements to local adjustments.

Taking shots in the dark with Night Sight, the Pixel’s newest photo feature

The Google Pixel range has always been the home of some of the mobile world's best phone cameras. That performance is now getting even better with the introduction of the low-light Night Sight mode.

Alpha Female: Sony awards five women grants to support artisan diversity

Women can face several challenges in launching a photography career -- Sony's latest initiative aims to help propel women in the industry forward. Sony recently announced the winners of the Alpha Female program.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.

Photography news: Best spot for fall photos, new firmware from Fuji and Nikon

Where's the best spot to take fall photos? Michigan, according to social media and a Nikon contest. The results and more in this week's photography news, including significant firmware updates for the Fujifilm X-T3, X-H1, and GFX 50S.

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.