Digital Video Camcorder
JVC Everio GS-TD1
Today’s camcorder market is a challenging one now that D-SLRs offer ever-improving video recording capabilities, but for serious movie-makers there’s no beating the real thing which is why this category is still immensely important.
Last year we recognised the first move into 3D camcorders by Panasonic, but just 12 months later we’re looking for more complete solutions to 3D video-making because content generation is what can really drive 3D now.
JVC’s GS-TD1 is the complete package here; Full HD 3D recording via stereo zoom lenses – quite a technological feat in itself – 64 GB of internal memory supplemented with an SDXC memory card slot and exceptional 3D sound using a pair of microphones with the ideal separation of 85 mm.
Remarkably too, the JVC’s 8.9 cm monitor screen is 3D – without needing special glasses to be viewed – and has touch controls.
There’s a long list of enthusiast level features and a very user-friendly price tag of under $1650... which makes the JVC GS-TD1 a winner in every department.
For 3D shooting you can choose between the Full HD resolution of 1820x1080 pixels using the left/right Independent Format – for maximum image quality – or the Side-By-Side format which is used by TV broadcasters (for maximum compatibility).
The stereoscopic zooms have a maximum aperture of f1.2 while the TD1’s CMOS sensors are the ‘back-illuminated’ types (now common in still cameras), giving exceptional low-light recording capabilities.
Incidentally, with 3D shooting the zoom’s focal range is equivalent to 42-210mm and with 2D shooting it becomes 37.3-373mm (or 10x). A 200x digital zoom function is also available for 2D shooting.
JVC’s ‘Advanced Imager Stabilisation’ is designed to provide compensation even when the camera is being moved such as when panning. In the ‘Intelligent Auto’ the camcorder takes care of exposure, focusing, chroma and gamma values, and colour to suit the subject or scene.
Additionally, the TD1 has face recognition, a ‘smile meter’ which can be set to trigger recording at a certain level (honest), ultra slow-motion recording, time-lapse recording and a motordrive function which records at 12 fps for effect.
Looking at JVC’s GS-TD1 it’s hard to believe so much video recording capability is packed into such a compact machine that’s so affordable. Not so long ago, this would have been the stuff of fantasy, today it’s a reality.
Digital Photo Printer
Epson Stylus Pro R3000
While the pace of development in inkjet printing has definitely slowed down of late, Epson isn’t resting on its laurels and continues to find ways to improve its products.
The Stylus Pro R3000 is its latest offering in the all-important A3+ format category which is a great favourite with photographers who don’t have the commercial requirement for anything bigger.
Mind you, the R3000 inherits some of the ‘big printer’ capabilities from the larger A2+ Stylus Pro 3880 – the winner here for 2009-2010 – so it accepts a roll paper holder, has bigger ink cartridges and both Pictbridge and wireless connections.
Both the roll paper holder and the 25.9 millilitre cartridges enable the higher volume printer to work towards much greater economies, but you aren’t penalised if you prefer to work with cut sheets and aren’t quite so prolific in your output.
Epson’s nine-colour UltraChrome K3 With Vivid Magenta pigmented inkset delivers a superb print quality – our reviewer described it as “exquisite” – with both colour and B&W images.
In essence this is a pro-level printer at an enthusiast-level price which, importantly, delivers pro-level results and the potential for more economical running. Consequently, the Stylus Pro R3000 really ticks all the boxes.