JVC Picsio GC-WP10AUS [mac] full review

For anyone feeling the urge to record video underwater, JVC's Waterproof Pocket Camera (also known as the Picsio GC-WP10AUS) is more affordable than a standard waterproof camcorder. However, if you choose the GC-WP10AUS (£130 as of August 2, 2011), don't count on capturing high-quality videos.

This waterproof camera is slightly chunkier than other Picsio pocket camcorders, measuring 2.36 by 3.98 by 0.98 inches. On the right side, hidden behind a pop-out panel, are an HDMI port, a USB/DC connection, and an SD Card slot. A 3-inch touchscreen, which takes up the vast majority of the back, allows you to operate the camcorder and access most of its settings.

When you turn the camcorder on, four buttons-for still photos, video recording, audio recording, and quality-appear on the touchscreen. The quality button allows you to set still photos to 2592 by 1944 pixels or 1920 by 1440 pixels, or to set videos to 720p, 1080p, QHD, or iFrame. Once in a while, however, you may have to touch the buttons a couple of times before they actually respond.

If you prefer not to use the touchscreen, the camera has a few physical buttons. On the right are a power button, a hold button, and a record button. Also on that side is a button that allows you to switch between the camera's video and still-shot functions. Overall, the physical buttons are easier to use than the touchscreen controls, especially underwater.

The GC-WP10AUS is waterproof down to 10 feet, so you can't use it for scuba diving. It should be fine for snorkelling or in a pool.

Video Quality and Image Quality

In Labs testing, the GC-WP10AUS fell short in both bright-light and low-light situations. Videos were not especially sharp overall, and we gave the camera's video quality a score of Fair (on a scale of Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, and Superior). Sound isn't this camcorder's forte either: It received an audio-quality score of Fair as well.

Though it isn't a great video recorder, the GC-WP10AUS takes relatively decent still photos. Labs subjective tests rate photos on three factors: colour, exposure, and sharpness. On colour and exposure, the GC-WP10AUS received word scores of Good, while on sharpness it rated as Fair.

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