Wayne, N.J. - JVC said Tuesday it is entering the pocket flash memory camera/camcorder market currently dominated by the Flip Mino and Kodak Zi8 with the introduction of the under-$200 Picsio GC-FM1.
The GC-FM1 ships today at a $199 estimated retail price and is said to be designed for audiences looking for the smallest, lightest and easiest to use video camera possible.
Allan Holland, JVC Consumer Video Division national product specialist senior manager, said that while the Picsio should appeal to a wide audience, it should have particular appeal with the youth market.
"The pocket flash memory camera market is growing by leaps and bound," Holland said. "It's a little different than what a traditional camcorder would be, in that it's really meant for sharing. Among the younger demographic these cameras are all about recording friends, parties and sports."
The primary use for the captured images and video clips is to quickly be shared with family and friends online and through social networking pages, he said.
JVC said it will continue to offer more sophisticated camcorders for users looking for higher quality video and still images they intend to archive and exhibit more formally.
The Picsio stores images directly to 128MB of internal flash memory or to SD/SDHC flash memory cards through an included memory card slot.
Video images are captured in FullHD 1080p resolution while stills are captures in true 8-megapixel resolution.
Key features include a 2-inch color LCD view screen, digital image stabilization, and a 4x digital zoom lens using JVC optics. The camera also offers macro focusing for shooting subjects as close as a foot away.
The Picso GC-FM1 includes connections for mini HDMI out, composite A/V out, and USB 2.0. The camera charges via USB connection to a PC.
A USB cable, AV cable, hand strap and PC software - loaded into the camera's internal memory - are included with the camera.
The GC-FM1 is said to be slightly thinner and shorter than some competitive products using the same bar-style format. It is about the same size as a small cellphone.
JVC will offer the Picsio in a choice of three colors - black ice, blue steel and purple passion.
The case includes tone-on-tone geometric patterns and chrome accents offering "a jewel-like appearance," JVC said.
Images are captured using an 8MP CMOS image sensor that does not use image-degrading interpolation, the company said.
Videos are recorded in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format and stored as MOV files for easy sharing without the need for image conversion.
The camera includes four video (1080p, 720p, VGA, and QVGA) and four still (8MP, 5MP, 2MP and VGA) recording modes.
Holland said JVC will ship the Picsio GC-FM1 through its full range of retail distribution including national chains Best Buy and Walmart.