JVC really wants a piece of GoPro’s pie, launches overhauled Adixxion action cam


posted Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 6:28 PM EDT

A year ago, we told you about JVC's first entry in the rugged, point-of-view camera market, with the edgily-named JVC Adixxion action camera. Yesterday, the company followed up with a new model that aims to take a steal a bigger slice of the GoPro's pie: the JVC Adixxion GC-XA2.

Last year's model was already pretty impressive. Although in some respects it was bettered by the GoPro, the original Adixxion's compact body packed in a lot of features -- waterproofing, shockproofing, Wi-Fi remote capture -- that required external accessories on its much-vaunted rival. According to JVC, the new camera features a whole raft of improvements, which should make for an even stronger challenge to the GoPro.

Perhaps the most important differences can be found in the JVC Adixxion XA2's sensor and lens. The new model is based around an eight megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor instead of a five megapixel standard CMOS chip, and now supports capture at Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) with a rate of 60 frames per second. At 720p (1,280 x 720 pixels), you can double this to 120 fps, for a 4x slow-motion capture. The new sensor now sits behind a wider-angle prime lens (137 degree field of view for high-def movies) with f/2.4 aperture. Previously, the company didn't state an aperture for the GC-XA1 optic.

The JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 upgrades last year's GC-XA1 with a better sensor, lens, and display.

JVC has also boosted resolution of the 1.5-inch LCD panel in the GC-XA2 to 112,000 dots, although again it's hard to make a direct comparison since it didn't state resolution of the earlier display. We do know, however, that the display bests its predecessor in other ways as well: It can now adjust brightness level automatically as ambient light changes, and automatically shut itself off to save power.

Other changes include time lapse and high-speed burst image capture, simultaneous still and video capture, an improved gyro sensor for digital image stabilization, better audio quality, new video effects, longer battery life, updated Wi-Fi with faster connection, and new apps for Android and iOS that allow monitoring of up to four Adixxion cameras at once. You can also opt for a 2X interpolation of still images to 16 megapixels, and there's a 5x digital zoom. Of course, you'll do better to disable both and perform interpolation on your PC or Mac, where you won't waste storage on interpolated (read: guessed) data.

The JVC Adixxion GC-XA2 goes on sale from late July, priced at US$300. More details on JVC's website.