JVC’s first Picsio camcorder, the FM1, was pocket sized, fresh and fun but it didn’t do enough to unsettle the market-dominating Flip or rugged Kodak PlaySport. But now the Picsio is back and ready to show off its image and feature improvements.
A new (and more Flip-like) design means the FM2 doesn’t look so retro. There’s now a 3in touch-activated display and, unlike its predecessor, this Picsio can shoot Full HD 1920x1080 movies.
Screen me up, Scotty
Gone is the previous model’s ‘button for every function’ approach; this Picsio has a sensibly designed onscreen menu used in conjunction with a 3in touch panel.
Unfortunately, all that screen real estate isn’t available for filming – you have to make do with around half of it – but when it comes to watching movie clips, all that screen is yours.
You can record movies and up to 5MP stills (though not simultaneously) and these can be stored to SD, SDHC and SDXC cards. The card slot is behind a cover where you’ll also find HDMI and AV outputs, which let you connect your Picsio to a TV.
Like the Flip series, a built-in USB arm allows you to connect the camcorder to a computer. And the Picsio FM2 isn’t fussy: it’s Mac and PC compatible. PC users do win out, though, as the camcorder’s pre-loaded software is a Windows-only affair.
Connect camcorder and PC and up springs the LoiLoScope EX program. Not only does it enable you to perform editing tasks like trimming clips and adding effects and titles, but it also delivers fast-and-easy upload to Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.
Although it will feel too plasticky to some and you might take a while to get acquainted with the touchscreeen, the Picsio has enough in the ‘plus’ column to easily stand next to its rivals.
The stills are great, with lashings of detail and accurate colours, and the HD movie clips are none too shabby either, with a smooth 4x digital zoom, rock-solid autofocus and plenty of fine detail. Colours on movie clips are a touch too vivid and the camcorder struggles in low light, adding a pixellated, grainy tang to images, but there are very few pocket cams immune to this.
Pocket-sized shooters are meant to be about fun and fuss-free uploading. The Picsio scores highly on both of these counts, even if it does lack the all-round abilities and versatility of the Kodak PlaySport.