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Old 05-22-2011, 10:59 AM
 
2,186 posts, read 7,526,855 times

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JVC Everio GZ-HD620BUS HD Hard Drive Camcorder

Rating: 4 out of 5
  • Currently 4.0/5.0

As a gift for my sister's birthday this past year, we decided to get together and get her a camcorder, as she had just given birth to the family's first grandchild and we wanted to make sure all the great moments of the first few years were captured on video. We gave her a JVC Everio GZ-HD620BUS HD Hard Drive Camcorder, which costs $600 at Best Buy.

The camera captures in eight megapixels, although the claims in the user manual is that through photo manipulation on the computer that the image can look like a higher quality. I find this claim somewhat dodgy, as digital media, be it images or music, if it is recorded in lower quality, cannot be rendered to a higher quality, because the information is simply not there in the file. However, I found the image quality to be perfectly acceptable, somewhat on par with high end cell phone cameras, perhaps a few notches above. The video is certainly good quality, but it is perhaps about as good as the most high quality cameras currently on the market. It is great for capturing spur of the moment family videos, but if you are taping something important like a wedding or graduation, you might want to double check that the video quality is to your liking, for some people are very picky. I find the quality to be good enough for our family. Video is recorded in 640x480 pixels at 30fps, and has a 5x digital zoom. It does not take indoor images very well unless there are sufficient lights, even with the LED flash, so make sure whatever you're recording has ample lighting, or have the patience to fiddle with the settings to get better quality.

Despite these few drawbacks, the camera is actually a pretty impressive piece of hardware. It is a bit more expensive than other similar cameras of this type, like the Sony that retails for about $300. But this camera is chock full of features. It can take both digital video and still images, as well as act as a webcam for a computer. It connects via USB and therefore can act as a plug and play mass storage device. There is an AV In/Out feature, which means recorded video can be output to a TV, but also that video can be sent to the camera via the TV or a VCR for recording. This feature has given me and unexpected device that is helping me begin to digitize my old VHS tapes into digital format by hooking the VCR to the camera and having the camera capture the video as it plays in realtime. The user can arrange videos and images in albums and apply a few special effects, like fade in and out and themes.
Images and video are stored on 180GB hard drive memory internal and can take an SD card for expansion memory. While the video quality is a tricky to get right, and I wish it could take much higher capacity SD cards, the little camera is fine for here and there videotaping and my sister has been fairly happy with it.

Review by professional reviewer, Sep. 1, 2010
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