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Old 05-24-2011, 04:05 PM
2,186 posts, read 7,651,320 times


JVC GZ-HD500BE Digital Camcorder

Rating: 5 out of 5
  • Currently 5.0/5.0

Although we owned a small camcorder that recorded in MP4 format to flash cards, I was not very impressed with the video quality and, having borrowed my parents' hard drive High Definition camcorder for our honeymoon, we decided to shop around for our own higher quality camcorder. We settled on the JVC GZ-HD500BE Digital Camcorder with an 80GB hard drive, from Best Buy. Initially I had wanted another flash drive camcorder, mostly because flash drives have no moving parts and are less prone to breaking and battery consumption. However, few of the flash drive camcorders came in anything over 16GB, which was not really enough storage space, and the video quality suffers for it, as the resulting video just doesn't seem to be as sharp as a hard drive recorder with plenty of space for high quality video.

Having owned a JVC camcorder previously, I knew JVC to be a reliable brand, and so we settled on the one we now have. It is more expensive than my parents' $600 Sony, as ours ended up costing about $650. It comes with connection cables, a battery and AC adapter and software. We made sure to purchase a carrying case for ours and a spare battery as well. The hard drive cameras tend to drain battery life fairly quickly if you are doing a lot of videotaping on vacation. This one is no different. The software is pretty straightforward for those experienced in video editing, though it might require a bit of a learning curve for beginners. The LCD viewing monitor is crisp and in bright color, though I do not like that you must use it to video tape without a dedicated viewfinder, since the LCD screen also causes battery life to suffer. The resulting video is quite nice, clear and bright, as are the still images which can be saved on SD expansion cards. The batteries are rechargeable and tend to recharge very quickly, fast enough to surprise me.

The user can opt to make use of certain special effects such as fade and various modes for different lighting situations. It is easy to set up to a TV for playback viewing, and although it is a little bit on the expensive side, it is not out of the ordinary for the price. I would recommend this camera, especially for beginners. There aren't a lot of manual settings, which more experienced videographers might not like, but for the non-professional who just wants to film vacations and family events, it is perfect.

Review by professional reviewer, Sep. 1, 2010
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