In the early days of digital technology, only the largest systems enjoy the most space for storing data, but the latest laptops boast hundreds of gigabytes of data which is especially needed to store high quality multimedia formats such as Full HD video. With hard drives becoming smaller, JVC and other manufacturers can now design compact digital camcorders that have these hard drives inside. One of the models which is the JVC Everio GZ-HD300 can store 60GB worth of high definition videos or lots of smaller images.
The JVC Everio GZ-HD300 is similarly sized to the HM200 that relies on flash memory. Some design highlights are rearranged, but this model comes in the same red, blue, and black colors as well. The lens is a Konica Minolta lens that automatically closes and opens depending on its power status which can be toggled by just opening or closing the 2.7-inch LCD display. The stereo mic can be found just underneath lens.
On the right side is a thin hand strap that can be adjusted to make it a wrist strap instead. The USB and AV-out ports can also be found on this side. The back side reveals the battery pack, DC power, and on/off switch for recording. The bulk of the features are found on the left when the LCD display is open showing the power button, HDMI port, record/playback button, video/photo mode switch, and three buttons to make uploading easy. The top has the zoom toggler and a shutter button for taking photos. A microSD card slot can be found on the bottom.
The JVC Everio GZ-HD300 has the bragging rights for being small, yet capable of recording full HD1080p videos. With 60 GB of hard disk space available, up to 25 hours worth of video can be stored at a seamless 60 frames per second. It is also classified as a hybrid digital camcorder allowing the microSD card slot on the bottom to be used to store even more hours of video. The 20x optical zoom also performs well and is far higher than some of the existing models being sold in the price range.
Although there are no picture adjustment settings and color modes, color accuracy is excellent thanks to the HDMI 1.3 and x.v.Color technologies so outputs look impressive on high definition displays. It also uses the GENESSA technology that is present in JVC HDTVs to fix motion judder issues and jaggy lines. The HD Gigabrid Premium video engine which acts as the image processor also contributes in the overall output, speed of the output generation, and power consumption reduction.
Actual user review:
“JVC continues to build on and refine its handheld cams. I thought I’d use this for a few months before reviewing, just to see how it held up. It has been completely dependable and willing to go the distance time and time again. Picture quality is great; sound quality is as good as one has a right to expect from a little cam-mounted mini-mike. It does fine, but nobody will be cutting a cd from the jvc audiotrack any time soon. The non-hd picture quality continues to be good, and the hd pic is excellent as well. The controls are easy to use and reasonably intuitive, though some of the touch controls can be a little too responsive. The drawback as always is the software. Almost anything in the world is more useful than the programs that come bundled with the camera. This is, of course, and easy issue to rectify, but it’s worth knowing about up front.” – P.A.Greene (PA,USA)
The JVC Everio GZ-HD300 also doubles as a 3.05 megapixel camera where pictures can be taken using the shutter even when recording mode is active. The color accuracy of its recording isn’t fully carried over, but the colors are still fairly accurate.
The sharpness settings are not the best compared to other top manufacturers, but the AVCHD UXP mode can be switched on to make the images sharper and reduce noise by maxing out the bit rate at 24 Mbps. The increase in file size shouldn’t make a huge impact on the large 60GB storage and can be transferred to other devices through USB or directly to a DVD or Blu-ray media using the two dedicated uploading buttons. A third button is provided to allow uploading to YouTube if it is connected to the PC and the included bundled software is installed.
The Everio MediaBrowser is the name of the bundled software and it presents a decent interface for finding video files based on the date with thumbnail views. Some editing functions can be made such as cropping or adding animated graphics along with basic playback controls and exporting options to iTunes. If a computer isn’t available, a quick playback mode that resembles highlights from a trailer can be used instead by using the “Digest Playback” feature.
The JVC Everio GZ-HD300 costs a bit more than the HM200 at around $600 and only lacks the dual memory card recording. This isn’t too bad considering the hybrid nature of the HD300 and the easy uploading options that should allow entry-level users to make full use of the features without going through a heavy learning curve.
Average User Rating:
- “This is the nicest and smallest camcorder I have ever had the pleasure using. The body is plastic but appears to be extremely durable. I would hate to drop it even though it feels heavy and extremely solid. The Konica lens is also a plus and worth mentioning. No lens caps with this camcorder, the lens cover is built in. It comes with paper manuals in multiple languages as well as an application CD with a media player and a calendar app and easy upload to YouTube. If you fancy making YouTube videos, this camcorder is for you. Everything is very “touch” sensitive and oriented. There is a Touch Sensor on the side of the LCD screen that provides the way to work through sub-menus. This sensor is really, really cool and works great! I did not find it difficult to use and was able to employ the “Easy Start Guide” to get started recording right away. Initial set up of the camera is very logical and works through a menu system. Date and time settings were easy. This camera could be easily used by a hobbyist such as myself. I am technical, but I do not feel that the camcorder requires a huge amount of technical knowledge. For more savvy users, I! think this camcorder will reach you, too. It’s remarkable! Along with being a high-def camcorder, you get a wonderful point and shoot camera. The colors are bright, and I love the touch buttons. This is a sweet little camcorder that I think just for ease of use alone is totally worth the money. Also keep in mind you get a SD card slot and an internal 60GB hard drive. Plenty of space for hours of recording without having to lug around large media. Using iLife’s iPhoto and iMovie on the Mac made using this device a snap. No recognition problems whatsoever. It’s one of the things that makes me love MACs more and more. Kudos.” – D.Avila (NY,USA)
- “This camcorder is dead simple to use. Open it up and you’re ready to go. Simplicity, however, means you give up control and that started to bug me pretty quickly. For those of you who want to shoot video without leaping technical hurdles, this could be a good camera for you. Recording direct to a hard drive is cool, however, that means you’ll need to have a lot of storage space on your computer to archive your movies. Or you can archive to DVDs, I suppose but that may be where the simplicity breaks down for some people. Digital acquisition is where things are headed, though.” – E.Jacobs (CA,USA)
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