Camcorders that are light and easy to handle are always good for consumers that are hoping to have a dedicated recording device without sacrificing on quality. JVC may not offer any digital cameras, but they definitely offer a decent selection of flash memory cameras. Consumers are likely to check out any of the HM models being offered like the JVC GZ-HM320 because it has both the strength and affordability of a good camcorder.
Design & Interface
Like other JVC flash memory camcorders, the JVC GZ-HM320 is light and surprisingly contact for a camcorder that is rich with new features. It features the same “2-way Grip Belt” so the camcorder can be traditionally held like a standard grip, but once the end of the grip detaches, the grip becomes a hand strap as well.
A lot of the familiar features that are present in older JVC models make reappearances such as the 2.7-inch display which uses the same “Laser Touch Operation” interface. The scrollbar on the left of the screen is useful for zooming or browsing through several photos. Pressing any of the touch-sensitive buttons below the display also controls certain parts of the interface.
“The camera is light weight and fits in the palm of your hand. We bought a 32 GB class 10 SD card and it gave us 500 minutes of filming memory in HD. We got home a week before Christmas and I wanted to make a DVD of our trip with video and pictures. We found out that our filming was very novice. You need to move the camera pretty slow when panning, or doing anything for that matter. When you move it slow, or keep it focused on one general object, the quality is very good. We were very impressed with the high quality of filming when we did that. The microphone is great, it picks up the voices pretty well. We didn’t have any problems going from low light to high light. It transitioned pretty quickly and focussed pretty quick. The zoom on this thing isn’t great, and you need to hold the camera very steady when you are completely zoomed in, but it is adequate. Overall, we love the camera, it helped us capture so many great memories from our vacation, we’re really excited to continue using it!” – M.Henry (USA)
The JVC GZ-HM320 does away with the dual SD card slot approach and squeezes in 8 GB of flash memory. That is not really much for serious HD quality recording, but the seamless recording feature still remains so you can keep recording large videos for longer uninterrupted periods with your only limits being the available memory of the SD or SDHC card in the slot. Fortunately, the 1.37 megapixel CMOS sensor is flexible so lesser quality videos can be recorded to save space.
The HM320 is a worthy upgrade from past HM models because of the new 20x zoom Konica Minolta HD lens that contribute to the image quality. The HD Gigabrid Premium II Engine is backed up with some powerful features as well such as the “Super LoLux” technology which enhances the low light performance of the camcorder resulting to clearer visuals.
Image Stabilization has been a common feature in digital cameras so photographers can reduce the blur caused by shaking. It is more important to have a feature like this in digital camcorders especially when higher zoom settings are used. The “Advanced image Stabilizer” feature did a great job removing the unwanted blur caused by shake and motion.
The JVC GZ-HM320′s main features are rather simple, but the value comes in when the extra features are looked upon. Take the new shooting modes for example because these modes are highly unlikely to be featured in competing models. One of the shooting modes is called the “Time Lapse REC” mode. Simply place the camcorder on a fixed position where the change is to be recorded over time, set an interval, and the HM320 will be actively recording capturing frames in that interval alone.
For a more automated approach, the “Auto REC” feature can be used instead where the recording begins only when there is a significant change in the scene. An object needs to move in front of the camera to “trigger” the recording. Once the object leaves the camcorder’s focus, the camcorder stops recording five seconds afterwards.
The HM320 has several ways to share videos including two simple one-touch sharing buttons that upload to YouTube directly or export to the iTunes library. The bundled Everio MediaBrowser needs to be installed for this to work properly and is considered a good video management software. The “Face Detection” feature has been improved significantly as well with the camcorder able to detect up 16 faces adjusting the exposure and focus when needed.
The JVC GZ-HM320 has all of the ingredients of a good high definition camcorder and it surprisingly costs under $500 too because of the low flash memory capacity. But remember that SDHC cards can add to the capacity significantly and they are getting more affordable as well. Adding some extra memory should be enough to record a few hours of 1080p or dozens of hours of lower quality video. The new technologies back up the image quality nicely and the design and interface make it a friendly camcorder for newbies.
More user reviews:
• “I really like the zoom and video recording and as long I stay within the 80x of zoom it looks great.I feel it is heavy and have to recharge,so I have to get a card for memory to track of more time to take pictures and video recording. I had a nikon camera and the memory and pictures sucked. So, best camera I have had for 1 week so far. It’s not waterproof but it sure takes what I was looking for holidays and important stuff and also, the simple fact that I can carry around to take snap shots even if I switch back to video it looks better and take action video pictures. Perfect for important moments and family functions and travel. This is an investment and well worth every dollar.” – men7al (USA)
• “Purchased this for my daughter, needed something simple to use but good quality. This unit has 8GB built in, nice addition as right out of the box you have 40 mins of HD recording, more if you record at lower resolutions. The Zoom is incredible, up to about 150 you get good quality, above that it gets really grainy and is useless, there are three options you can set for the default zoom functions when recording video, 20X optical -gives always great quality, 80x Digital, and 200x Digital. Recommend setting to 80x Digital, this gets you great zoom, but limits the zoom function to prevent getting into poor quality. The Image Stabilization is ok, but you still need to be steady when filming especially when zoomed in. Also the un-zoomed view has a very narrow range which makes indoor shooting a bit tricky, which maybe the reason they offer a wide-angle conversion lens. Overall great value.” – R.Brunner (TN,USA)
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