"Quality video, user-friendy, nice features, priced right"4.5 starson by cjf88
Pros: Video is dvd-like in quality-well thought out features
Cons: video light good not great, manual could be better
Summary: I have never bought a JVC product before nor do I have a specific bias toward JVC or other brands one way or the other. I know the four top-tier companies make good products. I currently own a Canon digital still camera.
What impressed me the most about this camera is that it exceeded my video quality expectations. What surprised me was the how the reviewers downplayed it's performance.
First of all on price, the discounters make it affordable. You don't have to reach for the pause button unless you pay retail at the big stores.
I was a little skeptical on video quality because some reviewers said that hdd camcorders like the Canon were 6 out of 10 on image quality. They went on to say mini-disc still had the edge. I just don't see it. The JVC rep. at Circus City emplored that this model was dvd-like in imaging. He even went on to say that Sony, Panasonic and others were better than mini-disc. I still had my doubts until I bought it. It's simply amazing. Apparently, first generation hdd cameras were not that good. Those days are over. Colors are rich and acurate with excellent detail in foreground and background. The zoom is swift and precise. Yes, it is dvd-like in image quality.
Be careful when reading professional reviews, they tend to nit pick. The auto-focus was described as being "sluggish". That word is harsh. I wouldn't use one word to describe it. It is completely situational. At times it needed a split-second to come into focus but it's very rare. You have to be walking and or zooming frequently while changing your depth of the object you are shooting. For practical purposes filming family events and general purpose video it performs excellent. I don't have an issue with the auto-focus. I couldn't care less about still imaging because I use my Canon for digital stills. I'd rather see them spend the money on video quality. The reviewers say the stills are decent. I haven't tested the still imaging however.
I prefer the the toggle switch vs. touch screen. It's easy to use and very intuitive. If a touch screen breaks you're screwed.
Hats off to JVC for packing this with usable features like the rack on top of the camera for an extra light or microphone. It has a built in lens cap(kudos), and a built in flash and light for shooting video. It also has a digital image stabilzer that works great. Even though they say optical is better. JVC figured out how to make it work.
Lastly, the docking station is fantastic. I can charge the battery and use a USB, S-video or RCA port to plug into a monitor. WOW!
If you use an RCA cable to a tv of course the video will be poor. Use the s-video and it's crystal clear. 10 out of 10 on quality and features!
Lastly, don't pay attention to the other reviewer who gave it a 1 out of 10. Seriously, he's got a pc problem if his audio is not matching, or it's simply a bad unit.
Caution with some professional reviews. There is a hit piece out there no doubt paid by someone to give it a less than favorable review. They said the still imaging was good but the video was terrible. Are you serious?