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JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2 review

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  • Recommended by TR

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JVC ADIXXION GC-XA
  • JVC ADIXXION GC-XA
  • JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2
  • JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2
  • JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2
  • JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2
  • JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2
  • JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2
  • JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Pros

  • Built-in LCD display
  • 720p shooting at 120 frames per second
  • WiFi connectivity including USTREAM

Cons

  • No 4K video resolution
  • Only one mount included as standard

Key Features

  • 1/3.2-inch CMOS with 8Mpixels
  • MP4 video format at up to 1080/60p and 720/120p
  • Waterproof to 5m
  • Shockproof when dropped from up to 2m
  • Flexible mount included
  • WiFi video streaming
  • Manufacturer: JVC
  • Review Price: £249.95

What is the JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2?

The JVC GC-XA2 is the second incarnation of JVC's extreme sports-oriented ADIXXION range. So it's a rugged, waterproof camcorder with built-in Wi-Fi aimed at cycling, surfing, snowboarding and all manner of frenetic activities. But the new version has quite a few improvements over the original JVC GC-XA1. It's also very keenly priced compared to many of its competitors.

JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2

JVC GC-WA-2: Design and Features

The action camera market is starting to get a bit crowded, and GoPro has rapidly become the Hoover brand of the area. JVC is trying to fit in with the trends of the action camera market by presenting the new ADIXXION in a box that has a clear Perspex top showing off the product in all its glory at the top, in a similar fashion to the iON Air Pro 2 and GoPro HERO3. This is much more than a me-too product, however.

The camera itself looks very similar to the previous model, hiding the considerably upgraded internals. For a start, whereas the previous model incorporated a 5Mpixel CMOS sensor, the JVC GC-XA2 increases this to 7.99Mpixels, and adds back illumination, and the 1/3.2-inch size is decent for a camcorder this small. The video processing engine has clearly been improved, too, as there are a number of new shooting modes available.

For a start, you can now shoot high-speed footage. The Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 frame rate has been increased to 50p or 60p (depending on TV standard chosen), where this was previously only available at 720p. For the latter resolution, it's now possible to record at 100p or 120p, for smooth slow motion. It's also possible to grab time-lapse frames at intervals of between 0.2 and 60 seconds.

JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2

There is still no 4K shooting, however, although the GoPro can't shoot at a full frame rate in this mode. The XA2 will also capture 8Mpixel and 16Mpixel still images, with a burst mode of 15 frames per second that drops to 5 frames per second at the 16Mpixel resolution. Footage and stills are recorded to a full-sized SD card, rather than the MicroSD format that is becoming the norm with this kind of camcorder, so capacities up to 128GB are available.

A 32GB card will be enough for 2.5 hours of footage at the top 1080/60p resolution, and 14 hours at the lowest 848 x 480/30p option. For those looking to use the XA2 as a biking or driving security device like the Mio MiVue 388 Drive Recorder, there's an endless recording setting that grabs 15-second clips until the storage runs out, then captures over the top of the oldest one.

JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2

As before, JVC is calling the new ADIXXION "Quad Proof", because it is resistant to four different types of extreme condition. The door covering the USB and Mini HDMI ports as well as the battery and SD card slot is tightly secured by a double-action locking mechanism. You have to hold down a switch and then slide the door open.

This allows the XA2 to be waterproof to 5m, as well as dustproof. JVC also claims the camcorder can withstand a drop from 2m, as well as freezing temperatures down to -10C. These are all quoted with IP codings, so the ratings will be reassuring for water sports, beach activities, biking and skating, as well as skiing and snowboarding.

Oberoth

September 2, 2013, 12:39 pm

Battery life?
If GoPro keeps up its tech push I think the Hero 4 will be the one got me, 4k @ 30fps, full HD @ 120fps, high data rates, multitude of mounting, larger batteries, good app, the one thing that they all need is a really good optical image stabilisation. The Sony offering did this really well but fell down in other areas.
Well have to wait for decent video comparisons and maybe see what Sony might bring and any updates from GoPro and the others. Shane about contour going under.

lw

September 4, 2013, 10:33 am

Another possible advantage this has over the GoPro models is built in image stabilisation. You didn't mention that.

Dr James Morris

September 6, 2013, 10:05 am

Check the Image Quality section - it's in there.

Dr James Morris

September 6, 2013, 10:08 am

I've seen tests where optical image stabilisation really breaks under constant, violent activity - for example shooting in an aircraft doing acrobatics. It could need considerable development to get this to work reliably.

Greebly

September 7, 2013, 4:28 am

Hmm. When a watch says it's "water-resistant to 100m" that doesn't mean you can dive that deep with it. It means you can go about 30 feet. In a lab, it can be immersed carefully in still water to the rated depth, but movement - like swimming - increases momentary pressure beyond the nominal depth. Something rated to 10 meters is good for the kind of splashing you do within a hand-span of the surface.

So if they say 10 or 15 meters, I can't see it being used by surfers who get rolled under big waves with lots of churning and pounding. It would spring a leak in minutes.

I'd trust the GoPro housing to its rated depth, but this critter, I'd feel safe in a rainstorm, or heavy sweating during a workout. On the other hand, it's got a good feature set - I especially like that 15-second video segments mode... as long as I was conscious after the crash to turn off the camera BEFORE the evidence was overwritten.

What might be even more useful, in that vein, would be an app or service where you could stream live to the cloud and have it save clips a few minutes long, one after another, until your storage limit was reached, then start overwriting the oldest. So when you get knocked off your bicycle in a road-rage or distracted-driver (texting...) incident, the evidence is safely in the cloud when the driver comes back to break the camera and steal the SD card to avoid prosecution. :-)

Even if he just steals the camera, it stops streaming as soon as it gets out of WiFi range of your phone (that was your mobile hotspot)... wait... what if that scumbag steals your phone, too?

I'd go even further and ask for a function where, if you didn't tell the app/service to stand down, then after some arbitrary time, it would post the evidence from private cloud storage to very public YouTube... on the assumption you were too busted-up or dead to call it off. That way, you come back from the grave to convict the S.O.B. Bet the self-produced snuff-movie would go viral.

2dealsok

September 23, 2013, 6:12 am

Powerful ah

wojtek1425

October 5, 2013, 1:23 am

Zoom?

stewart L

October 21, 2013, 2:40 am

Having used both the ax1 and now this superb ax2 then the current ;Hoover; of the market the gopro give me this for ease of use. What a superb bit of kit, I use it everyday for cycle security,its just so simple to use and playback.
As an outdoor instructor I use it for MTB trips and White water paddling JVC now offer some very neat extras ie a floatpack (lost my last one in the river) The JVC range of mounts are very easily as flexible as go poo, the bonus being you can get a normal low price camera mount to fit it on to. Oh you can also use the mounts for a normal camera which you would have to by extra fittings for with a GP!
Yes it does not match the so called 4k TV standard GP claim but its very little short and less hassle to use. In the end I would ask a question of many users, yes we want quality but with such a competitive market out there this little machine really takes a lot of beating, yes I could pay a couple of hundred more but in the end this takes brilliant and very stable film with instant zoom, view, download with a great little editing package if you don't have better. JVC have made video cameras for years so know their business, this is clevr thinking and will only get better.

Stewart1701

October 21, 2013, 3:15 am

I have been using Ax1 since it arrived on the scene it has some great advantages over GP in that it uses simple camera mounts that are very easily available, it has a no hassle usability approach with the option to view instantly as well as streaming. Output is of a very good standard with a simple to use editing program included.
My take on this is I want to take good stabilised film with something I do not have to spend loads on to set up i.e. specialised GP mounts that do not allow a normal camera to share without buying extra fittings.
AX2 has now been in my hand for most of the summer, wow what an improvement that will give its rivals a good run for their money.
Do I need 4k resolution in the Go Poo's limited use format, i have used it with GP and to normal users its not so special that one would rave about it, really I just want to make a simple and effective film I am not a tv producer.
This very simple to use Camera takes some real beating and JVC do offer their own accessories with great backup for something they have done from the 70's 'make cameras'. Compare this output to GP its as good if not better,in water like GP it works with a floatpack which in white water is valuable.
Ask a question do I want life to be very simple with instant zoom and touch start with good buttons and bags of easy to use features? Then this does it easily. As to what GP will do then look at the referred to 'Hoover' yes its good but it needs lots of investment at high cost to be flexible, output wise they both compare well, GP needs extra bits at cost to be as instant to use as this. I have both, one sits on the shelf and its not the JVC.
Remember DYSON beat Hoover hands down now Hoover plays catch up. JVC will I no doubt just do what they have always done keep it simple whilst giving a robust product.
Oh and about diving, buy a dive case which you do need to do with GP.

Carl Watson

November 12, 2013, 12:33 pm

I have this camera and in bright conditions it is great but when I go into trees and darker areas it stutters and becomes grainy in 720fps/50 mode with image stabilisation on and auto brightness. Is there anything I can do to improve this ? My older and much cheaper Micam HD96 gave much better results in low light and this sold not be the case

gregfuji

December 29, 2013, 9:05 pm

I just tried my new Adixxion with my dji Phanton . wi fi disconnects when you start the motors. tried several times. I could not control the camera during flight, only on the ground.

Fredrik Hansson

February 4, 2014, 7:34 pm

I have not used this but I am choosing between Sony AS30 and JVC GC-XA2, it's the same price tag but very different cameras. I think Sony is little better in picture quality and image stabilization as well as sound quality. The XA2 is also heavier, clumsier and have shorter battery life thanks to the inbuilt LCD display. Having a separate housing also has the benefit of being cheap and easy to replace if an accident happens and protects the camera itself from scratches. I think the XA2 is more like a small size adventure cam instead of an dedicated action cam. For me the Sony AS30 feels like a better deal but I am not convinced yet.

Anthony Lawrence

June 7, 2014, 9:13 am

I've been using the JVC AX1 for the last year and it's just the best little camera I've seen, the AX2 is what I'd like next. I bought it for chest mount on my mountain bike but used it on holiday as well, on the beach, in the sea, held under the water in rivers to have a look at fish, time lapse picnics and other goings on, short video clips, photos and everything in between. Just brilliant to use, easy to pull out your pocket and use in seconds, then get on your ipad and make a movie.

Tamás Lajtár

November 17, 2014, 9:33 pm

Thanks for the review, it was really a deciding one for me to buy this camera. I was though really disappointed when I've noticed that the lens is not as advertised everywhere! It's only a f3.6 lens... although one of the main selling points was the f2.4 aperture. No wonder there is no improvement compared to the earlier model! I would really like to address this to the right department, as I feel scammed with this. Any suggestions?

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