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JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2 - Mounting, Controls, Image Quality, Verdict

By James Morris

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
JVC ADIXXION GC-XA

Summary

Our Score:

9

JVC GC-XA2: Mounting

Unfortunately, the JVC GC-XA2 doesn't come with the plethora of mounting options that some action cameras are supplied with. Instead, a single flexible mount is included, although this has been developed since the original ADIXXION. It's still primarily aimed at helmet mounting, although it could also fit well on a car dashboard.

JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2

The base of this mount is now a flexible plastic disc with five notches, so you can stick it more securely than the previous one onto a convex surface like a helmet or a non-flat dashboard. The camera attaches to the mount via a ball joint, which allows you to position it at a variety of angles. Once you screw this down, it's pretty solid, although a sharp knock could displace it.

The XA2 has a standard tripod screw hole with notch on the side as well as the bottom, so can be attached to any regular mounts in a variety of orientations. JVC also offers an optional goggle mount, as well as roll-bar and handlebar mounts, covering the main usage scenarios, although the goggle mount was included as standard with the XA1 and isn't with the XA2.

JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2

JVC GC-XA2: Controls

One thing that the XA2 has over most action cameras is that it has an LCD screen built-in as standard. It's only a 1.5-inch display, and menu text can be a little hard to read as a result, but it's still great to have this available. The LCD is not a touch screen, so the settings are accessed via rubber membrane buttons on the top, which also control the 5x digital zoom.

Unsurprisingly, there aren't a lot of manual settings available. You can adjust brightness up or down by six steps. There is the usual array of white balance presets, plus blue and green underwater options, but no manual configuration. A small selection of video effects are available, too, but as usual we would recommend leaving this until the editing phase.

JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2

As before, and in line with pretty much every self-respecting action camera these days, there's built-in Wi-Fi that offers a variety of extra features. A new ADIXXION Sync app is available for iOS, Android, Windows and MacOS. Once you have connected to the ADIXXION's Wi-Fi, you can trigger record and operate the digital zoom, as well as configure most camera settings.

You can also now monitor up to four ADIXXION camcorders at once, if you need to keep track of multiple viewpoints. As before, it's possible to link the XA2 up to USTREAM, for live video broadcasting over the Internet. You can also upload directly to YouTube without the need of an intervening computer. However, both of these facilities require the use of the app to enter the details of the wireless access point the camcorder must use.

JVC GC-XA2: Image Quality

Image quality in good lighting is decent for a camcorder this size. There's plenty of fine detail, although colours are slightly muted in bright conditions. As with many action cameras, the lens has a pronounced wide-angle that distorts straight lines, although the large field of view is very useful in a camcorder that you won't be pointing as carefully as a handycam.

Extremes in contrast are a little problematic, but the lens has a very long depth of field, so you can grab clear footage of close objects as well as those that are far away. Lovely bokeh effects may be fashionable, but you are better off keeping focusing deep in an action camera. Also, whilst the image stabilisation is digital, it uses a gyro sensor, and is more effective than some digital systems.

The lens is now rated at f/2.4, where the XA1's lens was rated at f/2.8, and we did notice an improvement in low light performance compared to the earlier model. In our 100W ceiling light test, even the 1080/50p footage is brighter than the 25p Full HD footage was before, with only a hint of grain. The relatively large back-side illuminated CMOS pays dividends here.

JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2

Should I buy the JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2?

The JVC ADIXXION GC-XA2 is a tempting proposition. It lacks the headline 4K resolution and high data rate options of the GoPro HERO3 Black Edition. However, it also has JVC's traditional trick up its sleeve – a keen price. At around £250, the XA2 is very reasonable for the image quality and features it has to offer, making it a great choice for capturing all manner of extreme sports activities.

Verdict

JVC's ADIXXION GC-XA2 is a capable Wi-Fi-enabled action camera, with a good range of features for the money.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Image Quality 9
  • Perfomance 9
  • Value 10

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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