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Video Surveillance and Basic Specifications

By James Morris



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First of all, you can send video emails. The main menu has an icon for this, which calls up the mode. When you hit record, you're given a five-second count down, so you can take your place in front of the camera. Then a fixed amount of video is recorded (15 seconds by default), after which you can choose to send the clip to an email address you nominated in the setup process. A similar facility is provided by the detection system. This can be set to send a picture when motion is detected, or when a human face is detected. So you can use the camera as a security system, or a creepy surveillance system, depending on how you look at it.

There's a lot of set up required to get these two facilities to work, but fortunately, another feature you can use with the EX215's own built-in wireless access point can make life easier: a Web interface for the main settings. You connect your wireless device, which could also be a notebook, to the EX215's WLAN, then enter the IP address provided into your browser, and you can configure the various parameters for mail servers and passwords, which is a lot less fiddly and prone to mistakes than using the camcorder's LCD panel.

You can also set the camcorder to be controllable over a pre-existing wireless network. Thanks to UPnP, the iPhone and Android apps will find the camera automatically. But you can also enter the IP address into a Web browser and access the same set of controls that way. This Web interface also lets you configure settings, too. Using a DDNS service, it's even possible to make the camcorder accessible outside your local network, so you can control it over the Internet.

JVC HD Everio GZ-EX215

These are all pretty amazing features, particularly at this price, but the underlying camcorder is a little less exciting. The EX215 is based around a small 1/5.8in CMOS sensor with just 1.5MP, although this is back-illuminated so will perform better in low light than its size would imply. Video is recorded at a maximum of Full HD and 24Mbits/sec, although two standard definition options are also available. There’s a time lapse recording option, too, with intervals from 1 to 80 seconds possible, and a high speed recording mode for creating slow motion. The latter drops resolution, though, and the high frame rate necessitates a high shutter speed, so both image quality and low light performance are behind regular speed shooting. A single SDXC memory card slot is integrated for video storage, with no memory built in.

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