- Great image quality
- Extensive WiFi features
- Manual settings
- No lens ring
- Few discrete control buttons
- Manual settings in full menu only
Review Price £492.20
When we reviewed JVC's HD Everio GZ-EX215, we were impressed by its wireless abilities, but a little surprised to see that they had been partnered with essentially an entry-level camcorder. But this isn't the only model in JVC's latest range to sport the same WLAN functionality. The JVC HD Everio GZ-GX1 combines this with much more capable camcorder specifications.
Where the EX215 has a small 1/5.8in CMOS, the GX1 uses a large 1/2.3in CMOS, which similarly sports back-side illumination to boost sensitivity. It also offers a hefty 10.62Mpixels, although JVC adds a small amount of interpolation to allow still images up to 3,968 x 2,976. Video is recorded at Full HD resolution in AVCHD format, with data rates up to 27Mbits/sec. There’s a 50p mode, too. No memory is built in, just a single SDXC-compatible card slot. With a 64GB card installed, there will be room for five hours of footage at the top quality setting.
The optical zoom is a decent but not outstanding 10x, which can be increased to 15x with the dynamic option enabled. This takes advantage of extra CMOS pixels to boost the factor without losing resolution. However, with image stabilisation enabled the dynamic zoom mode drops to 13x. The image stabilisation is optical, but has been branded Enhanced Advanced by JVC. It has three modes, depending on whether you’re using the camcorder handheld with high zoom, or wide angle whilst walking.
There are plenty of features here for the videomaking enthusiast. A standard-sized accessory shoe is located on top, with a plastic panel to protect it when not in use. So you will be able to attach a host of third-party accessories. There are minijacks available for an external microphone and headphones, with the ability to adjust audio levels in the main menu.
You don't get a lens ring or any kind of physical adjustment knob, though, and discrete control buttons are few and far between. Virtually all settings must be accessed via the touchscreen, and JVC's menu system does its best to hide the GX1's abilities from novice users. The main menu foregrounds the wireless functions, alongside controls for the smile shutter and smile name detection systems.
There is also direct access to the GX1's strange animated drawing facilities, which go even further than earlier versions. You can add an animated particle stream, such as floating hearts or snow, end even add hats, glasses or facial hear to your subjects. There's a facility to draw onscreen as you record - and a stylus included in the box to help with this. You can stamp symbols in the frame, too, such as hearts (again).