In well lit outdoor conditions, the Everio does a commendable job. Even in fully automatic mode, footage is nicely saturated, yet true to life. The digital image stabilisation was better than we expected, too. As with all camcorders relying on a small 1/6in sensor, the MG330’s biggest weakness is low light. But even here it outperformed our expectations. We were quite impressed at how much colour information was retained in relatively gloomy conditions – a particular weakness of JVC’s camcorders in the past. There wasn’t a huge amount of grain in low light, either, although colours become yellow-biased in our regular ‘100W-illuminated living room’ test. Overall, the MG330 punches above its weight in most conditions.
When it comes to previewing and editing the results, there are two options. A minijack is available, with a breakout cable for hooking up to a TV via composite analogue video and stereo RCA audio. Alternatively, a USB connection lurks secretively at the front of the unit, hidden next to the built-in microphone. Footage can be dragged off or imported onto a PC or Mac. The Everio’s MOD video files are now widely supported by video software, having been around for about four years. So there should be no issues editing the clips.
Despite being a hard disk-based camcorder, the JVC Everio GZ-MG330 weighs less than 400g. It’s still a bit heavy and bulky for carrying around in a pocket of any nature, but you won’t think twice about stuffing it in a bag when you head out for a trip. This is rather impressive, and negates one of the weaknesses of the hard disk camcorder format. Couple that with its decent image quality in most conditions and very reasonable price, and the Everio GZ-MG330 makes for a bargain choice.
Score in detail
Image Quality 7