Image stabilisation comes in the form of JVC’s Advanced IS, which has two settings. There’s a standard general-purpose mode, plus an additional setting. This is tuned for the lower-frequency, but more pronounced undulations of shooting whilst walking. We found this mode was pretty effective at its intended task, although it crops into the frame noticeably. This will mean a reduction in image quality, so this mode should only be used when needed. On the other hand, standard mode is not as effective as some optical systems at smoothing vibrations when zoomed in.
The E205 doesn’t excel in manual features, either. In auto mode, the quick menu primarily consists of JVC’s unusual animation effect, accessible by a large button in the centre of the touchscreen. This lets you superimpose moving particle effects over your video as you shoot, such as sparks or hearts. It’s an impressive capability for a budget camcorder, but not necessarily one we’d recommend using often. It’s easier and more effective to add this kind of effect at the editing stage.
Even when do switch to manual mode, you will need to delve into the main menu to access the usual settings. Manual focusing is available, although getting this pin-sharp using the touchscreen is quite a trial. You can also configure white balance manually, with presets for sunny or cloudy outdoor conditions, plus halogen indoor lighting, as well as fully manual. There are also two underwater options – Marine:Blue and Marine:Green – although this is not a waterproof camcorder, so we’re not entirely sure when you would use them, unless you purchase a diving housing. You can also adjust brightness between 2 and -2EV, but no separate control over shutter and iris is available.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test each product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare things properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.