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~~~ Introduction ~~~
Just like the digital camera market,the choice in the camcorder market can be just as bewildering.A large percentage of consumers will buy a product based on price(the lower the better)and on first apperance without actually thinking about what features they may need,which in the end will result in the product hardly being used and ending up gathering dust in the bottom of a wardrobe.
The JVC DX 307 is a mid ranged feature packed product which offers ease of use and a handy compact size that will deliver very professonal looking movies that you will treasure for years.The unit works well in allowing you to transfer your movies from camcorder to PC and comes with a good range of accessories.I will list the camcorders main features and how i found them when i used them and at the end of each section will give a score out of 10 to give you some guidance.
~~~ Features ~~~
1/4-inch 1.33 Megapixel CCD
This camera is a single CCD model which is what you would usually find at the mid priced range.Without getting to technical the CCD(Charged coupled device )is what allows all digital products to convert visual images into digital information.More expensive models will have maybe two CCD's which will give better image reproduction.I have found that the 307 handles and reproduces images and colours to a very high standard,it's biggest let down is that sometimes the colours on a bright sunny day look a little to good with greens and blues looking very bright and a bit false.This minor let down can be compensated for by changing and playing around with the camera's many features so it pays to learn the 307's advanced features.
F1.8 Aspherical Super Bright lens
The lens is of a high quality and works really well with the CCD in capturing great looking video.The unit is really fantastic at capturing footage in low light conditions and works well in most conditions you would encounter.
10x Optical Zoom
This is about standard for a mid range camcorder and is easy to control and use,The unit has two sets of buttons for controlling the zoom one situated above the viewfinder if you are not using the LCD display and a set on the control panel if you are using the LCD display.The zoom is smooth in action and performs well,i would however advise use of a tripod when using the higher settings 8x and above as camera shake can become an issue if you don't have a steady hand.
500x Digital Zoom
I don't find digital zoom very useful as the footage quality is quite poor,this is more of a feature used to sell the camera to consumers who don't fully understand the difference between digital and optical (as a tip ignore digital zoom figures and concentrate on the power of optical zoom)
3.0" High Resolution LCD Monitor
The LCD monitor is excellent when in use and displays very well even in very bright sunshine,due to it's light reflective quality.The size is just right in making the monitor an effective tool in capturing professonal looking footage.It is also very easy to clean and very resiliant when in use.
3-D Noise Reduction
This is not to be confused with an audio feature this is a feature which eliminates up to 30% of noise in low light situations.This automatic feature which allows the unit to produce great footage even in low light conditions
This is a built-in auto light using LED's that have a lower power consumptions than traditional bulbs.Once again this feature is excellent for use indoors and in low light conditions
MMC/ SD Card Slot (8M SD card provided)
Having a built in card slot allows you to capture footage to the DV tape or memory card allowing easy transfer of footage from camcorder to PC,With SD card prices very low it makes this a really handy feature.
Digital Stills capture with 4 selectable Image Size Settings (1600x1200/1280x960/1024x768/640x480 pixel)
This feature allows you to use the camcorder as a backup digital stills camera the image quality is ok but is not intended to replace dedicated digital camera.I found the image quality good when reproducing images at 6x4 size.
Great to use if you need to conserve battery power as it allows you to turn off the LCD display,the viewfinder is well positioned and comfortable to use
Full Function Remote Control
Handy for activating the unit if positioned on a tripod and for use at home when viewing back footage.Also comes supplied with a battery.
Digital Image Stabilizer
This feature is for reducing camera shake and works automatically allowing you to capture very steady looking footage.Very effective when you are zooming in close to subjects and virtually eliminating the need for a tripod(great for those of us who don't have a very steady hand
USB PC Link for Video CD Creation, Email Video Clips (MPEG-4 Streaming and MPEG-1 Video Capture)
Making transfering of footage to your PC very easy,will also allow you to use the unit as a webcam and email short clips to your friends and family.
PCM Digital Stereo Audio
The sound quality is very crisp and the built in mic is very good a capturing sound even at greater distances
Advanced features and effects
Manual focus, Exposure, and White Balance modes,Wide Mode Digital Wipes and Black Fader.These are effects that can be used to make gaps between footage look more proffesional.They are easy to setup and use,the white balance modes work well when left on the automatic setting.
700 mAh Lithium-ion high capacity rechargeable battery with built-in AC power adapter/charger
The rechargeable battery is very light and offers long usage times dependant on features and setting in use,it also takes less than an hour to fully charge.
S-Video Output and i.Link Digital Input/Output (IEEE 1394 compliant)also known as firewire DV in/out
These allow for easy connection to PC and TV for fast high quality transfer and viewing of footage and all leads are supplied with the exception of the firewire connection
The unit comes with av and audio connection leads,full instructions and driver CD which also includes easy to use software for footage transfer and editing.
Weight 1.0 LBS.
3.7 INCHES by 3.7 INCHES by 2.1INCHES
~~~ Summary ~~~
Ths is a feature packed easy to use product that works well on automatic mode but works best when time is taken to learn the more advanced features.Not the smallest of camcorders but just the right size for comfortable use and control and very light.Footage reproduction is excellent quality and ease of viewing and footage transfer make this a highly reccomended product.
overall score 9/10
Pictures of JVC GR-DX307
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