JVC were the first in the industry to release a camcorder equipped with a hard-disk. Even though they set a standard of quality, JVC is under high scrutiny from its competitors who are manufacturing better, and more appealing camcorders – take for example the latest flash memory models which are selling like crazy.
The JVC Everio is the company’s product line that aims at the current trend which is all about lightweight, and able-to-fit in your pocket compact camcorders.
On the affordable line we can find the JVC Everio GZ-MG330. It’s aesthetically pleasing, for the fashion-conscious filmmaker, and it comes in silver, black, red, and blue – to better suit your outfit for the day.
JVC Everio Camcorder Review
It looks like a fruit, cucumbers come to mind when handling the JVC Everio GZ-MG330. JVC built a 1/6 inch CCD that features 800,000 pixels. Cut that in half, and you’ll get the exact number used for video-shooting, and picture grabs – just barely.
Its highest quality digital photos will output a resolution of 640 x 480. It’s understandable, and it’s more than enough for this budget camcorder.
But it does come equipped with a rather high-quality small sensor which allows the user to use its optical zoom up to 35x. You can easily digital enhance the zoom up to 70x, and even to an absurd level of 800x.
It has a built-in manual shutter that can be found just right over the lens, and it can be controlled by using the switch on the side. There’s no cap due to the placement of the shutter.
The JVC Everio’s GZ-MG330 microphone is located at the front of the camera. JVC strayed away from their traditional top-placement which has become an industry standard – the majority of camcorders these days place their microphone just on top.
Storage space isn’t lacking, and you can even say it’s quite plentiful. The MG330 comes with a 30 GB storage on which your video will be primarily recorded. You also have the possibility of adding a micro-SDHC card.
Your videos will output a resolution of about 720 x 576, that is almost the standard DVD resolution, and the camcorder’s software will compress any video shot using the MPEG-2 compression.
You’ll be able to choose between the camcorder’s four quality modes.
- Eco – 1.5 Mbits per second.
- Norm – 4.2 Mbits per second.
- Fine – 5.5 Mbits per second.
- Ultra Fine – 8.5 Mbits per second.
Using the Eco mode will ensure that you’ll get about 37 hours of video all together. Using the Ultra Fine cuts down its capacity to just barely 7 hours.
Its default auto settings aren’t pleasing enough for enthusiast videomakers, but alas, this isn’t aimed at enthusiasts. Regular Joes will find the JVC Everio GZ-MG330 to be more than satisfying.
JVC does offer the possibility of tuning your video to a more artistic level, if you will. Their in-house Laser Touch Operation is a control system, which you use to see, and subsequently change settings as you please.
You’ll notice a blue light pulsating that will make you reminisce of David Hasselhoff’s Knight Rider, and his KITT.
It’s not overly complicated, but you will need to skim the JVC Everio manual to get the most out of their software.
If you plan on meddling with its settings in manual mode, the camcorder offers entry to mid-level features – again, you’ll have to look into the JVC Everio manual to see what exactly they do, and where in the menu system you’ll find them.
It tries to compete with Canon, and Panasonic’s new camcorders, but it falls a little bit short.
In the first level of the menu you’ll find AE modes, AGC, which means auto gain control, and blacklight compensation. AE modes include:
The JVC Everio software doesn’t stop with features just here, and on the menu’s second tier, you’ll fine a somewhat plethora of options. The standard white balance is present in JVC’s device, and it includes presets like Halogen, Cloud, and Fine – also you can tick it to auto, and manual as you please.
Controlling exposure can be found in Brightness, but it’s highly limited – plus 6, and minus 6 is all you have, and it doesn’t even integrate with F-stops. It does offer the possibility of manually setting shutter speeds for half to 1/4000th.
The tele-macro, and its other related features which include the standard variety of digital effects, are worthwhile only if the user wishes to edit his footage on a PC.
You can’t connect an external microphone, and it doesn’t even have a minijack input if you plan on listening with headphones.
It does great job shooting in good lighting conditions, and it performs rather well outdoors outputting nicely-done saturated footage in automatic mode, and videos seem sharp, and full of life. The digital image stabilization feature was a pleasant surprise, which I thought, at first, was going to be a minus point.
But, as we are accustomed to the flaw that all camcorders who come built-in with the rather small, but high-quality, 1/6-inch sensor, the JVC Everio’s GZ-MG330 kryptonite is low light settings. It doesn’t output weak footage filled with noise, and it has quite surpassed my initial expectations, but I can’t think of any other place of using the video caught other than showing it to my friends and family.
JVC Everio battery life stands true to its roots at approximately five hours on a full charge. You can use any standard JVC Everio charger, but you should always check the manual – maybe you bought a different model, and the manufacturer states otherwise.
Fair warning, people who are using Windows 8, and 8.1 have encountered issues, as in the OS doesn’t recognize their device, or its files. Windows XP, Vista, and 7 work perfectly.
The JVC Everio software for Windows 8 does not work, and the OS doesn’t recognize the camcorder.
There is no information if the JVC Everio software, or device can be paired with Windows 10.
Your package should come with the JVC Everio MediaBrowser. If it doesn’t, you can get it right here – Everio MediaBrowser Download.
JVC Everio GZ-MG330 Verdict
75 out of 100!
Like I said before, enthusiasts will feel disappointed if they choose to buy the JVC Everio GZ-MG330, but this little cucumber-shaped camcorder’s features will be a handful for newcomers.
It weighs less than 400 grams, and although it may seem a little bit on the chubby side, it’s compact, and easily carried in your jacket’s pocket, tote bag, purse, handbag, or rucksack without sacrificing a lot of space.
Decent image quality, and affordable.
JVC Everio GZ-MG330 Price – $399