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JVC’s entry-level digital camcorder is compact, does its job well, and, most importantly for iMac owners, it’s DV-in and out (via FireWire/I-Link). For around £750, it’s one of the most competitively priced models around.
The DVL107 has an 800,000-pixel CCD and a high-resolution LCD colour monitor for framing shots. Although it’s churlish to expect too much of a low-end camcorder, the 107 has enough to help you capture quality images. These are recorded on to MiniDV-tape.
One nice touch is the built-in auto-lamp, which kicks-in when lighting conditions are murky. The light is diffused, too, so subjects don’t look like they’re in a theatre spotlight. Long-play mode lets you squeeze 120 minutes from a single cassette. Unless you’re running the camera off the power adaptor, the batteries won’t last this long.
One thing I did like about this camera is its decent range of fades and wipe effects – more numerous than those found in iMovie. Fade/wipe duration can also be edited by holding the recording button, giving even more control. With 12-bit audio, you can customize your sound track, adding a narrative or soundtrack over the original.
There is also a nice range of shooting modes that can give movies a tailored feel. Twilight makes evening scenes look more natural, while Black-&-White will give an art-house look. There’s also Strobe and Video Echo settings for giving footage a fantasy feel. If you’re not too bothered about adding title sequences, these features mean you barely need iMovie or Final Cut Pro to edit your movie.
Colour reproduction is impressive, helped by this camera’s white-balance functionality. White balance refers to the correctness of colour reproduction under various lighting conditions. If the white balance is correct, all other colours will be accurately reproduced. There are five white-balance settings, covering most conditions under which one is likely record video.
Other goodies included in the price are a remote control and a battery charger.
The most attractive thing about this camcorder is, without a doubt, that it is one of the most affordable DV-in and -out digital camcorders on the market. This means that, for a reasonable price, you can export your imovies (or Final Cut Pro Movies) back to the camera.