JVC GR-DVP3E full review

JVC’s latest consumer MiniDV digital camcorder is touted as being the smallest on the market – and I’ve certainly not seen one more compact. Easily pocket-sized, the GR-DVP3E is smaller than many digital-still cameras. The camera comes with DV-in, essential if you want to transfer footage both to and from your Mac. What is disappointing is that JVC has done away with the DVL107, which at £750 (inc VAT) was the cheapest DV-In and -Out on the market. At least its successor has a feast of features to help justify this price leap – its portability not least among them. Crisp quality
The DVP3E has an 800,000-pixel high-resolution CCD, and its images are crisp and colour-accurate. Like many digital camcorders, the GR-DVP3E also offers a digital-still capability, which is always handy for posting images online or as email attachments. But with no built-in flash and a top resolution of 1,024-x-768 pixels, its still images aren’t of startling quality. JVC claims its Super High-Band processor ensures a horizontal resolution of 520 lines, but none of the stills I captured were any better than average quality – although I didn’t use it out of doors in better light. What is nice is the MPEG4 Video Clip function, that allows you to store 200K, 20-second soundless video-clips to the camera’s 8MB SD Memory Card. You can then use these as email attachments. The camera also comes with a multimedia hub, which JVC calls the Info-Shoe. This gives the camera a USB port, S-Video-out and microphone jacks. Another useful offering is JVC’s Digital NightScope, which combines digital slow-shutter speed and image-progressing technology to boost light sensitivity in low-light shots. Colours end up washed out, but at least it gives serviceable footage in otherwise unshootable conditions. Other features include a Colour LCD screen, remote-control unit, 10x optical/200x digital zoom with spline interpolation, image stabilzer and self-timer. If you’re an iMovie user, then many of the camera’s trumpeted features will be redundant. These include its 12 digital effects and 17 transitions, and its slow motion, sepia and black-&-white modes.
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