JVC Everio GZ-MG330 (30GB, Red)
Manufacturer: JVC Part number: GZ-MG330R
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- Bottom Line:
- The near-identical models of the JVC Everio GZ-MG300 series--the MG330, MG335, MG360 and MG365--are budget-priced, hard-drive-based camcorders that are nice enough, but produce typical low-budget video.
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as of 07/12/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $698.45
- Reviewed by: Tony Gomez
- Edited by: Lori Grunin
- Reviewed on: 07/22/2008
- Released on: 05/09/2008
The good: Attractive price; compact design; holds hours of video.
The bad: No eye-level viewfinder, mic input, or headphone jack; persistent video compression artifacts.
The bottom line: The near-identical models of the JVC Everio GZ-MG300 series--the MG330, MG335, MG360 and MG365--are budget-priced, hard-drive-based camcorders that are nice enough, but produce typical low-budget video.
JVC Everio GZ-MG330
by mkochmo on February 27, 2008
Pros: Size, features, DVD burning ability, image quality/performance, zoom, hard rive format, cost
Cons: Could use better low-light optics, 1MPCCD or better
Summary: I did 2+ months of research before finally buying a hard-drive camcorder, and I was dismayed by many of the reviews -some perfect scores, some zero's, on the same ...
Summary: I did 2+ months of research before finally buying a hard-drive camcorder, and I was dismayed by many of the reviews -some perfect scores, some zero's, on the same camcorder. Quickly figured out the professional-level and amateur are both reviewing these things, with very differnt viewpoints and needs. Hopefully this review will help all of you!
I have owned 4 higher-end camcorders for the past 10 years - those that the "normal" consumer (family) would buy for use, without having to pay $1000 or more (all of mine were $600 or less). I am NOT a professional photographer, but rather a very avid/busy photographer interested in capturing family experiences - concerts, sporting events, graduations, vacations, pets, grandparents, family times, etc - what 95% of us use camcorders for. All the previous camcorders I have owned have been 1MP or better CCDs to provide the best video possible for the "normal" user, without paying more than $600 for any one of them. I have historically only owned Canon and JVC camcorders, and recommend both lines.
All previous camcorders were mini-DV tape format - I just recently had 100+ tapes converted to all DVDs - very nice if you have not done so yet. It will cost you about $11-13 per DVD (2 hours of video) to get yours professionally transferred, with menus, etc. Well worth the $$. I just resold my previous Canon Elura70 1.3MP camcorder, which served me well for 3+ years. I wanted to move to the "future" and go with either a DVD, HD, or flash-drive, or combo. Something that would allow me to better archive and copy my footage myself (DVDs, etc).
After 2+ months of reviewing, I was all but sold on the Canon HG-10 - high-def, multi-MP camcorder, with a hard drive. Reviews were very strong. But I liked the size/features of the JVC. The HG-10 looked unbeatable. Then I went to a store and compared them side-by-side, and was pleasantly surprised by the JVC performance and feel (in the store) and by the notable size difference (HG-10 about twice the size). I decided to take a chance on the JVC, even though it was not high-def, 1+MP CCD resolution, etc.
For the above explained purposes, this camcorder is, hands down, THE BEST VALUE and size and features and results that the "normal" user can ask for, at this price. The size is phenominally small, the features, ergonomics, and usage are near perfect, and the video quality is excellent to very good under most instances. I have now used this to film outdoors, indoors, and what I consider a VERY difficult scenario - a high school concert, dimly lit in a big auditoruim, with bright backlighting behind the performers, and from a distance of several hundred feet, zooming in 20x or more to see a full face image (my 16-year old) in the screen. Under this very difficult scenario, and viewing the video on my 52-inch 1080P Samsung (a VERY unforgiving LCD TV for less-than high-def images - remember the larger the playback monitor, the harder it is on video as it will show every imperfection in the signal/images), the video was EXCELLENT up to a zoom length of about 22x. After 22x zoom (which is pretty darn far), the image got somewhat grainy on the 52" TV. Images at less than 22x zoomed, on my huge TV, looked phenominal under these poor image filming conditions. This is impressive, if you consider the zoom ratio (and hand-held!), and then played back on a hi-res 52" monitor!!! When viewed on a smaller 20" TV or my 17" computer monitor, the zoomed video looked flawless in these dim conditions up to the full 35x optical zoom - I was impressed, and sold on keeping the camcorder. The digital image stabilizer works well once zoomed to where you are going, but a bit jittery while zooming - I did the above hand-held resting my elbow on the seat armrest only, and had NO jitters in the image once zoomed in or out. I was blown away by the quality of this less-than 1MP, less-than-Hi-def CCD sensor even given the tough situation/playback described above - BUY THIS CAMCORDER!!!!
All other videos I took under normal lighting - in the house during the day, outside, etc. were flawless when viewed on my 52" TV.
There is an Auto mode (everything done for you), and a Manual mode, where you can adjust the most common settings (white balance, shutter speed, "scenes" or enhancements to the video, etc.) I tried both, and for most of what I will ever do (and have done for 12+ years), Auto is all you need.
The laser-touch slide bar for menu access is intuitively genious, and easy to use. Menu's are simple and understandable, the users guide is brief and informative, and within 15 minutes, I understood every feature of this machine. Battery usage has been reported less than great, but I get a full 90-100 minutes from the standard battery - just buy another one for a spare. And the on-screen battery life sensor (minutes remaining) is way cool with JVC batteries.
Burning DVD is SIMPLE, and connectivity is SIMPLE on this camcorder. I was able to burn and copy a DVD with the push of 1 button when connected to my desktop that has a DVD burner. Very simple to use. I am 100% sold on this camcorder for what I (and most people) will ever use it for.
I cannot underscore the simplicity of usage. That, on top of the image quality, sold me.
For stills, don't even bother using this - I did not even try (seriously), and never will. If you are a true photographer, even amateur, spend $150 and get a 6+MP digital Canon camera or similar, fits in your shirt pocket, and KEEP STILLS SEPARATE FROM VIDEOS!! I have had 2MP CCD video camcorders in the past that took terrible stills, so why bother???? THIS IS A VIDEO CAMERA!! I would love to see manfacturers stop trying to combine both into 1 package.
If you are a high-end videographer, you need to skip this (why are you even considering a camcorder for under $500????), buy at least the Canon HG-10 (which is wonderful except a clunk in size compared to the JVC), or go for an even better camcorder and spend an extra $500 doing so. For the price, this is more than 99% of what the normal users will ever need and expect for under $600. Period.
My only reccomendation to JVC - consider upgrading the CCD to a true 1MP or better, for enhanced low-light video imagery. This is a wish list only item, as the images are pretty darn good as-is, and the larger f1.2 lens and 1+MP CCD that would be required for that will defeat the size/form factor that you get with the 330.
Bottom line - best darn harddrive based mini-camcorder out there at close to this price - BUY IT!! (and you can choose any of the cool colors - a WOW factor to say the least). And, if you buy from a reuptable dealer, you'll have 15-30 days to test it like I did, and not worry about having to return it. If that happens, nothing lost, just get the HG-10 or better!!
12 out of 12 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: JVC
- Part number: GZ-MG330R
- Description: Everio has been redesigned to offer more satisfaction in a smaller, lighter body. It's the world's smallest and lightest hard disk camcorder, so you can shoot actively without fatigue, and travel with lots of space left over when you pack your bags. Everio camcorder is available in "gem" color.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Camcorder
- Enclosure Color Ruby red
- Digital Zoom 800 x
- Camcorder Media Type Hard disk drive
- Optical Sensor Size 1/6"
- Optical Sensor Type CCD
- Analog video format NTSC
- Digital Video Format MPEG-2
- Image Stabilizer Electronic
- Min Shutter Speed 1/2 sec
- Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 sec
- Shooting modes Digital photo mode
- Camera Flash None
- Image Recording Format JPEG
- AV Interfaces Composite video/audio
- Type Konica Minolta 35 x x Zoom lens - 2.2 mm - 77 mm - F/1.8-4
- Lens aperture F/1.8-4
- Features Built-in lens shield
- Optical Zoom 35 x
- Lens system type Zoom lens
- Min focal length 2.2 mm
- Max focal length 77 mm
- Filter Size 30.5 mm
- Focus Adjustment Manual,
- Zoom Adjustment Motorized drive
- Built-in Light Yes
- Additional Features DPOF support,
Dolby Digital AC-3 (2 channel) recording,
USB 2.0 compatibility,
- Remote control Camcorder remote control - Infrared
- Software Drivers & Utilities
- Included Accessories Camcorder shoulder strap,
IR remote control,
Audio / video cable
- Viewfinder Type None
- Type 2.7 in LCD display
- Connector Type 1 x USB,
1 x Composite video/audio (input/output),
1 x DC power input
Memory / Storage
- Media type Hard disk drive
- Memory Card Slot microSD card
- Internal Storage 30 GB Hard disk drive
- Image Storage JPEG 640 x 480
- Supported Battery JVC BN-VF808U
- Supported Battery 1 x JVC BN-VF808U Li-ion rechargeable battery ( Included )
- Audio input type Microphone
- Microphone type Built-in
- Microphone Operation Mode Stereo
- Min Operating Temperature 32 °F
- Max Operating Temperature 104 °F
- Min Storage Temperature -4 °F
- Max Storage Temperature 122 °F
- Humidity Range Operating 35 - 80%
Viewfinder / Display
- Display Features Rotating
- Width 2.1 in
- Depth 4.7 in
- Height 2.7 in
- Weight 11.1 oz
- Sony LCE X3TH - case for camcorder (34881135)344.95
- Sony SPK HCH - marine case for camcorder (35266605)299.00 - 299.99
- Porta-Brace Rain Slicker RS-55 - rain jacket for camcorder (31059775)239.84 - 242.17
- Canon HC 4100 - hard case for camcorder (30584700)239.95 - 256.30
- JVC KA-551U tripod adapter (32090695)295.00
- KATA PRO Video Collection CCC-10-A - carrying bag for camcorder (34400943)325.00
- KATA PRO Video Collection CCC-1A - case for camcorder (34931653)299.00
- Panasonic AG-HT30G - hard case for camcorder (30964047)270.34
- Portabrace P2HD-EFP-BAG - carrying bag for camcorder (34529516)351.95
- Sony LC-ZA1TH Hard Thermodyne Transit Case - hard case for camcorder (32464209)209.00 - 214.95