Product Type: JVC digital camcorders
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At Last, just one camera
JVC Everio GZ-MG575
Member Name: pebegator
JVC Everio GZ-MG575
Disadvantages: Battery,will have to fork out for a bigger one
Could find little or no information on this camera other than sales blurb and moans about the supplied software from the USA also supplied with other Everio models, more on the excellent software later. Hence the review.
Was a bit hesitant to buy, but on the theory of there being no pockets in shrouds and always being a bit cavalier went ahead and brought it anyway, devil take the hindmost and all that. If ever youíve been to Malaya, Singapore etc you will know that carrying one large camera, let alone a camcorder as well is an effort in the sticky heat, even a packet of fags feels like the weight of a house brick after a couple of hours, enter the Everio, just one light small camera that does most of it all (well) and less leads, instructions and no media to pack or remember. No rewinding of the dreaded tape to find a spare bit. Donít be put off by reviews that say hard drive camera files canít be edited as well as tape, this is not so due to the excellent software supplied/available. This I tried on trial before buying the camera.
You wouldnít be reading this review though if you had not already considered the above advantages so letís proceed with what the camera is like, looks good in the pictures, black and solid, well the black bit is right but build quality is not up there with my favourite brand Canon who alas have not yet embraced this hard disc technology and Hitachi who insist on building in a DVD drive on all the range meaning more bits to carry, buy and read up on. Only had one Sony camcorder , a hi8 and wasnít impressed with that or the TV I brought at the same time, always thought of them as the odd man out with memory sticks, Beta max etc, so that just leaves JVC in the frame. Being mid fifties I suppose Iím used to these sort of things being solid and designed by a Victorian but the Everio feels like a black eggshell however this said all the controls, buttons and screen are solid enough for purpose and I suppose even if you built it in a titanium case if it were to come into contact with a hard surface it would be game over anyway, Iím not willing to try a drop test at the moment to see if the hard disk damper/sensor works or if the case puts up with impact, weight is also a factor here. Donít let these comments put you off though, it looks good, well finished and the operational parts are solid enough and buttons just in the right place even for my large hands. At the end of the day all youíre looking for is a means to hold all the bits in place and keep the dust out . Instruction book is concise , small enough to carry in pocket and crystal clear in layout, easy to find the bit you want without much gnashing of teeth as is not always the case with some manufactures. After a few hours use you will not need said book anyway as this camera is so user friendly with itís menu itís unreal, this is where it scores above my two years old Canon , I think my eighty year old mother could pick it up in a week. If you press the wrong button it lets you know visually. So then to sum up on the camera :
PROS, Good still photoís, good video in good light, good sound, light weight and small, easy to use, does what it says on the box. Excellent built in lens cover on a switch, gone are the days of cover on a bit of string banging on the mic on a windy day. Built in still flash.
Can find files taken quickly and easy, no waiting for tapes to rewind and it always records on a new bit so no fear of writing over babies first breath or whatever.
CONS, Poor battery life with supplied battery, about three quarters of an hour max, expect to pay about £80 for the larger extra one or £40 for another as supplied, canĎt use any other make of battery. Poor auto low light video despite built in video light, this might be down to me not bothering to use the correct manual setting though. Gone are the days of making audience feel sick by panning too fast, the resulting image is awful if you try, may be a good thing. No view finder, no supplied case but who has these days.
Right thatís the camera bit out the way then, next the supplied dock ( not the direct to dvd writer which is extra ). Gone are the days of fiddly wires and plugs which you can hang yourself with ? Wrong, if you follow the instructions to the letter all itís any good for is charging the battery of which you will spend many hours doing due to the poor battery life. To transfer files to a pc they suggest, nay insist plugging in the USB cable direct to camera, donít say why, and powering with ac mains supply, canít power the camera from dock with usb cable in Ďcause it wonít fit with usb cable in, result two fiddly cables to fit after breaking fingernails getting the flaps open (not really that bad) but think it defeats the object of the dock. Never have I done what I was told even as a child so I thought why canít you use the usb connection from the dock ? Probably another join in the system and poor transfer perhaps, loss of data, knacker the camera hard drive even ? Beggar it, lets try it anyway, to date, and I hope Iím not crowing too soon, works perfectly every time, try it at your own risk though. I leave the dock all wired up at the back of the desk, turn on the power and just plop the camera in to charge/transfer, this is what I was led to believe happened in the blurb.
Next, transferring file to pc . Supplied software. I have read many reports on forums in the US of Everio problems with getting files on to the pc, canít transfer, no sound, poor software supplied etc nearly put me off buying this camera I can tell you, load of rubbish, utter twoddle. First point, if you are the sort of person whether it be lack of time, or perhaps just donít give a hoot who just wants to put video on a dvd, warts and all buy the transfer dock, no pc needed, however if you want to polish your video read on.
Point one, can connect to pc like any other removable storage and drag and drop files to wherever on the pc, will play in windows media player, no software needed. Like all video work you need a pc big enough, with hard drive/s defragged and all the clutter removed etc, no good blaming the camera or the software supplied.
Point two, the supplied software consists of Cyberlink power cinema ne this is great as shows all files on camera to back up / copy, dead easy plug and play stuff.
There is also something for dvd writing but have not loaded this so canít comment as writing ability comes with the full version (brought) software following.
Final part is power cinema power director 5 ne, a cut down version of the main program, great, but no way to put text on video and other things missing, would do the job though.
Point three, donít think you are going to use your present video editing software Ďcause it probably wonít be able to use the MOD, MPEG2 files this camera produces with the exception of Adobe premier elements and one other that I canít remember and am too lazy to look up now. But donít worry your spending £500 upwards on the camera perhaps so donít be an old tight wad and buy the full version of power cinema 6 for about £50 odd quid, well worth it, comes first in top ten software review, handles this codec and can publish/ save in all sorts of formats. I use the dvd quality MPEG2 to save files, it is 75% smaller than AVI so uses less hard drive space. I will probably die now before it uses up all my external hard drive. Power cinema looks on first use like the sort of thing an American would love, ( probably the market itís made for ) comes from Taiwan though, magic this and glitzy that, get under itís skin though and thereís not much it canít do with the exception of scrolling credits and fade out to white/black, the latter can be overcome with transitions. All sorts of things it can do though but this is the subject of another review but will say that backup if needed is good, reply within six hours (re the fading to black bit) and probably the easiest video software I have ever used and I think I have tried them all at some time. If you download the trial, then buy, you have to re download a new file and itís big, thatís the only downside, but available in the UK in a box from July 07. Hope this has put possible buyers of the Everio 575 at ease.
Summary: Good camera that does it all, Good supplied software (cut down version)
|Ease of use:|
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