This camera is absoulte superb. As it should be, it comes in at a low price and it's got all of the standard benefits of a digital camcorder :- . Stereo Audio . Multiple audio bit-depths . A raft of special recording effects which are applied in realtime during playback. . Firewire support9As if it would be any other way.) . A very capable 10 X time optical zoom with x-hundred digital zoom (Completely useless digital zoom as they all are :) ) Specific to this camcorder is the nice small size, easy access control buttons and the excellent zero-lux night/twilight features. If you're going to get this camera I'd recommend that you purchase a nice cheap firewire card and cable kit to go with it for capture to the PC. The card should be about £20 as nothing more expensive gives you more than extra free software, which comes with the camera anyway. Go and hunt down DVIO and Scenealyzer (Free edition) fr quick and easy preperation of your handywork for editing and this camera gives you everything you'll need to get your home movies up to scratch with style.
Ok, so mine isn't actually a 160, it's a 100 series, but on the basis that no-one else has reviewed any of the JVC mini DV camcorders yet, I thought I might as well share my views! I bought my DVL100 from Jessops 2 years ago - it was an ex-shop-display model, and as such was a snip at £399. It has a 10x optical zoom, and 100x digital zoom, has a 1394 i-link DV adapter, and a whole host of audio/visual connectors. It also has a side colour LCD screen for easy filming away from the eye, but you can also use the black & white view piece to save on battery life. I was new to the world of camcorders, and was pleased to find that this particular model comes with all the cables, chargers etc., to link it up to most tv's, video's and editing equipment. Only the DV to PC cable was not provided. Overall I am very impressed with this unit, given the price I paid, and the expectations I had. The unit itself is small and light, and has reasonably good ergonomics. I film the family at work & play, and as such, I don't try and do anything flash with the camera, but it is simple enough to operate, zoom in/out etc. The battery life is good, I get around 3-4 hours filming out of one charge cycle, and if you're near a mains supply, you can use the cable provided to power directly from the charger. It was also a doddle to set up the DVL100 to commuincate with my PC via the ilink 1394 firewire cable. The cable itself cost £20 from a London camera exchange store, and I was pleased to find that there were no compatability issues with the software preinstalled on my laptop. Knowing a little more about camcorders now I have owned one for a while, I'd probably go for one with a better optical zoom. The DVL goes into digital mode too early into a long distance zoom-in, and that leads to a digitized picture full of blocks and hard edges. Maybe it's also from my love of SLR that I feel that the wide-a
ngle, is just not wide enough. Perhaps the more expensive cameras have these facilities more finely fettled than the DVL100. Still, all in all, considering the price I paid, and the job it does, I have to say that I'm very impressed. And there are a host of accessories available in Jessops - so I might try my luck with one of their wide-angle convertors, or zoom upgraders - may do the trick!