JVC GR-DV3U digital camcoder
Nov 2, 1999 (Updated Nov 3, 1999)
Review by spirop
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:compact and high quality
Cons:some functions require complex menus
The GR-DV3 is, to the best of my knowledge, the lightest camcorder ever manufactured. It weighs in at 470 grams, including
Recommend this product?
battery and tape. It is very compact, and fits easily into a coat pocket. I prefer to carry it in a pouch designed for a small 35mm
camera, which attaches to my belt. It is just light enough that it is comfortable to carry this way all day.
The Advantages of Digital Recording
The format uses a tiny cassette which is about half the size of an 8mm camcorder cassette. On this, you can record one
hour at normal speed. (You can record 90 minutes at EP speed, with only a slight reduction in quality. However, there is a risk
of not being able to play it back on any camcorder other than the one it was first recorded on.) It is better than Sony's Digital 8 format, since that makes for bulkier camcorders. Also, Sony is the only one making tha format, and it may fail like Sony's earlier Beta format. If so, you will end up unable to get a new machine to play your digital 8 tapes once your camcorder wears out.
Digital recording means that you can make copies of your tape (to another digital recorder) with no loss in quality. This is
important for making edited copies. If you have a computer equipped with a digital video input card, you can copy video from your
digital camcorder onto your computer, and use your computer to edit your video programs or post videos to the Internet.
The digital standard also happens to be a noticeable step up in quality even from Hi-8, which was until now the highest quality
for home video. Digital recording permits a greater colour bandwith for greater accuracy in colour rendition.
I did a personal subjective test of picture quality by going into a camera store that had various models on display, and doing
some taping with them. This was under normal (moderately dim) indoor lighting conditions. The JVC produced a better picture
than the Canon ZR or Sony TRV5, especially in terms of colour quality and absence of snow. The JVC DVM70, with more pixels in its CCD,
was better than the DV3 in terms of picture sharpness.
You can find a longer, more detailed version of this review on my home page at
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