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JVC Everio GZ-MG505EK 3-CCD Hard Disk Camcorder + 5MP [30GB Hard Disk, 2.7" LCD screen]
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The JVC EVERIO GZ-MG505EK Digital Media Camera is the flagship member of the JVC EVERIO family;The GZ-MG505EK records DVD quality Video or thousands of photo quality stills to a 30GB Hard Disk;JVC combines this with 3 CCD/5 Megapixel performance;The GZ-MG505EK creates sharp and vivid images by dedicating a 1.33 (1.23 effective) Megapixel CCD to each colour -red,green and blue;To fully capitalize on the camera's inherent picture performance, JVC's Megabrid Imaging Engine separately processes video and still signals, providing optimal processing for each;Megabrid technology assures high sensitivity and high signal to noise ratio for moving images, and clear, high resolution progressive still images
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It records at the resolution of 720x560, at the Ultra fine settings, and the 30GB hard disk can record up to 7 hrs of footage (which is more than enough if using it for home videos) and 14 hrs on the economy quality settings. I haven't used it on the economy settings so not sure what the quality is like. The quality of shooting indoors and at night time is very impressive too, much better than my previous Sony DVD-202E with 800k CCD. The camera does becomes hot after about two hours of continuous use, about which it warns on the camcorder. Neither on the website nor does here it tells you what the battery life is, so I bought a extra battery . The battery it comes with is small in size and lasts up to 45 mins, so if you are thinking of shooting longer than that then an extra battery will help, the one being sold here last up to 250 mins but is much bigger in size.
It record in .MOD format, which when I changed to .mpg extension worked with all the normal media players. It connects to PC via a USB and files and be copied directly from the cam to the PC without requiring and software. It come with CyberLink Power DVD solution, which lets to play, edit and make the captured video into DVDs, or any other preferred media.
The only drawback is no view finder, the battery could have lasted longer with the viewfinder. Shut the LCD and the cam shuts down as well. The LCD is also a good quality, not as excellent as in Sony camcorders but it serves the purpose well. There is a small analogue to navigate through the options, the settings are quite simple. Took me about an hour to understand all of them (without reading the manual, as my camera didn't have one in English and the power lead is European too!!)
It does works best in manual settings as the Auto settings over expose. The still picture quality is just satisfactory, although it does say 5 mega pixels but it is no near to a normal 5 mega pixel photo camera.
As the only cam of its type in the market (non HD 3 CCD), it is a good value for money too and the prices seem to be dropping soon as Panasonic have introduced their first 3 CCD camera which is also High Definition, competing both SONY and JVC and is priced almost same as the SONY high definition camera.
Now a year on I can say that the stills and video suffer in poor light. But the wedding video I made with it was truly awesome. No faffing with tapes. Instant review and the flexibility to flick to stills in a few seconds. The stills are beautiful in natural light.
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