Camcorderinfo.com reviews the JVC GZ-HD7... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...der-Review.htm

Pretty much agrees with what everyone has been saying.... I told you guys this a few weeks ago..

"If you've read our review of the Canon HV20 ($1099 MSRP), you know how high the bar has been set. As far as video quality goes, the HD7 can't even pole vault over it. The HV20 displayed an exceptional image in bright light, and its 24P low light performance proved brighter and sharper than any other camcorder this year, thanks to its single 1/2.7 CMOS sensor. With that in mind, the HD7 churned out a mediocre video performance with a noise-ridden, murky lowlight spectacleand that's with three 1/5 CCDs. The HV20 also includes a headphone jack, rear-mounted joystick, video light, and hot accessory shoe. The HD7 can only answer with a cold accessory shoe, and none of the above-mentioned features.

Where the HD7 does excel is in the handling department. We roasted the construction of the HV20uncomfortable hand strap, feeble LCD, and overall cheap plastic feel. That is not the case with the HD7. The HDD beast looks like a shrunken prosumer camcorder, sporting a smooth manual focus ring, professional Fujinon lens with matte box, and rubberized extendable viewfinder. The body is constructed of burly plastic and metal and feels great in the hand, thanks to its large foam padded handstrap. It just looks badass, plain and simple. JVC is on to something here with the HD7. It will give you 5 hours of record time in the highest quality, and there are no MiniDV tapes to fumble with. However, as covered in the editing section, your options for post production are severely limited without compromising quality. The HV20, like all HDV camcorders, is capable of direct and instant capturing, editing, and exporting.

So what'll it be? A miniature black beauty saddled with a mixed bag of professional and consumer components? Or a 24P-touting consumer superhero with awkward handling? The HV20's $600 price shave and killer video quality will most likely be the deciding factors"
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post #2 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 02:26 PM
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Yep, you were right all along persian. What a shame this is. I really wanted this camera to be a home-run. Perhaps next year's upgrade will be. meanwhile I'll pick up an HV20 and stick with tape for the time being. But then again, there's those brand new Sony offerings to cornfuse things...
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post #3 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 02:40 PM
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Nice, makes me even more glad I bought my HV20.

I'm still not sold on the whole HDD instead of tapes format. At least this JVC uses MPEG-2 instead of Sony's AVCHD mess, but I just can't see wanting to watch a movie from two years ago and having to load it up on the camera from my external hard drive. Maybe in a few years when High Def media, burners and players are more common, but not now.
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post #4 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 02:40 PM
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They took further aim at the canon design at point-blank range in the comparison section. Can't say I blame them though. I have several Canon cams (and of course now have the HV20) and I was a little surprised to see that the design was not up to their usual standards. I guess they were trying to keep the price down. The picture is typical Canon standards though.
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post #5 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 02:53 PM
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If camcorder does not have to produce a video I believe I can build an excellent camcorder which would be really great to handle for the fraction of the price. It will be handled better than Uzi

Good time to buy computers and computer parts: NEVER
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post #6 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 03:32 PM
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There's no way the truth about the HD7 can be covered up. Nice to see a consensus form before the reviews are out. I agree with everything you said, Persiannight, and of course wrote my own review after swapping out the HD7 I bought for the HV-20. I'm surprised the JVC still has defenders in the image quality department, but I doubt any professional reviewer would.

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post #7 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 03:43 PM
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I had a preorder in on the JVC based upon its specs but then started seeing early reviews and jumped to the HV-20. Boy am I glad!

Tim
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post #8 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 03:59 PM
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Sadly JVC won't even address the OIS problem unless people start sending the cameras in for repairs. If Camcorderinfo.com tested OIS and found it to be effective, then I'd guess there is a batch of defective HD7s out there.

I guess if the HD7 does in fact outperform AVCHD units in picture quality, and OIS works, then many people (consumers) will be happy with it. Just don't be tempted to use it as a backup camera if you are doing any sort of commerical work.

One more thing. That review, towards the end, mentions that users are finding the HD7's MPEG stream to be difficult to edit. This is true. It doesn't de-interlace properly, and the .TOD file wrapper means you need to convert clips before editing. Using the "Full HD" mode creates video that previews very slowly in most editors; shooting proper HDV footage is a better idea, but I wonder if that would create even more artifacts considering the lack of pixels in the CCD, and the fact that the camera would have to interpolate to a fractional resolution instead of simply doubling the rez, as it does for "Full HD".

Funny, but one way to think of the JVC GZ-HD7 is as a camera that is continously using digital zoom... yuck.

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post #9 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

They took further aim at the canon design at point-blank range in the comparison section. Can't say I blame them though. I have several Canon cams (and of course now have the HV20) and I was a little surprised to see that the design was not up to their usual standards. I guess they were trying to keep the price down. The picture is typical Canon standards though.


Well, one of the big complaints about the HV10 was the vertical form factor. That kept many away (including me). I think they were a bit rushed to get the HV20 form factor together so they could announce the arrival of the new cam to keep the new Sony cams from getting a lion's share of the market. That, and as you said, they also wanted to keep the price factor well under the competition . They responded very quickly to many of the drawbacks of the HV10.. I would think their next generation HD camcorders would be more professional looking and solidly built. They'll probably will include more features(focus ring, etc) and end up with a high end model to have all price markets covered.
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post #10 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post


I guess if the HD7 does in fact outperform AVCHD units in picture quality, and OIS works, then many people (consumers) will be happy with it. Just don't be tempted to use it as a backup camera if you are doing any sort of commerical work.

One more thing. That review, towards the end, mentions that users are finding the HD7's MPEG stream to be difficult to edit. This is true. It doesn't de-interlace properly, and the .TOD file wrapper means you need to convert clips before editing. Using the "Full HD" mode creates video that previews very slowly in most editors; shooting proper HDV footage is a better idea, but I wonder if that would create even more artifacts considering the lack of pixels in the CCD, and the fact that the camera would have to interpolate to a fractional resolution instead of simply doubling the rez, as it does for "Full HD".

I personally know people that are in fact using this cam for pro work. There are quite a few pros that have been waiting for a cam like this. Time is money. and HDD's do in fact save a lot of time, and money. This cam especially because of its mpeg base. All you need to do with Avid liquid is change the TOD extension to M2T and you can start editing right away.

Pro work is also a bit different with respect to the fact that plugging a cam into your tv and viewing the picture quality first hand, just isn't going to happen. Most if not all pro work ends up on a SD dvd (weddings, birthday parties, et al) so a top quality HD picture is sort of secondary.
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post #11 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 05:26 PM
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OK I'm sorry, I should have said commercial work. I feel that the HD7 is a step down from even a decent SD camcorder. The HD7's output, even when downsampled with the utmost care... the image quality doesn't match SD on DVD. It's been a decade since I swore I wouldn't shoot events, but I've been to enough weddings to know that the video guys typically don't invest in pro gear, so I guess I see how this camera will be used "professionally".

If it was me, the minimum camera I'd use for an event is a Sony HDR-FX7 coupled with a Firestore drive, but then again that's just not my market. In fact I'd definitely spend the money on a Firestore, and then pick the best camera for the job... if I were an event photographer.

The dismal performance of the HD7 in so many areas just disqualifies it for any professional use, IMHO. I have never simply plugged a camcorder into my TV (HD Projector, actually)... everything I do with video is commercial. I know... I know... most people really won't have a problem the the HD7's output in SD, and many will likely think it is great. Personally I'd freak out if a videographer showed up at my wedding with an HD7, knowing what I know.

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Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

I personally know people that are in fact using this cam for pro work. There are quite a few pros that have been waiting for a cam like this. Time is money. and HDD's do in fact save a lot of time, and money. This cam especially because of its mpeg base. All you need to do with Avid liquid is change the TOD extension to M2T and you can start editing right away.

Pro work is also a bit different with respect to the fact that plugging a cam into your tv and viewing the picture quality first hand, just isn't going to happen. Most if not all pro work ends up on a SD dvd (weddings, birthday parties, et al) so a top quality HD picture is sort of secondary.


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post #12 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post


The dismal performance of the HD7 in so many areas just disqualifies it for any professional use, IMHO. I have never simply plugged a camcorder into my TV (HD Projector, actually)... everything I do with video is commercial.

I'm inclined to agree, but then everyone's priorities are a bit different.
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post #13 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 05:38 PM
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For sure. Not everyone wants to bust their budget on their wedding video. Outdoor weddings shot with the HD7 likely look great.

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Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

I'm inclined to agree, but then everyone's priorities are a bit different.


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post #14 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diggadonkey View Post

Yep, you were right all along persian. What a shame this is. I really wanted this camera to be a home-run. Perhaps next year's upgrade will be. meanwhile I'll pick up an HV20 and stick with tape for the time being. But then again, there's those brand new Sony offerings to cornfuse things...

It was the glimpse of this black beauty on engadget that got me interested in cams again. What a HUGE disappointment.

At least I ended up with the HV20 instead
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post #15 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by persiannight View Post

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...der-Review.htm

Pretty much agrees with what everyone has been saying.... I told you guys this a few weeks ago..

Yes persiannight you nailed it! Of course there were 1 or 2 posters who thought maybe you were 'misinformed', but they were the usual suspects. Any posted clips from the JVC were generally consistent with what you were saying all along.
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post #16 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miglo View Post

It was the glimpse of this black beauty on engadget that got me interested in cams again. What a HUGE disappointment.


I suspect there were a boat-load of people who've been waiting for this camera's release before they took the plunge. For me the search is finally over. The camcorderinfo review just reaffirmed everything I already knew.

I really do wish Sony hadn't just spit out a couple brand new models though. Now I'm tempted to wait for these to be evaluated before I buy something. I'm not driven by any impending deadline for buying one of these cameras, but there are things in the wings for me to produce when I finally do get something.
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post #17 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 06:31 PM
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I'm still not sold on the whole HDD instead of tapes format. At least this JVC uses MPEG-2 instead of Sony's AVCHD mess, but I just can't see wanting to watch a movie from two years ago and having to load it up on the camera from my external hard drive. Maybe in a few years when High Def media, burners and players are more common, but not now

you can copy the .TOD files or converted .mpg files to a data DVD, which i'm sure will last longer than MiniDV tapes, pop them into a computer and viola! Honestly, i shot footage with the HD7 copied/converted to my computer, popped in a USB drive and copied it, took it to work to show everyone at work. the copy process only too a couple of min. Doesn't get much easier than that...

I think both formats have their goods and bads. We'll save that argument for another forum.

If the HV20 had the hard drive of the HD7 i would be one happy man, but i'll stick with capturing for now. OPNLY reason I returned the HD7 was because of the OIS. hmm..maybe JVC will put out a firmware update...
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post #18 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 06:46 PM
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After buying my daughter the 2006 Canon Elura 100 this really made my day

OVERALL RATING FOR 2007 CAMCORDERS:
Canon HV20 - 307.23
Sony HDR-HC7 - 279.21

Canon Elura 100 - 218.30

Panasonic HDC-SD1 - 214.05
JVC GZ-HD7 - 202.29
Panasonic HDC-DX1 - 198.70
Canon ZR850 - 182.64
Canon ZR830 - 169.31
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post #19 of 24 Old 04-26-2007, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill1313 View Post

After buying my daughter the 2006 Canon Elura 100 this really made my day

OVERALL RATING FOR 2007 CAMCORDERS:
Canon HV20 - 307.23
Sony HDR-HC7 - 279.21

Canon Elura 100 - 218.30

Panasonic HDC-SD1 - 214.05
JVC GZ-HD7 - 202.29
Panasonic HDC-DX1 - 198.70
Canon ZR850 - 182.64
Canon ZR830 - 169.31

Hey Bill, where did these facts come from?
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post #20 of 24 Old 04-27-2007, 07:44 AM
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The "Scores" are from www.camcorderinfo.com (Click The "Camcorder Ratings" Box On The Left & They Will Come Up For All The 2005 - 07 Models).

They also picked the 2006 Canon Elura 100 as their "Camcorder Of The Year"

I found my daughter's a few months back at BrandsMart USA in FL when they were cleaning them out for $298.88

All I really care about is that I got the camcorder for a good price & it has good features, very good picture quality, is easy to use & the most important thing of all is that my daughter loves it because it's small enough to just throw in her pocketbook & easy enough for her to copy the tapes to her Panny DVD recorders.

By no means though is the Elura 100 in the same class as some of these HD Camcorders but I was surprised at the scores that's why I posted them.
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post #21 of 24 Old 04-27-2007, 08:42 AM
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It's a fairly well accepted fact that recordable DVD does not last. After about 5 years read errors start occurring. DVD-/+R is a dye-based medium, it fades. Tapes are good for over a decade, but eventually will degrade as well. Both wear out when played repeatedly, but it's harder to damage a cassette... one good scratch and a DVD is toast. With devices like Apple's iTV, I'd think that in the future people will simply double-click their video files (residing on their computer HDD) and they'll play back on TV.

Regardless I capture all my footage off tape to HDD, so I can use those captured files the same way, drag them onto data CD or DVD, etc. Transfering the video may take longer from tape than HDD, but I wouldn't describe it as being more difficult.

It's a sure thing that Canon will come to dominate consumer digital video. Canon is rarely first to market with a new technology. They like putting out refined technologies at affordable prices... it's done wonders for their reputation.

As for the JVC... the OIS was a non-factor for me, but I'm glad for the problem's existence. Saved me the restocking fee when I returned it and bought the HV-20.

A good bet for archiving is to use an external HDD, just turn it off when not backing up. I have 10+ year-old hard drives in my closet, all the data is 100% accounted for. All the CD-R's I have from that era are blank!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The X Factor View Post

you can copy the .TOD files or converted .mpg files to a data DVD, which i'm sure will last longer than MiniDV tapes, pop them into a computer and viola! Honestly, i shot footage with the HD7 copied/converted to my computer, popped in a USB drive and copied it, took it to work to show everyone at work. the copy process only too a couple of min. Doesn't get much easier than that...

I think both formats have their goods and bads. We'll save that argument for another forum.

If the HV20 had the hard drive of the HD7 i would be one happy man, but i'll stick with capturing for now. OPNLY reason I returned the HD7 was because of the OIS. hmm..maybe JVC will put out a firmware update...


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post #22 of 24 Old 04-27-2007, 08:58 AM
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OK so I just re-watched the footage I shot with the JVC GZ-HD7 before returning it for the HV-20. I have to admit that the average user might not understand what all the negative hype is about. Taken on it's own, the video is attractive straight out of camera. All the observations made are accurate enough, the JVC is not up to par with Canon or Sony HDV in the PQ department... but it's not like the JVC's video is intolerable. If the HV-20 did not exist, I'd probably have kept the HD7. For many users, the OIS issue is the only one likely to really be a dealbreaker.

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post #23 of 24 Old 04-27-2007, 10:05 AM
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imagic, Yep DVDs are not a great way to save stuff for 20 years or so & that's why when my daughter copies her tapes she makes 2 DVD copies one on each of her recorders (At The Same Time) and she usually puts one DVD away & uses the other to watch but, & I think it's a big but, she also saves the Original Tape to so that in the future it can be transfered to any new format just incase something happenes to the DVD.

The 2nd "Saved" DVD is really just a backup incase something happens to the DVD she uses for playing.

I don't care what anyone says but as of this date I would'nt want any HDD or DVD Camcorder because I've seen too many DVDs & HDDs CRASH & with my luck it would be something I really wanted to save when it crashed.

I think it's really too bad that the average comsumer seems to want DVD & HDD Camcorders instead of tape. That way the Canon Elura 100 might still be around & be an excellent camcorder for the average person who will probably only use it 4 or 5 times a year & only be out $300 for a pretty nice camcorder that will usually fill all of their needs until the price of HD Camcorders really come down.

Also the worse thing that really can happen with "Tape" is that it could get wrinkeled or tear but at least you don't loose everything.
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post #24 of 24 Old 04-28-2007, 06:00 AM
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But wait, the HD7 is cheaper, oh forgot that lower image quality will set you back an extra $500+
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