The JVC GR-DV700 is a mid-range Mini-DV camcorder. The first thing that struck me about this camcorder was how different it looked compared to other models currently on the market. Most models in the sub £1000 bracket look the same, so this change is refreshing.The unit has a professional look and feel to it which hides its inexpensive price (£699 rrp £520 if you shop around). Don't let the price fool you though as this camcorder is packed with features. Daily use of the camera couldn't be easier. Just switch to record mode, press the button and away you go. The camera looks like it should be much heavier than it actually is (655g), so you don't need to be Geoff Capes to use it. It's nicely balanced, and all the controls are at your fingertips. There is a choice of fully automatic or manual record modes and for general use the automatic mode is perfectly fine. Picture stability is excellent, except on high zoom, but I should be using a tripod for these shots anyway. Both picture an sound quality are excellent. Features E-Mail clip recording. Create clips on the memory card which can be sent via email. Title Impose. Add titles to your creation DV-In and DV-Out Backlight compensation. Whilst there is no flash, the camera can let more light in to make the image brighter. Night Scope. In theory this allows you to film in colour in very low lighting. In practise the shutter speed in reduced, so a tripod is required to get the best effect. It does work quite well though. Snapshop. Allows you to record still images that look like photographs onto tape. You get video of a camera shutter closing an re-opening, accompanied by a comedy camera shutter sound effect and then 6 seconds of still on the tape.This is a really good effect if you want to show a prolonged shot of something without your arms dropping off. Transfering video to the computer Although this camera comes with a USB
cable this is insufficient to transfer high quality video to your computer. A firewire cable is definately required (and your computer must have firewire capabilities too). JVC state that you should only use their optional cables but I'm not, and I have not experienced any problems. I think the only difference is that JVC cables have built in core filters, but you get a spare one of those anyway, so you could add it to you cable if you need to. The cable connects to the camera just in front of the LCD screen, which means you can't angle it for clearer viewing. This hasn't been too much of a problem so far because I can view the images on the computer screen anyway. It just seems to be a stupid place to put the socket given that there is plenty of room elsewhere. I was amazed at how much disk space was required to capture video from the camera. This is not just a problem with the camera itself, but I thought it worth mentioning if you are looking to do video editing on your computer. I have filled a 10gb partition with about ½hour video, but with editing and conversion this has reduced significantly. You just need the space initially. What's in the box? Camcorder (obviously) AC Adaptor and power cord Battery Pack (BN-V408U) 1hr 10min continuous recording time using LCD monitor. Audio/Video cable (3.5 mini-plug to RCA plug) USB cable Cable Adapter (converts RCA and sVideo cables to Scart) Editing Cable Remote Control and 2*AAA batteries Memory Card (already installed, so don't panic when you can't find it) Lens Cap Spare Core Filter Shoulder strap Audio Cable * 2 (to attack optional headphones and microphones) CDRom (Drivers and Software) What you don't get A bag (you will need one. There's a lot to carry) A firewire cable Overall then this is an excellent product suited to both amateurs and semi-professionals alike. I hope
you found this review useful. If I have missed something out that you want to know about post a comment and I will try to update it. Update 6 months on, still using the camera and still extremely happy with it!!