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The JVC Everio GZ-GX3B is a smart, well-designed camcorder that has an impressive range of new features to play with, while all the basics of a hand-held camera continue to operate effectively to produce solid results.
It is so refreshing to see a company advertising a new feature that actually has a practical use beyond its gimmick value. JVC's smartphone connectivity is a genuinely handy feature, and we found ourselves appreciating all its capabilities in everyday filming tasks, rather than merely enjoying the novelty of it. Overall, this camera certainly does not disappoint; we would be happy to buy a device of such high standard and practicality, at this price.
Design and features
This camera has been designed with a pleasing, minimalistic outer shell that's simple and comes across as a practical, top-of-the-line consumer camera. The only concern with the appearance is that JVC could have used a heavier plastic or grained metallic texture to make it appear more sophisticated. When using the device, we found ourselves leaving finger traces in big smudges across the body and the screen. So, while it's a smart looking device, be prepared to have a screen-cleaner on hand.
The LCD touchscreen is a great size at 3.5 inches; however, in bright sunlight, you're more likely to be watching your own fingerprints on the screen instead of the image, due to the reflection on the poorly chosen plastic. The menu is fairly standard for this range and, like most other cameras of its kind, persistently annoys you with jingling menu sound effects as you struggle to use the device without attracting irritated looks from the strangers around you.
The main draw of this camera is its new smartphone connectivity. JVC is promoting this new feature with some snappy advertising that suggests that this function will give you the power to spy on all your family members, but despite the unsettling way it's being promoted, it is actually an excellent new idea. The live monitoring via smartphone or PC is actually useful, unlike other brands' gimmicky features, which lose their novelty very quickly. Home detection monitoring — sending an audio snapshot via email — is another great use for this connection that has caused our imaginations to run wild in coming up with possibilities.