With all the tapeless camcorder options coming out this year, we're not surprised that JVC has limited its Mini-DV selection to two models, with very little difference between the two. Both the GR-D870 and GR-D850 include 1/6-inch 680,000-pixel CCD sensors, 35X optical KonicaMinola zoom lenses, and 2.7-inch widescreen LCDs with auto backlight control to help keep your LCD visible when moving from moderate to bright lighting conditions. JVC says that the batteries included in the cameras give you two hours of operation and remaining power, expressed in minutes, can be seen at the press of a button even when the camcorders are turned off. That makes it even easier to check the battery the night before you go out to shoot an event.
For about twenty dollars more than the GR-D850, the GR-D870 also gives you still image recording, though its limited to a maximum size of 640x480 pixels (hardly enough for making a print), dual recording so you can capture one of those tiny stills to the camcorder's SD card slot while continuing to record video, and a new Live Slow mode. JVC says that this last mode lets you capture slow-motion, down to one quarter normal speed, which can be played back with real-time sound. They haven't said what happens to the difference in time between the slower video and regular-speed sound, but you can be sure that we'll let you know when we get a review sample. JVC says that the GR-D870 will sell for about $250, while the GR-D850 will cost about $230 when they hit stores later this month (Janunary 2008).