CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide

JVC Everio GZ-HD7 review:

JVC Everio GZ-HD7

Autoplay: ON Autoplay: OFF
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

JVC Everio GZ-HD7

(Part #: GZ-HD7US) Released: 28 Feb 2007
Add to my Christmas List
Compare These

The Good Nice manual features; attractive design; high-quality audio; low-noise, low-light video.

The Bad Ineffectual optical stabilizer; needs a built-in ND filter; some horizontal jitter and stuttering during playback; low-resolution video; sad battery life.

The Bottom Line If this camcorder cost $500, we'd give it a much higher rating. But for its quadruple-digit price, we expect far better performance and video quality from the JVC Everio GZ-HD7.

CNET Editors' Rating

6.3 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 5.0
  • Image quality 6.0

As many camcorder manufacturers have discovered, three low-resolution sensors can sometimes take you a lot farther than a single high-resolution sensor. Unfortunately, while that may have been true for a standard-definition world, it doesn't seem to carry over to high-def--at least, not in the case of the JVC Everio GZ-HD7. Perhaps it's because JVC uses three extremely small 1/5-inch sensors, each with approximately 976x548 pixels, interpolating and interlacing to generate 1,920x1,080 1080i HD video. Perhaps it's because of the demanding MPEG-2-TS (transport stream) compression and encoding the HD7 uses to write video to its 60GB hard disk drive.

But whatever the reason, the HD7 simply can't produce video to rival that of similarly priced single-chip competitors like the Sony Handycam HDR-SR1. It's a pity, too, because the HD7 has all the features you'd expect from a camcorder in its price class, including manual aperture and shutter speed adjustment; a very nice manual focus implementation; low-noise, low-light video; bright LCD and eye-level viewfinder; an external mic input; and an accessory shoe. With a few exceptions, the control layout, too, seems designed for actual manual use rather than for show. (For details and further commentary on the design and features, click through to the slide show.) I docked it a point in the design ratings, though, because several important shooting controls--gain control, wind filter, white balance--are buried in the menu system, and because you're forced to use the LCD too often. The latter is especially significant in light of the HD7's poor battery life.

The HD7 can output in two different 1080i formats. The first, 1920x1080, dubbed "FHD" for "Full HD," uses variable bit rate compression for a theoretically better picture. The second, 1440x1080, dubbed "1440 CBR" uses constant bit rate compression, and is the HD format you must use if you wish to edit your video with iMovie; iMovie doesn't speak FHD. On Windows, I suggest you stick with the bundled Cyberlink software for playing, editing and burning your FHD video. Figuring out which third-party software will work with FHD and how to finesse it takes some major Googling.

  • GoPro Hero5 Black

    Starting at: $490.00

    All the goodness of the Hero4 Black and Silver mixed in with a whole new bag of tricks.

  • YI 4K Action Cam

    A follow-up to its surprisingly good sub-$100, full-HD action cam, the YI 4K might just...

  • 360fly 4K

    Starting at: $539.00

    An improved design and higher resolution make this better than the original 360fly, but...

  • Ricoh Theta S

    Starting at: $599.00

    It might not be the absolute future of photography, but this point-and-shoot 360 camera...

  • GoPro Hero4 Silver

    Starting at: $579.00

    With excellent video quality, a long list of video, still and time-lapse options and a...

This week on CNET News

Discuss JVC Everio GZ-HD7