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HolidayBuyer's Guide
The HD7's video displays odd horizontal jitter, and looking at this extracted frame you can see why: some heinous ghosting, which I suspect is a result of the technology JVC uses to merge three 960x540 fields into a single 1,920x1,080 frame.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Lori Grunin
In addition to the edge artifacts we expect to see from interlaced video, the HD7 completely blows out highlights. On the other hand, the automatic white balance seems pretty decent, especially in sunlight.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Lori Grunin
With automatic gain control off it seems to lack the latitude to produce a good exposure in low light, but the HD7 does pretty well when it comes to noise. I brought up the exposure of this still grabbed from a dark, unreadable section of video and was surprised at how good it looked. Turning on the automatic gain control--a pain since it's buried in the menu system--yields low-noise, low-light video.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Lori Grunin
The backlight compensation on the HD7 seems to simply increase brightness across the board rather than concentrating on shadow areas. As a result, you don't gain a lot of detail in the subject, while the rest just blows out.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Lori Grunin
The irony of the HD7 is that the still photos are pretty good, as long as you don't scale them beyond 4.5x8. They're not very detailed--you can't see any texture in the flower, for example--but they've got nice colors, and depending upon the subject matter, don't look obviously low-resolution.
Caption by CNET Reviews staff / Photo by Lori Grunin
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