The Good Stores tons of video; excellent zoom reach; very small.
The Bad Terrible battery life; mediocre video quality; grainy low-light footage; requires a computer or stand-alone DVD burner.
The Bottom Line Though the short battery life and mediocre image quality are frustrating, the JVC Everio GZ-MG20U's amazing recording capacity and tiny size still make it an enticing device.
JVC Everio GZ-MG20
Editor's note: This review is based on our evaluation of the , an identical camcorder except for its larger 30GB hard disk.
As the battle heats up between DVD, SD, and MiniDV camcorders, JVC has entered the market with a fourth media option that borrows as much technologically from the iPod as it does from competing cameras. The JVC Everio GZ-MG20U eschews removable storage and instead includes a built-in 20GB hard drive (similar to that found in the iPod) for an extremely impressive 4.5 hours of storage at best quality and as much as 37 hours of Web-quality footage. With a 25X zoom lens and a built-in video light, it offers solid camcorder features, but its wimpy battery poops out long before you can fill much of the massive storage space with the camcorder's mediocre recordings. For such a capacious camcorder, the JVC Everio GZ-MG20U is extremely small. It's short in both height and length, though it's as wide as a typical DV camcorder. This gives it a boxy look, but it's amazingly comfortable for one-handed shooting and easily drops into a jacket pocket. Weighing just 0.9 pound with battery installed, the Everio is very lightweight, but its thick plastic case feels solid enough to withstand typical handling in the field. A feature that senses rapid acceleration (read: dropping the camera) protects the disk by shutting down the drive.
The Everio's smallish size precludes a lot of external controls. The exterior of the case has only three switches: a power/mode control, a zoom rocker, and the record button. Flip open the LCD to find just five more buttons and a gamepad-style menu navigation control. One nice touch is an Info button that gives one-touch access to the amount of available recording time, as well as estimated battery life.
JVC fixes up its Adixxion POV cam
The "quad-proof" GC-XA2 looks like its predecessor, but gets some needed improvements.
JVC enters action cam market with rugged Adixxion camcorder
The waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and freezeproof little camera does everything expected for the category and throws in Wi-Fi for good measure.
Sony HDR-TD20 3D camcorder in hands-on video
The Sony HDR-TD20 is Sony's latest camcorder to shoot in three dimensions, and we've had a go in this here video.
JVC Picsio: Hands-on with the pixie-sized HD camcorder
We took time out of staggering around CES to have a play with JVC's Picsio high-definition mini-camcorder
Thinking of buying a camcorder? Just got one? Let's take a look behind the specs and see what you've got in your hands.
What storage should I get in my camcorder?
There are many types of camcorders on the market, and all take different types of storage. We look into what's available, so you can decide what's best for you.
Serif MoviePlus X3: Windows video-editing software that doesn't reek of fail
If you've got a camcorder, you'll probably want some computer software to turn your garbled shots into something you can be proud of. Serif MoviePlus X3 can help
Photos: Hands-on with dual-format JVC Everio HD30 and HD40
At IFA 2008 we caught up with the JVC Everio HD30 and HD40, two dual-format high-definition HDD camcorders that shoot both AVCHD and MPEG-2
JVC Everio GZ-HD40, GZ-HD30 and GZ-HD10: Dual-shootin' HD
JVC has announced the Everio GZ-HD40, GZ-HD30 and GZ-HD10, high-definition camcorders with onboard hard disk drives -- the HD40 and 30 are the first to shoot both AVCHD and MPEG-2
JVC Everio GZ-MS100: YouTube, only better
JVC has announced the Everio S series GZ-MS100, complete with YouTube button, to bring the power of a camcorder to the mobile/webcam-dominated video-sharing site
JVC Everio GZ-HD5 and GZ-HD6: Hi-def hard drives
The JVC Everio GZ-HD5 and GZ-HD6 are the latest high-definition additions to the pocket-friendly Everio range. Both are hard drive models, boasting 60GB and 120GB memory respectively
Photos: JVC Everio MG330, MG335, MG361, MG365, MG435 and MG465
JVC has premiered a selection of tiny new standard-definition Everio camcorders: the Everio MG330, MG335, MG361, MG365, MG435 and MG465