JVC Everio GZ-HM200 Dual SD High-Def Camcorder – Takes good pictures but broke very early

I got this from a large discount club whose name starts with a ‘c’. 99 + $28 sales tax for a special bundle that included a free 4gb class 6 card and a free carrying case as well. My review is based keeping in mind this price point. If you can get this camcorder for under $450, it is worth it. Otherwise look at other models/manufacturers. First impressions: this camcorder is tiny. Coming from a sony digital 8 camcorder, it seemed to be real small to me. The ergonomics are ok though and i did not have any major issues with accessing any of the features or usage.

It’s been less than a month since i’ve had this camcorder and i’m still learning all the bells and whistles, but it has far exceeded my expectations already. This is a fantastic, great looking camcorder and i love it’s compact size. I didn’t want to feel like i was weightlifting just taking videos. It’s even convenient to take hiking with us. It is extremely easy to operate even for someone like me that doesn’t like to read manuals unless i absolutely have to. I like that i got it, charged the battery and was good to go. The video quality is absolutely surreal. I notice that if i use it indoors it isn’t quite as rich as it is outdoors unless i have the lights on bright. I’m still on a learning curve though. But outdoors the quality far exceeds all previous camcorder experiences i’ve had, it is really sharp.

I have owned this for a long time and it has performed well but the flex cable that goes to the display broke once and made it unusable until i found a flex cable replacement and i was able to replace it myself but it took a good amount of time and concentration, you can find videos on how to repair it. On the other hand the videos have good quality specially on good light situations, with low light the performance is acceptable but not great. I would think the zoom is also more than enough for most situations. Here are the specifications for the JVC Everio GZ-HM200 Dual SD High-Def Camcorder:

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  • Dual SD card slot for dual memory continuous recording
  • 1920×1080 Full HD recording
  • 20x optical zoom with Konica Minolta HD lens
  • Laser-touch operation with sub-trigger and zoom; one-touch upload to YouTube
  • Capture video to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

Lightweight, great video quality, easy to use, good amount of operation time. The designers thought of (almost) everything. I taped a graduation with it in a gym and even though the lighting was dim the videos are very nice. The snapshots are easy to take but there the sensitivity is hitting the limits very quickly. The sound recording is well enough to capture low to normal voice from 12 feet distance. The additional features are fun to use. The only two drawbacks that i could mention is that a) the camcorder does not come with any memory, so when i got if first, i had to order it and wait before i could use. The other is that i can’t get the software to work the way it is supposed to work. It looks nice and very organized, but i have a hard time accessing the clips on the camcorder memory.

The jvc everio gz-hm200 is a very compact and feature rich hd camcorder that performs well in most shooting conditions. I was very surprised by the small size and impressed with the range of options squeezed into the camera. This is a consumer grade camcorder, lacking some features that would appeal to the prosumer population. Here are my observations:pros -* great video image quality – especially in uxp and xp modes (except in low light – see ‘cons’, below)* good still image quality – surprising good jpg pictures can be taken even while shooting video, but sometimes a little jittery* accurate face recognition – helps keep people in focus (it was funny to see it recognize faces in paintings at a museum)* good remote control – includes remote control, a very handy feature* very small size – the small size makes it easy to bring along as it can realistically be slipped into a pocket. * built in light – very bright light can be set to ‘auto’ and can save some shoots that would otherwise be lost or unusable due to poor lighting* dual sdhc card support – the ability to save video to sdhc cards is great, coming from minidv tapes this is a huge advantage since the footage doesn’t have to be re-captured into the computer* quick startup – the camera is ready to record almost instantly after opening the lcd display* good user interface – the ‘laser touch’ interface is simply cool and, more importantly, easy to use* easy upload to youtube – the ‘one touch’ upload works very wellcons -* weak image stabilization – the digital image stabilization does make some difference, but the lack of mass of this small camera makes it harder to keep steady (especially at higher zoom levels)* poor low light quality – video and stills shot in low light are very noisy, the built in light helps to some degree* slow auto focus – auto focus can be sluggish when zooming* lack of accessory shoe – can not use standard video accessories like external light or microphone* lack of microphone input jack – no external microphone jack* weak software – the included software for video and still images is ok for clip management, but not useful for any real editing or project use* lack of hdmi cable – this was a huge surprise and disappointment. The camera has a mini hdmi port, but does not include a hdmi cable for connecting to hd equipment (does include composite video and audio cables)i also picked up the following accessories (see my reviews) -* 16gb sdhc cards – transcend 16 gb sdhc class 6 flash memory card ts16gsdhc6e [amazon frustration-free packaging* protective lens filter – tiffen 30. 5mm uv protector filter* longer life battery – jvc bn-vf815us 1460-mah rechargeable data battery for jvc minidv and everio camcorders* hdmi cable – mediabridge – 5ft mini-hdmi to hdmi – version 1. 3b category 2 – 1080p – blu-rayoverall, the pros outweigh the cons with this excellent camcorder and the small size makes it really convenient to take anywhere. ]

Reviews from purchasers :

  • Extreme portability, good quality – not true HD, though!
  • Good image quality good zoom too.
  • Good Buy

I’ve been extremely impressed with this camcorder’s image quality and user-friendliness. The ‘laser touch’ sensor on the side of the screen is a humongous improvement upon most camcorders’ touch-screens on which dirty or rough fingers either damage the screen or dirty the screen so that one can’t see the image clearly. Having 2 card slots is a brilliant idea, making it possible to have not only more but cheaper storage space — it’s a lot cheaper to buy 2 medium-capacity cards than one massive-capacity card, of course. Playback via the included cables or through hdmi is flawless and easy to control. It takes a bit of digging in the file structure to dig out the original video files, but it’s worth the effort if one is doing one’s own digital editing. The screen is very clear as well, and i’m impressed with its quality, ease of view (tilting screen), and brightness in the sun. My only complaints are these. 1 with all of the outputs, it would be nice to have just one audio input.

This camcorder is a great second unit camera. The digital stabilization is outstanding. Using 2 sdhc cards that switch from one to theother automatically is pure genius. I use older avchd canon’s for my work and love using this camerato cover some of canon’s deficiencies i. 20x zoom (canon’s have 10 and 12x) i hate usingtele lenses because of the vignetting and otherproblems. Th digital stabilizion is amazing and betteron the move than my canon’s with their optical.

I’ve had this for a while, bought it to use it on our newborn baby. I keep it in the nursery and use it on a daily basis. I love every feature about it. The ease of use, the light weight. The picture quality on the camera could be better. So, i use my other digital camera to take pictures. But i guess i’m into real high quality pictures, 10 mega pixel?. The camera quality is acceptable. The camcorder quality is great.

Pros — excellent color- clear videos in adequate light- good stabilizer- light weight- compact- reasonably priced- good zoom- logical menu structurecons — poor low light videos- no viewfinder and diopterif you prefer to have a dedicated camcorder, this is an excellent choice. However, i find myself rarely using it because i have a sony nex-7 with built in hd recording and an optical viewfinder with diopter. Although the quality of the videos don’t match those of the jvc, i far prefer the convenience. Even more important, i am very dependent on the use of a viewfinder adjusted to my vision. Without it, i only see bodies in movement or vague landscape, rather than details.

This camera is quite good for the price and i don’t think anyone will be disappointed with it as long as they know what they are buying. The lack of optical image stabilization is one of the reasons the camera is sold at this price. You will need a steady hand to prevent shaky images, particularly when using the fantastic zoom. The picture quality in bright light is fantastic. It can get very grainy with low interior lighting. Overall very happy for the price i paid.

Pros:-clear picture quality, but need lots of light, grainy in low light, great image stabalization-very compact size-good lcd quality-convenient 2 slot sd cardscons:-slightly flimsy construction-refocusing issues-grainy in low light-hand band uncomfortable to use-software not useful at all-average battery life.

I was disappointed with the snap shots. When reviewing them on the t. Or computer they came out extremely grainy. I tried changing every setting on the camera and was unsuccessful. I purchased many attachment lenses. I wouldn’t do it again, because i never use them, and the telephoto does not make a big difference at all. The only one that is kinda cool is the fish eye lens.

This camera is way smaller and lighter than my sony camcorder i purchased years ago. In fact, it only takes up half the space in my small camera bag so now i carry my video camera and still camera in the same bag. The image quality is very good. Using the xp video quality i took side-by-side footage with my old camera and the difference was phenomenal. I haven’t yet filmed in uxp yet because i don’t have a blu-ray burner. I’m hoping apple’s computers will support blu-ray soon. I compare the video qualities to hdtvs. The xp seems to be about the quality of a 720p television, so i’m hoping the uxp will be 1080p quality. I agree that the instructions for a mac user were minimal. I was worried it would be difficult to upload to my imac.

 if i was able to give it a half of a star i would rate it as 3. Let me start by saying i am not a techie kind of person, so i am writing this review as the average user. The jvc everio gz-hm200 is so small it fits in the palm of your hand. I currently own the sony dcr-dvd305 1mp dvd handycam camcorder with 12x optical zoom so i am use to tapping the lcd screen to select my options. This unit offers laser touch operation for easy menu selection and playback by using a touch sensor bar that runs vertically on the side of the lcd screen. I caught myself trying to still tap the lcd screen but after a little while of playing with it i broke myself from the habit. The dual sd memory cards is terrific idea. No more mini dvds to carry around. Recording automatically continues over the two sd cards so no need to be swapping the cards.

I feel the jvc everio gz-hm200bu is a good consumer grade hd videocamera for the enthusiast who values portability and does a lot of outdoor recording. It is not best suited for shooting indoors in artificial light and in close-up situations, or for quick and easy uploading to the web. Likes:1) great quality hd video. I use it at the second to highest setting with excellent results. Color feature but don’t have or know of anyone who has the equipment to properly view it just yet. 2) very compact and lightweight, making it very easy to take everywhere. 3) dual sd slots for recording.

I don’t own one, i borrowed one. It blew me away, at least compared to the cam i was using, a canon fs100 that cost about $100 more a year ago. In daylight or dim light, it was almost hd quality. The sound was far superior to the canon. I was using this to record local live bands, up close, moving around a lot, and it got great sound where my canon wouldn’t. The thing i didn’t like was that it had a hard drive, and the unit would shut down when i moved too fast or stepped off stage too hard, but if on a tripod, it would do great, and i may end up getting one as i’m going into music videos not live bands next. It uploaded easy, but the battery didn’t last but an hour or so, and i’m sure using the zoom a lot like i do contributed to that. This is a great camera, maybe the best i’ve seen, without going into hd, which buyer beware, can eat up a lot of your time waiting for that footage to download into your computer, and processing it, over sd footage.

The best feature is that the unit does not use a touch screen. I use the camera to record events in the construction field, lots of dust and grit. The last thing you want to do is drag a finger over the screen.The quality of the images is very good for this level of camcorder. I routinly slow the images in third part software and project the images ; the quality is more than adequate even when several feet accross. The one i recently purchased works very well. The first one still does also , however he screen must be in a certain spot (folded back against the body) or it goes black.

This camcorder is so small and i love it for that reason alone. Its tiny size makes it easy to fit in your purse or briefcase. The only downfall is that the small size can make it quite difficult to hold the camera steady. I find the outdoor quality of filming far superior to indoor quality. It must be something to do with the amount of light available because the indoor video does tend to be a bit grainier and this is more obvious with less and less lighting. If indoor filming is your thing, i would not recommend this camcorder to you. When filming outdoors, the quality is top notch. Intricate details in moving images from a home camcorder always seemed unimaginable, but you can make out these details with this camcorder, although i’ve found it necessary to use a tripod to eliminate my shaky hands and in such crisp images, shaky hands are painfully noticeable. The ‘laser’ touch menus are easy to operate, but there are so many options, it will take you a long time to become familiar with them and some of the options aren’t easy to understand and caused me a great deal of frustration. I don’t feel the still image quality is as good as it could be.

This is my first camcorder and i have to say i am really happy with this. The picture quality is amazing and when i upload videos to either my computer or playstation 3, the high-definition footage may not be up to the same quality as a few documentaries i have on blu-ray or hd dvd, but it is easily the crispest footage i’ve seen shot from an camcorder. It’s also very easy to upload to either system and to youtube. As i said i’ve never owned a camcorder before and have only used one back in college or shooting footage for friends. My only real complaints are the lack of an hdmi cable and the fact it has a mini hdmi cable slot instead of a full size hdmi cable. I had a few hdmi cables lying around for extra use, so i was a bit disheartened i had to buy a new cable just for downloading footage. This camcorder is very user friendly and if you’re looking to export to youtube or itunes, it’s amazing how simple and easy this makes it. With dual slot sd card capability, you can store several hours of footage before having to upload. The jvc enverio is a great camcorder for people who have never used one before and are looking for something simply and streamlined to welcome them into the world of making home videos. I can’t wait to use this for hallowe’en this year in salem, ma.

The good: it’s small, fast, has very clear picture; it has room for two cards and they’re easy to install. The bad: indoors, it gets the white balance very wrong and consistently underexposes. Mac compatibility is a bit of a joke, it works with imovie as long as you plug the camera (not the card) in and are very very patient as it takes around 5-10 minutes to recognize the camera after you go through the odd step of selecting ‘play back to computer. ‘ there’s no easy way to delete what you’ve transferred, you apparently just have to format the card. Don’t look for instructions in the camera book. The camera is practically impossible to hold steady and there appears to be no effective stabilization.

First impressions on this camera is wowso small compared to my old sony digital8. Fits nicely in my hand, screen is clearimage quality of the recording are clear, so far does well in under incandescent light and low light and bright light. Sound is clearthe blue is a little darker the the photo, but i love the dark blue that it is. The program that comes with it like all other programs you get are. Its browser could be better, the viewer is good part of it. Its currently the only way to view the avchd video clear atm. Vlc plays but it struggles to display correct.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
JVC Everio GZ-HM200 Dual SD High-Def Camcorder (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Rating
4.4 of 5 stars, based on 40 reviews