JVC GRD30 MiniDV Camcorder – Condensation Error Again

Please take the time to look at the reviews on this page. Tim riker ‘linux technologist’ writes a review (a little further down) that anyone with a jvc minidv camcorder should read. I too was getting the dreaded ‘condensation’ warning that was preventing me from using my model gr-d70, a very close relative to the gr-d30. Took me a little time to identify the area where the sensor resides. Once i cleaned it off a dried it out, my camcorder worked as good as new. Thanks timjust to help others orient themselves for the cleanin process, hold the camcorder on it’s side, with the tape door open, lens facing right. Everything is where tim says it should be. The silver component in question is in the rear left corner, with some orangish plasticky tape above and below. You almost can’t see the small black sensor square on the right side of the component. May help to have a second pair of hands hold a flashlight in place.

This model is prone to display this error message for long periods of time. The manual says to just wait it out (1 hour recommended). Solution: take a slightly damp cotton swap and clean the moisture sensor. Remove power from the camera. I remove the battery as well. In the back of where the tapes go, on the left side is a silver component. It’s just behind a metal roller that hangs down from a plastic piece over the head. If you look behind the roller diagonally across where the tape goes, you can see a black square on the right side of the silver component. Clean this (gently) with a moist cotton swab. The swap should get a bit of black gunk off.

I am a music teacher so i use this camera a lot to shoot indoor concerts- some well lit, some not- from some distance away. The zoom is powerful, shots are steady with tripod, and the picture quality is great. I haven’t had a serious problem with low light yet. Although, there is usually some kind of spotlight on the performers so the camera goes to that to focus which is fine. In low light situations like lights off at a party or wedding reception, you might have some difficulties, but from what i understand this is to be expected from digital video cameras. Our old panasonic vhs-c does well in low light so when we know that we will be somewhere with low light, we take that camera instead and settle for less picture quality and we just dump the video into the computer via our dazzle connection. Overall, this unit is extremely lightweight and easy to use. It really does charge in less than two hours. We received a video bag with it that is way, way, way too big. We could probably put this unit and one or two blank tapes in a digital camera bag and be on our way. Here are the specifications for the JVC GRD30 MiniDV Camcorder:

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  • MiniDV camcorder with 16x optical zoom, 700x digital zoom, image stabilization
  • 2.5-inch fold-out color LCD screen and color viewfinder
  • Night and low-light shooting
  • Special effects for recording and playback
  • Connects to PCs and Macs via Firewire (IEEE1394)

The picture and sound quality are great, i dont think i could ask for more. The battery it comes with is good for over an hour, which easily covers a 60 minute tape. Thats better than the default battery you get with a lot of other camcorders which are often in the 30-45 minute range. It lacks the remote control and usb/memory card you get with the 2 higher (and more expensive) models, but thats fine by me. It can still take stills, but its not a function i have any interest in. If i want good stills, i have a 2. Pretty much everyone knows by now that you dont get good stills off a camcorder, just as you dont get good video off a still cam.

I boight this camera a year ago, at the beginning i was really happy with the movies it can take, and also the capability to export them to any pc just with a standart firewire connection. But finlly i got problems with the nighshot (it didnt work at all) and the reason for finally sold it was it started to make heavy noises on the casette compartment, so loud that you could hear the noises in the tape you record. I went to jvc and the didnt gave me any naswer for the problem (i dont have guarantee since i live outside usa).

Reviews from purchasers :

  • Make a great movie and let it bang around a bit.
  • High Hopes But Disappointed
  • So far so good

I just got my grd30 yesterday and spent a good amount of time with it last night. Overall, i think it is a very good camera for the price. It wasn’t made overly clear to me (until i read through the manual) what the real differences were between this model and the grd70/90 models. The only differences i saw were that this model has no remote control (not a big deal for me) and doesn’t have on-board memory chip for storing still images (again, not a big deal). What i do think is important to know, though, is that the grd70/90 models accept dv input and can record the dv input onto the minidv tape. Had i known that, i might have stepped up, but i’m not sure it’s worth a hundred dollars. Overal pros:the picture quality is excellent. The ccd resolution is outstanding at this price point — 50% higher resolution than most other entry-level models (what sold me on this camera). The price (and, therefore the value) is excellent. Battery life is better than average (>1 hr) and it fully charges in less than 1.

I’ve not owned a camcorder for about 12yrs. I’m glad i waited until now to buy a minidv. I’m a windows user and was not sure how xp pro would like this jvc. It’s was easier than i thought.No pc video software included unless you loaded the demo software and buy it. I connected the firewire to my pc. I already had an ieee 1394 port on my sb audigy2 sound card. It knew the device and the model.

I bought this model jvc mini dv camcorder one year ago when it was first released. The price then was $375 after a $25 rebate, great price i add. At around november of that year the camera locked up into ‘condensation, operation paused’ mode. I didn’t know what to do, and the authorized jvc location wanted a lot of money to just look at the camera, not fix it. I read online that putting a blow dryer on it and leaving it plugged in and on for one hour will allow the camera to clear up the condensation. It worked, but the camera started to go into that mode over and over, until it was in a perpetual locked mode. After leaving it plugged in a week, it suddenly became fine, and here i am a day later it appears to be fine now. This camera shoots great video except in low-light situations which is fine but i find it unreliable. I went on a trip and it never worked, but it works now, weird.

We purchased the grd50 2 years ago and with less than 50 hours use in that time we have had the dreaded condensation error twice now. Once during the warranty and now just last week. Jvc are waiting to hear from the repairer before they commit to covering the cost of the repairs. The camera has worked perfectly other then the condensation error.

I bought this camcorder some time ago, so far, it’s great, lot of options and bargain price. For connectivity to the pc, you need a firewire card and a cable which costs around 30 $. The only problem ‘i had’ was that the date/time has to be set up each time i take out the battery. I guess the internal battery it comes with was dead, and i can’t replace it since i live outside the us. Night shot is average, and don’t expect other camcorders to perform better.

I was happy with the camera up until last week. I’ve had the camera for two months now, and i’ve been editing on my mac the whole time with no problems. Then last week my mac no longer detected my camera, thinking it was the computer, i reinstalled everything, and the comp still didn’t detect the camera. I even used a different firewire cable to see if it was a short int he cable, still no luck. I took it to a friend of mine with another computer and it didn’t work there either. There seems to be a short in the camera itself that just won’t let the computer read it anymore. Everything else works fine except for that now.

I purchased this camcorder strictly for two reasons. One, the price was exceptional. At first, i thought quality might suffer, but what the heck, buy it anyway. The second reason was to get a camera that i could carry around with me all day. And if it got banged up, or run over by an eighteen wheeler, no great loss. Upon receiving the camera, i opened the package, loaded a cassette and started shooting. This is one great little unit. The picture quality and sound were amazing. People complimented me on such colorful and crisp footage. I now view this camcorder right up there with the more expensive panasonics.

I did extensive researches before bought it, and i finally chose jvc grd30. I’m very pleased with my choice. I had a chance to use canon zr65 and this one. I really prefer the jvc better. The indoor picture quality could be better, but it is better than i expected since all the camcorders in this price range are not that good under soft light condition. I love how small and light this thing is. I find the camcorder is easy to operate, and charges the battery in less than two hours~~ video quality is great when using outdoor; acceptable indoor. Zooming on this thing is powerful. The only two tiny imperfections were a bit noisy on the background when recording silently (you can hear the tape running or something like that)£»and you kind have to back up when u try to get more stuff into your videos.

I’ve had this camera for 3 years, it’s been pretty lightly used. No problems whatsoever until today, when i got the dreaded ‘condensation error’ message. After reading the doom and gloom in other reviews of this product, i was ready to throw it (and the $300 i paid for it) in the trash, until i saw the ‘fix’ below for the condensation problem. I had to do it a couple of times, but everything is working a-ok. If you get the error message, don’t despair – just get out a couple of q-tips and you’ll be back in business in 5 minutes.

I have owned this jvc camcorder for 3 months. It’s stylish and small enough for easy carrying. Low light video capturing is not too bad. For this price range, this is a very good buy. This is especially ture for the 1st time digital camcorder buyer. I have already recommended this camcorder to my friends.

This is my first cam and i must say i am impressed. The size alone is excellent. Weighing in at just a few pounds, easily fits in your hand, this cam has easy to use features that even a novice like myself learned without having to read every inch of the manuel (although i recommend you read it anyways, to catch on to some of the more technical maneuvers). Having a cam that connects to my pc was an added feature i would have preferred but with this being my first time out in the world of camcorders, i cannot complain that this lacks that feature. Overall, i would definitely recommend this cam to anyone who is interested in recording basic video footage. I was, however, pretty amazed at the zoom capability. Who knew i could zoom in on leaves of a tree across our neighborhood street. Great cam, great price, highly recommended.

I bought this camcorder for my teen daughter for christmas in 2003. Per the product description, it is loaded with features and appeared to be a great value. However, after about six months of light usage, the circuit board went bad (according to an authorized repair center) and the camera will no longer charge the battery. We took it for repairs after the warranty period and the cost to fix it is about the same price as buying a new one. We can still use the camera, but i had to buy a charger and extra batts. Considering the problems with this model noted on this and other websites, it would be nice if jvc would offer an exchange program for a less problematic model.

This is a standard-issue minidv digital camcorder in a very stylish body. While not one of the small pocket-size types — incidentally those are often awkward to operate and susceptible to hand shakes — the grd30 is still small enough to be highly portable. All the standard features of a digital camcorder, from digital tape to fold-out lcd screen to ieee 1394 ‘firewire’ connections, are there, and jvc also claims superb video image quality. The 16x optical zoom is higher than many other camcorders. (when choosing a camcorder or digital camera, pay zero attention to digital zoom claims, since digital zoom is entirely useless. Only optical zoom power counts. )an attractive price, especially here on amazon.

Review Date
Reviewed Item
JVC GRD30 MiniDV Camcorder with 2.5" LCD and 16x Optical Zoom (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
4.1 of 5 stars, based on 43 reviews