JVC GR-D230 review
Despite the low price, the JVC GR-D230 actually sits at the higher end of JVC’s camcorder range. However, it would be incorrect to call the GR-D230 ‘high end’ in a more general sense. The sensor is only a little better specified than JVC’s other entrant this month. It’s a 1/4in unit and offers 1.33 megapixels, although JVC applies interpolation to bump up stills output to 1,600 x 1,200. The result of interpolation was evident, however, and the GR-D230’s photography isn’t up to the standard of a true 2-megapixel camcorder, such as Canon’s MVX25i.
The JVC has good video performance, however. In sunlight, colour fidelity was reasonable and detail was discernible in the image, even in shadows. Under artificial light, though, the GR-D230 tended to set exposure levels a little low. Detail was still good, but the edges of brightly coloured objects also tended to bleed slightly. Nevertheless, overall indoor performance was better than Canon’s MV700i or Sharp’s VL-Z900H.
A decent selection of manual controls is available. Exposure control has its own button, but the shutter controls are provided as Program AE modes, so there are only seven options ranging from 1/50 to 1/4,000 of a second. There’s manual focus, too, although this uses menu buttons. While there’s a microphone input, no accessory shoe is provided for mounting – and no headphone socket for monitoring levels either. This is also a bottom-loading camcorder.
Overall, it offers average image quality and a reasonable set of features for a low price, but can’t touch Canon’s MV700i for value.