JVC Everio GZ-VX700 Camcorder Review
Lens & Imaging System
The JVC Everio GZ-VX700 has a 1/4-inch CMOS sensor with a total pixel count of 3.32 megapixels (3.03 effective megapixels). This is a solid mid-range camcorder sensor that is bigger than the sensors you'll find on some of the lowest-price camcorders in JVC's Everio line. But it's a good deal smaller than the sensors than you find on flagship models (usually around 1/2-inch or 1/3 of an inch in size).
The f/1.2 lens is very fast and has a wide angle of view in addition to its 10x optical zoom. JVC loaded the lens with a number dynamic (18x) and digital zoom (up to 200x) rather than equip the camcorder with an impressive optical zoom ratio (10x is on the low end for a mid-range camcorder).
The GZ-VX700 is equipped with what has become the standard size LCD for a mid-range camcorder: 3-inches diagonal with a 230k pixel resolution. You'll find these LCD specs for most camcorders in the $500 price range, while many flagship models have a bit larger screens (up to 3.5-inches) and usually have much higher resolutions (often approaching one million pixels).
So the specs for the VX700's LCD are just fine. The screen looks decent enough, it has brightness controls, and it should be large enough for most users. The problem with the screen lies in its touch interface, which is downright awful. At times, we found ourselves pressing touch buttons on the LCD four or five times before the camcorder would recognize our input. That's not just bad, that's borderline unusable.
JVC conveniently locates all of the GZ-VX700's ports in a small strip on the back of the camcorder. In a line going straight down you'll see the DC-input, AV-output, HDMI port, and USB terminal. These ports, while protected well by a plastic cover, are a bit difficult to get to thanks to the difficult-to-open cover design. There's no release switch to pop the cover open, so you must pry it open with your fingernail using the tiny slot located near the base of the camcorder. It's not crazy difficult, but it is harder than it should be.
Since the VX700 is a slender camcorder, it's battery compartment must fit in with this narrow design. In doing so, JVC resorted to using an enclosed battery compartment on the right side of the camcorder. This design has two flaws: 1) you can't use larger battery packs with the VX700 in order to get a longer recording time, and 2) the battery compartment door doesn't remain connected to the camcorder when opened. That last point is a shocker. The battery door comes right off of the camcorder when you open it, which means it is very easy to lose or break when you take it off. And working with the VX700 with its battery fully exposed won't be safe (or fun) for anyone. Find out how the performed in our battery life test./r:link_to_content
To keep costs down, JVC didn't include internal memory on most of its new 2012 Everios. So the VX700 requires the use of a SD-type memory card in order to save and record media content with the camcorder. The card slot is on the bottom of the camcorder and it fits SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of various media types.