JVC GZ-GX1 Camcorder Review
The JVC GZ-GX1 isn't the best flagship camcorder on the market, but it's $899 price tag is a bit lower than your average high-end camcorder. JVC cut corners by infusing the GX1 with a cheap body design, poor handling, and a frustratingly-slow internal processor that makes menu navigation a downright chore. The camcorder also lacks any kind of internal memory, so you have to account for the cost of a memory card in with the total package. Still, the camcorder did succeed in some areas: bright light video looked sharp and vivid, motion was captured smoothly without much interference, and its low light videos looked adequate for the most part.
The Everio GZ-GX1 also has a fun trick up its sleeve: WiFi. We were surprised by how well some of JVC's new built-in WiFi functions worked on the camcorder, and the set of wireless features on the GX1 are far more robust and versatile than the WiFI capabilities on Canon's new line of Vixia camcorders.
Let's be clear, JVC's WiFi feature isn't perfect, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. The GZ-GX1's WiFi lets you do such things as remotely control the camcorder with an iPhone or even monitor what the camcorder sees from a remote location—perfect for home surveillance or keeping tabs on your pets while your off at work. Canon's WiFi feature on the HF M52 camcorder only lets you transfer and view videos on your smartphone or tablet (something the GZ-GX1 also allows).
The WiFi features take some networking know-how in order to set them up initially, but we were impressed by how well the features worked overall. If you're simply interested in having a WiFi-connected camcorder, JVC's new Everio GZ-GX1 is the best option we've seen so far.
But $899 is a lot to pay for something just because you can wirelessly sync it with your phone or computer. And the GZ-GX1's deficiencies as a camcorder are notable and significant. Canon and Panasonic both offer better low light performance for the money, and Sony's Handycams are far easier for beginners. This leaves the GX1 in a strange in-between land. It's got fun, innovative features, but it's not the best model for capturing video. And that's still the main reason we buy camcorders, right?