JVC GZ-GX1 Camcorder Review
Low Light Performance
Low Light Sensitivity
The JVC GX1 has a fast f/1.2 lens that, in theory, should give the camcorder an advantage in low light. The wide angle of the lens, however, means that the aperture closes up very quickly whenever you use a bit of zoom on the camcorder. As a result, the GX1 starts to produce some crummy video in low light whenever you use zoom. Without zoom, the camcorder is far better in low light situations. More on how we test low light sensitivity.
Here are the actual numbers from our low light sensitivity test: without using any zoom, taking full advantage of the f/1.2 lens on the GX1, the camcorder needed 8 lux of light to illuminate our test chart properly. That's a pretty good score for a consumer camcorder that is shooting at 60 frames per second. Using enough zoom to frame our chart properly, the camcorder ended up needing three times as much light (25 lux). That's not a terrible score, but it's nothing to cheer about.
Low Light Noise
While putting up good numbers in our bright light noise test, the GZ-GX1 was not able to match that stellar performance in darker shooting environments. Our low light test really brought out the noise on the camcorder, and our image testing software measured around 2.0% noise in the GX1's low light footage (shot at 60 lux). That's not an outrageously terrible score, but it is a good deal higher than the competition. In fact, it's more than double the noise we saw from the Panasonic HC-X900 and Canon HF M52, as well as the JVC GC-PX10 camcorder. More on how we test low light noise.
Low Light Color
The GX1 maintained accurate, vibrant color reproduction even in low light situations. It's numbers in our color test for low light weren't much different than that of our bright light test—and its color accuracy score was actually better in low light. Here's the results: a 3.31 color error and a 94% saturation level. That saturation in particular is very impressive for the GX1, as we often see a huge drop-off in vividness in our low light test. Not so with the GZ-GX1. More on how we test low light color.