JVC GZ-HM450 Camcorder Review
The JVC GZ-HM450 took a step backwards in our color accuracy test, at least compared to last year's JVC GZ-HM340 that is. The camcorder still managed a halfway decent color score of 4.57 and a saturation level of 81.5%. Despite these numbers being decent for an entry-level camcorder, it doesn't dismiss the fact that they are worse than the GZ-HM450's predecessor, as well as worse than other comparable entry-level models (like the Canon HF R21). More on how we test color.
Looking at the color error map above, you'll notice the HM450 did an excellent job rendering purple and blue tones, but had some terrible difficulty with green and yellow colors. Overall, the colors produced by the HM450 look good to our eyes, with the blues and darker colors looking rather deep and vivid. Unfortunately, the camcorder has no color modes or controls, however, so the colors you get in regular auto mode are what you're going to get for all your recordings.
It is worth comparing the hM450's video image to that of the JVC HM340. Notice how the HM340's colors look more saturated, slightly crisper, and deeper. The Sony HDR-CX160 and Canon HF R21 manged to capture lighter colors that are more similar to what the HM450 produced. Remember, color quality depends a lot on personal preference. Our numbers and test results are simply based on color accuracy formulas, If you like the way a camcorder produces color, it really doesn't matter how accurate these results are in the end. So, look at our sample images and decide for yourself what camcorder does the best job in this test.
Low Light Color
Low light color results for the GZ-HM450 were quite good, with the camcorder actually capturing more accurate colors in low light than in our bright light test. The camcorder managed a color error of 4.41 in low light, and a solid saturation level of just over 75%. These numbers are good for an entry-level model, although they aren't any different than what JVC managed on last year's GZ-HM340. More on how we test low light color.
Noise results for the GZ-HM450 were slightly better than average for an entry-level camcorder. In our testing, the camcorder averaged around 0.7% noise, which is less noise than the Canon HF R21 and Sony HDR-CX160 measured in this same test. The problem with this noise level from the HM450 is the fact that it is worse than last year's HM340—which is something we saw in our color test as well. It is always disappointing to see a camcorder manage worse performance than its predecessor. More on how we test noise.
Take a look at the crops above and you'll get a good idea of how well the GZ-HM450 is able to capture video, particularly in terms of sharpness. Cycling through the crops, you can see the Sony and Canon camcorders were able to produce slightly sharper video images than the two JVC models. Look at the bottom of the lines that run vertically down the left side of the crops to see what we're talking about.