By >Daimaou - G.G-B
JVC Everio X GZ-X900 Review… A Good Camera in an Elegant Body
We first encountered the Everio X in its prototype shape back in 2008 at the CEATEC 08, and we fell in love with this new AVCHD compact camcorder. Less than a year after, JVC announced officially the release of the Everio X and finally we had the chance to play with it and give you our feedback.
JVC Everio X GZ-X900 Specs
- 1/2.33″ CMOS, 10.3 Megapixel
- 5x Optical / 8x Dynamic / 200x Digital (max.)
- KONICA MINOLTA HD LENS
- Video: [AVCHD] MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio: Dolby Digital (2ch)
- UXP: 1920x1080i, Avg. 24Mbps (VBR)
- 2.8″ 207K-pixel Color LCD
Design and First Impressions
I admit with its LCD closed and turned off, the Everio X is for me of the most elegant compact camcorder around. With a brilliant design and a perfectly balanced touch of black and silver, the Everio X is elegant and feels luxurious. The X also uses some good quality plastic and even if you hold it tight when shooting video there’s no “plastic noise” of loose body parts or other components, a very good point.
While I like its design with its LCD closed, I am less impressed its design when the LCD is fully open… The LCD hides what’s for me the most disgraceful thing on this camera… The battery.
I’m not really sure why JVC placed the battery this way, but you can physically see the battery lodged in the X body and once removed, or if you want to use the camera with only its power outlet, you’ll have a disgraceful hole that JVC didn’t try to hide.
Another disgraceful design part on the X is its stereo microphones, which are lodged on the top of the LCD and add a hunchback style to what should be a thin and elegant LCD.
Let’s Shoot Baby!
Like many camcorders, the Everio X can shoot photo, and like many camcorders we won’t even waist our time on this since the overall quality is far to amaze even the cheapest Exemode Point and Shoot.
So let’s start this baby up…
My first surprise was to see an Everio X available in many different languages in Japan, while Sony and Sanyo no longer even supports English (booooo !!!!) and Panasonic at least supports it… (could do better ! Really !)… So if you travel around Japan and purchase one of these Everio X’s you can switch to English, French, Spanish… very easily.
If the menu and GUI is really decent, I didn’t like the JVC Laser Touch Operation at all. This little touch slider is placed on the left side of the LCD and is a pain to use… Call me old fashioned but I’d prefer to use a button.
Once you get passed the useless laser thingy, it’s time to shoot, and guess what, this camera provides pretty good overall quality. Compared to an Xacti Full HD, the Everio X gives you WAY better video and colorful images. Another good point here is JVC didn’t limit its Everio X to only 17Mbps (like many other companys do) but offers a nice 24Mbps.
Basically the higher the number, the less video compression you get and less artifact compression you’ll have on the video. As you can see below with the screen captures and 100% crop, video is pretty decent on a not so exceptionally bright day.
Good video results but I have a few complaints.
1) Unlike a Sanyo Xacti, the Everio X records video in 1080/60i or Interlaced, a crappy video system built for CRT TVs… you know those prehistoric TVs… If you’re not careful while editing video on a PC or Mac, you may have get horrible results with small lines around each moving subject (see the RAW footage below).
2) Horrible low light video quality… Sorry I didn’t shoot any samples, but you will have to take my word on this… I was amazed by the low quality of video shot in low light with many noticeable video noises… Actually you can either turn on Video Boost (giving more noise) or turn it off and not be able to see a thing.
3) Blurry pictures at the corner of the video. If you check the screenshot carefully, you will notice that each video is blurry on the corner, only leaving the center fully in focus… I tried playing with different focus settings but it didn’t help… Not sure what to say, is this due to my sample product? Did I do something wrong with the setting? I really can’t say and didn’t notice any problems during my video test.
4) 600fps and 300fps mode… Useless, and I wonder why JVC didn’t bother to implement these modes.
Despite a few complaints, and the camera’s poor results in low light, I admit the Everio X gives me more satisfaction than the high-end Sanyo Xacti or Sony’s latest compact Handycam TG5V or TG7, in both low and bright light. Yes, despite my few complaints and compared to the competition, the Everio X is really shinning here and I will without a minutes hesitation recommend it over the Xacti HD2000, FH11 or Sony’s TG5V (TG7)… I just hope that the next Everio X generation will move to 1080/60p instead of 1080/60i.
In any case, if it’s elegance you’re are looking for, with a small form factor and are less picky than I am… the Everio X is definitely worth your attention and money!