JVS’s Everio GZ-HD300 Camcorder is a middle area kind of camcorder, and well suited for the beginner. It comes in at a price of $700 and has 1920 x 1080 HD recording capabilities, along with the ability to take photos. The video is compressed using a well-oiled codec that can be found all over in the camcorder world, so it will be easy to get the video into a computer to work with it. It has a 60 gig hard drive along with a 20x optical zoom, which is a plus for a camera of its size, and of course a storage slot for an SD/SDHC memory card to optimize your storage space.
This camcorder was designed for ease of use, and one of its best features is the easy to navigate interface of its menus. The menus are controlled by the “Laser-Touch” touch screen, which is very useful for digging into the menus, but not so much for adjusting the controls. The touch strip can be frustrating for more seasoned users, but newer users will certainly enjoy the ability to navigate the interface in a quick manner.
You can also adjust the controls like shutter speed and exposure manually, though you have to set the camera into the right mode to do so. Adjusting the controls can also be frustrating because of the touch strip. The camera is also kind of a brick—it’ll fit perfectly into a bag, but it’s far too bulky for a pocket. The terrible strap it comes with is no help as well—it turns out to be flimsy and useless.
Another downside to the camera is that it also takes longer to automatically adjust the exposure than a few other cameras out there. There is also no jack available for a microphone or headphones, so this camcorder could use some work in the audio department. The camera is also pretty bad in low light, but it has good color accuracy when used with bright light, blowing away some of its competitors.
While the camera is not high end with its lackluster performance, it is still a relatively good camera for its price compared to its competition. If you are looking for better quality for your money however, then you should take a look at the Canon HF20, or the Sanyo VPC HD2000—both of which may cost slightly more, but they also have better quality. In the end it is up to you weather you want to have the quality, or just a camcorder that can do its job relatively well.