JVC Everio GZ-MG57

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
JVC Everio GZ-MG57
  • JVC Everio GZ-MG57
  • JVC Everio GZ-MG57
  • JVC Everio GZ-MG57
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Huge recording times, good range of manual options, great design

Cons

  • Only average quality video, small still shots

Bottom Line

Once again the Everio design impresses us, but the video quality isn't as good as we'd like with this unit.

Would you buy this?

It's always nice to have choice. JVC certainly provide in this regard with their five-strong range of Everio camcorders. Sitting right in the middle of the range is the GZ-MG57, a solid offering. With a 30GB hard drive, a 15x zoom and the superlative design we have come to admire across the whole Everio range, it definitely meets the features requirements. However, the image quality just doesn't quite stack up, which is a fatal flaw for any camcorder.

There's much to like about the GZ-MG57. For a start, it's fairly compact and lightweight, and easily small enough to fit in a jacket pocket. The charcoal grey chassis gives the camera a smart look, with a solid design ensuring it's not about to fall apart. A 2.7in widescreen LCD flips out from the side, with a small five way control just to the side of the screen. A few controls are concealed in the area behind the screen, but for the most part the camera feels uncluttered.

There's no viewfinder on any of the models in the Everio range, so everything has to be shot through the LCD screen. Fortunately it is of good quality, and still remains reasonably bright even in direct sunlight. We shot a range of footage indoors and out, but were a little disappointed with the results. For a start, there were some immediately obvious image problems, largely caused by the compression methods used on the camera. Rapidly moving objects displayed the same ghosting effect we had seen on the Everio GZ-MG77.

There was also a problem with high contrast areas, with what looked to be a luminescent halo present around brilliant white objects. Causing further problems was colour balance that was far from perfect, and saturation problems causing clouds to look like one solid mass rather than individual fluffy balls of cotton. Despite claims from JVC that the GZ-MG57 comes with a "super bright lens" we weren't overly impressed with the low light capabilities. The test shots we took in a darkened room barely came out. The LED light helps a little, but can only do so much. However, things weren't all bad, with a relatively clear picture that is free from graininess.

We weren't greatly impressed with still images either. The GZ-MG57 offers a maximum resolution of 1280x1024, which is equivalent to a 1.3 megapixel camera. This falls short of even the most basic digital camera. You might just get away with a small 6x4in print, but no more. Images also appeared blurry and indistinct, also displaying the same image problems we saw with video. There's no flash on the camera, which is worth bearing in mind when taking photos in low light.

As far as extras go, JVC hasn't really gone for broke. An S-video output is nice, though the exclusion of a microphone input will irk some. While the 15x zoom isn't bad, it is great to see a whole range of manual options present, with white balance, exposure and shutter speed in addition to some basic settings such as gain boost. The only thing that's really missing is aperture control.

One of the great advantages of hard disk drive camcorders is their enormous recording times. At maximum quality the MG57 can manage a huge seven hours of footage, which is expanded to fourteen using the normal quality settings. Transferring the footage to a computer is made easy with the included USB cable. Overall, we're big fans of the MG57's design, but unfortunately the video quality just isn't quite there. The simplicity of recording and large hard disk may prove too tempting for some, however.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?