JVC Everio GZ-X900 HD camcorder
The Everio GZ-X900's substandard low-light performance undercuts the camcorder's clever features and slick appearance
- Attractive design, innovative user interface, handy YouTube upload tool
- Sub par video performance; especially indoors, poor battery life, too expensive
The JVC Everio GZ-X900 is a decent high-definition camcorder let down by its poor low-light performance. There are plenty of better (and cheaper) options on the market.
Price$ 1,999.00 (AUD)
JVC's Everio GZ-X900 high-definition camcorder ($1,999 as of October 7, 2009) has a sleek design, includes a few innovative features, and generates acceptable HD video under bright lighting conditions. Unfortunately, the unit's noticeably subpar low-light performance renders it a poor choice for common everyday use.
The camcorder's svelte black design looks elegant and feels comfortable. Some of the Everio GZ-X900's specs look good: a 1/2.33-inch CMOS imaging chip, a top AVCHD encoding rate of 24 megabits per second, 9-megapixel still photos, the ability to record to standard SDHC memory cards, and a slow-motion setting that records at frame rates of up to 600 frames per second (at reduced image sizes).
Other specs lag behind what comparably priced competing models offer. You can shoot only full 1920-by-1080 high-definition video at 60 interlaced frames per second (JVC omits film-like 24p and Web-friendly 30p modes). You also get a limited 5X optical zoom lens, and the camcorder lacks jacks for headphones or external mics. By contrast, the Canon Legria HF200 comes with both outputs, despite costing $600 less than the Everio GZ-X900.
The Everio GZ-X900 does have a few appealing design touches. You navigate the menus through a touch-sensitive slide bar that runs next to the left edge of the flip-out 2.8-inch LCD panel. Consequently, you don't have to touch the screen itself -- which is handy, because it's the unit's only viewfinder.
The camcorder also includes a clever Upload feature for creating and transferring video clips to your YouTube account in just a couple of steps. Press the Upload button on the side of the Everio GZ-X900 when the camcorder is connected to a PC, and the camcorder/PC combo automatically converts your clip and uploads it to your YouTube account. You need to engage the Upload feature before you start recording, however, and it stops recording after 10 minutes (matching YouTube's standard length limit)
In performance, the Everio GZ-X900 proved to be a fair-weather camera. Images shot under bright light looked reasonably good, with sharp lines, pleasing colors, and good motion handling. In our six-camcorder test bed, it earned a bright-lighting video score of Fair. (The Canon Legria HF S10 and the Panasonic HDC-TM300 fared the best overall in our tests.)
But under lower-light conditions -- including some common interior settings -- video noise and poor color rendering made the video look as though we had shot it though a dirty orange-tinted window. The Everio GZ-X900 ranked as the worst low-light performer in our test group, with a low-light video score of Poor.
The camcorder's 9-megapixel still shots scored higher in our jury tests. It nabbed high marks for sharpness, lack of distortion, and exposure quality, earning a still image score of Good.
Battery life is another weakness. The Everio GZ-X900 lasted just 83 minutes on a single charge of its battery -- the shortest recording time per battery charge of the six camcorders we tested; most models held out for about 2 hours.
Perhaps JVC can address these issues through a firmware upgrade. But as it stands, the Everio GX-X900 delivers subpar overall performance, and it is definitely a poor option if you plan to shoot in less-than-optimal lighting conditions.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Facebook adds Apple TV and Chromecast support as video push ramps up
- Remocam review: This security camera can control your home appliances
- Logitech's C922 webcam is the revered C920's vastly upgraded successor
- Jump the line for the newest Chromecast features with Google's new preview program
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
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!
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.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCBPM Technical AnalystVIC
- FTPresales Solutions ArchitectQLD
- CCSenior System AdministratorVIC
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- FTSales Account Manager | Cloud Solutions | Global Tech GiantNSW
- TPProject Coordinator/Junior Project ManagerVIC
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- FTDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Permanent - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer - Internet of ThingsNSW
- FTProject / Implementation Coordinator (Junior-Mid Level) Sunshine Coast LocationQLD
- TPOrganisational Change Manager | Enterprise Information SharingQLD
- TPBusiness Intelligence Program ManagerVIC
- CCMDM Consultant/DesignerVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Financial ServicesVIC
- CCTest ManagerWA
- CCProject Manager (Event Management)NSW
- FTTechnical Team Leader | ArchitectQLD
- FTSalesforce AdministratorQLD
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerVIC
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - NetApp SpecialistNSW
- FTJava Developer/IntegratorACT
- CCSenior Systems EngineerNSW