JVC GR-DF430

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JVC GR-DF430
  • JVC GR-DF430
  • JVC GR-DF430
  • JVC GR-DF430

Pros

  • f1.2 lens, simple and effective operation

Cons

  • Lack of advanced features

Bottom Line

The GR-DF430 is recommended for users looking for an easy entry into the world of digital video recording.

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JVC's GR-DF430 MiniDV recorder is an easy-to-use device that nevertheless manages to include some advanced features.

The GR-DF430 is well balanced, and can be held comfortably in the right hand. The controls are well laid-out and intuitive, with everything in easy reach of either thumb or forefinger. The 2.5" LCD screen swings out from the left-hand side of the camera, revealing menu/DV Cassette navigation controls.

The GR-DF430's most saleable feature is its f1.2 lens, which allows for much more light to be captured, increasing performance and image quality, especially in low-light conditions. Coupled with a 15X optical zoom, JVC has designed a camera capable of performing in a huge variety of situations with relative ease.

The DF430's interface is simple, and allows anyone, from beginners to advanced moviemakers, to find the settings they are looking for easily. The camera's automatic mode provides quick and clear recordings for new users, while those looking for more options will find a range in manual mode, such as white balance, exposure time, and several advanced shooting features.

The DF430 has fading options, allowing users to add fading effects to the starts and ends of their recordings. While hardly revolutionary, it does make recordings that much more interesting. Video is captured to MiniDV cassettes.

Unlike many digital video cameras, the GR-DF430 captures impressive digital still photos, taking snapshots of up to 1600 x 1200 resolution. These images are stored on the camera's memory card (either SD Memory Card or MultiMediaCard), which must be purchased separately.

The battery pack provided supplies enough power for just over 60 minutes of operation with the LCD on, and around 90 minutes with it off. More powerful batteries are sold, providing up to seven hours of life with the screen turned off, or over five hours with it on. Recharge times are reasonably fast, and if necessary, the camera can run off power through the AC adapter.

It would have been nice to see a few more advanced settings on the DF430; it certainly boasts the technology to take advantage of them. As it is, however, JVC have created an easy-to-use camera capable of producing great images in a wide variety of situations.

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