JVC Everio GZ-MG57

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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?