• Price: £1,600 including VAT

  • Company: JVC

  • Our Rating: We rate this 8 out of 10 We rate this 8 out of 10

Convergence is the buzzword in digital technology and crossbreeding consumer electronics can be spotted everywhere with mobile phones becoming MP3 players and watches able to covertly shoot digital stills. The new JVC GR-DV2000, and its DV-in neutered sibling the GR-DV1800, have also fallen prey to the feature splicing engineers. It’s a DV camera that will also act as a competent 1.92 million pixel digital-stills camera. The DV camera is a very nice compact size and fits in the hand comfortably but still sports a large 3.5-inch fold out screen that reveals the VCR control buttons, FireWire port and print controls. Hi-res CCD The key feature of the GR-DV2000 is the high resolution, 800,000 pixel, progressive scan CCD – which allows for sharp filming and the digital still aspect of the camera. Most cameras use an interlaced CCD that captures every other line (one field) at a time while the DV2000 will capture the entire frame in one scan when set to Progressive mode. This offers a much sharper and higher resolution image without the blurs associated with interlaced CCDs. Added number crunching in the form of a High Band Processor and a Progressive Colour Filter keep the luminance levels balanced and the colours in check. In still mode the camera can shoot in three different resolutions, VGA (640-x-480), XGA (1,024-x-768) and UXGA (1,600-x-1,200). This is set by sliding a switch on the barrel of the lens, which makes changing mode on-the-fly extremely easy. The high resolution UXGA is achieved through a nifty bit of cheating, where the camera optically shifts the CCD to effectively take a double exposure to double the real camera resolution. Results from still shooting had some video ghosting and the images do look interpolated compared to a generic mega-pixel camera. The images lacked detail in whites and blacks but the camera is very good at automatic colour balancing. Still-image quality was at best average at full UXGA mode. Proudly printed on the barrel of the lens in the claim of a 300x digital zoom, but in actual fact the 10x optical zoom is all that should be safely considered. Interestingly the zoom level for stills is limited to 2x when at UXGA mode. However the camera showed amazing macro capabilities with video being filmed mere inches away from the lens. Using the camera was intuitive but some of the control buttons and access ports lacked consideration for the more sophisticated filmmaker. The camera beeps on when either the side flat panel is opened or the viewfinder is extended into the open position. Shooting modes are manual or automatic, with a range of presets. Hit the central button near the right thumb and you’re recording – and the photo button is directly on top of the camera. This basic configuration is fine if you’re holding the camera normally but makes videoing very tricky if your holding the camera in any other way. At a low angle, for example, reaching back around for pause button instantly adds unnecessary camera jarring to every shot. FireWire port I/O ports on the GR-DV2000 are plentiful, but getting access to them at all times is not possible. The FireWire port acts bi-directionally and the camera also includes video in and out with both composite and S-video ports. The microphone, earphone, printer (for automatically attaching the camera to a digital photo printer) and AV ports are hidden under rubber flats, but to access the other features requires replacing the battery pack with a smart pack that provides power, S-video, edit control and USB support. You can’t quickly transfer stills to a computer without the complete menagerie of cables, power supplies and the aforementioned smart pack. JVC’s GR-DV2000 has the makings of being a great camera, with loads of features and the ability to shoot stills on-the-fly and save them in a different media. Image quality for video was high for a single CCD camcorder but this did not translate to still shooting – and many professionals will still need the extra quality afforded by slightly more expensive models such as Sony’s TRV-900 or the Canon XL-1.onvergence is the buzzword in digital technology and crossbreeding consumer electronics can be spotted everywhere with mobile phones becoming MP3 players and watches able to covertly shoot digital stills. The new JVC GR-DV2000, and its DV-in neutered sibling the GR-DV1800, have also fallen prey to the feature splicing engineers. It’s a DV camera that will also act as a competent 1.92 million pixel digital-stills camera. The DV camera is a very nice compact size and fits in the hand comfortably but still sports a large 3.5-inch fold out screen that reveals the VCR control buttons, FireWire port and print controls. Hi-res CCD The key feature of the GR-DV2000 is the high resolution, 800,000 pixel, progressive scan CCD – which allows for sharp filming and the digital still aspect of the camera. Most cameras use an interlaced CCD that captures every other line (one field) at a time while the DV2000 will capture the entire frame in one scan when set to Progressive mode. This offers a much sharper and higher resolution image without the blurs associated with interlaced CCDs. Added number crunching in the form of a High Band Processor and a Progressive Colour Filter keep the luminance levels balanced and the colours in check. In still mode the camera can shoot in three different resolutions, VGA (640-x-480), XGA (1,024-x-768) and UXGA (1,600-x-1,200). This is set by sliding a switch on the barrel of the lens, which makes changing mode on-the-fly extremely easy. The high resolution UXGA is achieved through a nifty bit of cheating, where the camera optically shifts the CCD to effectively take a double exposure to double the real camera resolution. Results from still shooting had some video ghosting and the images do look interpolated compared to a generic mega-pixel camera. The images lacked detail in whites and blacks but the camera is very good at automatic colour balancing. Still-image quality was at best average at full UXGA mode. Proudly printed on the barrel of the lens in the claim of a 300x digital zoom, but in actual fact the 10x optical zoom is all that should be safely considered. Interestingly the zoom level for stills is limited to 2x when at UXGA mode. However the camera showed amazing macro capabilities with video being filmed mere inches away from the lens. Using the camera was intuitive but some of the control buttons and access ports lacked consideration for the more sophisticated filmmaker. The camera beeps on when either the side flat panel is opened or the viewfinder is extended into the open position. Shooting modes are manual or automatic, with a range of presets. Hit the central button near the right thumb and you’re recording – and the photo button is directly on top of the camera. This basic configuration is fine if you’re holding the camera normally but makes videoing very tricky if your holding the camera in any other way. At a low angle, for example, reaching back around for pause button instantly adds unnecessary camera jarring to every shot. FireWire port I/O ports on the GR-DV2000 are plentiful, but getting access to them at all times is not possible. The FireWire port acts bi-directionally and the camera also includes video in and out with both composite and S-video ports. The microphone, earphone, printer (for automatically attaching the camera to a digital photo printer) and AV ports are hidden under rubber flats, but to access the other features requires replacing the battery pack with a smart pack that provides power, S-video, edit control and USB support. You can’t quickly transfer stills to a computer without the complete menagerie of cables, power supplies and the aforementioned smart pack. JVC’s GR-DV2000 has the makings of being a great camera, with loads of features and the ability to shoot stills on-the-fly and save them in a different media. Image quality for video was high for a single CCD camcorder but this did not translate to still shooting – and many professionals will still need the extra quality afforded by slightly more expensive models such as Sony’s TRV-900 or the Canon XL-1. Mark Bennett