Small may well be beautiful, but in DV (digital video) camera circles it also tends to mean a trade-off in quality. This preconception may be challenged with the release of JVC's new pocket-sized GR-DVP3E, a tiny yet powerful mini-DV model that has made remarkably few compromises to maintain its Lilliputian dimensions.
The DVP3E's brushed metal appearance makes for a neat and sturdy unit. Attention to detail is apparent in its well thought-out controls, which make it easy to shoot video with a single hand as all the main video controls are housed on a single dial.
Where concessions have been made, they're in the right places. For example, only the most commonly-used input and output ports - audio-/video-out and FireWire - are on the main body.
It supports DV input, which lets you use the DVP3E as part of a digital-editing suite with an optional extra cable. The docking station, which adds a couple of centimetres to the camera's length, sports USB, S-Video out, microphone and headphone outlets.
A credit-card-sized lithium-ion battery provides a good hour of recording, and the unit weighs only fractionally more than 400g. It has two viewfinders: a freely tiltable 2in active matrix TFT monitor or a pull-out 0.44in viewfinder, which automatically activates the camera as it is retracted from the unit.
Image quality is excellent, with good colour saturation and little perceptible difference in quality between short and extended play modes, and the sound quality is generally crisp.
Few DV cameras marry specification and performance as neatly as the DVP3E. Those after a quality pocket-sized camera might find that the JVC GR-DVP3E is their ideal machine.
Contact: 020 8208 7654
- focal length 3.7 to 37mm
- still image
- 1,024x768 (XGA) or 640x480 (VGA)
- 8MB SD Memory card
- lithium-ion battery
- remote control unit
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