Video Accessories Misc

JVC GZ-HM1 High Definition Video Camera

ARTICLE INDEX

In Use

High definition video cameras have certainly improved over the past couple of years not only in image quality, but in ease of use. The GZ-HM1 is a delight to work with. The Auto mode sets everything for you, so you just open the LCD panel, wait a second or two for the circuits to boot up, and start shooting. I used the Auto mode for all of the test shots in the review, and most of them only required one take. Everything was in focus, good color, very sharp image, the sound recorded well. What else can I say? Now let's take a look at some screen shots.

This is a vanilla pie blossum (my wife is a gardener, and I never thought to ask what this flower is until I took the shot and showed it to her on the editing screen), and it shows how well the camera selects the main subject to focus on. It also shows that with larger sensors, such as the HM1 has, the depth of field is shallower, so that objects in the background will be out of focus. Of course this is exaggerated with close-up photography. The deep violet and green leaves were rendered in a very natural color.

jvc-gz-hm1-video-camera-vanilla-pie-blossum

This fuschia blossum is past its prime but still retains some of the beautiful reds from its fresher days (I shot this in late November). The white base of the flower is properly white balanced.

jvc-gz-hm1-video-camera-red-fuschia

These yellow chrysanthemums were holding up a bit better in the November weather. Yellow used to be a big problem with digital cameras. Not so much anymore, but bright reds can still be difficult as shown in the second photo below. Just a little too much saturation.

jvc-gz-hm1-video-camera-yellow-chrysanthemum

jvc-gz-hm1-video-camera-red-trees

Here is my standard grocery store vegetable rack shot. Everything is sharp, but there is some oversaturation of the colors.

jvc-gz-hm1-video-camera-vegetable-rack

The HM1 is capable of high-speed recording (for slow-motion playback). Depending on the speed you choose, the image is not full size, but rather, a smaller rectangle within the normal screen. This is because the current technology limits how many frames can be captured per second at various resolutions.

This camera uses a lot of power, so I would suggest purchasing an additional battery to have on hand in the field (be sure to charge it before you leave on your trip). They cost about $90.