Channel 5

JVC GZ-HM400

Thursday 18 February 2010

G-Rating

Rating of 4

The basics

JVC’s GZ-HM400 has a 1/2.33in, 10.3MP CMOS sensor and records Full HD images at up to 24Mbps to a 32GB internal flash memory. For longer recording an SD/SDHC card slot makes it possible to use removable media. A 2.8in LCD screen features Laser Touch operation for menu navigation. Super slow-motion recording is available at three settings: 500fps, 250fps and 100fps.

The good

The range and flexibility of slow-motion recording gives the HM400 an intriguing extra dimension and this extends to its stills settings, which can be shot at 50fps and 15fps. An optical image stabiliser smoothes the jitters from handheld footage without creating additional picture noise and a range of manual features and adjustments provides an excellent level of user control. At the business end of the HM400, the 10.3MP CMOS sensor and lens combo produce impressively detailed images that are rich in colour.

The bad

Though camcorders are traditionally bad in low-light situations, the HM400’s performance is still a little disappointing in this area and images suffer from an extra degree of picture noise. The f2.8 lens is narrow and doesn’t allow enough into the frame, so it’s necessary to step further away from a subject to fit them in; a wider angle lens, such as that on Panasonic’s HDC-HS60 would have been a better bet.

The bottom line

Feed the HM400 plenty of light and the movie clips and stills it produces will be a delight. It’s a feature-packed model and its versatility is among the many reasons to consider it if, that is, you want a high-quality camcorder that requires more than a cursory glance at the user manual.
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JVC GZ-HM400 is tagged with JVC Everio GZ-HM400 and camcorder. Select a tag (JVC Everio GZ-HM400, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

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