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Tapeless video cameras

June 22nd, 2006

JVCs brand new tapeless video cameras

I went to the ClickZ conference on online video advertising in New York last week. (I’ll be reporting on it in some detail later.)

The most interesting thing I saw on my trip to the city was a display in front of J&R Music, the legendary music and electronics shop just across from City Hall…

Tapeless video cameras. JVC picked J&R Music as the place to launch this new product line in New York.

Here’s what you get: a camera that does not use tape. Instead it
comes with its own built-in hard drive, available in 20 and 30 GB

What does it mean?

If you’ve got the 30 GB version, you can shoot 37 hours and 30
minutes of video (Internet quality) before you run out of space.  If
you want to get picture quality at the other end of the spectrum, you
can get 7 hours and 10 minutes worth of DVD movie quality.

You gotta love this. No more tape to buy and you can transfer your
footage to your PC about 12 times faster than real time which
translates to a 60 minute segment uploading in just 5 minutes.

How durable is the hard drive?

Good question. The sales rep claims JVC has gone to town with the
engineering on this thing, but the only way to find out is… to try

Having been badly burned by the buying one of the first G4s (the one
with the bad chips that Apple wouldn’t cop to), I’m a little skittish
about diving into a pioneering new product, but I have to admit I’m
sorely tempted. I just got back from a visit to Steve O’Keefe’s office
in New Orleans and I sure wish I’d had one with me.

The name of the product is Everio and the product codes are GZ-MG77/MG37 and GZ-MG27/MG21 respectively.

If anyone has any experience with these cameras, I’d love to hear about them

Ken McCarthy

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  1. June 22nd, 2006 at 13:53 | #1

    Sony has one, too. Reviews I’ve read say the Sony one has better video quality.

  2. June 22nd, 2006 at 13:59 | #2

    Hi Ken,
    I’ve been eyeing these for a long while.
    I’ve copied some paragraphs from reading a review at http://www.videomaker.com/scripts/article.cfm?id=11264 that are important points to note…
    The GZ-MG70 is equipped with a 30GB drive, which is capable of storing MPEG-2 video for a little over 7 hours at the Ultra Fine quality, 10.6 hours at Fine quality, a little over 14 hours at Normal quality and about 37.5 hours at Economy quality (the quality Ken’s referring to).
    Unfortunately, the DZ-MG70 has no mic input, nor headphone jack, nor accessory shoe. So, if you’re looking to add more audio options, you won’t find it here. For the casual, point-and-shoot operator, the onboard mic quality will be well suited for your needs.
    The onboard microphone sound is rich and full in all recording modes, except for the Economy quality. The Dolby Digital (Stereo) audio encoding at Economy quality is set at 128kbps, which is still fairly high, but is noticeably more compressed than the other settings.
    I might still get it, or try it out, to test the sound quality without an external mic. 😉

  3. June 22nd, 2006 at 14:01 | #3

    I just purchased the 30GB model last weekend. So far, it seems to be fantastic. Even at the highest quality setting you can still record over 7 hours of video.
    The optional extended battery takes the battery life up to 5+ hours at the internet quality setting.
    The zoom will zoom in on an eyeball from about 30 feet away.
    The sound quality is fine within the same room but gets a little weak at about 20 feet.
    All of this and it fits in the palm of your hand.

  4. June 22nd, 2006 at 15:31 | #4

    Well, go with the JVC if you want, but all reviews are saying the sony is better. Here’s a review about it. Check out the last sentence in the first paragraph:
    “This January Sony introduced the DCR-SR100. And we have give them credit; this is a solid camcorder, and unquestionably better than the JVC competitors.”
    Full article here:

  5. June 22nd, 2006 at 15:37 | #5

    Recently I purchased a Sony HDR-HD3..the top of the line. Wow, what a camera, in HD too.
    However, it does use a HD tape and may take a bit longer to upload into my MAC but the quality of the images is worth it. It also takes 4M stills that are brilliant. All kinds of goodies for adjusting backlight, remote mike, etc, etc.
    Take a look at the sony site.
    Ed Anderson

  6. David
    June 24th, 2006 at 13:21 | #6

    I own the Sony DCR SR100. So far, it’s performed above my expectations in terms of A/V quality and ease of use. It really is perfect for the small marketer who wants to self-produce shorter clips for the web. Truly a huge time-saver vs. real time capturing.
    The software Sony gives you to move the MPEG files from the camera to the PC is pretty basic, but it’s got a nice one-click feature that lets you quickly move all videos into dated folders on your PC. It even remembers which videos you’ve already off-loaded so there’s no repetitive off-loading going on.
    Yes, the high definition version is obviously better if your goal is to play back on a high def TV, but if your goal is to create web video, then the SR100 will produce equal quality by the time you encode the file for web hosting.
    Personally, I use On2 Technology’s Flix Pro 8 to encode my clips into Flash 8 .swf or .flv files. On2’s compression technology was chosen by Macromedia to use in Flash 8, so the output quality of this $249 encoder is incredible, and the interface is much, easier to use and offers more refined output settings than Macromedia’s full blown Flash app.
    I’ve also used my Sony camera with Serious Magic’s Visual Communicator 2.5 for some green screening scenes. Worked perfectly.
    Be sure to go out and get yourself an external hard drive to back up your video files, because unlike tape or DVD cameras, there’s no backup being made automatically.

  7. Ken McCarthy
    June 24th, 2006 at 19:11 | #7

    Another option… tape camera with a hard drive attachment.
    Advantages: 1) You can use any camera you like and 2) You have a tape back up just in case.
    Here’s a link with info: <http://www.focusinfo.com/solutions/catalog.asp?id=150>http://www.focusinfo.com/solutions/catalog.asp?id=150

  8. Marc Liron
    June 24th, 2006 at 19:13 | #8

    Hi Ken,
    …I personally have my eye on the Panasonic HVX200
    which uses 8 GB solid-state memory cards!
    NO hard drives to go wrong 🙂
    …having said that this is a Semi-Pro level camera.
    Came across this very interesting site that uses Google
    Video for content…
    Now if only these folks knew how to monetize!

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