JVC Everio GZ-MG130

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The below section of the report appears to be written as a first-person review.
Please rewrite in original words from a neutral point of view, and if you're the writer, please move this to the comments section.

Firstly, this product is definitely not perfect, but it is well on the way to getting there.

I bought the GZ-MG130 online, from Pixmania, for a very good price, and I was pleased with the purchasing process - everything transferred smoothly, and it arrived on time (if not slightly late). I opened the camcorder, and everything was intact an complete, however, it was missing the instruction manual in English - apparently Pixmania provide English manuals in .pdf format, but only supply the manuals for every single other European country! I had downloaded the manual online, so it wasn't too much of a problem, but it meant printing out 60+ pages. This was a definite downside, and put a bad light on the camcorder, but I think this only applies with Pixmania.

The manual was very vague - it didn't give any definite instructions, but suggestions - it didn't cover what to do when you got the camcorder in order, but sort of dipped in and out. Being fairly tech-competent, I managed to work it out, but I must say with quite a bit of difficulty.

When the camcorder had charged up, I got started straight away. It is easy to use, and the buttons and dials easy to use. Switching it on, however, was tricky - you have to hold in a blue button while turning a dial - easy when you can see what you are doing, but when you are in a rush to film, or can't see what you are doing, it is a nightmare. The camcorder took about 15 seconds to boot up, but once it had, it was ready to film. The lens cover needed to be lowered, and that was located on the front of the camcorder. The colours and quality of the film looked very good, and I was looking forward to seeing what the results would look like on my laptop.

Taking photos was fine, too. Again, you have to press the blue button in while turning the dial, and then it takes you to photo mode. One annoying feature is that it automatically defaults to video mode, and when you want to take pictures, you have to keep turning the dial. Picture quality was poor (when viewed on a computer), and although I should have expected this, I was hoping to use my camcorder as a digital camera aswell. The camcorder isn't a substitute for a digital camera. The pictures look fine on the camcorder screen, but when they are loaded onto the computer, they look slightly pixelated, and very enlarged. The photo feature on the camcorder is only really suitable when you don't wan't to take a video, but there isn't another digital camera to hand. Still, it's fine for mediocre photos, but not for high quality photos.

Overall, this camcorder is a good buy for a family, but definitely not suitable for the keen photographer or film-maker.

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