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Mini DV digital camcorder

Item # 257GRDVP7

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Our take on the JVC GR-DVP7

Breathtaking Mini DV digital video, easy i.LINK™ video transfer to a compatible PC via an optional cable, 1-megapixel clarity — what other reason do you need to love JVC's GR-DVP7? How about a sleek, ultra-portable aluminum body that weighs less than a pound?

Breathtaking Mini DV digital video, easy i.LINK™ video transfer to a compatible PC via an optional cable, 1-megapixel clarity — what other reason do you need to love JVC's GR-DVP7? How about a sleek, ultra-portable aluminum body that weighs less than a pound?

Take the GR-DVP7 along on vacation and capture those important memories; it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand or a shirt pocket. Plus, you get a multitude of handy features, like Digital Image Stabilizer for virtually shake-free video, and Night Alive for full-color recording in low light. Even if you don't have an i.LINK-capable computer, you can still transform your recordings into home movies that are fun to watch: just connect the 'DVP7 to your VCR or another camcorder to enjoy random assemble editing, built-in digital effects, and scene transitions!

Want to take digital photos? E-mail MPEG video clips? Go for it — you get photo-snapping ability (with resolution up to an impressive 1280 x 960), plus MPEG movie mode. The length of your MPEG clips isn't limited by the cam, either; the included 8MB SD card will hold up to five and a half minutes' worth. The camcorder's USB interface makes it a snap to transfer those JPEGs and MPEGs to a compatible computer. And you can even use the 'DVP7 as a webcam!


  • 1-megapixel CCD
  • digital photo mode (photo resolution up to 1280 x 960)
  • MPEG movie mode
  • SD Card slot for use with MultiMediaCard® or SD (Secure Digital®) memory cards
  • 2" color viewscreen
  • color viewfinder
  • PCM stereo digital audio (12-bit or 16-bit)
  • variable-speed 10X optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 200X)
  • Digital Image Stabilizer
  • Night Alive
  • auto and manual focus
  • shutter speed (1/60 – 1/4000)
  • digital effects and scene transitions
  • i.LINK digital A/V jack (IEEE 1394)
  • A/V input/output, including S-video
  • USB (1.1) interface
  • webcam feature for streaming live video as MPEG to PC via USB
  • accessory shoe
  • 1-3/4"W x 4-9/16"H x 3-3/16"D
  • weight: 0.93 lbs. with battery
  • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor

Supplied Accessories:

  • 8MB SD card
  • USB and A/V (including S-video) cables
  • remote control
  • AC adapter/charger
  • rechargeable lithium ion battery
  • neck strap and hand strap
  • Pixela ImageMixer/USB driver CD-ROM (Windows® and Mac®)

USB Requirements:

  • For PC: Windows 98, 98SE, Me, or 2000
  • For Mac: Mac OS 9.0.4 to 9.1
  • Mac use requires iMac, iBook, Power Mac G3 or G4, or Power Book G3 or G4
  • original (pre-installed) USB port
  • minimum of 64 MB RAM
  • 10 MB hard drive space (500 MB work space recommended) for PC; 100 MB hard drive space (1 GB work space recommended) for Mac
  • webcam feature requires Microsoft NetMeeting® for Windows, or separate third-party videoconferencing software for Mac

What's in the Box:

  • MiniDV camcorder
  • 8MB SD Memory Card (installed in Memory Card slot of camcorder)
  • Wireless remote control (RM-V717U)
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • BN-V107U (Silver-colored) Lithium-ion battery with protective plastic cover
  • 6.5' DC cord with in-line noise filter
  • AA-V100 AC adapter/charger with attached 6' AC cord (7.2 Volts 1.2 Amps for charge/6.3 Volts 1.8 Amps for camera)
  • 5' S/AV/Editing cable (proprietary plug to S-Video/RCA stereo audio/Composite Video/Miniplug)
  • 39" Editing extension cable (female minijack to male miniplug)
  • 3.5' Mini USB "Version 2.0" to standard USB "A" cable
  • Neck strap
  • Grip belt
  • JVC USB Driver CD-ROM for Windows and Macintosh (also includes Digital Photo Navigator Ver. 1.0/G.726 Decoder/Pixela ImageMixer for Windows/Pixela ImageMixer for Macintosh)
  • JVC Video Directors Club/Photo Club/Game Center Internet software CD-ROM
  • Manual (English)
  • Manual (French)
  • Manual (Spanish)
  • Software installation and USB connection guide (English)
  • Software installation and USB connection guide (French)
  • Software installation and USB connection guide (Spanish)
  • S/AV/Editing cable information sheet
  • Product Registration Card/Questionnaire
  • Warranty sheet with instructions on finding JVC factory service center locations

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

LCD Screen Size (inches) 2
Viewfinder Color
Effective Pixel Count for Video Not Given
Manual Focusing Yes
Optical Zoom 10 x
Digital Zoom 20 x
Night Imaging Night Alive
Image Stabilization Digital Image Stab
Built-in Lamp No
Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery 70 minutes
Digital Still Camera Features
Effective Pixel Count for Stills ---
Built-in Flash for Stills No
USB Port USB Port
Mic Input No
Height (inches) 4-9/16
Depth (inches) 3-3/16
Parts Warranty 1 year
Labor Warranty 90 days

Product Research

MiniDV Camcorder Features
Digital Still Camera Features
Battery Information
Inputs and Outputs
Software and Computer Information

MiniDV Camcorder Features

1.02 Megapixel CCD: The GR-DVP7U features a 1/3.8",1.02 Megapixel CCD imager with a Super High-Band Processor to give you 530 horizontal lines of resolution, delivering rich, true-to-life images with extra-high resolution.

WebCam: The GR-DVP7U can be used as a WebCam, when connected to a PC via the USB cable. The supplied Pixela ImageMixer software allows you to capture video in real time, so you can send live images and video e-mail to friends and family around the world.

Zoom: This camcorder has 10X optical/200X digital zoom. You may set to the unit to allow only the optical zoom, or a maximum digital zoom magnification of 40X or 200X. Any zoom over 10X is digital, which will degrade the picture quality.

Flip out 2" LCD Color Monitor: The 200,000-pixel, 2" polycrystalline silicon color LCD panel flips out from the left side of the unit. Once open, the monitor may be rotated forward up to 180 degrees or backward up to 90 degrees. For easy viewing in various lighting conditions, the brightness of the monitor is adjustable. When the monitor is opened, the viewfinder automatically shuts off to help preserve battery power.

Color Viewfinder: The 0.44" electronic LCD color viewfinder can be extended about 1/2" when in use. The viewfinder is only active when the LCD monitor is closed.

Digital Image Stabilization (DIS): To compensate for unstable images caused by camera shake, particularly at high magnification, you can turn on the camera's Digital Image Stabilization. DIS is also helpful when shooting subjects with vertical or horizontal stripes, dark or dim images, subjects with excessive backlighting, scenes with movement in various directions, or low-contrast backgrounds. The DIS feature should be turned off when recording with the camcorder on a tripod.

Recording Speeds: This camcorder can record and play back in SP or LP mode. LP records at 2/3 the speed of SP, so you get longer recording times (Example--60 minute MiniDV tape: 60 minutes recording time in SP, 90 minutes in LP). Note: You cannot use the audio dubbing feature with tapes recorded using the LP speed.

Tape Remaining Indicator: The camcorder calculates and displays the approximate amount of recording time left on the tape. Once the tape remaining time reaches 2 minutes, the indicator starts blinking.

Auto Shut Off: If the camera remains in the Record/Standby mode for more than 5 minutes, the camcorder's power automatically shuts off. To turn the camcorder back on, you can close and re-open the LCD monitor or push back and pull out the viewfinder.

Lens Cover: Permanently attached to the front of the camcorder is a panel that you may slide over the lens to protect it while the camcorder is not in use. 

Audio Modes: This unit can record and play audio in 12 and 16 bit modes. In 12 bit mode, there are two stereo audio tracks (stereo 1 and stereo 2) which enable audio dubbing and audio mixing. Tapes recorded in 16 bit mode are of higher audio quality, however, audio inserts cannot be made on a tape recorded in the 16-bit or LP modes

Wide Recording Modes: You can record video in one of three wide screen modes for distortion-free playback on TVs with a 16:9 aspect ratio:

  • Cinema mode: This mode inserts black lines on top and bottom of the screen. When a recording made with the Cinema mode is played on a 4:3 aspect ratio TV, the image appears like a letterboxed 16:9 movie.
  • Squeeze mode: This mode makes recordings for playback on TVs with an aspect ratio of 16:9. The picture is expanded to fit a 16:9 screen without distortion. Images on 4:3 TVs (including the LCD monitor and viewfinder) are elongated vertically.
  • S. Wide: The zoom range is extended beyond the maximum optical zoom wide angle range. This mode's wide angle setting is equivalent to using a 0.9x wide conversion lens. Zooming is possible from 0.9x to the maximum setting in the Camera menu.

Fader/Wipe Effects: There are 3 Fader effects (White, Black, and B&W) for transitioning into or out of a scene. There are 6 Wipe effects (Corner, Window, Slide, Door, Scroll and Shutter) for transitioning from one scene to another.

Night-Alive: The Night-Alive feature makes dark subjects or areas even brighter than they would be under good natural lighting. Objects may look as though they strobing due to the low shutter speed used with the Night-Alive feature. Note: A tripod is recommended when shooting in the Night-Alive mode.

Program AE Effects:

  • Shutter: shutter speed can be set to 1/60 (reduces the black bands produced when a TV screen is in the shot) or 1/100 (reduces flicker when shooting under fluorescent lamp)
  • Sports: shutter speed can be varied from 1/250 to 1/4000 to capture fast moving subjects one frame at a time, for vivid, stable slow-motion playback
  • Snow: compensates for subjects that appear too dark when shooting in extremely bright surroundings
  • Spotlight: compensates for subjects that may otherwise appear too bright when shooting under strong direct lighting
  • Twilight: makes evening scenes look more natural
  • Sepia: gives scenes a brownish tint, like old photos
  • Monotone: footage is shot in black and white
  • Classic Film: gives footage a flickering, strobe effect
  • Strobe: makes your recording look like a series of consecutive snapshots
  • Mirror: creates a mirror image juxtaposed to the normal image on the other half

Wind Cut: This mode cuts down the level of noise created by wind. The wind cut mode may be turned on or off.

5-Second/Animation Recording: The camcorder may be set to take only 5-second clips of video and 5-second video snapshots. The 5-second recording mode makes it easy to record an event in 5-second clips to keep the action moving. Also, there is an animation setting which allows you to record a few frames only. By using an inanimate object and changing its position between shots, you can record the subject as though it is moving.

Navigation: The Navigation function helps you check tape contents by making thumbnail images on a memory card. You can set a "Navigation Time" of 5, 15, 30 or 60 seconds. The captured image is stored in the memory card when the recording time goes over the Navigation Time. 

Snapshot mode: This allows you to use the camcorder like a regular camera and take a snapshot, or several of them in succession. When the snapshot button is pressed once, it records a still image on the tape for about 6 seconds. If it's pressed during normal recording, it will record a still for about 6 seconds and return to regular recording. When the snapshot button is held down, it records continuous still pictures with a 1 second interval (Motor Drive Mode). Video stills can be taken in the following Snap Modes: Full (entire screen is filled); Frame (a frame borders the snapshot); Pin-Up (a shadowed frame borders the snapshot); Negative (a negative image is displayed).

Backlight Compensation: Typically, backlight compensation is done automatically; in addition to automatic backlight compensation, this unit allows manual backlight compensation adjustment. 

White Balance Adjustment: When the white balance is correct, all other colors will be accurately reproduced. This camcorder can adjust the white balance automatically, and it gives you the option to perform manual white balance adjustment. There are also three preset white balance settings: Fine (outdoors on a sunny day), Cloud (outdoors on a cloudy day), and Halogen (when using a video light or similar type of lighting).

Digital Sound Effects: The following 12 sound effects are stored on the included 8MB SD Memory Card: Explosion, Siren, Laughter, Race Car, Door Bell, Buzzer, Fanfare, Applause, Cheers, Boing, Scream and Jeers. The sound effects can be dubbed onto tape, and they can be used for audio dubbing. In addition, you can download dozens of other digital sound effects from a special JVC website to your PC to the Memory card using a USB cable.

Playback Special Effects: You can add one of four Playback Special Effects: Classic Film, Monotone, Sepia, and Strobe during playback. Also, the recorded image can be magnified up to 20X at any time during playback.

Audio Dubbing: When using a tape recorded in the 12-bit and SP modes, you can erase and replace the audio with a new track while still retaining the old track. At 48 kHz, you can only have one audio track.

Dubbing Images from a Memory Card: Images shot using the digital still camera feature can be dubbed from memory card memory to a tape. Also, images from tapes cam be dubbed to a memory card.

Digital Dubbing: Using the camcorder's DV In/Out, you can digitally transfer video and audio to another device with a DV connector. An optional DV cable (also called i.LINK, IEEE 1394 or Firewire) is required. Since a digital signal is being sent, there is little if any image or sound deterioration. 

Insert Editing: The Insert Editing feature allows you to record a new scene on a previously recorded tape replacing a section of the original recording.  The original audio remains unchanged.

Random Assemble Editing: This camcorder has random assemble editing. Up to 8 "cuts" can be selected. This feature is more easily performed when the included multi-brand remote is set up to control your VCR.

Self-Timer: The camcorder operator can become part of the scene by using the camcorder's self-timer. Fifteen seconds after engaging the self-timer, the camcorder will start recording video or will take a digital still image.

Tripod Mounting: This camcorder has a standard threaded socket on the bottom of the unit for mounting on a tripod.

Info-Shoe: The Info-Shoe, located on the top of the camcorder, allows you to attach an optional video light, flash or zoom microphone.

RM-V717U Wireless Remote: The GR-DVP7U comes with a full-function remote that can operate the camcorder from a distance of up to approximately 16 feet, plus basic operations of many brands of VCRs. Some additional playback functions are only possible through the remote. The remote also has a 1/8" female mini-jack (Pause In) next to the infrared beam transmitting window. This jack can be used to send Remote Pause control signals through the S/AV/Editing cable to the camcorder when performing Random Assemble Editing. The remote sensor on the camcorder is located at the bottom of the front panel. The remote dimensions are: W=2.123", L=3.386, D=0.722"

Digital Still Camera Features

Digital Still Camera: Besides its use as a MiniDV camcorder, this unit is also a Digital Still Camera that can store still images in JPEG format and moving images in MPEG 4 on removable memory. A removable 8MB SD Memory Card is included for digital still image storage.  The digital stills may be viewed on the viewfinder or LCD. They can be transferred to a computer using the supplied software and connectors, or to a computer with a DV or USB input (DV cable not supplied). 

Picture Quality and Image Size Modes: You may choose between "Fine" and "Standard" picture quality modes. You may choose between the following image sizes:1280 x 960 pixels, 1024 x 768 pixels or 640 x 480 pixels.

Compatible Media: This unit is compatible with  SD Memory Cards and MultiMediaCards. 

  • The approximate number of still images that can be stored on SD Memory Cards and MultiMediaCards is as follows:
Image Size/Picture Quality ModeMultiMediaCardSD Memory Card
1280x960 Fine16326411 (on included card)
12 (on optional card)
1280x960 Standard5010020037 (on included card)
44 (on optional card)
1064x768 Fine255010017 (on included card)
20 (on optional card)
1064x768 Standard8016032055 (on included card)
66 (on optional card)
640x480 Fine5010521039 (on included card)
46 (on optional card)
640x480 Standard160320640134 (on included card)
150 (on optional card)

*Note: The included 8MB SD Memory Card has 12 sound effects stored on it, so fewer images fit on the included card than on optional 8MB SD Memory Cards.

E-Mail Clip Recording: You can make video clips from real-time camera images or recorded video footage and store them in a memory card as files which can conveniently be sent via e-mail. You can choose from two image sizes: 240 x 176 pixels (factory preset) or 160 x 120 pixels.

  • The approximate recording time for e-mail clips that can be stored on SD Memory Cards is as follows:
SD Memory CardImage Size
240 x 176160 x 120
8 MB (Provided)2 minutes5 minutes 40 seconds
16 MB5 minutes 40 seconds15 minutes 40 seconds
32 MB12 minutes 20 seconds33 minutes 20 seconds

Print Mark: You can specify which images will be printed out on an optional digital still printer by putting a "print mark" on the still images you want printed. You may mark all images to be printed once, or you may select images individually and determine the number of prints you want of each individual image. This unit conforms with the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) standard for specifying the images that will be printed.

Battery Information

Battery Information:  The supplied AC adapter/charger will charge the supplied BN-V107U battery as well as the optional BN-V114U battery. The supplied battery is a Lithium-Ion battery which is small and has no memory effect; however, it does not perform well in cold weather. Below 50 degrees, the operational time decreases significantly, and it will not function at temperatures below 32 degrees. It is recommended that charging be performed where the temperature is between 50 and 95 degrees, ideally between 68 and 77 degrees. If the environment is too cold, charging may be incomplete.

  • Recording and Charging Time with Supplied and Optional Batteries:
Battery PackLCD Monitor OnViewfinder OnCharging Time
BN-V107U (supplied)1 hour1 hour 10 minutesApprox. 1 hour 30 minutes
2 hours2 hours 20 minutesApprox. 2 hours

Inputs and Outputs

S/AV/Editing Cable: The GR-DVP7U comes with a 5' S/AV/Editing cable. This cable has a proprietary 10-pin mini connector on one end and 5 standard audio/video connectors on the other. The cable is capable of transferring analog stereo audio through the left (white) and right (red) RCA plugs, composite video (yellow RCA), S-Video, and Remote Pause signals through the male mono mini-plug. These Remote Pause signals can be used with compatible JVC VCRs equipped with Remote Pause connectors or R.A.Edit connectors, or with the supplied remote control to perform Random Assemble Editing functions.

Inputs and Outputs:

  • Digital Video (DV) In/Out: i.LINK (IEEE 1394/Firewire) jack for input or output to second unit, a computer or a printer with an i.LINK jack. A DV (i.LINK) cable is not supplied.
  • USB jack: Female Mini USB (Version 2.0) jack to use with supplied USB cable to transfer still images to a computer
  • A/V input/output: Proprietary jack for use with the supplied S/AV/Editing cable to input or output RCA stereo audio, composite video and S-Video signals. Also, when used with the included remote and S/AV/Editing cable, this jack will accept Remote Pause control signals; this allows for convenient random assemble editing when used with a JVC VCR equipped with a Remote Pause or R.A. Edit jack.
  • Headphone Output: Female mini-jack for connecting optional headphones (No sound is output from the built-in speaker when headphones are connected to this connector)
  • Memory Card Slot: Slot for loading an SD memory card or Multimedia card

Software and Computer Information

Included Software: The supplied USB Driver CD-ROM includes the following programs:

  • USB Mass Storage Class Driver: This driver allows your PC to read and write Memory Cards in the camcorder
  • USB Stream Driver: This driver allows you to record the camcorder's audio and video output on your PC's hard disk instead of the camcorder's video tape. You can also use the camcorder to conduct a video conference over the Internet.
  • PIXELA ImageMixer 1.0: This application is used to capture still images and video clips from a camcorder through a USB connector or i.LINK (DV or IEEE1394) connector, and is also used to manage and edit the still images and video clips.
  • Digital Photo Navigator 1.0: This application is used to capture still images and convert them into a variety of formats.
  • G.726 Decoder: This is an audio decoder for video clips created by the camcorder (extension ".asf").
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0: This application is used to read PDF files.

Computer Requirements: A camcorder can be connected to a PC that satisfies the following requirements:


  • OS: Windows 98 (pre-installed), Windows 98 Second Edition (pre-installed), Windows ME (pre-installed), or Windows 2000 Professional (pre-installed). Operation not guaranteed on a PC that has been upgraded from Windows 95.
  • CPU: Intel MMX Pentium, at least 200 MHz
  • RAM: At least 64 MB recommended
  • Free Hard Disc Space: At least 10 MB for installation, at least 500 MB recommended
  • Connector: USB port
  • Display: Must be capable of displaying 800 x 600 dots with 16-bit color
  • Miscellaneous: DirectX 8.0a or later; Internet Explorer 4 or later
  • Windows XP Users: Will need more information from a special JVC website

For ImageMixer: In addition to the above requirements, the following requirements must be satisfied to use ImageMixer:

  • OS: Same requirements as above with the following exceptions: Windows 98 cannot be used when you connect a camcorder to the PC with a USB cable. Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition cannot be used when you connect a camcorder to the PC with an i.LINK (DV/IEEE1394) cable.
  • CPU: For capturing video via a USB cable or an i.LINK (DV/IEEE1394) cable, Intel Pentium III, at least 500 MHz, at least 800 MHz recommended
  • Free Hard Disc Space: At least 250 MB for installation, at least 1 GB recommended
  • Connector: i.LINK (DV/IEEE1394)


  • Hardware: iMac, iBook, Power MacintoshG3, Power MacG4 or Power BookG3 or G4 equipped with a USB connector
  • OS: Mac OS 9.0.4 to 9.1
  • RAM: At least 64 MB recommended
  • Free Hard Disk Space: At least 100 MB for installation, at least 1 GB recommended
  • Display: Must be capable of displaying 800 x 600 dots with 32,000 colors
  • Miscellaneous: QuickTime 4 or later

Our Product Research Team

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