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JVC Everio GZ-V500

Slim-design HD camcorder

Item # 257GZV500K

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Our take on the JVC Everio GZ-V500

There are plenty of times when the trusty home camcorder lives in a closet or drawer, just waiting for the next family road trip or beach vacation. Rest assured that's not likely to happen with the JVC Everio GZ-V500. With its slim, no-snag design, it's the perfect size to slip into a purse or messenger bag. And with a 3.3-megapixel, detail-enhancing sensor and impressive low-light performance, it will far outperform the HD video capture on your camera phone of similar size.

The JVC Everio GZ-V500

The compact JVC Everio GZ-V500 features an intuitive touchscreen interface

Smooth, slim and ready to travel

There are plenty of times when the trusty home camcorder lives in a closet or drawer, just waiting for the next family road trip or beach vacation. Rest assured that's not likely to happen with the JVC Everio GZ-V500. With its slim, no-snag design, it's the perfect size to slip into a purse or messenger bag. And with a 3.3-megapixel, detail-enhancing sensor and impressive low-light performance, it will far outperform the HD video capture on your camera phone of similar size.

It's got the essentials down

When it comes to the things you should ask every day of your camcorder, the 'V500 has you covered. There's a 10X optical zoom lens that gives you 18X in dynamic mode to get you up close even when you're out on the fringe of the action. It has an Advanced Image Stabilizer, to take the shake and shimmy out of those long zoom shots. And the JVC Everio Series Super LoLux technology, in combination with the V500's light-gathering f/1.2 lens, ensures superior sensitivity to low light. Those dusk, night, and candlelight scenes will retain their sharpness and color saturation.

There are creative touches like a Smile Meter that measures smile levels to make sure you're rolling when the fun's pegging at maximum. Add an intuitive touchscreen interface and variable-interval time-lapse recording and you've got a camcorder that deserves to make the leap from closet to pocket, purse, or daypack. With all those skills, why would you ever leave it at home?

    Storage and Formats:
    • records high-definition video and photos onto optional SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
    • records 1920 x 1080 AVCHD format HD video, Standard Definition recording also available
    • 1/4.1" (4.4mm) 3.3-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor
    • advanced image stabilizer for shake-free recording
    • 10X optical zoom lens; 18X dynamic zoom; 200X digital zoom
    • 3" touchscreen LCD
    • Full 1920 x 1080 HD recording with 1080/60P output
    • ultra high-speed 300fps video recording
    • continuous still mode recording for easy motion analysis
    • Super LoLux feature ensures superior sensitivity to low light
    • zooming microphone changes audio focal point to match the recorded picture
    • intelligent auto mode selects optimal settings no matter where you point the camera
    • Silent Mode mutes the operation sound and dims the LCD brightness with one button
    • face detection with Smile Shot/Smile Meter technology ensures great group scenes
    • animation effect allows you to overlay pen strokes, decorations, and stamps to your video as you shoot
    • time-lapse mode records one frame at a time at set intervals (1 sec. - 80 sec.)
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • high-speed USB interface (cable included)
    • mini HDMI output for connection to an HDTV (cable not included)
    • comes with a battery charger and rechargeable VN-BG212 lithium ion battery
    • 1-7/16"W x 2-1/4"H x 4-9/16"D
    • weight: 8.1 oz. with battery
    • warranty: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • Digital camcorder (Black)
    • BN-VG212U Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.5V / 1200mAh / 4.5 Wh) with attached plastic terminal cover
    • AC-V11U AC adapter with attached 56" DC output cord (DC output: 5.2V/1.0A)
    • 59" HDMI cable (mini-HDMI on one end and full-sized HDMI on the other end)
    • 39" A/V cable (with 3.5mm mini-plug on one end and composite video and stereo audio RCA plugs on the other end)
    • 40" USB cable (with Type A USB on one end and Mini-B 2.0 USB on the other end)
    • Ferrite Core noise filter
    • Stylus pen
    • Basic User Guide
    • Product Registration Card/Questionaire
    • US Warranty Card/Customer Service card
    • JVC Canada Warranty card

    Hands-on research

    Product Research

    General Features
    Recording Features
    Power Requirements

    General Features

    Full HD Recording: The JVC HD Everio GZ-V500 compact digital camcorder is capable of recording Full 1920 x 1080 HD video onto SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. In addition, the unit can output your recordings at 1080p resolution for superb picture quality on TVs that support 1080p input signals.

    SD Card Slot: The GZ-V500 has a slot for SD memory cards. The unit is compatible with SD cards up to 2 GB, SDHC cards from 4 GB to 32 GB, and SDXC cards up to 64 GB. A 64 GB SDXC card can hold over 5-1/2 hours of Full HD video at the highest recording quality. Class 4 or higher SD cards are recommended for video recording. No SD cards are included with the camcorder.

    3" LCD Touch Screen Monitor: The GZ-V500 is equipped with a "frameless" 3" Ecran Tactile Touch Panel LCD monitor. The monitor can be set to one of four brightness settings, or Auto, which sets the brightness to 4 when used outdoors and 3 indoors. The LCD has 230,000 pixels, and can rotate 270° for best visibility when shooting at difficult angles. The camcorder includes a stylus pen for more accuracy when using touch controls.

    Imaging Device: The camcorder has a 1/4.1" back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with 3,320,000 total pixels. It has a recording area of 920,000 to 3,030,000 effective pixels for recording video, 1,560,000 to 2,240,000 effective pixels for recording 4:3 still images, and 2,070,000 to 2,980,000 effective pixels of 16:9 still images. The back-illuminated CMOS sensor, along with the Falconbrid high-speed processor, lets you shoot clear color images in low light situations, as well as high-speed recording for super slow-motion playback.

    Lens: The GZ-V500 has a bright F1.2-2.8 10x optical zoom lens, which enables you to record in low light environments with brilliant results. The focal length of the lens is 3.33mm to 33.3mm, with a 35mm conversion of 32.8mm to 396mm for video (594.5mm with dynamic zoom on). For still images, the focal length is 40.4mm 404mm for 4:3, and 33mm to 330mm for 16:9. The wide angle capability of the lens enables you to record landscapes or group shots in cramped quarters.

    Zoom: The camcorder offers four options for zooming. In addition to the 10x optical zoom, you can select dynamic zoom of up to 18x, or digital zoom of up to 72x or 200x. When the digital zoom is used, the images become grainy as the subject is enlarged digitally.

    Optical Image Stabilization: You can choose from two levels of image stabilization. The Optical Image Stabilizer reduces camera shake during video recording. The Advanced Image Stabilizer (AIS) is available when recording bright scenes at the wide angle end of the zoom range (5x or less).

    Connections: The GZ-V500 has all of its connections in one convenient location on the back panel. It features the following connections:

    • HDMI: The camcorder has a Mini HDMI (Type C) output for connecting to an HDTV. A 5' HDMI-to-HDMI Mini cable is included. If the connected TV is compatible with HDMI-CEC (consumer electronics control), you can operate the camcorder using the remote from the TV.
    • USB: The Mini-B Version 2.0 connector allows you to connect the camcorder to your computer for downloading your videos and photos. It can also be used for connecting to a DVD Writer, BD Writer (External Blu-ray Drive), or USB External Hard Disk Drive. A 40" USB cable is included.
    • AV: The 3.5mm minijack AV output lets you connect the camcorder to a TV for playing back videos and still images. You can also connect to a DVD recorder or VCR. A 39" AV cable, with composite video and stereo RCA audio plugs, is included.
    • DC Power: The camcorder has an AC adapter for connecting the camcorder to standard household electrical power. The AC adapter is used to charge the battery in the camera, or to power the camcorder during long recording sessions, playback to a TV, or downloading videos to external recording devices.

    Recording Features

    Video Recording Quality: When recording video you can choose from four High Definition and two Standard Definition image quality settings. The High Definition settings all have full HD resolution (1980 x 1080), while the Standard Definition resolution is 720 x 480 (interlaced). The image quality settings include UXP (24 Mbps bit rate), XP (17 Mbps), SP (12 Mbps), EP (4.8 Mbps), SSW (6.2 Mbps) and SEW (3 Mbps).

    Still Image Sizes: In addition to recording HD and SD video, the GZ-V500 can record still images in 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios. You can set the image sizes to 3808 x 2856 (10.9M), 1920 x 1080 (2M), 1440 x 1080 (1.5M), or 640 x 480 (0.3M). Still images can also be taken during video recording by simply pressing the Snapshot button. The size of the still image captured in video mode is 1920 x 1080.

    Continuous Shooting: When shooting still images, the camcorder will allow you to record multiple images as you press and hold the shutter release button. There are three continuous shooting speeds to choose from:

    • High Speed: Shoots up to 40 still images continuously in about 2.7 seconds.
    • Medium Speed: Shoots up to 40 still images continuously in about 5.3 seconds.
    • Low Speed: Shoots continuously until the recording media is full.

    High-Speed Video Recording: By recording videos at a high speed, the videos can be played back in smooth slow-motion. High-speed video recording can be handy for emphasizing movements, such as a golf swing or a tennis stroke. Video is recorded at 300 frames per second at a resolution of 720 x 480. Playback time is 6 times the actual recording time. The maximum recording time is 2 hours, which would take 12 hours to play back.

    Intelligent Auto: You can record video or still images without worrying about the setting details by using the Intelligent Auto Mode. Exposure and focus will be automatically adjusted to suit the shooting conditions.

    Face Recognition: The camcorder will recognize human faces, and will track the faces while they are in the frame. The Smile Shot feature keeps track of how much the detected faces are smiling (using a % display), and automatically takes a picture every time the smile % reaches a certain level. Faces can be registered in the camera and given an identifying name. In addition to Face Recognition, the camcorder will also perform Pet Shot when the face of a registered pet is recognized in the monitor.

    Picture Decorating: After a still image is captured, you can decorate it with decorations or hand-written captions. There are 8 types of decorations and 16 types of stamps that can be added to photographs. Using the supplied stylus pen, you can draw on the picture or print a name or date right on the image.

    Time-Lapse Photography: The GZ-V500 can take a series of frames at a set interval to illustrate within a short time changes to a scene that occur slowly over a long period of time. This feature can be used to photograph the opening of a flower bud, or the passing of clouds over several hours. You can set the interval at 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 40, or 80 seconds. The longer the interval, the faster the video will be when played back. (Example: recordings taken at 2 second intervals will be played back at 60 times speed.)

    Auto Recording: The Auto Recording function lets you record video or still images automatically by sensing changes in the subject's movement within a designated area displayed on the LCD monitor. Recording continues as long as there is movement within the area, and stops after 5 seconds of no movement. This allows you to use the camcorder as a surveillance camera or to observe something.

    Power Requirements

    Battery: The GZ-V500 is powered by the BN-VG212U Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.5V/1200mAh/4.5 Wh). An optional, longer-life battery, BN-VG226U, will also work with this camcorder. The approximate recording times for each battery is as follows:

    Battery Pack Typical Recording Time Continuous Recording Time
    45 minutes 1 hour 25 min
    BN-VG226U 1 hour 45 min 3 hours 10 min


    Built-in Software: The camcorder comes with Everio MediaBrowser 4 software built in. The software can be loaded onto your computer when it is first connected with the USB cable. In many cases, it may be necessary to download the latest version of the software. It is compatible with the following Operating Systems:

    • Windows 7 (SP1): Home Premium (32-bit and 64-bit editions), pre-installed
    • Windows Vista (SP2): Home Basic, Home Premium (32-bit and 64-bit editions), pre-installed
    • Windows XP (SP3): Home Edition, Professional, pre-installed

    Note: For Mac users, you can import files from the camcorder using Apple's iMovie '08, '09, '11 (video) or iPhoto (still images). OS X version 10.6.5 or higher is required.

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