JVC GS-TD1 review
A decent camcorder, but other forces look set to conspire against it
The wonder attached to 3D has perhaps dissipated somewhat with the appearance of a number of poor movies, overpriced TVs and constant barrage of marketing. Perhaps the timing of JVC’s GS TD1 isn’t exactly perfect in this case, but if the results are lifelike there’s no reason for negative press to unduly taint it. See also Group test: what's the best digital camcorder?
Unlike the Panasonic HS900 the JVC GS-TD1 needs no adapter, nor extra outlay, to achieve 3D results. Dual CMOS chips, each sporting their own 5x optical zoom lens, mean the camcorder is instantly ready to record true 3D, rather than a facsimile. The effect can even be seen on the LCD without glasses thanks to the parallax barrier screen, although moving quickly and zooming at pace can result in an undesired bout of dizziness. Visit Sony DEV-5 review.
Footage is recorded onto a 64GB internal flash drive, although with the inclusion of an SDXC port this can be doubled at the very least. Recording in 3D takes about a third off of the capacity, meaning the six hours in 2D becomes four. At no point is image quality compromised, thanks to the dual sensors, and the results are fairly impressive in decent light. Compared to other 3D models at this price range the footage shot displayed the 3D effect well, and even managed to maintain this at objects at a further distance than a few feet.
Annoyingly watching, or editing the footage on anything other than a direct TV connection is tricky. The proprietary MP4 format made it almost impossible to find a consumer editing program that would understand it, and few playback applications even recognised the files. This makes the GS-TD1 something of a difficult beast to judge, as it could either be seen as ahead of it’s time or simply another gimmick destined for the scrap heap.
It goes without saying, but without the correct TV setup the GS-TD1 is largely pointless. The 3D quality is among the best we’ve seen from a consumer camcorder, but the proprietary files means playback is limited to a direct TV connect. A decent camcorder, but other forces look set to conspire against it.