By technical editor Matt Allard:
The JVC Everio “All-Weather Cam” seems to be one of those cameras that has slipped though the cracks. The Everio is not a big sensor, shallow DOF camera, but it could be a very useful addition to your shooting kit. The JVC Everio “All-Weather Cam” comes in three models- GZ-RX515, GZ-RX510, GZ-R315 and GZ-R310 and prices range from $295 US to about $450 US depending on the model. It seems that most models of the camera are available around the world, but not in the US. The only model I could find for sale in the US was the JVC 8GB Everio GZ-R30BUS which was available at B&H.
The Everio models offer water resistance submersed to a depth of 5m and can be placed under running water for cleaning. They also have the ability to withstand a drop from 1.5m, and offer dust-proofing and freeze-proofing down to -10˚C. The cameras feature a high-powered 40x optical zoom, advanced image stabilisation and large LCD viewscreen. The battery is internal to keep the camera water resistant, and together with its long life, helps to eliminate the risk of damaging the camcorder while exchanging batteries in bad weather. In emergency situations where you need a little more juice, you can connect a portable battery, such as a commercially available smartphone accessory and keep on shooting. You can also Quick Charge via the micro USB terminal to extend recording time as well.
This camera is relatively small and can offer a lot of versatlity over say a GoPro if you need to get quick shots in water or conditions where you wouldn’t take a normal camera. The Everio uses a KONICA MINOLTA HD LENS and offers a 40x Optical Zoom, and a 60x Dynamic Zoom. According to JVC, the powerful 2.5M Back-illuminated CMOS Image Sensor maintains the picture’s HD resolution even when exceeding the optical zoom range. The cameras use the FALCONBRID image processing engine which can be found in higher spec JVC cameras such as the GY-LS300. It is unclear from the specifications as to what can be controlled or set manually when it comes to focus, exposure, WB and shutter. The cameras feature a HDMI C (Mini) output but it is unclear as to whether it can output a clean video signal.
The higher-end GZ-RX515/RX510 models feature Wi-Fi connectivity, AVCHD progressive recording and 8GB internal memory. Digital zoom is 100x for GZ-RX510/R310 and 200x for GZ-RX515/R315.
The cameras record AVCHD in native Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution and up to 1080/50p progressive recording (Wi-Fi models only). In addition to Full HD video, Everio can also record still pictures with an image size of up to 10 Megapixels.
Camera images from Everio can be transmitted to Android and iOS devices for real-time monitoring as well as remote recording. This is a clever feature and lets you leave the camera in a spot un attended and you can keep an eye on what’s happening far away via the Internet. You can also access the Everio via a smartphone or tablet using a free app, that allows you to wirelessly download your recorded HD footage. Full HD AVCHD data is automatically converted to widely usable MP4 files.
JVC claim the camera is capable of good low light performance, thanks to technology they call Super LoLux. According to the company, this ensures superior sensitivity to low light. With a 2.5M Back-illuminated CMOS sensor, you can capture clear images with precise colours even in low light. No worry while indoors or in dark situations.
There is also a time-Lapse record function that allows you to record one frame at a time at set intervals (1sec. – 80sec.). A rather strange feature is the Close-up Sub-Window function, that allows both a close up and a wide shot of the same to be recorded simultaneously, with the sub-window position movable by touch screen operation. I am not sure why you would want to do this as the camera looks to create a picture in picture effect and does;t record both images seperatly.
The The JVC Everio “All-Weather Cam” is definitely not a camera I would use for an entire shoot, but for those shots where you need to use a camera in extreme conditions or underwater then it could be a nice camera to have sitting in your bag. There are times when I have shot documentaries where I had to shoot under water and in pools, and I just found that a GoPro didn’t provide me with enough flexibility.
GZ-RX515/RX510 Primary Features:
8GB Internal Memory
5H Internal Long-Life Battery*
40x Optical Zoom (60x Dynamic Zoom)
2.5M Back-illuminated CMOS Sensor
Wi-Fi Wireless Functions
AVCHD Progressive Recording
SD/SDHC/SDXC Card Slot
Compatible with Portable Battery** and USB Charging
KONICA MINOLTA HD LENS
FALCONBRID Image Processing Engine
10 Megapixel Stills
3.0-inch Full Screen Touch Panel
Enhanced Advanced Image Stabiliser
Face Detection / Touch AE/AF
Special Effects REC (Grainy Monochrome / Food Mode / Baby Mode)
24Mbps High bit rate Recording
K2 Technology in REC Mode
Auto Wind Cut
Auto Illumi. Light (RX515)
Built-in Zoom Mic
200x (RX515) / 100x (RX510) Digital Zoom
1920 x 1080/50P Output
Everio Media Browser 4 Software Supplied
Works with iMovie and Final Cut Pro X
Colour availability: [Black] RX515/RX510