Gadget Gary: JVC Everio X

Whenever I'm going to a big event that I want to document for all posterity - like my sons' concerts or championship football games - I find myself staring at my arsenal of weapons. For these events, a really good video camera is a must. I already have several on hand, so I usually take the one that has a good zoom and takes high-quality video.

Whenever I'm going to a big event that I want to document for all posterity - like my sons' concerts or championship football games - I find myself staring at my arsenal of weapons. For these events, a really good video camera is a must. I already have several on hand, so I usually take the one that has a good zoom and takes high-quality video.

But I also need a still camera at these things. I own several, ranging from pocket size to my bigger SLR. After I make my gear decisions, I end up throwing a ton of equipment into a backpack and then lugging it off to the event. I've often wished that there was a device that shot high-quality 1920 x 1080 video and also took high-resolution 9MP photos.

My wish has been answered. JVC's newest camera, the Everio X (aka the GZ-X900) does all of the above and more. True, many video camcorders shoot digital stills, and many digital still cameras shoot video. The problem is that most do only one of those things well. The Everio X delivers on both counts.

Right out of the box, the Everio X has a different look. Shaped more like a brick, it weighs 0.66 pounds with battery, but feels solid in your hand. It has a nice-size color LCD screen (2.8 inches), and the controls are just under the screen and easy to use.

I decided to try it out on a recent visit to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. My kids and I got to take batting practice, so we had a prime opportunity for some great action video and photos. The video was crisp, the colors vibrant. The photos looked great too. And I totally loved being able to snap a still photo while shooting video. If you shoot a lot of high-def material and want to save as much of it as you can, then no worries - the Everio X also supports up to 32GB SDHC memory cards (not supplied).

JVC has made it easy to share your videos and photos via the One Touch Export function, which makes it easy to channel videos into iTunes for playback on an iPod or iPhone. And the One Touch Upload function, when used with the supplied Windows program, makes it easy to get those videos onto YouTube.

All in all, the Everio X is a well-designed product. The best part for me? Now I only need to bring one camera to those special events - and I can slip it right into my pocket.

Read more about Gary and his gadgets at soundandvisionmag.com/gadgetgary

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