Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: JVC GZ-MS230 Camcorder (Red) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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on April 22, 2010
This camcorder is an excellent deal for the price. Initially I was looking for an HD one with good optical zoom and a light, but they were way to expensive.
Some of the pros of this camcorder:
1. It has an LED light. It's not so bright it blinds people, but it's perfect for indoor shots. The settings are off, on, or automatic. I usually leave it on automatic.
2. It has a great optical zoom. I've used digital zoom on other cameras, and it usually leaves a lot to be desired. Optical uses the lens to zoom in on your subject, usually result in much better quality.
3. The software is exactly what I needed. It includes movie making software, automatic upload to YouTube or ITunes. For Facebook, you need to convert to WMV (the software will convert it for you). Just don't convert at the highest quality setting, it will get rejected by Facebook.
4. It's very easy to use. Just pop open the viewer and go. It starts up within a couple of seconds.
5. At $240, it was a great price.

I can find no faults with this camcorder. For an amateur, it's the best deal out there. If you're looking for a camcorder to capture family events, this is the one.
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on October 21, 2010
This is my first camcorder and until receiving this JVC Everio GZ-MS 230 I'd never even held a camcorder. I spent a few weeks, off and on, researching camcorders in the sub $300.00 range. When it became apparent that I was getting no closer to making a decision, I went with Consumer Reports' recommendation. For the price this camcorder seems to me a great deal. I've taken several test videos with the camera in the last couple of weeks. I've recorded indoors under low light conditions and outside in bright light, cloudy, and overcast. Under all conditions the camera has preformed great. The zoom, in all three modes, does an excellent job. I've found the colors and detail to be acceptable to very good under all conditions.
This is a standard definition camera and I was skeptical concerning the video quality and was not expecting to be very pleased. I knew there was the distinct possibility that the camcorder would be returned to Amazon, having read some reviews that were not favorable regarding the quality of the video. With a fairly cynical attitude I first viewed the video on the LCD screen, of course. Then downloaded to my PC with a HP w2007 monitor and found the quality very good. Then several of the test videos were burned to disk and played on a DVD recorder to my TV. Again I was pleased with the quality of the picture. The DVD recorder is a Toshiba D-R400 that upscales to 1080p. To discover if the DVD recorder was responsible for the good picture, the camcorder was connected directly to my Samsung 40" high def TV. Surprisingly the video picture was again very good. Any thoughts of returning this camcorder were forgotten.
The microphone is pleasingly sensitive. Standing approximately 15 feet in front of my wife with my back to her and the camcorder pointing in the direction opposite from her, everything she said was clear. The volume was of course diminished but still acceptable. This test was made out doors on a breezy day.
Although I'm a complete novice when it comes to camcorders, and 62 years old I've found this one to be very easy to use. The menus are straight forward and easy to navigate. It took perhaps 15 minutes to become familiar with the controls and the software. The included software is fine for what I need. The intended use is for recording family affairs at Christmas, Thanksgiving, weddings, vacations; etc. Overall I give the JVC GZ-MS 230 5 stars.
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on August 22, 2010
I bought this camcorder this summer because I had a couple of vacations and I thought it would be fun to be able to document them. I'm 21 and I've never had my own camcorder before. I originally wanted to get the waterproof Kodak, but I decided that for $50 more I may as well get a good camcorder that works well all the time instead of one that's just okay but can be used in the water.

So far I've had no problems with this camcorder. It's easy to use, cute, tiny, a great value, and it takes nice videos. You can edit videos on the camera, too.

I'm not a professional, I just wanted something that would take quality videos and be portable and easy. This camera was exactly that and I'm perfectly happy with it. I don't know that someone looking for a professional caliber camera would be as happy, but as far as I can tell it does a wonderful job.

UPDATE

I've since taken this camcorder on several vacations, including Atlanta and Aruba, and it's held up very well. I took an all day Jeep ride over rugged terrain in Aruba and this little camcorder did a great job capturing the views on film and stabilizing the jerky movements of the Jeep. Of course, that could almost be seen as a negative because we wanted to show our friends and family just how crazy that ride was, but it's not a big deal. And it's good to know that the stabilization actually works.
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on December 11, 2010
Bought one of these JVC Everio S GZ-MS230 camcorders from Big Lots! for $139.99 brand new. If you switch to manual setting option rather than auto setting (on the viewfinder), you'll gain access to more user adjustable options including:

*Manual focus option -- perfect for really close-up shots if using macro setting with plently of razor sharp details.

*Scene Select -- gives the user the abiity to change settings for each enviromental setting.

*Brightness Adjust -- adjust the brightness of the subject being filmed.

*Shutter Speed -- adjust the overall camera shutter speed to the following settings: 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/80, 1/100, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000, 1/4000 (1/60 shutter setting is great for such filming high speed footage such as car racing events).

*White Balance -- adjusts for natural colors under different lighting conditions.

*Backlight Composure -- brightens subject by increasing exposure.

*Metering Area/Type -- Specific range to adjust standard brightness of subject...you can select either the entire viewfinder image to be metered or a smaller certain selected area within the viewfinder area to be metered.

*Effect -- you can select from four different digital effects superimposed over what you're filming: Sepia mode, Black & White mode, Classic Film mode (camera shutter runs at either 1/4 or 1/8 of normal shutter operating speed -- old movie cinema look) and finally Strobe mode (which looks like continous snapshots type of special effect).

* Tele Macro -- Telephoto close up for those detailed close-up shots of flowers, people's faces/features, etc.

You can use up to a 32GB SDHC type of flash memory card to boost up your overall storage capacity of utilizing both the internal 8GB memory for a whopping 40GB of both audio/video content and digital picture stills.

It's advisable to buy a larger capacity JVC battery pack with an external JVC battery charger (the JVC AA-VG1 external data battery charging A/C adapter) for those longer/extended video filming sessions (either JVC Data Battery Pack of BN-VG114 with a rated 1400 mah capacity at 3.6v or the BN-VG121 with a rated 2100 mah capacity at 3.6v will suit your needs quite well).

All video content is stored as MPEG2 format either as stored in internal memory or on a external flash memory card medium.

You can select either traditional 4:3 output video screen viewing option or the more robust 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio for use on those widescreen TV or PC monitor setups.

Audio is captured by Dolby Digital Stereo Creator with both left & right microphones in place in front of the camera.

There aren't any ports for the better S-Video output nor any ports for Component Video output support either -- just normal Composite Video output with left & right phono jack outputs or using USB 2.0 at best.
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on February 26, 2010
Just too msny ways to enjoy this camera. Weighing in at 8ounces it's extremely easy to handle. One great thing... NO TAPES!!! This is my first tape free video camera. The firt feature I used was the time-lapse recording of me laying track for my railroad. The advanced stablization is awsome. I am rather unsteady from my disability. You'd never know that from the videos. Even from a moving car.

My only complaint is the supplied software implies some editing abilities. Only one. String clips together. The manual that describes the SW is not current with theactual software.

If you want a lightweight easy to use, affordable camera, then this is it. If you wantto edit you vidoes for DVDs to share, get a decent editing package. Personally, I use Pinnacle.

More details in a later review.
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on January 5, 2011
It's a great gift for a college student or perhaps your fourteen year old son/daughter who wants to record him/herself and some friends doing stupid stuff for tons of laughs afterwards. The point: this is not a serious camera. Want to record your boys football game? Your daughters gymnastics/cheerleading try outs? Great, but don't expect to see the fine details of that fumble he caught to win the game or the slightly misplaced foot that cost her the 10.0 score. Get the picture? No pun intended. The camera boasts good video quality in low light, but this is a half truth. It adjusts the contrast to highlight whatever's brightest, so, if your outside under the stars, keep the stars out of the shot...or any other light, if you want to get facial expressions. The line up also boasts in an "advanced image stabilizer" and this they rightfully do. Recording with it on is wonderful, but there is a noticeable difference in battery life compared to having it off (about 15-20 min). Conclusion, your looking at camcorders, suck it up and get the HD model. It makes the most out of the good low light resolution and image stabilizer.
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on April 22, 2010
this is a great camcorder. I purchased for my 12 yr. old to take on vacation. she used it a lot. It works great is very easy to use & is so lightweight. I like the fact that it has a built in memory plus a slot for a memory card. Plus you can easily download it to you tube! She even took it to school to record her classmates. They had a blast. Records great quality also.
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on January 12, 2011
Camcorder is good if you are looking for a decent camcorder to record in standard definition (DVD quality). But it is not 1920 x 1080 full hi-def recording resolution as claimed in the Technical Details. Do not like false claims. I bought it believing it is HD and had to return it. Other problem I had was when importing movies to Microsoft Windows movie maker. It is not one of the recognized media files by movie maker. But I could import it by selecting all files instead of media files.

You can also see that full HD is not ticked under the specifications under JVC website.

[...]
Amazon needs to correct the description.
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on April 27, 2010
Back when camcorders were huge, JVC was always a brand I could rely on. My daughter even dropped the one we had from about four feet up onto solid asphalt - it still worked.

Five years ago I made a switch to Sony. It lasted a year and a half. Next I tried Canon. Also a year and a half. I went back to JVC two years ago with the purchase of an Everio MG-330 hard disk camcorder. It's been a wonderful little camcorder. Reliable, lightweight and the images are crystal clear. In the future I would only consider the JVC brand when it comes to camcorders.
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on April 16, 2011
It's a great camera, I had zero complaints until I tried to buy some back-up batteries. They are a) hard to find, & b) Very Expensive! Unfortunately I have to say "buyer beware"!
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