Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Odds Thoughts on the JVC Picsio

When I first saw the JVC Picsio I was interested in it because it was low priced, looked pretty and Engadget blasted it for falsely claiming it was HD. I’m not sure whether it’s my natural inclination to doubt Engadget, but I added the camera to my bookmarks, and sat back to wait for reviews.

After a somewhat favorable review on Camcorderinfo, questions started to appear when the first review on Amazon was negative. But that’s one review. MacWorld was a little less flattering, when they touched it. But now it’s been blasted by Gizmondo, and the ratings on Amazon have turned abysmal: it has a rating of 3 ½ stars after 7 reviews. Worse yet, one of those five stars is from someone that doesn’t even own the camera, jumping to the defence of budget cameras. The other ratings one 2-stars, and four 1-Stars.

I had the worst time trying to get good quality video out of this device.

The build quality was cheap and flimsy, the controls were awkward and counterintuitive, the video was unwatchable, and the stills weren't sharp.

- poor of image stabilization: practically absent
- poor HD quality: image "wobbling"
- not posible to use indoors: grainy picture; inaccurate colors; etc.

The image was grainy and shaky (even though stabilization was on). I'm returning it immediately. I previously owned a flip HD and have shot video in the same room and the quality is much better.

I want to make it clear that I don't usually spend a lot of time reading through Amazon reviews for a product I don’t intend buying - and I know there’s more than one wrong person on the Internet - but something about the other “user” 5-star rating did catch my eye. It reads more like a promotional piece:

This model comes in three colors; Black, Blue & Purple. It has 1080p HD video, DIS for the video, internal 128MB memory, SDHC card slot, Rechargeable Li-on battery & 8 MP stills

The piece goes on to mention “128MB of internal memory & a card slot” “a 4x digital zoom” and the “HDMI port”, all from a mom who is “not a techy person” and uses it for “kids in their football games.”

For a mother that has to worry about getting the kids to the game, and wants something she can take “out of my purse and get recording right away in a snap” this 581 word love letter to a product just seems wrong. Some of it reads more like a rewrite of selling points: “Even when they have night games you can still see the video very clear & steady just like in a traditional camcorder,” and “My older boy loves the fact it will share right to his iTunes library.

Then again, it seems that the correspondent has had a lot of trouble with DVD production in the past: “I used to make DVD's which took me forever to figure out the software” and then had trouble with the mail “I can't begin to tell you how many times the DVD disc was broken on delivery,” but now she can “just plug in the camera to the pc & the software loads instantly so I am able to share online to You Tube.

Ah, if only the video files she’d been burning to DVD could have been uploaded to YouTube, she might never have discovered the wonders of the JVC Picsio!

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