At first sight, the Everio looks like a dream come true. You can record an hour of high-quality DVD-standard MPEG2 footage on its solid-state memory, and shoot thousands of 2megapixel stills.
But before you run away with the idea that the Everio is like an iPod for the camcorder industry, it’s time for a quick reality check. Its hard disk is actually a MicroDrive, so you don’t get the 20GB+ capacity of portable media devices. Even so, the standard 4GB drive is a good size.
The movie quality is good, as you would expect from the 720x576 pixel resolution, though you do get the odd bit of blur and break-up with fast-moving subjects or jerky camera movement. It’s better than the average MiniDV camcorder but you’ll need the bundled DVD authoring software to work on those movie files, in contrast to the easy playback and distribution of ordinary AVI and MP4 footage.
The camera itself is easy to operate, with the body pivoting in the centre to let you adjust the viewing angle, though it doesn’t pivot far enough for proper waist-level or overhead shooting. The movie quality’s good, then, but a fiddle to work with.
On the down side the 2-megapixel resolution stills, though better than you might imagine, still don’t come up to scratch. Even with that massive 4GB capacity, the Everio’s starting to look expensive