Has JVC missed a trick? Although the MG36 is home to a 2.1MP sensor that, theoretically, should be able to deliver hi-def footage, it maxes out at DVD-quality 720x576pixel files.
The Everio has a palmcorder design that slips neatly to hand and a waistline that owes more to chunky MiniDV than its digital rivals. Still, it has a superb 2.7-inch widescreen display and great lens– a digitally stabilised, pin-sharp 32x optical zoom.
The MG36 has a basic range of manual controls, from shutter speed, white balance and digital effects to a few program modes. It’s worth shooting at the highest video quality, as the 30GB drive can store more than seven hours of MPEG-2 movies, even if the battery fades after less than one.
The 50fps interlaced clips gave the brilliant standard-definition images, with superb detail, lively exposure and good colours – although they did lean towards lurid on skin tones.
The Dolby Digital stereo mic pumped out crisp audio, especially when using the Wind Cut function outdoors. A weedy video light makes night-time shooting (just) possible. It’s no superstar but the MG36 is an enticing standard-def shooter.