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A Return To Compact S-Video Format
The new JVC GR-SXM920U camcorder is one interesting beast. In a time when consumers and prosumers are quickly abandoning analog-based camcorders in favor of digital video (DV) cams, the GR-SXM920U packs a lot of power and features into the older compact S-video format (read analog).
Why has JVC decided to go back to S-VHS? It's hard to say. Apparently the company feels that there are still enough hobbyists, and even prosumers, out there with S-VHS equipment to make it worthwhile. If they're right, perhaps this could just be the beginning of a new trend!
Like many new camcorders, it works as both a video camcorder and a digital still camera. In addition, JVC has loaded the SXM920 with an impressive set of special features and options. By using what JVC calls Super VHS ET recording, you can record an S-video signal onto regular VHS tape. Other cool features include a diverse spectrum of wipes and transitions, AE modes, flip-out LCD, built-in video lamp, and powerful 16X optical zoom, with digital zooming capability of 400X.
OK, let's check it out piece-by-piece, starting with the camcorder body itself. It is a mid-sized camcorder, easy to hold and operate. Many of the important features and controls are mounted directly on the body instead of …