Sunday, 16 September 2012

Puzzling results from a comparison of the JVC Adixxion and the GoPro Her0 2

I've not published the results from my review of the new Adixxion for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the battery life seemed very short so I asked JVC for a new one. This arrived after our France and Spain testing trip so I've not had time to evaluate the battery life - but the old battery did seem to improve after a few cycles. It should have a life of 70 minutes on video but I didn't find that to be the case, and felt that it should be at least 2 hours to compete in the market.

Secondly, the video and stills quality were not what I expected. The video seemed very 'muddy' and the stills were just about OK but not particularly brilliant, especially when compared with either the old or new GoPro - the camera we tend to see as the main competitor in this market segment.

Thirdly, and bizarrely, we shot some footage in the sea and the underwater footage was better then the GoPro - not at all what we expected.

What I can say about the JVC Adixxion is that it is a very nice camera to handle, the basic design premises are excellent and it just fits in your pocket beautifully. The screen is a great and useful addition, the menu system works fine and the fact that it has 2 tripod sockets is very useful for adaptable mounting. The WiFi controls in my experience have been disappointing and need sorting out with a firmware upgrade - it can take up to 3 seconds for a shot to be taken after pressing the shutter release icon on the iPhone 4S we used. This is apparently the average time according to JVC. Get that organised and it becomes a very useful tool, especially as the WiFi apparently doesn't use much battery power. Used for initiating video and it's less of a problem because most users will start the video well before it's needed so they don't miss anything.

We have the camera on test again in the South of France and I'll get a video review up.
In the meantime, here are a couple of shots taken in a canyon using both the GoPro 2 and the Adixxion at the same time:

Adixxion full frame showing the reduced angle of view compared with the GoPro - this is not a criticism:
GoPro 2 full frame:

GoPro enlarged:
Adixxion enlarged:
There's more detail in the GoPro 2 because it's 11 MP instead of the Adixxion's 5. Because the Adixxion has a reduced angle of view I would have thought that the comparisons would be closer if both cameras had similar lens qualities and processing abilities. 
The colour is warmer in the GoPro, the JVC has a more neutral cast. My guess is that GoPro go for drama and JVC think professionally and leave the choice of further colour changes to the user in post production.
Colour is always in the eye of the beholder so I quite like the JVC approach, but I've rarely had any problems with GoPro footage looking good.
More posts when we get the test work from France in another week or so.

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