- 40GB hard drive, decent array of features for the asking price, 35x optical zoom
- Low resolution CCD sensor, Laser Touch needs refinement
The GZ-MG345 may lack some of the bells and whistles found on its pricier siblings, but it remains a solid performer nonetheless. If you require an affordable camcorder for fuss-free video, you could do a lot worse that this standard-def HDD offering.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
Beneath the shadow of high-definition video, standard-def cameras continue to eke out a humble existence. Doomsayers will tell you that the format's days are numbered, but the same thing could be said about DVD. While they may lack the glitzy resolution of their successors, the majority of these cameras remain perfectly adequate for casual use, with price tags dropping accordingly. This makes the JVC Everio GZ-MG345 a legitimate and worthwhile purchase, particularly for entry-level users and people who don't own an HD TV. While its video performance is unlikely to blow your socks off, it gets the job done at a price that most people can afford.
With an RRP of $899, the MG345 strikes a reasonable balance between features and affordability. Like all Everio models, the camera comes equipped with its own hard disk drive, which in the MG345's case offers 40GB of onboard memory. This will allow you to record 50 hours of video at the lowest possible setting, or 9.5 hours in ultra fine mode.
The above results are boosted further by the inclusion of a MicroSD memory card slot, which can store up to 20 hours of additional footage (depending on the card's capacity). While we appreciate the inclusion of a secondary recording option, we do wish JVC had chosen a different memory card format — at just 15×11x0.7mm, MicroSD cards are notoriously easy to lose.
With its lowly 0.8-megapixel sensor and effective pixel count of 400k, the GZ-MG345 isn't the best-equipped camcorder on the market. It does, however, fall roughly in line with other models in this price range. Image quality was around what we expected from a single CCD camera, offering reasonable colour and contrast when shooting in optimum conditions.
Naturally, its performance took a nosedive in poorly lit conditions, with noise levels swiftly enveloping the picture. Furthermore, the autofocus seemed very unsure of itself in dark environments, locking in and out of focus for no discernable reason. Thankfully, this was alleviated somewhat by the inclusion of a built-in AF light that did a good job of illuminating nearby subjects. (We would avoid taking close-ups of your friends, however, unless you want to temporarily blind them.)
The MG345 lacks the glossy black finish found on many of its Everio siblings. Instead, it sports a more traditional silver look that is nevertheless quite handsome. Weighing in at 360g and measuring just 54x68x113mm, the unit will fit easily into most jacket pockets and can be carried around with a minimum of fuss.
For menu navigation, the GZ-345 uses JVC's new Laser Touch control scheme, which involves running your finger across a touch-sensitive strip on the side of the LCD. That's the idea in theory, anyway. Our struggles with Laser Touch have been chronicled in previous Everio reviews, including the Everio GZ-MG730 and GZ-MG465B. Basically, we find the interface to be erratic and unresponsive. The touch-sensitive finger strip fails to match the sensitivity of a traditional joystick. Rather tellingly, JVC has neglected to include Laser Touch on any of its premium high-def models (such as the Everio GZ-HD6). This would seem to suggest that the company has as little faith in the interface as we do. If we were forced to say something nice about Laser Touch, we suppose it does look pretty damn cool — the finger strip turns blue when you touch it and everything. In terms of functionality though, it isn't a patch on Sony's range of touch-screen handycams.
Join the newsletter!
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Apple iMac Pro
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Ballistix Sport AT
Toys for Boys
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Internet Security
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
ESET Smart Security Premium
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Apart from offering a wide range of services and competitive pricing, ISPs must offer quality technical and customer support, and bill clarity.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Tab S4 review: Freestyle
- 2 Sony WF-SP900 review: One step forward, two steps back
- 3 Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3100 review: Safety first
- 4 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 5 Lenovo Smart Display review: The bigger, better buy
Latest News Articles
- CES 2019: Arlo expand into the smart home, confirm Arlo Ultra pricing
- Arlo announces 4K HDR wire-free security camera system
- Navman introduces the MiVUE dash cam
- Uniden adds Artificial Intelligence functionality to Wired surveillance range
- Logitech announces Logitech Rally
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20, and we only have one question
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?