Could this new JVC Everio R Quadproof camcorder be the best all-round video camera for vlogging your carp sessions? Quite possibly…
RRP: £249.99 | Available from Argos
- We like: The underwater capabilities, ease of use, the mighty zoom
- We dislike: Sluggish touchscreen
Documenting your fishing sessions on video is extremely popular these days, but finding the right kit to put up with the rigours of life on the bank can be tricky.
Action cameras like the waterproof GoPro have found favour with carpers looking to explore beneath the surface, but these types of cameras have limited audio and visual capabilities.
Anglers with an eye for varied shots and decent audio are generally forced to carry more than one camera and flit between them depending on the situation.
An affordable all-in-one solution, blending underwater capabilities with the functionality of a proper camcorder, has always evaded the carp market. Until now.
Enter the JVC Everio R Quadproof.
The features of this palm-sized digital camcorder read like a ticklist of everything an angler could want from a video camera:
- It’s waterproof to 5m (for 30 minutes at a time)
- It’s freezeproof to -10C
- It shoots in 1080p full HD
- It has a five-hour battery life and can be charged by USB
- It has a fully rotating flip-out touchscreen
- It has a 40x optical zoom
- It’s dustproof
- It’s shockproof up to a drop of 1.5m
- It has 4gb of built-in memory
- It can take 10-megapixel stills and stills from video footage
- It has a built-in programmable timelapse mode
On the face of it, then, it’s a highly attractive proposition, especially at a very reasonable £249.99, but how does it perform?
Out on the bank
We’ve been testing this camera for nearly a month, using it on a number of different fishing sessions, and we’re impressed.
It’s not faultless, but it’s very capable indeed.
What we love
Let’s start with what we love about it. The zoom is mightily impressive. Optical zoom is a ‘true’ zoom, not digitally enhanced, and the Everio R offers 40x magnification in this department.
Far-bank margins hove into sharp focus as you hold down the rubberised button and arty close-ups are easy to achieve. The great thing is this zoom can be used underwater, leaving a GoPro looking a bit last century.
And unlike a GoPro, the Konica Minolta lens on this JVC doesn’t give you a distorted fisheye view.
Another plus is the flip-out screen, which although prone to reflection underwater, allows you to frame shots with ease while the unit is submerged.
Among the options accessible from the touchscreen is a very simple-to-use timelapse mode – and we all know carp anglers love sped-up scenic shots!
Another very useful feature for the angler who fishes alone is the self-timer, which can be set to 5sec for videos and 2sec or 10sec for stills.
Also lurking in the simple menu system is the ability to edit clips in-camera by trimming them down while you go. If you’re shooting long clips with limited memory, this is a neat option.
What we like
Moving on to the quality of the video – it’s good. Not outstanding, but solid. It struggles a little bit in low light and the auto focus can hunt at times, but for a personal vlogging camcorder it’s more than capable.
Unlike many point-and-shoot cameras, the 37mm thread on the lens enables the attachment of filters and even additional lenses.
Sound quality is good, with a built-in wind-noise reducer that seems to do a fair job. There's sadly no option to add an external mic, but as long as you're mindful of sound direction and background noises you'll do just fine with the built-in one.
The internal memory is 4gb which, as you’ll see in our video review, is not always enough. A memory-card slot enables you to increase this capacity, but if you've collected a stack of micro SD cards when using a GoPro then you’ll have to put them into an adapter or buy the slightly larger SD cards for use in this camera.
What we don't like
Our only real gripe with the Everio R is the touchscreen. Compared to the slick operation of modern smartphones it’s cumbersome and sometimes a little unresponsive.
That said, it’s not unusable and on a feature-packed unit that costs under £250 you can forgive this minor inconvenience.
When the small box containing this camera arrived in the office we were a bit sceptical.
Plucking the flyweight unit from its packaging we wondered how it would stand up to heavy-handed carp anglers.
Nearly a month later and we’re won over. Each session saw the discovery of new features and uses, and the palm-sized camera stood up to everything we threw at it.
You won’t be creating pro-quality videos on it, but as a means to document every aspect of angling we can’t see many alternatives at this price.