Opinions Wanted : JVC Everio GZ-MG37AA 30gb HDD

Hi guys,

i've been told that of all the places on the net to ask about cameras, this is the place to be :D

so as the thread title suggest, i'm after some input from others here, regarding the JVC Everio GZ-MG37AA 30gb HDD Camera.

My brother and I will be shooting a short film in the coming months, and currently have free access to this JVC camera.
Our films budget is such that buying a new camera is unlikely, unless of course we can get a great deal (under AU$500).

Lighting will play a big part in our film, we are going for grey/blue washed out visuals to give the gore a greater impact. We would like to have it feel as close to 'film' as we can.

We WILL be shooting test footage with this camera in april, but i'd like to hear what others think it's capable of, or if someone has some tips/tricks to get the most out of it.

one of my main concerns with the MG37 is that it has no audio input jack. I've gone into overcoming the audio problem in THIS thread.


IndieTalk's Resident Guru
To get the look you want you will need to use lights well. The
camera is a rather minor part of lighting. Use gels, learn where
to place lights and use shadows and you can get a good look with
that camera. That camera is really limited; it uses MPEG2 and the
maximum data rate is a very low 8.5Mbps which is the same as DVD
camcorders. The final video files will be of poor quality. Mini
DV’s data rate is 25Mbps.

The auto white balance it terrible. But you won’t be using that to
make a short and the camera has decent manual control of white
balance, focus, exposure, shutter speed and gain. So learn what
they all do and you can help the poor video quality look better.

Attaching a monitor is difficult with such a small camera and the
AV port will require adaptors. You have your work cut out for you
with that small, four year old camera. But with some skill and
talent lighting and capturing audio I see no reason why you can’t
make a fine movie with it.

Are you up to the challenge?
thankyou directorik,

i was afraid you'd say that :( however, we plan on paying particular attention to the lighting

and we are most definitely up to the challenge :D

i will be asking around to see if we can get access to some other cameras, as there are some family friends that are in the photography game, so they may be able to help us out, but i KNOW we can use the JVC so yeah...

as far as lighting goes, we have an unlimited free supply of PVC pipe and fittings, so we will be making most all our own lighting/camera rigs, which i must say i am really excited about :D

if anyone can recommend a suitable camera i might pick up for AU$300-$500 we may be able to just purchase one to have 24x7 access to it.


IndieTalk's Resident Guru
In your price range you aren’t going to get too much better than
the JVC. No camera in that range is going to give you the look of
film or even get very close. But as I have said (and I know you
have read right here on the boards) with excellent lighting,
perfect sound, creative camera placement and motion, great actors
and a terrific script, you can make a very watchable, very
enjoyable movie with any camera.

My advice is to use the camera you have and spend that AU$300-$500
on lighting and sound.
Depending on how many shooting days you have I would think about renting a 3 chip cam for a day, pick it up on friday return it monday morning, and don't worry about it. Spend the time on lighting and sound, sound, sound.