By Ryan LaBar
JVC Adixxion Action Cam
Since the point-of-view camera took off in popularity, I wondered when and how the big electronic brands would enter the market. With Sony and JVC both recently joining the market with competitively spec'd and priced cameras it's clear, at least on paper, that the long-monopolized market has some competition. I tested the JVC Adixxion Action Cam to see if it could hold a candle to the tried-and-true POV brands like GoPro.
The most important features for a POV camera, aside from video quality, to me, are mounting options, ease of operation, size and durability.
The mounting options for the JVC were really nice, but had some downfalls. The two tripod mounts on the Adixxion makes it super versatile beyond the stock mounting hardware, and effectively eliminates the need to add extra joints—which often translate to jiggle in videos—when mounting camera to the sides of helmets or vehicles. The ball-and-socket mounting configuration offers easy infinite adjustment which is really nice for un-level mounting locations, however I never felt quite satisfied with how tight I could get it. While it never actually slipped on me, it just didn't feel secure. The mounting bracket is also quite obtrusive, even without the camera or the ball-and-socket assembly attached.
In contrast to the large mounting hardware, the small size of the Adixxion's camera is impressive, considering JVC managed to slap an LCD screen on to the side of it, as well as having two tripod mounds.
All in all, I found the camera to be quite intuitive. It has an easy-to-reach power button and a record button that was easy to hit even while wearing thick gloves. The Wi-Fi Sync mobile app worked well too, though I wasn't able to find the app by searching for JVC in the App Store; I had to search for Adixxion. The playback on the camera's built-in 1.5-inch LCD screen is good, but I would like some volume control here.
The construction of the JVC seemed nice and sturdy. I didn't test the Adixxion's waterproof abilities aside from a few splashes, however JVC claims the camera is waterproof in up to a little over 16 feet of water without an additional housing. Nice. The lack of a case does pose an issue in regard to the lens' scratch resistance. I've scratched the lens on almost every GoPro case I've ever used, usually a result of laying my helmet down in the dirt. The JVC's lens is recessed, which will help against scratches, but if it does managed to get scuffed, I'd imagine it's a bit more expensive to fix than buying a new plastic case.
While JVC claims that the Adixxion is freeze-proof, the camera's cold weather performance fell short. My test camera completely locked up in the cold weather (at about 15 degrees Fahrenheit) and ignored any input that I'd give it—even holding down the power button. The only solution I could find to this was to pull out the camera's battery and put it back in to hard-restart it.
Overall video quality on the JVC is good, which, given JVC's reputation in the hand-held video camera world, is no surprise. Images are sharp and clear, and stabilization seemed good with minimal vibrations or loss in quality of the image. I did have one video file become corrupted and refuse to copy over to my computer (perhaps due to the cold-weather lockup), but I was able to recover it with a video converter program.
I really liked the JVC Adixxion action cam for its sturdy construction, mounting options, user interface, and video quality, but some of its flaws could be a bit tough to overlook for some—especially those who want to use the camera regularly in cold climates.
Raw footage from the Adixxion can be found here: Please note that audio levels haven't been touched, so be careful if you are wearing headphones, as there is a bit of a volume spike in the video.