Overall, video quality looks good for standard definition in the MG730's class. Colours were pleasing, with acceptable white balance in natural light. Indoors, the auto white balance turns overly warm, and like many camcorders it lacks incandescent or fluorescent presets. You can set manual white balance for better results.
It did deliver better low-light quality than expected, but is slow to focus. Since it lacks optical image stabilisation, extending out to 10x may result in a shaky mess without a tripod. The zoom rocker itself tends toward touchy, but with some practice can be steadily controlled. The package includes a remote control and docking station, making it easy to watch video on your TV or computer.
We usually say you're just as well off using a camera phone as a camcorder for stills. But the MG730 fares better than most camcorders, at least in well-lit conditions. The photos have some artefacts, look a little oversharpened, and the colours are slightly off, but the exposures are good and they're high-enough resolution to be useful. But under cloudy skies or indoors quality degrades, increasing noise and losing detail, relegating your results to Web use at small sizes.
The JVC Everio GZ-MG730 disappoints primarily because it's overpriced, though its quality fares well compared with standard-def models such as the SR85. Like that model, it also costs almost as much as better-performing HD models.
Edited by Lori Grunin
Additional editing by Nick Hide