The JVC Everio GZ-HD6EK HD camcorder sticks to TS/Mpeg2 high-definition video - the format AVCHD is ultimately expected to replace.
The advantage is that the JVC Everio GZ-HD6EK is capable of recording 1,920x1,080 video, with the option to output it progressively, provided you hook it up to a compatible flat-panel TV or projector using HDMI. Another feature of note for Mac users in particular is that the Everio HD6 has a mini-FireWire port on its front, making footage transfer much easier than with the other models here.
The other big advantage the JVC Everio GZ-HD6EK has over most of its rivals is its 120GB hard drive. For those who prefer the convenience of being able to use removable storage, this camcorder has a microSDHC card in its base. While this is a strange place to find a memory card slot, we were pleased with this additional storage option - although SDHC would been a better choice yet.
In use, the JVC Everio GZ-HD6EK proves a little unwieldy. The inclusion of that massive hard drive makes it feel heavy. It tips the scales at 505g (without battery) - more than almost all the other cameras here.
Accessing the JVC Everio GZ-HD6EK's controls is easy: all the major options fall easily under your fingers and thumb, with the rest accessible via a joystick on the 2.8in LCD. The JVC models also have the biggest screens of all the HD camcorders we tested.
When it comes to picture quality, the JVC Everio GZ-HD6EK turns in a reasonable performance but, compared to the best camcorders, its shortcomings are evident. Video images lack the sharpness and detail of either the Canon HF100E or Sony HDR-CX11E. The JVC Everio GZ-HD6EK tends to exaggerate certain colours too - red hues look particularly over-saturated, though you can reduce this effect using the camera's manual controls.
Sound quality is respectable, although the JVC Everio GZ-HD6EK lacks the surround-sound recording options of either the Sony HDR-CX11E or Panasonic HD-SD100.