JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D EnvrioR Review

This camcorder is durable and easy to use. We’ll also admit we really like the bright orange color it comes in, but you can get the same device in black if you’d prefer.

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Our Verdict

The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D is an affordable and rugged camcorder that ranked highly in our tests. It’s also comparatively inexpensive.

For

  • The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D EnvrioR is waterproof and shockproof.

Against

  • It lacks integrated Wi-Fi.
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The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D comes in bright orange, so there’s no way you’re going to lose this camcorder.

The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D comes in bright orange, so there’s no way you’re going to lose this camcorder.
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We spent about 15 hours testing nine camcorders indoors and outdoors, including the JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D.

We spent about 15 hours testing nine camcorders indoors and outdoors, including the JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D.
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The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D has an easy-to-navigate touchscreen.

The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D has an easy-to-navigate touchscreen.
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Inserting the SD card and charging are all done in one spot on the back of the Quad Proof, which is protected by a plastic lid.

Inserting the SD card and charging are all done in one spot on the back of the Quad Proof, which is protected by a plastic lid.
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The GZ-R440D takes a full-size SD card.

The GZ-R440D takes a full-size SD card.
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Recording is easy with this JVC camera because the record button is located right where your thumb naturally rests.

Recording is easy with this JVC camera because the record button is located right where your thumb naturally rests.
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The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D is shockproof and waterproof.

The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D is shockproof and waterproof.
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The Quad Proof passed our drop tests, but it’s pretty hard to drop if you have your hand through the strap.

The Quad Proof passed our drop tests, but it’s pretty hard to drop if you have your hand through the strap.
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The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D has a 40x optical zoom, which is one of the best we tested.

The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D has a 40x optical zoom, which is one of the best we tested.
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The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D has an automatically open lens, but a cap is included for extra protection.

The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D has an automatically open lens, but a cap is included for extra protection.
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Like with every camcorder we tested, you can mount the JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D on a tripod.

Like with every camcorder we tested, you can mount the JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D on a tripod.
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The Quad Proof can film in up to 1080p and has a rotating LCD screen.

The Quad Proof can film in up to 1080p and has a rotating LCD screen.
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Zooming in makes sense on the JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D as the forward-most button zooms in and the back end of the toggle zooms back out.

Zooming in makes sense on the JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D as the forward-most button zooms in and the back end of the toggle zooms back out.
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The GZ-R440D has a touchscreen, which is durable but smudges.

The GZ-R440D has a touchscreen, which is durable but smudges.
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We spent about 15 hours testing nine camcorders.

We spent about 15 hours testing nine camcorders.
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We tested eight HD camcorders that could shoot video in up to 1080p and one ultra HD camcorder that could film in even clearer 4K resolution, which has twice as many pixels as 1080p.

We tested eight HD camcorders that could shoot video in up to 1080p and one ultra HD camcorder that could film in even clearer 4K resolution, which has twice as many pixels as 1080p.
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The instructions say the JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D is waterproof and shockproof but could fail if severely battered and then submerged.

The instructions say the JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D is waterproof and shockproof but could fail if severely battered and then submerged.
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The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D got an A for color balance because, as seen here in video editing software, the levels of red, blue and green were pretty evenly distributed.

The JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D got an A for color balance because, as seen here in video editing software, the levels of red, blue and green were pretty evenly distributed.

This camcorder is durable and easy to use. We’ll also admit we really like the bright orange color it comes in, but you can get the same device in black if you’d prefer.

Its maximum recording resolution is 1080p, which is high definition and results in very clear video. In our tests we took video inside and outside on a clear sunny day, and after watching the footage, our reviewers gave this camera a C in overall video quality. The road looked crisp and we could easily distinguish vehicle license plate numbers on passing cars, but the footage was slightly grainy. Our video technicians also watched the footage on video editing software and gave this camera an A for color balance as it tends to shoot a little bit blue but is well balanced overall.

During our outdoor tests, this camera had a hard time staying on. We affixed all of the camcorders to a rig made of PVC pipe and then tied that securely to the top of a car and drove around. It was a chilly day – around 30 degrees – and there was a little bit of wind, which may have contributed to the camera’s spotty recording behavior. At one point it decided to randomly turn on and start recording while we were parked at an intersection.

Despite its issues outdoors, this camcorder did pass our waterproofing test and drop tests. We thought the LCD screen might break off, but we dropped it several times with the screen flipped outward and it stayed put. Take note that the LCD screen does get dirty and smudge, and when you wipe it off it’s easy to press buttons unintentionally on the touchscreen – a problem we experienced with every touchscreen camcorder we tested.

This camcorder also has all the internal features we looked for, like image stabilization and some editing capabilities. There is no integrated Wi-Fi, like you get with the Nikon KeyMission 80 or the Sony Handycam HDR-CX440, but you’re still able to transfer your images using the SD card or cord that comes with the camera. On top of that, you get 4GB of internal memory. This isn’t much but could be useful in case you fill up your memory card and just need to get the last few minutes of a concert, recital or white-water rafting route. Its 40x optical zoom is on the top end of the camcorders we considered, which means it can capture a pretty good picture from rather far away. It also has 60x dynamic zoom capability.