GE DV1 review

Chris Finnamore
15 Feb 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

It’s inexpensive and easy to use, but the DV1’s video quality is distinctly average.



1/2.5in CMOS sensor, 1,920x1,080, 1,280x720, 1,440x1,080, 640x480, 0.0x zoom, 145g

GE’s DV1 is another camcorder designed for outdoor use. GE claims it’s waterproof to five metres and can survive a 1.5-metre drop.

It’s a neat soap bar design, and you can get the camera in a variety of colours. Our model came in bright orange, but you can also get grey, blue and green versions. A flap on the right conceals the SDHC card slot, which can take cards up to 32GB, and the left-hand flap covers the flip-out USB connector and Mini DVI plug for playback on a TV. The USB plug flips out at a right angle rather than vertically as on Kodak’s Mini, so the camcorder’s body can foul on other devices and cables plugged into the back of your PC – you may need a USB extension cable.


You control the DV1 with a directional touchpad and a simple menu system, and there are shortcuts for filming, playback and deleting videos. Instead of obscure filenames, the recordings menu shows thumbnails for each video, and pressing up and down on the keypad scrolls smoothly between each thumbnail. The DV1 has a built-in accelerometer, and flips to landscape automatically when you turn the camcorder on its side.

There are several movie modes listed in the options; you can record in 1080p, 720p or 640x480 at 30fps, or use the high frame rate 720p 60fps mode. There’s also an HDR option, but we didn’t see it making much difference to our test videos. The DV1 can also take still 3-megapixel images and has a continuous mode, but this only shoots about a frame a second. Still images have similar quality to a mobile phone camera.

We preferred the smoothness of the 60fps 720p video, as we didn’t see any great quality advantage in ramping up the pixels to 1080p. Video quality is average at best. Footage is grainy and lacks detail under office lighting, especially compared to the detailed images produced by Flip’s Ultra HD 3rd gen (see Editor’s Choice, below). Things were better once we moved outside, but the camcorder had trouble adjusting its exposure correctly; when we tried to film the top of a building the DV1 became confused by the sky and made the building almost black.

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