|Canon EOS 80-300mm Zoom - full zoom|
|JVC Everio 40X zoom -at 40x|
Both shots were taken free hand (no tripod or other assistance). As you can see, both shots are relatively clear. I must note that I am glad the JVC has image stabilization, as I was shaking quite a bit at full zoom. I do not have a very steady hand.
The shortcoming for the JVC is that the battery fife while in use is a little over 2 hours. Whereas on standby, the Canon is much longer. However, neither will stay on, all by themselves with no activity for a long time. The advantage to the Canon, is the extra weight makes it a bit easier to hold steady (this can be compensated with a camera stabilizer on the JVC is need be). When I know I will be taking far off shots - I will likely be prepared with a tripod or other stabilization tool.
The JVC fits in the palm of my hand, is lighter - so it will pretty much replace the Canon - as least as of now. It will be in my "always carry around" arsenal of equipment while I am working. The still shots have great quality, and the zoom capability is excellent. I like the built in lens cover too. I have not tried the low lux feature yet. A review of that will be coming up shortly.
If you are just starting in the business, I would highly recommend getting the JVC Everio with low lux capability before getting a nice digital SLR. The size, capability, and price difference is well worth it.
What ever you do - stay safe!