JVC takes small and powerful camcorders one step further with the HM 550, which features a high quality Konica Minolta lens, takes 9 megapixel stills and can be remote controlled via Bluetooth. Chris Hardwick and Kevin Pereira find out if this gadget is worth $600.
What You Need To Know
- This is one of the smallest camcorders we've reviewed.
- It's barely over 2" thick and about as long as a normal person's hand.
- It only weighs about 2/3 of a pound.
- It's all around easy to carry and shoot with, but JVC still hasn't switched over to a touch screen.
- They use a touch sensitive strip and buttons to navigate.
- It works like it should, but we can't help think that it might be time to go to a touch screen for more screen real estate.
- In addition to being able to control the camcorder via Bluetooth, it has advanced image stabilization, takes 9 megapixel stills and other features, all of which work well.
- The Bluetooth App is pretty self explanatory: you can record movies, zoom in and out, take pictures and even capture images from the camcorder onto your cell phone.
- The main problem is that the App is only for certain BlackBerry and Windows Mobile phones, not for the iPhone or Android.
- Taking pictures is great, because you don't have to switch modes. Just press the snapshot button at any time while filming and it takes pictures without skipping a beat.
- The image stabilization is okay, but occasionally you'll get trailing around your subjects if you move a lot.
- The camcorder records at 1920 x 1080, meaning full HD which looks good.
- Normal light footage looks really crisp: the colors are vibrant and accurate, and the only thing that takes away from it is a little bit of camera shake.
- Low light footage is mediocre: there's too much noise and trailing.
- The automatic light on the camera does help this problem.
- Other features include 43 GB of storage, an SDHC slot, sleek design and good image quality.
- 4 Seals of Approval out of 5. (How do we rate gadgets?)
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