JVC takes small and powerful camcorders one step further with the Everio GZ-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.