JVC’s Bluetooth video camera: the ins, the outs, and the heart-stopping price

A few days ago, JVC revealed to GadgetGuy something a little bit different from the norm: the world’s first Full HD 1080p video camera with Bluetooth.

Now, why would you want Bluetooth in a video camera? Because you’ll be able to connect all your other Bluetooth gear to it, of course… but more on that later.

For now, here’s a taste of what we tried connecting the HM550 to, including audio headsets, a wireless printer, and even a mobile phone.

While not as compact as the pocket camcorders so popular for capturing web video, the JVC HM550 is nonetheless small and portable enough to be on hand for catching life’s many moving picture moments. Weighing 261 grams, it’s not much heavier than a coffee mug, and much like a coffee mug, it’s loaded with stuff to keep you happy.

While it records at at 1080p, the JVC HM550 can also work as your stills camera, shooting 9.3 megapixel images. The team at JVC has been nice enough to include 32GB of internal memory, plus there’s an SD/SDHC card slot in case you want to expand memory even further. There’s also 10X optical zoom (or 16x using what JVC called “dynamic zoom”), time lapse recording, image stabilisation, a super-cool touch panel, one-touch upload to YouTube and the ability to shoot up 100, 250, and 500fps for super-slow motion video.

But it’s the inclusion of Bluetooth that makes this camera is truly unique, of course.

JVC says that with Bluetooth, the Everio HM550 can connect to a “GPS unit to record location data of where movie/still files were recorded”. Not only that, but it can pair with a “headset to monitor sound while shooting”.

Not just that, but you can use Bluetooth to transfer images shot on the still camera function to either a computer or a Bluetooth printer.

And then there’s being able to control your video camera with your mobile phone. Imagine hoisting your kid up on your shoulders at the Formula 1 in Melbourne and controlling what they record from your hands.

We just have one complaint about the JVC, and that’s the price. At $1999 (RRP) locally, the “early adoptor” levy is a punishingly steep one, especially as the same camera will sell in North America for a dollar shy of $US800. At the current exchange rate, equivalent pricing would be near enough to $900 in Australian currency.

We’ve contacted JVC for an explanation as to the price disparity and will update this page when we receive a response.