JVC GZ-HM550 High Definition Camcorder Reviews




JVC Camcorder Review

Elegant Full HD digital video camera with dual memory of 32GB internal Flash memory/SD card featuring 10.62M Back-illuminated CMOS,

Real 9.3 Megapixel Stills with no interpolation,

Built-in Bluetooth Wireless Technology,

Advanced Image Stabilizer,

“Super LoLux” for brighter shooting in low light and unique shooting functions


* 1/2.3-inch 10.62M Back-Illuminated CMOS
* 32GB Built-in Flash memory
* 16x Dynamic Zoom / 200x Digital Zoom
* Memory Card Slot for SDHC/SD
* Software provided (for Windows)
* 24Mbps High Bit Rate Recording
* Full HD 1920×1080 Recording
* HD Gigabrid Premium II Engine
* ’1080TV’ lines Horizontal Resolution of Full HD 1920×1080
* Built-in Bluetooth Wireless Technology
* Seamless Recording
* Super LoLux with Back-illuminated CMOS Sensor
* Advanced Image Stabilizer
* Time-Lapse REC
* Auto REC
* Up to 600fps Ultra High-Speed Video Recording
* Up to 30fps 5.7 Megapixel Stills Continuous Shooting
* 9.3M Stills 15fps Continuous Shooting (in still mode)
* Simultaneous Full HD Video & 5.6M Still Shooting
* 1920x1080P Output
* HDMI® (V.1.3 with x.v.ColorTM)
* One Touch Upload to YouTube (HD Compatible)
* One Touch Export
* Face Detection / Face Flow Thumbnail * Auto Illumi. Light
* Built-in Auto Flash
* Direct DVD burning with SHARE STATION (optional)
* Laser Touch Operation with Sub-trigger and Zoom Function
* USB2.0 High-Speed Transfer
* PC-less Archiving and Viewing with SHARE STATION (optional)

Laser Touch Operation

Touch-sensitive scroll bar and buttons for smooth operation (except for JVC GZ-MS110). Allows zooming and recording using either the Laser Touch or standard zoom lever and REC button.

Browsing through indexes and menu selection is easier than ever.

Since you don’t touch the LCD screen itself, you can keep the screen clean and fingerprint-free.
Advanced Image Stabilizer


Great improvement on New Everio is its anti-shake performance.

A new technology called Advanced Image Stabilizer expands the effective area at wide angle to 4 times that of 2009 models, delivering powerful compensation for camera shake.

You can enjoy stable results even if you’re trotting alongside your subject.

Super LoLux

>Low light performance is one of the key factors for quality video.

New Everio’s Super LoLux ensures superior sensitivity to low light.

To provide this, High Definition models (selected) are equipped with a Back-illuminated CMOS sensor that allows intake of more light while Standard Definition models offer a large 1/6″ high-sensitivity CCD.

The result is clear images with precise colors even in low light.

No worry while indoors or in dark situations.

Time Lapse REC

Various unique shooting functions are equipped on New Everio.

Time-Lapse REC records one frame at a time at set intervals (1sec. 80sec.).

So you can watch an hour-long movement in just a short amount of time when played back.

It’s great when you want to observe an event that takes place over a long period of time, or to record unique-looking scenes in a creative way.

Auto REC

Another unique function is Auto REC. When a subject enters the detecting area and the luminance changes, recording starts automatically.

Recording continues as long as there is movement within the area and automatically stops after 5 seconds of no movement.

You can use it like a surveillance camera, or to observe something. Discover new ways to use the camera.

Bluetooth Technology

JVC GZ-HM550 HD camcorders feature built-in Bluetooth Wireless Technology. In combination with optional devices, you can enjoy a variety of
Wireless Applications

With a compatible smartphone, you can control the camera’s basic operations such as record, zoom, or playback, remotely. (Installation of application is required.)
You can transfer still images from Everio to a compatible smartphone, with no cables attached.

Makes it easy to carry your favourite images.
With a GPS unit, you can record location data on movie files.

Those files synchronize with Google EarthTM when playing back with Everio MediaBrowser on a PC.
With a compatible headset, you can monitor sound while shooting or record your own voice.

Note: Works at a distance of up to 11 yards/10m (approx.).

Depending on radio wave activity or physical obstructions in your surroundings, or characteristics of the product you are using, communication may terminate abruptly, headset audio quality may degrade, or communication distance may become reduced to under 11 yards/10m.

Everio MediaBrowser
– Integrated PC Software Included
All Everio models come with high-value software that provides everything from file playback, management, as well as easy sharing functions, within a single application.

Its calendar type graphical user interface displays thumbnail images of your recordings, superimposed on the date they were taken.

Software System Requirements


(Windows) OS Microsoft Windows XP SP3, Home Edition/Professional (pre-installed)
Microsoft Windows Vista SP2, Home Basic/Home Premium (32-bit/64-bit, pre-installed)
Microsoft Windows 7, Home Premium (32-bit/64-bit, pre-installed)
CPU [HD Edition] Intel Core Duo: at least 1.66GHz, Intel Core 2 Duo: at least 2.13GHz recommended
[SD Edition] Intel Pentium 4: at least 1.6GHz, at least 2.4GHz recommended
RAM [HD Edition] Windows XP: at least 1GB, Windows Vista/Windows 7: at least 2GB
[SD Edition] Windows XP: at least 512MB, Windows Vista/Windows 7: at least 1GB
Others Standard USB2.0 port, Installation of iTunes is required for exporting to iTunes,
An Internet-accessible environment for uploading videos to YouTube.

Note: Software for Macintosh is not included. The applicable software is required.

The system requirements information above is not a guarantee that the provided software will work on all personal computers meeting those requirements.

One-Touch Sharing Button on the Camera

Some models are equipped with “UPLOAD/EXPORT” button on the main unit.

When connected with a PC, press this button to start data conversion and upload the file to YouTube or export the file to your iTunes library*.

* Installation of bundled software is required. Export is not available with some models.

One-Touch Sharing Button on the Camera

Face Detection equipped on HD Everio has been upgraded.

When shooting, it intelligently detects up to 16 faces then accurately adjusts the focus and exposure.

It works for both video and digital stills.

And while browsing through scenes in the Play mode, thumbnails can be displayed with close-ups of detected faces so you can easily identify who’s in the file.

Product Features

* Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
* 32GB Internal Flash Memory
* One Touch Upload to YouTubeTM
* Records up to 3520×2640 Digital Stills
* Record location data with GPS

Technical Details

* Brand Name: JVC
* Model: GZ-HM550
* Optical zoom: 10 x

Customer JVC HM550 Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars EASY TO USE AND GOOD RESULTS!
Published 1 month ago by ptclint

4.0 out of 5 stars Good buy for the money
Camera is small and lightweight. Takes great video. Controls are a little difficult because they are really tiny. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stephen Boulay

4.0 out of 5 stars Handy
Going on the thought that the key to using a camera is having it with you we gave up our old video camera and got this small JVC model. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Newby

5.0 out of 5 stars Great value and performance !
Overall I’m very happy with the JVC HM550 camcorder. My previous camcorder was a Panasonic mini DV (tape) and consider this camcorder a huge upgrade. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jim

5.0 out of 5 stars Same specs as a Canon for half the price!
I purchased this back in June but didn’t really get a chance to start using it until now when my daughter’s volleyball season started at High School. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Karl Huddleston

4.0 out of 5 stars A Little marvel
I have more than 1 month with this camera, so far I love it, even though my main camera to use is the HD Everio GZ-HD7, this new model is really kicking the old one… Read more
Published 7 months ago by Merida D. Victor Daniel

5.0 out of 5 stars Great camcorder
I’ve had this camera for 4 weeks now and and love it. You can’t get this much quality and features, if you can get it at around $500, for any less that I’ve found. Read more
Published 7 months ago by James

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful camera
I have the camera for a month. I enjoy using it very much.
JVC did a great job with the human interface so you don’t have to touch the screen in order to chnage the modes… Read more
Published 9 months ago by izzy

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing
This little JVC is fantastic! With my OCD of fingerprints on monitors, I love the menu control system. It’s easy to learn, quick to use, and effective overall. Read more
Published 10 months ago by R. Chase

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Product Specifications

Model : GZ-HM550
EAN Code :

Elegant Full HD memory camcorder with dual memory of 32GB internal Flash memory/SD card featuring

10.62M Back-illuminated CMOS

Real 9.3 Megapixel Stills with no interpolation

Built-in Bluetooth Wireless Technology, Advanced Image Stabilizer

"Super LoLux" for brighter shooting in low light and unique shooting functions


>Reviews of the JVC GZ-HM550 High Definition Camcorder at Amazon.com
Average Rating: 4.5
R. Rivera Rating: 4.5 Stars out of 5

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good video quality, great price, great features, March 23, 2010 By Thomas M. Mcdonnell (Olivia, MN USA) - See all my reviews (REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?) This review is from: JVC GZ-HM550 High Definition Camcorder (Electronics) I've had this camcorder for about a week now and so far I am pretty happy with it. The one thing that really strikes me as odd is selling a HD camcorder, but not including a HDMI cable in the bundle...? Playback of the footage recorded on a full HD tv via RCA or even component cables isn't going to result in good picture quality. My mini-HDMI cable should be delivered in the next day or so and then I'll be able to really evaluate the video. So far the video looks much better on my computer monitor than it does on my 52" 1080P LCD TV. Also, the camcorder ships with the video quality set to XP, instead of the highest quality UXP. When setting quality to UXP it gives a warning that UXP video files can only be written to Blu-Ray, which of course makes sense. However, the bundled software will automatically downgrade the UXP video files to XP quality if you want to write to DVD, and then you'll still have the higher quality UXP for future use. Seems odd to not record in the highest quality as you can always downgrade the footage, but you'll never upconvert to true full HD quality if recording at lower quality. So far, I am not impressed with the photo quality of still images, but I haven't played around with the settings much yet. The handful of stills that I've taken have turned out grainy and dark. In dedicated image mode, you can take 9MP stills, while when taking snapshots in video mode you are limited to 5MP. So far I think all of my stills were taken in video mode. The camera has some great features that I've not yet played with nor am I sure I ever will. The time lapse is a great feature, but unless there's a spectacular sunset or something I'm not sure I'll have much use for it. Same for the auto record feature, interesting to have, but what are the practical applications? I suppose I could set it up and see how often my dog moves around during the day when we're not home. One thing with both of these modes is that the LCD must remain open, if you close the LCD, the camera shuts off completely. The battery that comes with the unit doesn't last very long - roughly 45 minutes. the built in memory can hold about 2.5 hours worth of video at UXP quality so the battery is by far the limiting factor in your usage. If the video via HDMI turns out to be as good as I hope, I'll be investing in a higher capacity battery and a stand alone charger. Out of the box, the battery only charges when the power cord is plugged into the camcorder itself. The software included is very easy to use and has some neat organization methods of displaying video files in a calendar layout by month, day and hour which it makes it easy to locate your files. The software has options for converting the video to a number of different media and file types. You can write the files to Blu-Ray, DVD and AVCHD disc (DVD media). It also has the ability to convert video for upload to You Tube, iTunes and can also convert to .wmv for use on computers and upload to other sites, such as Facebook. The conversion process lets you choose the video size you want and at least on my PC was pretty quick to process. I'll try to update this review after I am able to test the video via HDMI and use more of the features. UPDATE 3/24/2010: Recorded a school concert last night and the battery lasted for 1.5 hours of nearly constant recording. This was much better than the capacity I noticed earlier when recording 5 or 10 minute segments spread out over a couple of days. UPDATE 3/28/2010: Video quality via a Category 2, mini-HDMI cable is much better than via the cables included with the camcorder. My TV indicates a full 1920x1080 video resolution although it doesn't indicate if it is 1080i or 1080p. The box indicates that the camcorder has full 1080p output, but I can't verify that for sure. I've had a chance to take some more still images both in video and in the dedicated photo mode. Given the right lighting images in both modes are usable. Images taken in dedicated photo mode are of higher quality, which is to be expected since they are 9MP images instead of the ~5MP images you get in video mode. All in all, I'm more satisfied with camcorder now then I was when I initially posted this review. I'd rate it at 4 1/2 stars if possible.

5.0 out of 5 stars So far, really good!, April 7, 2010 By Thomas Bohlmann (Port Royal, VA) - See all my reviews (REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?) This review is from: JVC GZ-HM550 High Definition Camcorder (Electronics) To begin, I rank my own video experience as rookie... but I love the technical side of new gadgets. My HD journey actually began in Jan 2010 with the JVC Everio model GZ-HD320 from Best Buy. I promptly took this camera back primarily due to the poor low light performance. I did however like the feel and operation of the camera, and felt kind of sad that I was returning it. I subsequently found out about the new line of low-lux models, and last month took my chances on the GZ-HM550. Low light recording (indoors) was really important to me, and this model had the largest backlit image sensor of the whole Everio line (0.429" diameter). While I have no comparison to any other makes of camera, the low-lux HM550 far outperformed its predecessor (HD320) in moderate/low light. In bright outdoor light, the video is totally crisp and clear. As for physical features, the camera is really small and light. Almost too small as the buttons for zoom and record are situated about mid-palm making it not completely ergonomic for people with large hands or long fingers. The laser touch menu bar and associated buttons are easy to use and require only a very light touch to activate. There are LOTS of menu picks and options - and these can be tricky to find until you get some practice. Some menu screens can be difficult to navigate while recording in the heat of the moment - but practice and knowing what, where, and how to use the cameras settings is absolutely key. The time lapse and auto record features are totally cool! Having a clock in the field of view during time lapse adds a fun little twist. The high speed video (600 fps) sounds great, but is actually kind of lame - the resolution goes way down - to a point where most detail is completely gone. Nothing like you would see on MythBusters. I don't know if I'll ever use this functionality. The on-board flash is great for regular camera pictures! And due to certain lighting conditions, this is sometimes a better option than capturing a video still. However... the auto-focus for stills can be slow, sometimes one to two seconds before getting a "green light" to shoot. Unless you have a very patient photo subject, this delay can sometimes mean missing your shot. Bluetooth/GPS?? I have not used the features yet. Oh yea, and power up time is pretty fast, especially fast if the camera is still in sleep mode.

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