Wireless Features and Functions in Camcorders

Transfer video data and connect to Bluetooth-enabled devices

Girl taking video of her father by camcorder in hotel lobby, mother smiling

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Most modern camcorders include an option for transferring data through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. However, Bluetooth camcorders and Wi-Fi camcorders are not the same thing, so it's important to known which wireless features each device supports.

Information in this article applies broadly to different camcorders. Consult your device's manual or the manufacturer's website for more specific information.

Bluetooth Camcorders

Bluetooth is a wireless technology that is commonly used in mobile phones and digital music players, for example, to send music or voice calls from the device to a headset or earphones. Likewise, Bluetooth cameras work with other wireless accessories such as external microphones and GPS units. JVC's Bluetooth camcorders even support a free app that transforms your smartphone into a remote control for the camcorder.

One thing you cannot do with a Bluetooth-enabled camcorder is wirelessly transfer high definition video to a computer. Camcorders that are Bluetooth-enabled can be used to send still photos to a smartphone, but transferring video clips between devices requires a physical cable.

Wi-Fi Camcorders

Camcorders with Wi-Fi capabilities allow you to wirelessly transfer your photos and videos to your computer or a backup hard drive. You can often upload them directly to social networking websites as well. Some models also allow you to wirelessly transfer files to mobile devices or control the camcorder remotely from an app 

A camcorder with built-in wireless capability is usually going to be more expensive than a similarly equipped model without Wi-Fi. Wireless technology also comes with another cost: anytime a wireless feature is in use, it will drain the battery faster. If you're considering a camcorder with wireless technology, pay close attention to the battery life specifications and whether the stated battery life is with the wireless technology on or off. Also, consider buying a longer-lasting battery for the unit if one is available.

Eye-Fi Memory Cards

If you want Wi-Fi capability without purchasing a wireless camcorder, you can purchase an Eye-Fi wireless memory card. These cards fit into any standard SD card slot and transform your camcorder into a wireless device. Any photos and videos you capture with your camcorder can be wirelessly transferred not just to your computer but to one of 25 online destinations, six of which also support video uploads (like YouTube and Vimeo).

Support for Eye-Fi has been discontinued, but you can still find used Eye-Fi memory cards online.