updated 04:15 pm EDT, Tue September 5, 2006
Hitachi HDD/DVD Camcorders
Tapeless DV cameras regularly fall into two categories: hard drive-based models that store large amounts of data but require a computer for any DVD authoring, and DVD-based models that streamline the process but hold limited amounts of video and rewrite slowly (if at all). Two new camcorders from Hitachi will offer both features at once, giving the option of recording to either an 8GB hard drive or to 30-minute rewritable mini DVDs. The DZ-HS301 will feature 15X optical zoom, a 2.7-inch LCD, and the ability to take 1-megapixel still shots. At the higher end is the pictured DZ-HS303, whose optical zoom is reduced to 10X in exchange for a larger sensor, 3-megapixel stills, and double the battery life. Either variant connects to Macs or PCs via USB 2 and will be available in Europe as of November for $900 (HS301) and $1279 (HS303) in US dollars. North American equivalents will be announced soon.