Hitachi Announces Blu-ray Camcorders

HItachi has announced two new camcorders that record high-definition video to Blu-ray disc media: one single-drive model and a second hybrid model which also includes a 30 GB hard disc. Both camcorders use 8cm Blu-ray media, although they can also use standard DVD-RAM/-RW/-R media.

“It was important for us to be the first to offer consumers the impressive benefits of Blu-ray disc technology,” said Hitachi America product manager Jeff Fochtman, in a statement. “To be the first manufacturer to create two models of the world’s first Blu-ray disc camcorders that shoot, playback and store HD video is a huge milestone for us and something we are exceptionally proud of.”

The camcorders are dubbed the DZ-BD70A and DZ-BD7HA; both use a 5.3 megapixel CMOS sensor to capture HD video at 1,920 by 1,080 pixel resolutions; both cameras also sport a 10× optical zoom and offer a 2.7-inch swing out LCD viewfinder. The cameras can also be used to capture 4.3 megapixel still photos to an SD memory card, and apply proprietary technologies to reduce noise and reduce false color capture. The units sport HDMI output for connecting to a high-definition screen, and offer an interactive guide to the camera’s build-in features. The main differences between the 70A and 7HA are that, in addition to the Blu-ray drive, the Hybrid 7HA includes a 30 GB hard drive for storing video: the Blu-ray discs can hold about an hour of high-definition video on a single-layer BD disc, while the 30 GB hard drive adds about 4 hours additional video capacity. The Hybrid camcorder also offers built-in dubbing features.

Hitachi plans to introduce both Blu-ray recorders to the U.S. in October, with the BD70A carrying an MSRP of $1,299, and the hybrid BD7HA priced at $1,499.

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