Hitachi Ultravision Hybrid Camcorders


At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Hitachi America unveiled a new line-up of digital hybrid camcorders which combine the best of DVD recording with a built-in hard drive. The $800 Ultravision DZHS500A (30GB hard drive) and $600 DZHS300A (8GB hard drive) are available now and in April, respectively.

What is most interesting about these new Hitachi camcorders is the integration of a built-in hard drive and DVD recording into one device. Hitachi states that with its hybrids, one could record up to 23 hours of home videos and then create a highlight reel on a DVD with a simple button push. The purpose of this would be for example, to playback your home movie on your grandparents’ DVD player and leave them the DVD for later enjoyment when you aren’t around. It could also serve as a backup tool so you can always have a fresh hard drive for recording.

Hitachi DZHS300A
Image Courtesy of Hitachi

Hitachi’s hybrid camcorders are capable of recording to a variety of DVD formats, including DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM and DVD+RW. Select scenes can be highlighted on the camcorder’s 2.7-inch widescreen display. And if for some reason burning DVDs is out of the question at the moment, you can also offload your videos to a computer via high speed USB 2.0 connectivity.

In terms of editing videos, owners of these camcorders can either edit them on a PC or use the device’s built-in editing feature. This tool performs basic in-camera editing. This onboard function joins others such as maximum optical zoom of 30x (on the DZHS500A), one second start up from standby and advanced image processing with high resolution 16:9 capture.

Other features of the Hitachi hybrid camcorders include a SD memory card slot, composite inputs (on the DZHS500A), photo capture from DVD, hard drive protection against drops and upwards of six hours of recording time in standard mode (on the DZHS300A).

More details on Hitachi’s new hybrid DVD/hard drive camcorders can be found at Hitachi’s Web site.

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