If anything, this is indicating the beginning of the end for the miniDV format as we know it. Hitachi has just unveiled their new DZ-HS303 digital camcorder, and instead of opting for one storage medium over another, this unit combines a DVD-based recorder with an integrated hard disk drive. This is an industry first among video recorders.
Not only will it swallow up standard 8cm DVD-RAM, DVD-R and DVD-RW discs with the best of them, but it will also gladly record your precious family memories on its 8GB hard drive. There’s even an SD memory card slot for yet another storage option. Best of all, switching between target modes is completely seamless.
Looking down the spec sheet, you’ll find a 1/3-inch CCD imager for 3310K gross pixels and 2180K effective pixels while recording video in the standard 4:3 aspect ratio. Switching over to stills will get you 3.05 megapixels. Other key features include a 10x optical zoom, 2.7-inch LCD display, external mic jack, video flash, 6.1-61mm focal length, F1.8-3.0 maximum aperture, and a 37mm filter diameter.
The Hitachi DZ-HS303 digital camcorder will be priced at about 130,000 Yen (US$1,138) when it hits the streets of Japan on August 30.