CES: Hitachi's DVD Camcorders
As Dave mentioned in his Wednesday CES article , the conference has more to offer than just computer hardware. However, as multimedia continues move into the realm of all things digital, the line between what's a computer accessory and what falls under the heading of "Consumer Electronics" becomes more and more blurred. Hitachi's new DVD camcorders are a good example of this phenomenon. The three new DVD camcorder models offer both DVD-R and DVD-RAM format compatibility. DVD-R provides compatibility with most home DVD players and DVD-RAM offers in-camera editing on discs that can supposedly be re-recorded over 100,000 times. Hitachi's DVD camcorders use MPEG2 video compression technology to let you choose between extended recording time or increased recording quality. DVD-RAM discs hold a minimum of 40 minutes of the highest quality DVD video (20 min/side), one hour of high quality DVD video (30 min/side) or two hours of standard quality. DVD-R discs hold 30 minutes of high quality DVD video (single-sided) and can be played back on many standard consumer DVD players and DVD-ROM drives. Additionally, Hitachi says the top two models can record 1,998 JPEG still images at 1280 x 960 on DVD-RAM discs, while the entry model can record 1,998 JPEG stills at a resolution of 1024 x 768. Using a USB connection and Hitachi's optional PC Editing Kit Software, the DVD camcorders can be used as external DVD home movie drives. Video can be transferred from the DVD camcorder to the PC for editing. After editing, the video can be transferred back to the DVD camcorder and recorded.
Hitachi's DZ-MV200A features multi-disc format compatibility (DVD-RAM/R), 12x lens (240x digital zoom), 680k pixel CCD, EIS (Electronic Image Stabilizer) and 2.5" LCD screen. The DZ-MV200A features USB1.1 PC connectivity, an AV input, a shoe for optional flash, Li-ion battery and remote control. The next fancier model, called the DZ-MV230A, adds a 1/4" 1.1 mega pixel CCD for higher resolution images and variable bit rate recording. The DZ-MV200A will be available for $899.95 in April, and the DZ-MV230 will hit the market at the same time for $999.95. Hitachi's top-of-the-line DVD Camcorder, called the DZ-MV270A, has all the features of the DZ-MV230A, but adds a larger 3.5" LCD screen, Color Viewfinder, and S-video input. The model also supports USB2.0 and will be available in June 2002 for $1,299.95.