Normally when I use the term “hybrid” in this space, I’m making some reference to the automotive industry and inevitably the Toyota Prius will enter the discussion. That isn’t the case today, however, because this is a hybrid of a different mold altogether. Camcorders can be hybrids too, and that’s exactly what Hitachi is doing with their new DZ-HS301 and DZ-HS303, both of which boast HDDs and DVD storage.
Well, they don’t make use of the usual DVD discs that you’ve been using on your PC. Hitachi went a little smaller and opted for the MiniDVD format in an effort to keep these camcorders as compact as possible.
The spec sheets on these two units are very similar. Both come with 8GB hard drives (for 110 minutes of video) and 2.7-inch widescreen LCDs. Higher resolution stills come from the HS303 courtesy of its 3 megapixel sensor (the HS301 does 1 megapixel), whereas you’ll be able to get in closer to the action with the HS301 (15x optical zoom vs. 10x on the HS303).
The $999 DZ-HS301 and the $1,279 DZ-HS303 are expected to ship this November.