World First: Hitachi launches Full HD Blu-ray camcorder range

By Craig Zammit

TOKYO, Japan: Hitachi today launched two world first Blu-ray Disc camcorders, which will not only boast the capacity to record in Full HD 1920×1080 resolution but also the ability to burn footage straight onto Blu-ray Disc without the use of a PC or any external source.

Both camcorders will be available in stores across Australia from November 2007 and will additionally feature the world’s highest resolution 5.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, Picture Master Full HD processing, HDMI connectivity, digital noise reduction, one-second quick-start function, SD Card slot, 10x optical zoom lens and a 2.7-inch HD-capable widescreen display.

The BD70 model will offer a single Blu-ray disc and multi-format DVD burner-drive capable of storing up to one hour of Full HD 1920×1080 footage, while the BD7H hybrid Blu-ray Disc and hard disk drive model will feature a 30GB hard disk drive as well as an 8cm Blu-ray Disc and multi-format DVD burner-drive.

“With the explosion of affordable large screen High Definition (HD) TVs, consumers have come to realise the limitations of the Standard Definition video recorded on DVD and home camcorder movies,” said Hitachi Australia product specialist – visual, Mark Lawson.

“To many people, even the crisp clear images of HD broadcast started to look a little fragmented when viewed on a screen of 50-inches. Then in late 2006, flat panel displays took another exciting leap forward with the introduction of Full HD.

“Until now, Full HD content has only been available on Hollywood movies recorded to Blu-ray Disc, but with the release of Hitachi’s new Blu-ray camcorders, consumers can now make home movies with the same astounding detail and colour as the professionals enjoy,” he said.

Due to the camcorder’s HDMI connectivity, consumers with no access to a Blu-ray Disc player, Blu-ray Disc games console or Blu-ray compatible PC drive will still able to experience the Full HD 1920×1080 experience via HD-Ready TVs with an HDMI port.

The BD7H Hybrid Blu-ray Disc/HDD camcorder will be able to capture and store four hours of HD quality recording on its internal HDD, with raw footage able to be edited into finished films on the camera and then burnt to Blu-ray Discs without having to hook up to a PC or other output device.

The BD7H will also utilise Hitachi’s mpeg4 AVC/H.264 compression to copy Full HD files to Blu-ray Disc at a rapid rate.

Both models will be backwards compatible with standard 8cm DVD formats and will be DVD-RAM, RW, R and +RW media-friendly, while also being able to record in standard (HS) quality mode, providing up to two hours of recording time on the BD70 and eight hours on the BD7H’s integrated hard disk drive.

“Even if users don’t have the capability to view Full HD 1920×1080 on their TV at the moment, by capturing and saving their high definition footage to Blu-ray Disc on the camera itself, they can be sure their memories are stored in the highest possible resolution for viewing in the future if they decide to upgrade their equipment,” Lawson said.

Hitachi has not released pricing at this stage.

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