By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: JVC has launched its new Everio camcorder range, which it claims are the world’s smallest hard drive camcorders.

The new designs, which JVC said were 20 per cent smaller than the current range, will come in 30, 40 and 60GB models.

The 800 thousand pixel 30GB GZ-MG330 has 35x optical zoom and comes in ‘ruby red’ or ‘diamond silver’. The 800 thousand pixel 40GB GZ-MG345H is available in silver only.

The largest 60GB model uses a 1.07 megapixel CCD sensor, and comes in ‘onyx black’.

JVC claims all three weigh just 360g, including the battery.

The higher-end models come with smaller hard discs, but better sensors, with the 30GB GZ-MG730 featuring a 1/2.5-inch 7.38 megapixel sensor and the GZ-MG530 using a 5.37 megapixel sensor.

The pair come with a more rounded design and feature a F3.5 Konica Minolta lens. Both higher-end models come with auto flash, programme AE dial with shutter priority and aperture priority, auto exposure bracketing, backlight and spotlight compensation, as well as natural and vivid colour settings and a histogram display.

Screens on the new models will also feature a touch-sensitive scroll bar.

The 30GB models are the first in the world to use an embedded 1,3-inch hard disc [the iPod Classic uses a 1.8-inch drive], which allows for the size reduction.

All models can use the optional Share Station DVD burner, which is also smaller for 2008.

The range starts at $799 and tops out at $1,299.