The Hitachi Dzhs300a Hybrid Camcorder

By: Toni

Making its public appearance at the Consumer Electronics Association in 2007, the DZHS300A Hybrid Camcorder was the first of its kind not only for Hitachi, but for the whole world. The DZHS300A gives to its owner the opportunity of recording video either directly on an internal 8GB hard disk drive or to DVD-R, -RW or +RW discs or DVD-RAM discs. The DZHS300A Hybrid Camcorder have built-in editing tools and a one-touch dub button which allow cleaning up and sending videos from the internal 8 GB HDD to another media. A SD memory card slot makes possible capturing stills as well, from frames of DVD video or when in a photo mode.

With its street price around $400, this is a budget digital camcorder and its video quality shows that. But, the Hitachi DZHS300A Hybrid Camcorder's recording flexibility, easy use and fast startup time make it an excellent choice for people who like to instantly and effortlessly record and share video and/or to move it quickly to a computer for editing and creating more sophisticated projects.

Considering the components involved, a hard disk drive and DVD recorder, the DZHS300A Hybrid Camcorder is a fairly compact (3.5×2.4×5.3 inches) and reasonably lightweight (about 1 pound) device. It is not quite small enough to stash it inside a coat pocket, but a shoulder strap is included.

The comes with a 25x optical zoom lens that smoothly moves in and out without applying much pressure. It has an Electronic Image Stabilizer that eliminates camera shake and there is an option to choose between auto and manual focus.

The controls and menu navigation are simple and intuitive and the 2.7-inch color LCD is just big enough. The "record" button is centered in a small dial located by the user's thumb. The dial allow to switch between positions for the SD card, Off, hard drive and the DVD recorder.

One of the most outstanding features is the device's startup time. It goes from off to ready to record to the HDD in about a second. There's also a Standby setting that lets the user to wake and record even faster. For those who are addicted to capturing life's more unusual moments to post online, the Hitachi DZHS300A's startup time is ideal.

From the image quality point of view, one should not forget that this is a a budget camcorder and Hitachi is pitching it for its recording versatility, not its video performance.Those who need a camcorder for more than casual videos, should probably skip the DZHS300A.

This camera gives its best outdoors on sunny and slightly overcast days and indoors under bright light. For low-light situations, the LCD can be used as a light, but only at a short distance. The digital still pictures it captures are at a resolution of 640×480 and are fairly passable, but the still-shot feature is meant as an extra, not to replace a standalone still camera.

The 's strong points are the ease of use, the very fast startup time and its hybrid recording. These strong points makes it a perfect device for the novices that just want to pop a disc in and go, but as well, for those that want to do full-on editing and disc creation. Plus, with the handful of built-in editing tools and the one-touch dub from HDD to DVD, one can give family and friends a quick DVD, completely skipping the PC transfer and without the need for docking like other units.

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