Hitachi delivers first Blu-ray disc camcorder

Big news from Hitachi – the DVD camcorder is as good as dead. With the capacity improvement of a Blu-ray disc on board, Hitachi is breaking ground on the new gen of disc-based recorders and their ability to shoot HD.

Captures in Full HD (1920 x 1080) to MPEG4 AVC/H.264 (their words… not sure how that varies from AVCHD), you get 1 hour record time to Blu-ray as well as 4 hours at HD to a 30GB drive on board (or 8 hours in ‘standard mode’). 5.3Mp CMOS sensor for stills too, HDMI (natch), 10x zoom, and it will still record SD to DVD if you want.

Supports single-sided 8cm Blu-ray, which offers 7.5GB capacity. Both BD-R (write once) and BD-RE (rewritable) discs can be used.

Five record modes available:
– HX: 15Mbps AVC/H.264 (1920×1080); 4 hours HDD / 1 hour BD
– HF: 11Mbps AVC/H.264 (1440×1080); 5 h 20m HDD / 1h 20m BD
– HS: 7.5Mbps AVC/H.264 (1440×1080); 8 hours HDD / 2 hours BD
– SX: 9Mbps MPEG2 (720×480); 20 min DVD
– SF: 6Mbps MPEG2 (720×480); 30 min DVD

Scheduled for release end of this month in Japan, and November here in Oz.

This is just to hand, so that’s all we have right now. Pictures coming soon.