Shoot high-def video with high-end JVC camcorder, $399

Too good to be true? Quite possibly. The JVC Everio GZ-HD5US has a list price of $1,199.

This HD camcorder normally sells for at least $600. eCost

Remember the refurbished, tape-based Canon HD camcorder from a few weeks ago? It was $450, which seemed like a pretty good deal at the time. But now eCost has the JVC Everio GZ-HD5US, an HD camcorder with a 60GB hard drive, new, for $399. I don't know if that's a mistake or what, because other stores are selling it for $600 and up. JVC's direct price: $1,199.

Folks, this is not an entry-level camcorder. It has three CCDs, a 2.8-inch LCD, optical image stabilization, an HDMI output, and a 60GB hard drive. (For full GZ-HD5 specs, see JVC's site.) Alas, the optical zoom tops out at 10x, and it records 1080i video instead of 1080p, but I don't consider those major shortcomings.

Rather, I'm pretty blown away by this deal. My only concern is that I can't seem to find any substantive reviews of this model. On paper, it looks excellent, and eCost's price is almost too good to be true--especially given that this is new, not a refurb, with no rebates. (Shipping will run you a reasonable $11 or so.) My advice: If you're in the market for an HD camcorder, buy this now.

Update: Looks like eCost has bumped the price to $439. Maybe $399 was a mistake after all. Even so, it's still a helluva deal.

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