Hitachi DZ-BD10HA Blu-ray camcorder: Three formats, lotsa waiting

Hitachi's latest Blu-ray camcorder offers good HD video quality, but its slow performance and feature-to-price ratio lower its overall value.

It's not that the Hitachi DZ-BD10HA is a bad HD camcorder. Its video quality, for one, is good--exactly what you'd expect from a $1,000 HD camcorder. Even in low light, the video was decent. Then there's that hybrid part.

The BD10HA records AVCHD files to your choice of BD and DVD discs, a 30GB hard-disk drive, or SDHC cards. While recording direct to disc isn't ideal, I like the flexibility of being able to transfer video on-the-go from the HDD or SDHC cards straight to a disc I can pop out and put in my home theater or give to friends and family--without the need for connecting to a docking station or computer. (The trade offs are a bulkier design and speed; it's slow to switch between the drives.)

That said, if you don't actually want a Blu-ray Disc recorder stuck to the side of your HD camcorder, you can find less expensive, more fully featured HDD- or flash-based models that record in AVCHD and then burn those to a standard DVD. Or spend the money on a Blu-ray burner for a computer. The upside to BD-R/RE discs is their considerably larger storage capacities.

Read the full review of the Hitachi DZ-BD10HA.