Sometimes combining two things into one just works: bangers and mash for dinner. Prince and Sheena Easton. Morecambe and Wise Christmas specials. To this rococo list we're adding hybrid hard drive and DVD camcorders, such as the Hitachi DZ-HS500.
Hitachi pioneered the hybrid camcorder last year, and we've just got our hands on one of the latest models, the HS500. It records to both DVD and hard disk drive, and crucially transfers data between the two. This makes it extremely versatile, as DVD and HDD each have their own inherent strengths and weaknesses. You can edit footage stored on the hard drive, and once that's full whip it over to DVD, which says no to editing but is great for storage, as you can switch in new disks quickly and easily.
And in emergencies, you can also record to SD card, which is like Janette Krankie helping out French and Saunders.
The HS500 is lighter than a Two Ronnies clip compilation, and shinier than a Fred and Ginger dance routine. Good luck keeping fingermarks off the silver barrel, though. There's a handy sleep/restart button, which glows a pretty blue and makes startup basically instant (although you have to wait a fair bit longer when switching the thing on at first). The Hitachi DZ HS500 is available now for around £350-£380 and we'll have a full review for you sharpish. Click through for more pics. -Rich Trenholm
The wide 69mm (2.7-inch) LCD screen turns right over so you young YouTube whippersnappers can film yourself, and the image flips over so you're not upside down while watching. To use the viewfinder, simply fold the screen away.
The HS500 stores MPEG-4 video footage on 80mm DVDs, or on the 30GB hard drive. There's a one-touch dubbing button to transfer footage to DVD for storage or watching straight away in a DVD player. If that's not enough storage options, there's also an SD slot.