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Hands-on with the Hitachi DZ-BD70E: 1080p Blu-ray camcorder

Our hands eagerly went on the Hitachi BD70, one of the world's first camcorders to record to Blu-ray discs. It's a 'Full HD' 1080p shooter with a plethora of high-end features

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm

With HD DVD on the ropes, washed-up and dead in the water, the future is Blu -- that's the theory, anyway, and it's certainly Hitachi's vision of the future. So it's a good time for us to get our hands on the Hitachi DZ-BD70E camcorder, which records footage on to Blu-ray disc.

It's a high-definition shooter that records 'Full HD' 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution video. Blu movies are captured on to dinky 8cm Blu-ray discs, although it accepts mini DVDs and also takes SD/SDHC cards.

The BD70 packs a creditable 5.3 megapixels on a CMOS sensor. The fold-out screen measures 69mm (2.7 inches), but still feels a little small next to the chunky midsection of the camcorder. We do like using the retractable viewfinder, though, and we're pleased that you get an accessory shoe for attaching extra kit.

The essential HDMI and USB connections are present and correct for watching on your shiny TV. A Blu-ray disc comes in the box, so we were able to start shooting straight away. A 7.5GB disc will hold one hour of 1080p footage.

The BD70 is out now for around £750, but if you shop around you can find it online for as little as £570. A full review is heading your way like a bolt from the Blu. -Rich Trenholm

Update: Read our full Hitachi DZ-BD70E review