For a standard-definition camcorder, this new offering from Hitachi is certainly unique and competitive. It records both on miniDVDs and on an internal hard drive. Unfortunately, confusing menus and unintuitive controls make it hard form to fully recommend this product.
Featuring a 25X optical zoom, the Hitachi DZ-HS300A gives you two storage options. On the internal 8GB hard drive; you can record as much as 110 minutes of high-quality movie footage. This is valuable because you can then burn this video to a miniDVD disc sitting in the camcorder’s drive. Of course, you also have the option of recording directly onto DVD, yielding about 18 minutes on a single-sided miniDVD.
The catch with the DZ-HS3OOA lies in the menus and functions, which are far from intuitive. When you transfer video from a hard drive to a miniDVD, for example, you aren't cold that you need to finalize the DVD in order to play it elsewhere. I also found the camcorder's still images to be pretty poor quality.
The Hitachi DZ-HS30OA is competitively priced among SD camcorders. If you're looking for an easy-to-use, hybrid device, though this is not the camcorder for you.
Hitachi DZ-HS300A: $600