Hitachi's Wooo DZ-HS503 hyrbid camcorder just busted out a can of Wooopass (har!) on the competition. Yeah, "hybrid" as in it records to both an internal 30GB hard disk drive and 8-centimeter DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD-R, and DVD+RW discs. It will even record direct from that HDD to DVDs for 2x PC-less dubbing action. It appears to be the Japanese version of the DZ-HS500A mentioned in passing by Hitachi at CES. Inside you'll find a 3.31 megapixel CCD (suitable for 2.18 megapixel video or 3.05 megapixel stills), a lesser 10x optical zoom instead of 30x since the Japanese tend to be less creepy than Americans (ok, maybe not), a 2.7-inch 120,000 pixel TFT LCD, and even an SD slot for photographs. Expect the HS503 to hit for retail at about ¥140,000 or right around $1,162 -- beaucoup bucks for convenience over the quality of a 3CCD system. Also loosed are the Japanese equivs of the 8GB HDD / DVD hybrid DZ-HS301 and DZ-HS303 camcorders which shall hail by the names DZ-HS403 and DZ-HS401 in the land of the rising sun. Those will pop a bit sooner in February for ¥120,000 ($996) and ¥100,000 ($830), respectively.

[Via Impress]

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Hitachi's Wooo DZ-HS503 hybrid DVD / HDD camcorder with 2x dubbing