Hitachi is releasing a new Blu-ray camera after getting spanked for their first generation. The DZ-BD9H still records to Blu-ray or a 60GB hard drive, but tries to fix the poor image performance with a new 5-megapixel CMOS sensor and image processing system, dubbed Picture Master. Full specs after the jump.
It is BD-R version 2.0 compliant, and can also use version 3 BD-RE disks, which should allow you to edit the on-disk video in the camera. Recording at its maxium resolution of 1920 x 1080 in Mpeg4, it can squeeze about an hour of hi-res video onto an 8 cm Blu-ray disk, and 9 hours onto the hard drive. You can get around 30% more time at 1440 x 1080 pixels, and if you like to record to old fashioned DVD it has a low-res 720 x 480 pixel mode. Still shooting now comes with a 3-megapixel 16:9 mode as well as the standard 5 megapixel 4:3 ratio, but whether this new CMOS sensor tackles the apparently poor low-light performance of the previous generation, we don't know.
At least Hitachi has improved the brightness 1.4 times on the 2.7-inch viewing LCD and put all this in a package that's 8 x 16.5 x 8.7 cm in size and weighing in at 703 grams. Its got the full slew of HDMI, component AV outputs and USB 2.0 connection for PC editing. Out on February 12th in Japan for ¥180,000 (around $1,950), and presumably heading over the Atlantic soon.
AU: Look at it longingly, fellow Australians, because we'll almost definitely never see it, what with Hitachi closing their doors on consumer electronics here.