This camera can record on one of three things, the 60GB hard drive, an 8 centimeter Blu-Ray disc, or an 8cm DVD. Sadly the resolutions and bit rates get so high that about 720×480, the camera’s lowest setting, DVD isn’t even an option, and even at that lowest setting, you only get 20-30 minutes of recording on a DVD.
With the HDD built in, Blu-Ray isn’t all that cost effective either considering that little 10-20 dollar 7.5GB Blu-Ray disc will only net you, at best, “about 2 hours” of recording time. The hard drive on the other hand, gets you a minimum of 9 hours of recording time at the highest resolution (1920×1080) and the highest bit rate of 15Mbps.
The recording formats are MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 and MPEG-2 for the lower quality settings. There are HDMI, AV, and USB ports allowing you to play direct from the camera or connect it to your PC to empty that huge 60GB HDD. For now its Japan only, and won’t even hit shelves there until February, and its starting price is $1700, with the option of the DZ-HD90 HDD-only camcorder for $1300. However, it is headed to the US, and word is those prices should drop by the time they hit the states.