Hitachi DZ-BD7HE

This Blu-ray/HDD hybrid cam is a next-gen spinner shooting full 1080 x HD to 30GB hard disk or rewriteable Blu-ray disc.

The two-for-one concept is a smart one. You can shoot in Full HD for up to four hours, trim your masterpiece using the cam’s onboard edit suite, and archive juicy HD fillets to Blu-ray disc for playback. Compatibility issues with standalone Blu-ray players are few and you can also hook the camcorder direct into a HD Ready TV via the HDMI socket. It also works with DVD, so you can slam in an 8cm spinner for standard def movies.

It might have some pant-wettingly exciting tech inside but this big, unsightly hunk looks like a little like a hairdryer. And for all its big talk, video is a massive disappointment. Indoors the BD7 erratically fumbles, with grainy, fizzy images, and a sullen colour perform The camcorders autofunctions are pretty slack, the autofocus desperately hunting for something to snap onto, while the exposure takes an age to adjust when you move into a dark area. Natural light improves matters, but it’s not a great leap, leaving the whole Blu-ray disc experience fantastically underwhelming.