The Hitachi flagship site states with pride ‘the original inventor and champion of the DVD Camcorder’. It goes on to say that the company is now the first to bring out the Blu-ray camcorder and finally, if all that wasn’t enough, they have created a new category, the DVD/HDD camcorder.
With this decorated history in the field, you would think that Hitachi digital camcorders were all you ever needed to look for to fill such a need. But does this ability to push the boundaries of what digital recording can do transfer to the title of ‘king of the camcorder shelf’?
A One Trick Pony
Whilst there’s no doubt that Hitachi is pushing the boundaries of what handheld camcorders can do, in the ranks of the simple digital devices with no bells and whistles attached like the varieties many of us are looking to buy, they don’t seem to have much on show. The D36FT HD has a smart design with 5x zoom and touch screen functionality but its style is a little dated and memory capacity isn’t great. A slightly larger Hitachi DZ MV730A Camcorder allows more functional use and has the built-in DVD recorder function. Looking for anything beyond this is tough work and most review sites are keen to throw back the depressing ‘search results: (0)’ response.
So we know they make the best DVD recorders, brought out the first Blu-ray recorder, and invented a new category for the product, but when does all this expertise and experience get packaged into something affordable yet slickly functional for us to buy?
Is Hitachi Really Ahead of the Rest?
Canon, Panasonic, Sony, JVC, and Samsung have all brought out models in the handheld and miniature categories to rival Hitachi’s offerings. In terms of optical zoom, digital zoom, weight, and LCD display size, both Sony and Panasonic have flagship products which sit at the top of this pile and even the less established or purchased JVC or Samsung options take the biscuit from Hitachi in terms of look, feel, and function. It almost seems that the company knows it can do a lot better but is disinclined to waste its time in a field that it feels is somehow beneath it.
It could be argued that Hitachi’s specialism in the more professional side of the field will mean that there’s no need for catering to the amateur, but if the digital SLR business model is anything to go by, you would think otherwise. The line between purchasing powers of the professional and amateur are blurring and you might be surprised by how many people now own digital photography equipment that would be sufficient to run a small studio. As the digital camcorder follows suit, the brand values established by the likes of Sony, Panasonic, and Canon in the lower ranks will give them strength and momentum to take on the areas currently controlled by Hitachi digital camcorders. At this point it might be too late for Hitachi to introduce a credible model for the novice market and could mark the decline of this industry’s original pioneer.
This article was supplied by the freelance writer Blizzerand.
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