Not strictly digital photography news, but more interesting is the technology used and it's possibilities. Hitachi announced (back in June actually) the DZ-MV100 as a first of a kind DVD-RAM camcorder, features a 1.1 megapixel CCD has a 12x optical zoom lens and records in MPEG-2 format directly onto 8 cm 2.92 GB DVD-RAM discs it's also capable of 1280 x 960 stills recorded in JPEG format and has USB connectivity. Interesting technology when viewed alongside Sony's recent announcement of the MVC-CD1000 and interesting potential in a "Wallet" type device.

Looks like we're going to be seeing more and more portable CD-R, CD-RW and DVD-RAM devices exploiting smaller disc formats, while I'm not sure they have a place inside a digital still camera they are certainly the way forward for digital video and I'd like to see the technology implemented in a device similar to the Digital Wallet we've heard so much about recently.

Hitachi DZ-MV100 Specifications

Image Sensor 1/4 interlace CDD 1.1 megapixel
approx. 720K for Video / approx.1M for Still
Lens F2.0-2.9 f=4.1-49.2mm
F value (35mm equiv.) Video 44-528mm
Still 38-456mm
Focus Auto Focus / Manual Focus
Zoom 48x (12x optical + 4x digital)
View Finder 0.44 Color TFT
approx. 180K pix
LCD Color Display 3.5 Color TFT
approx. 200K
Stabilization Electrical
Shutter Speed Video 1/60 - 1/4000
Flash Auto/Manual (only for Still mode)
Self Timer Yes (only for Still mode)
Microphone Stereo
Remote Control IR
Data Formats Video with Audio, Still
Max. Recording Time Full frame Video Approx. 60 min. for high quality
Approx. 120 min. for standard (Using both sides)
Max Still capacity 1998 still images
Recording Format Video DVD Video Recording Specification Format
Still JPEG (1280x960)
Media 8cm DVD-RAM (DVD-RAM book2.1 standard)
Terminal A/V input/output x1, S-Video input/output x1, MIC input x1
PC terminal (connect to USB port)
Battery Rechargeable lithium-ion
Power Consumption Approx. 6.0W LCD off when recording
Dimensions (W x H x D) 78x108x166mm
Weight 1.8 lbs. (800g) (w/o battery, media)
Mass 2.1 lbs. (930g) (with battery DG-BP16, media)
Est. Price US$2300
Availability "End of 2000"

Hitachi announcement:

TOKYO, Japan, June 8, 2000 --- Digital Media Group of Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT) today announced that on August 25 it will release the world's first DVD-RAM camcorder in Japan. In addition, a DVD-RAM video recorder will be released on the same day, and volume shipments of 4.7GB DVD-RAM and DVD-ROM drives for PCs will follow after the end of June. The DVD-RAM products are based on the 4.7GB DVD-RAM standard.

In the field of audiovisual (AV) equipment, the pace of the shift to digital video and audio continues to increase at a rapid pace. At the same time, the advent of faster CPUs and the growing capacities of hard-disk drives is driving a migration of AV applications to the PC and other digital appliances. To enable this process of convergence to achieve its full potential, there is a need for a large-capacity media format that is compatible with both AV equipment and PCs. DVD-RAM standard is based on the concept that holds compatibility in both video recorders and storage devices for PCs through DVD-RAM disk media. Setting DVD standards is a mission of the DVD Forum, which is comprised of more than 200 member companies from around the world. Through their efforts, DVD is fast becoming the key storage media for providing a bridge between AV devices and PCs in the DVD world of the 21st century.

In making the announcement, Yoshinori Fujimori, CEO of the Hitachi, Ltd. Digital Media Group said, "Hitachi has been involved in DVD right from the beginning, expanding its presence in this sector of operations by developing DVD-ROM and -RAM drives for PCs. Hitachi has used the technology and expertise thus acquired to develop this latest group of DVD products that take the convergence of AV and PC products a step further. We intend to continue further development of truly innovative DVD based products that satisfy the needs for an increasingly content driven marketplace in the future."

Another article (EE Times):

Digital cameras employ 8-cm optical disks

By Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

TOKYO — Optical disks measuring 8 centimeters in diameter will enter the digital camera scene next month as large-capacity bridge media to PCs.

In the vanguard of DVD-RAM promoters, Hitachi Ltd. will introduce a DVD video camera that uses an 8-cm version of the latest DVD-RAM Version 2.0 disk format, packing 1.4 Gbytes per side for the first time. And using mature, recordable-CD technology, Sony Corp. will introduce an 8-cm version of CD-R with a 156-Mbyte capacity, another first for digital still camera applications.

The disk format makes it possible for cameras to store a mixture of still and video images on one medium, which was not possible for tape-based cameras. Once those disks are recorded by the cameras, they can can be read by ROM drives, which is also seen as a big advantage. However, DVD-RAM disks still have to wait until compatible DVD-ROM drives more widely penetrate the market.

"DVD connects the digital audio-video world and the PC world with one medium," said Yoshinori Fujimori, chief executive officer of Hitachi Digital Media Group. "Hitachi will promote the DVD world, positioning its DVD-RAM camera as a strategic product."

Hitachi's DVD video camera, dubbed DZ-MV100, can capture and store MPEG-2 video and still JPEG images on one disk. The camera is said to achieve video-picture quality of more than 500 TV lines, outdoing the VHS format's roughly 300 TV lines and the laser disk's 425 lines. For still images, 1,280 x 960-dot resolution is available, Hitachi said. One disk can store about 60 minutes of MPEG-2 video, recorded at a fixed data rate of 6 Mbits/second, or 1,998 JPEG images per side, the company said.

Cartridge coming

Hitachi Maxell will start selling the 8-cm DVD-RAM disk in a cartridge late next month, timed with the camera's introduction. The list price in Japan will be about $29 per disk.

While the 12-cm DVD-RAM disk (4.7-Gbyte) for recorders complies with the Content Protection for Recordable Media scheme, the 8-cm disk has no need for CPRM, since it is dedicated for camera use, to shoot original images. Disks can be taken out of the cartridge to ensure future compatibility with DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players, when they are upgraded to DVD-RAM compatibility, Hitachi said.

Hitachi developed the two major components for the camera in-house — an MPEG-2 encoding chip; and a camera signal-processing chip. With partners it developed a 0.25-inch, 1.1 million-pixel CCD sensor and a 12x optical zoom lens for the strategic camera.

The MPEG-2 chip features low power consumption of 350 milliwatts. The DSP-6 signal-processing chip is inherited from the MPEG-1 camera that Hitachi introduced in 1997.