Hitachi's new DVDCAM line-up records in both DVD-R and DVD-RAM format, enabling playback on computers and home DVD players. The DVD-R format allows movies to be viewed through home DVD systems and DVD-RAM caters for in-camera editing and can record still photos. Apart from the picture quality of DVD-R, recording to disc has some clever functions that cannot be replicated on tape recording systems: rewinding before you record is unnecessary as it automatically identifies the empty part of the disc; scenes can be cut and pasted in the camera; navigating through material is aided by thumbnails. Hitachi's Variable Bit Rate technology can be used to analyse the complexity of the subject image and weigh this against the amount of data required to record it - thus simple, slow moving images are efficiently captured without compromising quality. It's also possible to transfer DVD-RAM movies to tape, also allowing movies to be transferred in the other direction and recorded on DVDRAM or DVD-R in the camera. Released in June, the mid-range DV-MV238E (pictured) costs AUS$2599. The DZ-MV270E costs AUS$3,099. Visit www.hitachi.com.au