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David Pogue, master gadget head of the NY Times writes his latest piece on Hitachi's revolutionary DZH500A and DZHS300A DVD/HDD/FlashMem Camcorders. His take on the units are fascinating by feature, flawed in execution, and that the instructions suck. But much of the piece finds David wishing he could rewind us back to the days when tapes were king. MiniDV to be exact.

There are serious downsides to the new generation of camcorders, though. Chief among them is picture quality: because these camcorders heavily compress your video, the result just doesn't look as good as MiniDV tape.


David, you write for the common people, so you're entitled to resist the forward march of useless tech. But this time, I disagree — Tapes must be destroyed.


No one can deny your claims about quality, even putting aside HD formats on MiniDV tapes. But transferring tapes in real time, to computer, is a pain in the ass. And, in the age of shitty youtube vids, I find it easy to ignore the delta of image quality between tape vs. tapeless formats if it means I never have to rewind another tape again.

It seems odd to see the public abandon a high-quality format in favor of a lower-quality format. But, hey, it wouldn't be the first time.

Yes, like Betamax.

P.S. Video dudes, like Gizmodo's Richard Blakeley, think I'm crazy for writing this. Deal with it!Camcorders That Come With Footnotes [NYT]