We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Camcorders Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Hitachi DZ-BD7HE review

£850 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Hitachi

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The Hitachi DZ-BD7HE is an HD camcorder with Blu-ray recording capabilities.

The Hitachi DZ-BD7HE is an HD camcorder with Blu-ray recording capabilities.

Hitachi's DZ-BD7HE writes HD footage direct to Blu-ray Disc and 4.3Mp stills to an SD card that slots into one side. This setup makes the Hitachi pretty bulky for a modern camcorder, although it does its best to disguise that fact with a stylish, gently curved design.

The Hitachi DZ-BD7HE is also a rare bird in that it features moving recordable media, so there's a gentle hum and vibration during use unless you record to its 30GB hard disk.

It's also backwards-compatible with DVD – although, while this handily avoids any compatibility issues, it rather negates the purpose of shelling out nearly £900 on an HD model.

Visit Photo Advisor for reviews of the latest cameras, and digital photography and video hardware and software products.

When used in conjunction with the Hitachi DZ-BD7HE, a Blu-ray Disc allows for just 60 minutes of full HD recording time; the hard drive boosts capacity to four hours. Make sure you keep an eye on which option is selected before pressing the record button.

Footage and stills are composed using either the Hitachi DZ-BD7HE's flip-out 2.7in widescreen LCD or a pullout electronic viewfinder.

For recording to hard disk, an HD multimedia interface (HDMI) cable, standard video leads and USB 2.0 connectivity are provided with the Hitachi DZ-BD7HE.

We found the Hitachi DZ-BD7HE slow to adjust focus when panning between subjects, while switching between the manually selectable white-balance settings gave more accurate results than full auto.

The small joystick located on the screen for tabbing between these options is awkward to use. The Hitachi DZ-BD7HE also lacks optical image stabilisation and there are too many confusing recording options.

Unfortunately, the Hitachi DZ-BD7HE also delivers one of the noisiest low-light performances we've seen, and its lens provides a narrower field of view than we'd like.

While colour is vivid, it's too warm to match reality, and the Hitachi DZ-BD7HE's audio sounds rather hollow.

Visit Digital World for the latest digital audio, games and home-entertainment news and reviews

Hitachi DZ-BD7HE Expert Verdict »

Hitachi DZ-BD7HE reviews verified by Reevoo

Hitachi DZ-BD7HEScores 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 reviews
1,080i (1,920x1,080) video resolution
4.3Mp still resolution
2.7in, 211,300 pixel LCD
10x optical
30GB hard drive, Blu-ray Disc, DVD, SD storage
HDMI, USB output
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 6 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

It's got an interesting feature set, and you can't fault the storage options, but we weren't fully convinced by the Hitachi DZ-BD7HE's recording quality. And at £850, we would expect to be.

  • Hitachi DZ-BD70E review

    Hitachi DZ-BD70E

    Compared with the sylph-like AVCHD camcorders on the market, the Blu-ray recording Hitachi DZ-BD70E is something of a monster.

  • Panasonic DMP-BD55K review

    Panasonic DMP-BD55K

    At £280, the Panasonic DMP-BD55K is expensive even for a Blu-ray Disc player.

  • Lite-On iHES208 review

    Lite-On iHES208

    An eight-speed Blu-Ray Combo Drive, the Lite-On iHES208 will make a good value purchase for those who want an HD disc drive.

  • PLDS Lite-on DH-401S DVD writer/Blu-ray player

    PLDS Lite-on DH-401S DVD writer/Blu-ray player

    The PLDS Lite-on DH-401S is the latest in a string of DVD drives that can read Blu-ray media, but have no interest in writing to them.

  • Sony BWU-300S review

    Sony BWU-300S

    Blu-ray Disc drives that can create BD media remain thin on the ground. The Buffalo BR-816SU2, and now this internal Sony BWU-300S, are the only burnable Blu-ray drives to have been released in the UK since early Spring.

IDG UK Sites

Sony Xperia Z3+ release date, price and specs: The Xperia Z4 for the UK

IDG UK Sites

Why Intel’s vision of the future is a future I want to live in

IDG UK Sites

10 amazing, creative uses of tech – and the brands behind them

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer