JVC to sell 30GB HDD camcorders in US in August

Victor Co. of Japan Ltd. (JVC) will start selling its Everio G series palm-size camcorders in the U.S. this August. The camcorders contain hard-disk drives with huge capacity boosts compared to the company's prior models, promising consumers very long recording times, the company said on Wednesday.

In the October-March period, JVC sold over 80,000 of its first-generation Everio series, which had 1-inch, 4GB removable drives. Sales were good enough to encourage the company to pack the new models with much higher capacity 1.8-inch drives, according to Fusako Adachi [CQ], a spokeswoman for JVC in Tokyo.

The new lineup consists of the GZ-MG30 and GZ-MG50, which have 30GB drives, and the GZ-MG20 and GZ-MG40, with 20GB drives. Each model has four recording modes, but even at the highest quality mode, the 20GB models can store well over four hours' worth of video, the company said.

In the top-quality recording mode, the camcorders shoot MPEG-2 format video at 9Mbps (bits per second). The 30GB drives can record up to 7 hours of video in that mode, and the 20GB drives 4.5 hours. At the lowest-quality setting, recording at 1.7Mbps, the camcorders hold 37 hours of video and 25 hours, respectively, according to the company.

The GZ-MG40 and GZ-MG50 models have 1.33-megapixel CCDs (charge-coupled devices) that will allow digital still shooting at resolutions of 1152 pixels by 864 pixels, 1024 pixels by 768 pixels, or 640 pixels by 480 pixels, according to the company.

The other models have 0.68-megapixel CCDs, Adachi said.

The models include an SD memory card slot and a 2.5-inch flip-out LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor. The drives are protected by shock absorbers, the company said.

Images can be downloaded to PCs via USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 connection. Image editing software is available for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows and Apple Computer Inc.'s operating systems, the company said.

The GZ-MG20 will be available in the U.S. for US$800. The GZ-MG30 and GZ-MG40 will retail for $900, and the GZ-MG50 will cost $1,000, according to the company.

The company also plans to sell versions of the four models in the U.K., Germany and Japan around the same time.

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