DIGITAL CAMERAS AND CAMCORDERS have a lot of circuitry in common, so it's not surprising that hybrids are starting to emerge. The latest of the breed, the $2,400 MP-EG1A from Hitachi Home Electronics (800 448-2244), compresses video on the fly and stores it in on a removable hard drive. You can fit 20 minutes of video on the 260 megabyte disk. But while the movies can be distributed over the Web or used in presentations, the compressed format is difficult to edit or use as the basis for any special effects.
In still mode, the Hitachi camera can probably hold all the pictures you'll ever want to take. The disk has room for 3,000 snaps at a resolution of 740 by 480 pixels, or 1,000 stills, each with a 10-second audio clip.
To transfer all that data from the camera to your computer, the kit includes a special interface board for your PC. If you have a Mac, or a PC with a SCSI adapter, you can connect using SCS. Or if you use a laptop, you can just pull the disk drive out of the camera and pop it into a PC card slot.
Updated Sept. 18, 1997 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1997, Bloomberg L.P.