As computer hard drives have become smaller and cheaper, they have taken up residence in camcorders, replacing other recording media, such as tape and DVDs. The JVC Everio GZ-MG505 sports a 30-gigabyte hard drive, which can record 10,000 still photos or up to seven hours of video at DVD movie quality, 14 hours at TV quality or 37 hours in the “eco” mode.

The camera uses technology borrowed from JVC's professional video cameras to produce 5-megapixel still photos and to record video at effective resolutions of up to 2.3 megapixels through separate sensors dedicated to the red, green and blue color spectrums. A user can burn video footage to DVD using the USB connection, without ever turning on a computer.

The compact camera has a 10X optical zoom lens and a 2.7-in. wide-screen monitor. It weighs just a little more than 1 lb.

The suggested retail price is $1,299. Contact JVC, Dept. FIN, 1700 Valley Rd., Wayne, NJ 07470, 973/317-5000, visit www.jvc.com or www.freeproductinfo.net/fin, or circle 179.