Earlier this year, JVC released the Everio GZ-HD7, an ambitious high-definition hard drive camcorder. Apparently it wasn't quite enough, because JVC just announced a smaller, less expensive follow-up to the HD7, the Everio GZ-HD3.
Strikingly similar to the HD7, the HD3 uses the same 3-chip sensor configuration and the same 60GB hard drive as its bigger brother. Unlike the HD7's 10x Fujinon lens, though, the HD3 uses a new 10x Konica Minolta-branded lens. The HD3 crams all of these neat features into a smaller, lighter body, measuring over an inch shorter and weighing a fifth of a pound less than the HD7. Despite all these benefits, the HD3 does omit two of the HD7's features. It doesn't support the HD7's 1920 x 1080 "FHD," or "full high-definition" mode. While the FHD mode could conceivably produce slightly better video quality than the HD3's various shooting modes, CNET's own Lori Grunin said in her review of the HD7 that, "the FHD and 1440 CBR video looked quite similar to each other." She also noted that the dearth of supporting software for FHD makes it even more difficult to work with than most high-def footage. The HD3 also lacks the HD7's optical image stabilization, instead using an electronic image stabilization system.
The JVC Everio GZ-HD3 ships in September with an estimated retail price of $1300, a full $300 less than the HD7.