by Davies + Starr

The first DVD videocamera, from Hitachi, was a bulky novelty. Three years later, however, we’re happy to see svelte models from Panasonic and Sony (shown here) — as well as a new trimmed-down model from Hitachi — that will hit the shelves in the coming months. Why ditch your trusty MiniDV camcorder? Because you can take the 3-inch DVD-R disc ($2) out of these cams and pop it into just about any DVD player for viewing. Even better, they don’t skimp on quality or recording time: You’ll get 60 minutes on each DVD-R disc, or 120 minutes with a rewritable disc. Sony’s model, the DCR-DVD200 (price not set) weighs only a pound and a half, and includes in-camera editing. Look for it this summer.