JVC has announced a host of new camcorders for the new year.

The releases are headed up by a fresh range - the Everio hard disk camcorder line.

These new models are claimed to be the market’s smallest hard drive camcorders.

All offer new functions that "make operation simpler and more intuitive", claims the manufacturer, and models are available in four different colours.

The Everio G line-up comprises four 680K-pixel models and one 7-megapixel model.

The latter is the flagship 30GB GZ-MG730, which features a higher-performance camera section with a 1/2.5-inch 7.38-megapixel CCD with Primary Color Filter.

JVC explains that this model features "a more rounded design" that shows off the F3.5 Konica Minolta lens.

It can shoot high resolution digital stills up to 3072 x 1728 in 16:9 mode or 3072 x 2304 in 4:3 mode.

Shooting features include Auto Flash, Program AE dial with Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority, Auto Exposure Bracketing, Backlight and Spotlight compensation, Natural and Vivid color settings, and Histogram Display.

The four 680K-pixel camcorders include two 30GB models and two 60GB models.

The 30GB GZ-MG330 offers a 35x optical zoom, integrated Auto Illumi Light and is available in three “gem” colours: sapphire blue, ruby red or diamond silver.

The GZ-MG335 is only available in diamond silver, offers the same functions as the MG330 and comes with an Everio Dock for easy connection and charging.

Next up is the GZ-MG360, which comes in onyx black and is built around a 60GB internal hard disk drive.

The GZ-MG365 is essentially the same but comes with an Everio Dock.

The 30GB models and the 60GB model each weigh just 360g, including the battery.

The manufacturer has also launched new MiniDV models.

The new Mini DV Line comprises the JVC GR-D870 and GR-D850 MiniDV camcorders.

These boast Konica Minolta lenses with 35x optical zoom and 2.7-inch 16:9 widescreen LCD monitors with automatic backlight control for easy viewing. For low-light shooting there is also the built-in Auto Illumi-Light LED.

The GR-D870 offers Dual Recording, which means it can shoot video and stills at the same time, and the Live Slow feature, which combines slow-motion video with live audio, "a feature that is perfect for sports and other fast-moving action", claims JVC.

Both models have a Stick Control on their LCDs for navigating menus and settings using just one-finger operation.

Other standard features include Multi-Language On-Screen to switch the on-screen display language, a dedicated Auto Button to instantly switch between auto and manual modes, and Power-Linked Operation, which switches the camcorder on as soon as the LCD monitor is opened.