Dear Canon, I'm ready to be a beta tester for the U.S. market. Feel free to send your latest iVIS HV10 HD camcorder my way!
This new Canon model (HV10 - which I think stands for "High Vision" if I've read the katakana on the Canon website correctly) is claimed to be the smallest/cheapest HDV camcorder to date. The HV10 can record in standard definition DV mode, or high-definition HDV mode on a mini-DV cassette. They claim their CMOS chip can capture full 1920x1080i HD resolution video. And it has true optical stabilization, rather than just digital stabilization.
In terms of size, the camcorder is a mere 2¼" wide x 4" long x 4¼" high. That's about the size of your hand. It can take 3.2 megapixel stills on a mini SD card (not included).
The camcorder will be available in Japan starting September 2006 for the equivalent of $1,300. It appears to come either in silver or black. I personally prefer the silver, but I suppose it will be moot. No plans for a U.S. release have been announced, though if Canon is listening, I'm willing to be the first to try it out on this side of the Pacific.