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(MPG4) Sanyo Xacti (all models)
A compact 720p MPEG4 digital media camera recording to SD Card.


 
 
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Old March 14th, 2006, 11:00 PM   #1
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Tweaks and options

I think we need a spot where we post optional accessories to make the most of this amazing camera. That way we can all refer to a single place to find options we are looking for.

This is for listing anything you have found works well (read exceptionally well) and would recommend to other users. I'm going first.

1. I found the camera a little to small for my hands, and wanted a handle. I also found the angle of the lens, narrow base, and center of balance when open made it awkward to set down and use for recording. This little tripod serves as both a handle and a convenient flexible mount. As an added bonus, it provides me a few more inches in height for when I want to record something from above my head. Total investment, $6

http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/pro...10&catid=11418

2. As my laptop couldn't run 720p effectively, I've had to compromize. I'm recording 640X480 at 60fps and it plays back beautifully. It also eliminates jitter in scenes with fast panning or fast subjects. After seeing both modes on HDTV, I think it's an option that everyone should consider using when the subject warrants it... the resultant video looks better than 720p in high motion scenes.

3. So far, it seems everyone here that has tried a 4GB SD card has had success. I suggest that 4GB is compatible, but anyone that gets a 4GB to fail could post and qualify the rumour that certain 4GB cards are not compatible with the camera (ignore incompatibility with non-camera devices like card readers, as these are not camera limitations).

4. Add-on lenses can't be attached via an adapter, yet. I have found an alternate option though, for anyone that wants to play around. I have a few 37mm lenses left over from an old digital camera I had. I compared them to this and found the threads match up almost perfectly to the metal lens ring on the HD1. A piece of PVC or rubber tubing could easily become a lens adapter ring. I'll be doing this soon and will post an example.

5. For when we have a lens adapter, I tested both wide and telephotos (0.6 and 1.5); both worked perfectly. In addition, my +17 has the camera focusing on items I actually place on the lens!
Great macro photography... now if only I still collected stamps

Hope this helps you all out! Don't forget to post your tweaks and options.
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Old March 15th, 2006, 12:42 PM   #2
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It would be great if someone brought out a lens thread adapter that would patch the HD1's lens to the nearest standard thread.

Or if anyone knows of any pop-on lenses that would work.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 12:43 AM   #3
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I have had really good luck with a "Crystal Vision Titanium High Definition Wide Angle 0.45x" adapter. I unscrewed the "macro" part at the rear and inserted a little of the "fuzzy" adhesive velcro to pad it to fit over the HD1 lens. It yields a nice 17mm (35 mm equivalent, 93 degrees) that is wider than the Sanyo 0.6x and smaller and lighter.

They are available on the web, but at a ridiculously wide range of prices, from a few dollars on eBay to over $200 from some dealers -- so shop carefully!

The very clever Gorillapod from www.joby.com is small, very light and bends around objects (rails, chairs, etc.). I also use it as chestpod.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 05:57 AM   #4
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Peter, what is the mm thread size of the lens?
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Old March 16th, 2006, 03:35 PM   #5
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Joseph -- The Crystal Vision adapter has two parts. The back part, called "macro" has a 37mm thread. I have been able to get adapters (step up or step down) for various cameras.

If you use both parts the wide angle seems to be about 0.6X; since the Sanyo doesn't have any threads anyway, I experimented with unscrewing the back macro part and just slipping the front part (about 40mm with inside thread) over the Sanyo lens the way the Sanyo adapter does. It required a small amount of padding to fit snuggly, but gives me a much wider angle (17mm equivalent, 93 degrees horizontal) . Using only the front part, it is 2 inches at the widest, 3/4 of an inch deep and weighs 1.4 oz. Judging from the photos, the Sanyo adapter is much bigger.

I have been very pleased with the images. You have to use super close up focus or manual focus. I only focus manually once. Then when I am in normal focus, I slip on the WA and click the set button down and it goes right to the previous manual focus. Focused at 5cm it is sharp from infinity to about 6 inches; @ 2cm (the next step closer) it is in focus more or less to the front of the lens.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 03:44 PM   #6
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Since the built-in mike picks up the sound of autofocus in quiet environments, I have been using a 1.5 inch Sony Walkman stereo external mike, which gave better sound and no autofocus sound. Now I have received the Stereo Professionals SP SPSM-1 mike (www.soundprofessionals.com), which looks like a "tee" made out of 1/4 inch pipe, 1.5 inches wide and long. The sound is noticeably better than the Sony. It ends in a mini jack that plugs right into the adapter that comes with the Sanyo.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 03:55 PM   #7
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Thanks Peter. Would you happen to know the model number of the lens?
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Old March 16th, 2006, 06:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Solmssen
Since the built-in mike picks up the sound of autofocus in quiet environments, I have been using a 1.5 inch Sony Walkman stereo external mike, which gave better sound and no autofocus sound. Now I have received the Stereo Professionals SP SPSM-1 mike (www.soundprofessionals.com), which looks like a "tee" made out of 1/4 inch pipe, 1.5 inches wide and long. The sound is noticeably better than the Sony. It ends in a mini jack that plugs right into the adapter that comes with the Sanyo.
Any audible noise from the focus system? I'm buying one of these myself but it'd be nice to know what to expect ahead of time.
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Old March 16th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #9
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Peter--regarding that spsm-1 mic, do you have the high sensitivity mic or the normal mic? And also, how do you mount it on the camera? (Is the jack on the top or on the side?)
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Old March 16th, 2006, 10:39 PM   #10
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I can answer the how it mounts aspect of that question. The mic port on this camera is at the top rear. If you look at this image...

http://www.sanyodigital.com/dealer%2...D1_in_dock.jpg

and consider this description, you should be able to visualize it. On the opposite side, 1/8th of an inch from the back of the raised flash section, there is a mic jack. It's an 1/8th of an inch down from the top. Based on the measurements of the mic, it will extend to the flash control button, and protrude very slightly from the back of the camera. It will not interfere with the controls at the back, but is close to the raise flash/change flash mode button. If you raise the flash during recording, there will be an audible sound. Of course, I can't imagine you needing to do that.

One thing I do note is that the door covering the mic input bends toward the front and is not that flexible. There's no risk of breaking it (rubber), but perhaps Peter can tell us if this door interferes with the fit of the mic.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 06:07 AM   #11
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I think I follow you on this. Then I would think that a mic like the SPSM-1, which is a T-shaped mic with the mini-plug being the vertical portion of the T, would have an odd fit on this camera to say the least. One of the stereo mics would either be pointing back towards the camera operator or would be pointing down towards the ground, right? (I'm envisioning the mic input to NOT be facing skyward, in other words.)
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Old March 17th, 2006, 06:56 AM   #12
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One part of the T would point towards the subject, with the other pointing towards the operator. I don't think it would be possible to point the mic skyward even if you wanted to, due to the bulging out of the camera beneath the mic input.

This has positive and negative effects. First, it means you won't have an accurate stereo feed. You'll essentially have two mono feeds, one of your subject and one of you. I personally like this fact, but it isn't for everyone.

Here's why I think that's good.

I plan to occasionally re-encode my audio streams from this camera to eliminate operator and environment noise. There are occasions when I want my sounds in the film, but unless I'm actually involved in the picture, I would usually overlay the sound in those cases. When I do not want operator sound, I can use the result of the rear input as a data source for noise cancellation, essentially removing a large portion of the local sound and leaving a limited feed from the subject which can be amplified. There are audio programs that allow a person to make these changes dynamically, and hear the difference while editing. I've used them in the past to do spacial seperation for stereo, which is essentially the same process done twice, but I've never had a feed that was essentailly tailored to noise reduction. I expect it will prove useful.

Here's why it isn't good.

There are two major concerns and one minor concern with this approach. I'll deal with the minor first. The wind noise on the two mics won't necessarily coincide. They have wind screens, so in theory I won't be cancelling much wind noise, but it is still a liability. The two major concerns are: When I want exceptional audio in noisy environments, I'll probably have to edit to get it. I plan to combat this concern by saving a source profile. This allows me to preset my editing options based on what worked previously. It's a good option for the long term, but time consuming to set up. The other limitation is that I won't have stereo. I can live with this, since even the best mics I've found don't do a great job of capturing a stereo source (explaining why I got into spacial seperation in the first place).
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Old March 17th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #13
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Sorry to be slow in responding -- I've been struggling with editing MP4 on a 1.7 Gz computer! I did manage, but not without shutting everything else down and only moving a few clips at a time.

The microphone is a tee shape. I use it lying down, with the body parallel to the top of the camera, mikes facing right and left. For the moment, I am using a bit of adhesive velcro on top of the flash and a bit wrapped around the stem of the mike. It doesn't extend beyond the back of the camera; the Sanyo supplied adapter is a little long for this purpose and makes a small loop. The rubber cap on the input is a little annoying, and when the camera is beyond the return time, I will rip it off, as I have done with all cellphones. I bought the regular mike, not the extra sensitive one. It seems to have plenty of power.

I will test the foam caps against the wind noise reduction built in when I get a chance.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 09:23 PM   #14
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I made a very crude test of wind noise reduction with the SP-SPSM-1 in a moderate breeze. Neither the foam caps nor the built-in wind noise reduction eliminated wind noise by themselves. Using both together did. I've emailed SoundProfessionals to ask why the right and left sides of the mike aren't marked.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 01:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Solmssen
I have had really good luck with a "Crystal Vision Titanium High Definition Wide Angle 0.45x" adapter. I unscrewed the "macro" part at the rear and inserted a little of the "fuzzy" adhesive velcro to pad it to fit over the HD1 lens. It yields a nice 17mm (35 mm equivalent, 93 degrees) that is wider than the Sanyo 0.6x and smaller and lighter.
Hi Peter,

Do you notice any increase in low-light performance when using your wide angle? My wide-angle doesn't increase the field of view as much as yours, so it's hard to tell.

Also, how is your new mic for picking up zoom noise? I'm assuming the sound is audible, as I can hear it when I put my ear where the external mic attaches.
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