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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 April 7th, 2006, 02:14 PM   #1
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HD1 Reviews

The long awaited Sanyo VPC-HD1 Camcorder review at Camcorderinfo.com is posted at:


http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...der-Review.htm
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Old April 8th, 2006, 06:58 AM   #2
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The review is not that positive for video, although quite complementary of it's still camera performance.

Is that what other's gathered from it?
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Old April 8th, 2006, 07:09 AM   #3
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Someone made a comment underneath the review about how the dominant tone* of the piece was dictated by cameras that cost at least twice the price of the HD1 - and that the HD1 was criticized for any way in which it did not measure up to those cameras, the Sony HC1 and HC3.

I did kind of wonder about that when I was reading it.

I do seem to remember a similar thing happening when the JVC HD1 was released. A lot of people claimed it wasn't real HD. Now it is considered real, if low-end, HD but the Sanyo isn't. Panic! Does this mean the standard of HD is lowering every year?

I don't think so. HD is a technical measurement that pertains to resolution. Sure, it had broader connotations in the past given the old 100K price-range, but that's essentially what it is. 100K HD cams, HDV cams, and the new Sanyo (which, come on, fits in your pocket folks) are all HD.

But within any format there's a range of quality and price.


*I say 'dominant tone' because I know other, cheaper cams were used by camcorderinfo for comparisons too, but I think it's fair to say the ultimate tone was one debating the differences between the Sanyo and the Sonys.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 09:42 AM   #4
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There was a lot in the review, and yes it was dominated by the higher end HD units that do cost twice the price. I think this was necessary because of the implications of Sanyo offering HD. There is a need to establish quality against other units that offer the same resolution. I do wish reviewers would temper their arguements with a little pocketbook reality though.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 12:46 PM   #5
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Yes, there's pocketbook reality, but also just the fact that res is only one part of a camera's make-up. The res matches the Sony cam's res, but that's it.

In every other sense the cameras are different.

This wasn't the position taken by the reviewers. To them, any way in which the Sanyo didn't equal the Sony's quality was a strike against the Sanyo. That's nonsensical because the Sanyo costs, at most, half the price of the Sonys.

But it was a very informative review in general and they were certainly some spot-on criticisms of the cam.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 01:39 PM   #6
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The reviewers at Camcorderinfo tend to be lost in their resolution charts. The information is interesting, but what matters is how the video looks on the screen (HDTV in this case) and what are the practicalities of the camera.

The footage from the HD1 looks terrific, given decent lighting conditions; far better than any DV I have seen, and I tend to buy a new one that seems better about once a year.

There are other advantages as well; the picture is only good if you have the camera with you. The Sony HC1 is something I simply would not be willing to carry around. While its video looks very good, its stills do not, which means carrying another camera around. The HC3 will be smaller, but it still won't fit into any of my pockets, and the stills will probably be no better.

Then there is the matter of tape. I am overjoyed to be out of the tape business. There are so many advantages to flash cards. When I accidentally bump the camera and film my feet walking to the next location, I can erase just that shot then and there. To take a few shots to a seminar at the Apple Store, I just slip the card into a small reader, or copy the files onto an even smaller jump drive. You can carry as many of the small cards as you think you will need (or can afford), etc.

Clearly this camera was not intended for the independent film maker, though I am sure that some will find it very useful. To judge it by professional or commercial standards is to miss the point.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 11:00 PM   #7
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One of the major points in that review seemed to be oversaturated video. I find the manual white-balance resolves this. Compression artifacts that are viewable on-screen also seem reduced when manual wb is selected.

I got a chuckle out of the comments about 60fps low-light filming. Let me get this straight... you reduce ambient light to minimal levels and cut sensor exposure to half the time and the captured video seems too dark? Really? I'm thinking someone turned off the brain for that test. ;)
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Old April 9th, 2006, 03:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Wells
One of the major points in that review seemed to be oversaturated video. I find the manual white-balance resolves this. Compression artifacts that are viewable on-screen also seem reduced when manual wb is selected.
What white-balance setting do you use? Is it just that you manually select the appropriate one based on it's name, or is one your favorite?
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Old April 9th, 2006, 03:35 AM   #9
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No, you don't use a preset (sunny day, cloudy day etc.) you select the dropper icon. There must be a better term for the icon than dropper, sorry. I think it's the last icon on the row, anyway.

You then fill the frame with something white on location, and press the joystick in. The menu will then show white balance as set.

You then have perfect white balance and a lot of the difficulties vanish.
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Last edited by Graham Jones; April 9th, 2006 at 06:11 AM.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 04:55 AM   #10
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Thanks, I'd never tried the "dropper" setting before. I'll try it tomorrow.
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Old April 9th, 2006, 05:17 AM   #11
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Eyedropper icon! That's the term I was looking for.

Works wonders.

This just isn't an automatic camera...
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Old April 9th, 2006, 08:55 AM   #12
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As oposed to "AWB" which is automatic white balance, I think its appropiate to call the eye-dropper "Custom White Balance". :-)

As for the review, while there were a bit much comparing to the famed twice as expensive cameras, most of the "data" really was not much of a shock for anyone who have used the Sanyo, its touchy with burn out with a narrow dynamic range and coulors can be tricky. To me the most interesting results were the actual resolving test on the chart, honestly I had thought the camera able to resolve more vertical lines. That said, the numbers is not everything, the clips look great on my TV, and that is what matters the most.

Ultimately, this is probably not a camera for making the next blockbuster movie, however it fits in the jacket pocket and is likely to be handy next time Im somewhere spectacular.... Can't wait for somebody to shoot something which by turn of events end up in the news, it will be the sharpest accident footage seen in a long while.

Bo

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Old April 10th, 2006, 10:34 AM   #13
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It wasn't clear to me on reading that review as to how the Sanyo's SD mode compared with the SD video of the non-HD cameras (e.g. Canon Opus 600) they were comparing the HD-1 to.

Any impressions?

Cheers

Len
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Old April 10th, 2006, 10:44 AM   #14
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Those cams were cited because they're tiny little handheld cams..
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Old April 21st, 2006, 05:25 PM   #15
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Ouch

Ouch. It looks like the reviewer hated this thing with a passion.

From the review:

"We can definitively say that Sanyo’s Xacti VPC-HD1 is a high definition camcorder in name only...Does it surpass what you’ve seen in standard definition camcorders, even by a little bit? No, it does not. In fact, many standard definition camcorders, like the Canon Optura 600, Panasonic PV-GS300, and GS500, produced far better images, both in sharpness and color performance... The VPC-HD1 is a gimmick camcorder...All signs point to the VPC-HD1 having a still camera chip, the same tactic used by "toy" MPEG4 camcorder manufacturers, whose products retail for $200 and are essentially throwaway gimmicks...The ability to see changes instantly in exposure and color tone is a basic feature on all camcorders down to the cheapest of the cheap. Its absence would make handling the HD1 more of a joke than anything else, if the joke didn't cost you $800...Comparing this to other HD camcorders on the market is like slapping a Jaguar ornament on the hood of a Pacer and pushing it onto the showroom floor. No HD camcorder should offer this low level of video quality. This camcorder does not deserve to be called HD. Don’t get fooled."
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