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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 August 4th, 2006, 11:39 AM   #1
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The best backpacking camcorder????

I produce hiking and backpacking videos. Every ounce counts, especially when you have to carry all the normal backpacking gear along with the video stuff. Naturally I was drawn to the Sanyo HD1 but shied away after some awful reviews came out. I ended up buying the Sony HC3. Sure, it produces nice pictures but it doesn't have an ext.mic input and it weights a pound and a half fully loaded.
Now that the dust has pretty much settled on the Sanyo, would you users heartily recommend it for outside, daylight (mostly) shooting? Or should I wait since my next trip isn't until this coming April? Thanks.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 08:55 PM   #2
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I would recommend the Sanyo HD1a, the one coming out in October that's a minor upgrade to the current one. It has a conventional lcd screen, instead of the OLED screen that seemed to be a problem for some owners. It also has a more user friendly in-the -camera basic editing interface than the first one had.It's also bound to have some of the bugs worked out of the first one. I haven't had any problems with mine so far, but I've only owned it for 3 weeks.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 01:02 AM   #3
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I can recommend the HD1. I haven't had any technical problems and it is the perfect backpacker cam. I carry it with me all the time. Extra battery and extra 4-gig SD card is needed though. Also, it's ready to shoot the same time I pick it up from the case.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 12:17 PM   #4
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Yep positively - the HD1 seems like a great backpacking / hiking camera.

mine have lived in the side pocket of my backpack every day since I got it a few months ago. so far its still alive. (smile)

in this time I have had two scarry experiences, where the camera suddenly told me to reformat the card, I have not been able to rerpoduce this effect again except for the two unexpected events. as a result Im on the fence about the idea of getting 4 gig cards at all (at least for now) - since most of what I shoot is production related for editing 4 gig is pretty meaningless to me anyway. and I have grapped a handfull of cheap 256 and 500meg cards which I use for production shots, simply shoot a few senes and swap them. I end up with a zip lock bag of 5-6 cards at the end of the day and lots of peace of mind. (smile) besides its cheaper per meg and the little SD cards takes so little space they can be stuffed anywhere. in the comparison to bringing a laptop this works for hiking, for paid jobs.. well the stuff is evaluated on the laptop right away so there is no problem anyway.

That aside, the camera is highly recomended for hiking, and as scarry as that experience was, I have to say that I have had less problems with this camera than many others I have owned, and less unexpected experiences.. they all have some problems. (smile) BTW. for outdoor use, may I recomend my aftermarket lenshood to help control direct light.

Another contender since you mention april next year might be the new Sony HDD based HD camcorder.


Bo

www.bophoto.com/HDV
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Old August 6th, 2006, 03:34 PM   #5
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The new Canon HV10 coming in september would be my choice.If you need an external mic go with a gs500 or the HC1
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Old August 6th, 2006, 07:35 PM   #6
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Great size, good quality outdoor recordings, get the three year warrantee if you get it.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 09:52 AM   #7
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I got my HD1 from B&H in March, and I have had ZERO problems. The picture is not quite up to the more expensive HDV cameras, but the quality is quite respectable. Since weight and portability are important to you, the HD1 stands alone as the winner by a considerable margin. I have two 4gig cards, and it works quite well with some basic (slow?) cheap Sandisk 1gig cards I already had.

I have a gut feeling that flash memory will become the media of choice for portable recording. Tape is on its way out. Hard disks remain somewhat fragile (and much is at stake when you put everything on one disk). DVD recording is OK, but you don't have the option to quickly regain space by deleting a few files, and even the smaller disk still would not be appropriate for the miniscule HD1. And prices of flash memory are falling like a rock. Zipzoomfly.com had 4gig sd card for $79 a few weeks ago. Even if the camera should sustain considerable damage, the chances are good you could remove the card, put it in a reader, and recover your shots.

Buying an extended warranty? Depends on what kind of a risk taker you are. Remember, extended warranties are the most profitable item for retailers.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 01:42 PM   #8
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How can you guys recommend products that doesn't exist?? No one knows if these future cam's will hold up to their promises or not.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 06:52 PM   #9
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I appreciate all the good input here. My guess is that it will be at least a year before anyone beats the weight vs. image quality that the Sanyo apparently has. So once I fill up several 4 gig cards, how do I conveniently download the data and then continue shooting? I certainly can't pack along a laptop. (Now I could mail a laptop to myself when I go into towns to resupply, but then again, sometimes a post office isn't nearby or sometimes your box, heaven forbid, gets lost or damaged in transit.) Have you any experiences or knowledge of lightweight devices that you can slide a card into and confidently dump your images into?
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Old August 7th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #10
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Book

Oh yeah, one more thing...has anyone thought of writing a book or manual on this camera? Assuming you believe in it and want it to "catch on" with the masses? I'd sure buy one.
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Old August 7th, 2006, 07:15 PM   #11
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Lynne,

Get something like a Epson 2000 media storage, or a Sony UX PC. there is also a couple of straight rechargable harddrives on the market which you can stick a SD card into and press the dump button for transferring the data. or for size/weight go with a OQO pocket size PC. full windows XP tablet edition but really small.

Sounds like you are wanting to video the pacific crest trail or something like that from start to end. Keep in mind you are going to also need to charge batteries.. calculate about one battery for each 2 gig card. purchase smaller cards so you loose less if something does go wrong. you can charge using a solar charger but I doubt you want to carry that much.. He he. real issue is HOW much footage are you going to shoot per stop. (smile)

Problem about writing a how-to book for a pop-culture video camera is that by the time the book is published the camera will be replaced by a newer model and this one will be eBayed to people who will not bother to learn how to use it.


Bo

www.bophoto.com/HDV
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Old August 8th, 2006, 06:27 AM   #12
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Actually, I'm doing a video on the Continental Divide Trail, the longest (at 3000 miles) and most primitive of the 3 major N-S trails. This summer I spent a week on it using the Sony hc3. My total gear weight was about 4 pounds, or about 15% of my total pack weight. That included 2 four-hr. batteries, a tripod-type arrangement, camera, bluetooth mic attachment and 4 miniDV tapes + a head-cleaning tape plus a padded case. It would be great if I could cut that weight in half by next spring or even just 25% but still get the same quality.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 06:05 PM   #13
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Try an iPod Video

I'll chime in with my 2 cents here. I'd recommend an iPod Video (either the 30 or 60gb model) and the photo adaptor. You can then use the iPod to offload all your footage off a 4gb card many times over before you run out of space- that's what I do when I'm on vacation. The very small size of the iPod complements the small size of the HD1 nicely, and of course you've got an iPod to listen to music, watch videos, etc.

And as for the HD1, it's definitely a great camcorder to use when size is at a premium. It's not perfect, but it's a wonderful little camcorder. Sure, the HC3 takes better quality footage, and undoubtedly so will the upcoming Canon. But they're still bigger than the HD1. If I can't fit it in my pocket, it's not coming with me on a trip.
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Old August 8th, 2006, 07:33 PM   #14
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apple ipod

Is this video ipod with photo adapter all off-the-shelf stuff or does this involve some sort of hack job? Where do you get this photo adapter and is it just a matter of plug and play (or in this case plug and download)? I guess the assumption then is that whatever you might have previously had on the ipod (to view or listen to) will be erased, right?
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Old August 9th, 2006, 02:57 PM   #15
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Dumping to Ipod

Hi Lynne,

Here is a link to a device which allows you to read SD into an Ipod. I am interested in this option too.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=69559

Rgds,
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