In my personal opinion here is what happened with the HD1a at DVinfo.net

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(MPG4) Sanyo Xacti (all models)
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Old September 25th, 2006, 02:11 PM   #1
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In my personal opinion here is what happened with the HD1a

Before the HD1a was released, it was hard to know what the point of it was.

There were no real improvements in the specs we read. Doubling the framerate of the iPod format? Adding some editing functions in camera! These were things that could and should have been expressed through a firmware upgrade.

There were 2 clues.

Firstly, the screen had changed in the new specs from their much vaunted OLED back to old LCD.

Secondly, the 'jaggies' on the first model - was this new model going to correct them?

Now that the HD1a has been released, the dust has settled if you will...

The jaggies are still there, the camera we know and love is still there - the only real difference is the screen.

In my personal opinion here is what happened.

It is on record that a factory they co-owned which was making their OLED screens shut down. Unless they could get the same presumably low price for exactly the same OLED screens from a third party they would have had to increase the price of the HD1. That was not an option, because the camera was already 'expensive', so they decided to go with LCD.

Trouble then was they couldn't leave the model number the same because otherwise, despite any amended press they would do and changes to their website specs, people would still be returning HD1s because they read somewhere they had OLED screens.

Hence the arrival of the letter 'a' in lowercase.

We all thought it meant something. Folks, it means nothing at all. Except that all their talk about a special OLED screen only applied to us lucky early adopters!

There may be a bonus however, for people who miss out on the OLED screen.

Your lens mechanism may be fastened more tightly before it left the factory. We keep having to send ours back..
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Old September 25th, 2006, 06:53 PM   #2
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Good thoughts. I agree. I think the HD1 is an improvement over the HD1a because of the screen...not the other way around.
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Old September 27th, 2006, 04:23 PM   #3
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I think you're probably right about the reasons for the HD1a. Another reason might have been to get another press release out on a "new" camera as they gear up for the holiday season and as other manufacturers start releasing their small form factor and/or flash-based and/or high-def camcorders (though I still think that Sanyo is alone in providing that complete mix, especially at their price point).

I also agree that the HD1 is an "improvement" over the HD1a. However, I did decide to return my HD1 for an HD1a, solely for the increased reliability (hopefully). I had pre-ordered by HD1 and it served me well for 6 months, but then it developed the dreaded "black screen" problem. I could have gotten it repaired, but reading on this forum it seemed like the repair was a bit iffy and would take several weeks.

So here I am with my brand spankin new HD1a. :)
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