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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 30th, 2007, 11:52 AM   #1
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Ordered!!! Need advice

Well, I broke down and finally ordered my HD2. I got a great deal at costco for $650.00
Biggest reason is the 90 day no questions asked return policy.
I bought the camera for my wife to use to shoot video and photos of the kids mostly, although I may use it occasionally as it is a great little extra HD camera. (shoot video for a living)

My question is: How rugged is this camera?? I am going to Sweden this summer for a few weeks and plan to really use the heck out of this camera. I want to see if anyone has had any problems with build quality. It seems pretty tough but until it is really put to the test you never know.

Also, what accessories should I need. Should I splurge for the Sanyo branded batteries? anyone have really bad results from the off brand ones?

Anyone use that belt holster they are selling online? Might come in handy while traveling.

Lastly, Has anyone had trouble with the file format using OSX. It is Mpeg4 so I assume it will work fine unless they are using a strange codec.

Anyone with some insight and advice would be helpful
Thanks!! I am excited for this little beauty to arrive tomorrow
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Old April 30th, 2007, 10:00 PM   #2
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Hi there, I bought my HD2 in the UK a couple of weeks ago for my upcoming hoiday to Florida (wish I'd waited till I got there GRRRRR).

So far the camera has been great , its soooooo nice not to have multiple cases dangling from my neck as I'm trudging round the theme parks (It fits in the wifes bag, He He!!).

I bought an unbranded battery before I came from Ebay and one when I got here from a camera shop on I-Drive, all I can say is they are both complete crap, the one I bought off ebay lasts about 20 minutes and the one I got in Florida is slightly better and lasts about 30 mins, the original sanyo battery lasts for well over an hour and I managed to fill an entire 4GB card with video and stills before I got the low battery sign, I then managed about another 10-15 mins of video and about another 15-20 stills on my other 4GB card. I would definately recommend buying the sanyo battery unless anyone can point you in the direction of a tried and tested good quality cheapo battery.

So far I've dropped it once on the grass (due to my giant hands and that stupidly small wrist strap), its been covered in water mist (unintentionaly) and generally been roughed up a bit as its been dragged from park to park, its still working fine and has taken some really nice video and stills.

I would say the holster is a great idea as its a bit of a pain getting it out of the supplied case, I tend to just hold it in my hand as we walk round and pop it in the case when we get to a ride or I dont think I'm going to use it. Pulling it out of a holster like a gunslinger would be V cool.

Ive just started messing about with editing the files , I find that converting to avi with mp4cam2avi really helps as you can then edit and re-encode with most of the mainstream editors . Moviefactory 6+ is good for me as I can export my finished movie in either WMV-HD or DIVX-HD for playback on my HTPC, I also like to make a DVD version to take when visiting friends/family.

Cant wait to see what it looks like when I get back.


There are a few things that I've found so far that might help.

1. It is not a good camera to take walking shots with, the image stabilization is quite poor and degrades the picture, it also narrows the field of view (as if its not already narrow enough) so I leave it off, this results in quite wobbly video if you try walking with it.

2. As already stated the field of view is quite narrow, I've been trawling round all the camera shops to try and find a wide angle lens that fits (without success) , hopefully I will be able to get the sanyo one when I get home as I feel this will improve the camera considerably.

3. Get yourself a little tripod cos you cant just set it down to taken pics of yourself (it just falls over), it also helps if your taking video with the zoom anything past 6x.

4. An extra battery is a must ,as is a fistfull of 4gb sd cards.


Hope you enjoy the cam as much as I am.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 10:08 PM   #3
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Great advice

Thank You so much for your advice. I appreciate it!!
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 11:20 AM   #4
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Got it!

So the package came and I have been able to shoot with it and give it a test run.
Shot some footage of the kids and so far I have to say that it has a pretty nice picture. I have been shooting HDV for a while so it is hard to make any kind of comparison. It is not up to par with some of the minidv HDV cams out there.
The picture looks nice in certain shots and too much motion sickness in others.
It is not a camera for high action shots in my opinion. for stationary or slow pans it looks really good.

One issue I am having though is the playback on my mac with quicktime.
At first I thought my Sandisk II card was to blame for skipping, but then I played my clips in VLC player on OSX and it played smooth with no skipping. Has anyone else experienced the same thing or is it only me?

All in all I like it and it does the job I need it to and in such a small package, you can't expect much more. (YET!!)
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 03:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benny Ek View Post
One issue I am having though is the playback on my mac with quicktime.
At first I thought my Sandisk II card was to blame for skipping, but then I played my clips in VLC player on OSX and it played smooth with no skipping. Has anyone else experienced the same thing or is it only me?
Same here. But I do not blame the quicktime codec alone but also my Mac. A Powerbook G4 with a 1,67 GHZ, 64MB Graphics and 1,5 GB ram probably just doesn't do it.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 03:57 PM   #6
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Yeah I thought the same but I edit HD footage 1080i all day long. I am running a dore duo intel mac with 2 gigs of ram
so. that should be more than sufficient
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 10:22 PM   #7
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Yep I also get jerky playback on my athlon xp 3000+ with 2GB ram, funny thing is that the cpu occupancy is only runing at around 30% but still I get dropped frames.

If I re-encode it as a wmv-hd or divx-hd at 8000kbps it runs perfectly smooth, I wonder if its my graphics card thats not up to the job as its quite old now (ati radeon 9600xt), I dont think it can be the problem though as it plays all my 720p/1080i and 1080p movies without a problem . My parents showcenter 200 plays the raw mp4 footage perfectly .
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 04:25 AM   #8
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Has anyone ever tried playing it through Apple-TV?

Apple-TV plays just about no codecs, but it does play .mp4 I think.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:57 AM   #9
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Has anyone ever tried playing it through Apple-TV?

Apple-TV plays just about no codecs, but it does play .mp4 I think.
You will have to encode to h.264 and 24fps if you want to keep the 1280x720 resolution.

If you want to keep 30fps and use .mp4 you will need to resize to the max .mp4 supported resolution, which is 720x432.

I think that is fine, these cams look bad at 720p, but great at SD or somewhere in between.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 09:07 AM   #10
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You will have to encode to h.264 and 24fps if you want to keep the 1280x720 resolution.

If you want to keep 30fps and use .mp4 you will need to resize to the max .mp4 supported resolution, which is 720x432.
Bugger! It could have been so easy...
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