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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 May 7th, 2007, 10:31 AM   #1
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Should I buy the HD2?

I have been looking for a camera for a while. My budget is pretty much as small as possible as I am a student. I was looking at cheap mindv cameras on ebay but the HD2 has really caught my eye, mainly because it has a mic input and HD. I can get one for about 360 ($750) dollars from a well rated ebay seller in the UK. I am fairly certain that I want this but I have read reviews, in particular one in the uk in DV magazine, that say it does not handle motion very well with lots of artifacts due to the compression.

I would mainly use this as a fun camera for both stills and video on family holidays, skiing etc. I am not too worried about the quality of the stills as I have a DSLR. At the moment, apart from on my computer, most playback would be on an SD tv so I would have to downconvert. Will the quality of the footage be better than SD from a cheap SD camera? I also like this camera because of the size which obviously makes it better suited to being used as a fun camera.

Basically what I am asking is will I be dissapointed if I buy it (bearing in mind that this is quite a lot of money for me) because of the supposed video issues? Obviously I am not expecting broadcast quality but I also don't want to see the video and think it sucks!

Any replies would be greatly appreciated!
Toby Creamer is offline  
Old May 7th, 2007, 11:47 AM   #2
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Hi, I bought one a few weeks ago as a general holiday camera and couldnt be happier .

I also read all the reviews slating the video quality and I honestly cant see why they all gave it such a poor review, for instance comments like 'vewing stills at 100% showed noise in the image', who the hell views their stills at 100% , at best I view mine at 1280x720 which is the resolution of my tv. The comments about noise in the video are also slightly over the top and to call the video quality 'disastrous' is a bit harsh, yes you can see the odd bit of macro blocking on very busy scenes but only if you get up close and really look for it, sitting at a normal viewig distance to watch your fooage you will never notice anything but a lovely sharp clear image . Everyone that I have showed my holiday footage has commented on how clear the video is and how good the stills look , your average guy on the street is generally very impressed with the quality from the HD2. Personaly I think the video is far better than my sony trv33 mindv.

The problem with most of the reviews is that they tended to compare it to HD cams costing more than double the price of the HD2, for what it costs and the fact that its so practical makes it the ideal consumer level all in one IMO.

If you are wanting a HD camera for professional/semi professional use then I would say you would have to be pretty optimitsic to expect a £500 camcorder to be up to scratch, if you want a camcorder for everyday use and holiday videos then IMO the HD2 is absolutely perfect.I just wish that the reviewers would see the camera for what it is and review it as such.
Darren Sykes is offline  
Old May 7th, 2007, 11:49 AM   #3
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If budget is a big concern, you might want to look around for a Sanyo HD1A -- they are very similar to the HD2, minus a few improvements, and sell for about half the price (new).

You might also want to look at the Canon TX1, which is also a lot of fun and less expensive (see my comparison below).
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Old May 7th, 2007, 12:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Solmssen View Post
If budget is a big concern, you might want to look around for a Sanyo HD1A -- they are very similar to the HD2, minus a few improvements, and sell for about half the price (new).

You might also want to look at the Canon TX1, which is also a lot of fun and less expensive (see my comparison below).
Having owned the HD1 for a week prior to getting the HD2 I would say the HD2 is quite a bit better. The low light performance is greatly improved and the ability to take 16:9 stills is a great addition, the colour saturation has been toned down and contrast levels seem not as harsh as the HD1 (you can see detai in shadows now) .

I looked at the TX1 but the high bit rates put me off as you can only get about 15 mins of footage on a 4 Gb sd card, your gonna need a lot of sd cards to take on holiday if your planning to shoot in HD, the hd2 can fit about 58 mins on a 4gb card which is perfectly acceptable considering they can be had for around 17.00.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 12:22 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies. I have looked at the TX1 but it is difficult to get hold of in the UK with the only models being Japanese imports off ebay. The capacity issue is also obviously important as by the time I'd have enough for the TX1 I probably might as well have bought a proper HDV camera! Another reason I am opting for the HD2 is the mic input. I have used my brother's DV camera and the audio from the built in mic on that is terrible so I am hoping to pick up an external one for a low price, just something small that I can attach to the top of the camera.

Darren, what you say about the performance is quite encouraging, so far for things like skiing all I have used is my phone and obviously the quality of that is terrible but it is quite cool to have videos of us skiing. If I can do that in decent quality I will be very happy!
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Old May 7th, 2007, 05:51 PM   #6
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I honestly dont think you'll need an external mic, the built in stereo mics are perfectly fine, all of my holiday videos have great sound , I was quite suprised how good the sound was.

I really cant see why this camcorder took such a beating by the reviewers, I have seen still cameras with much worse video and the reviewers have praised the video quality.

The only fault that I can find so far is that the image stabilization is completely useless, it destroys the picture and narrows the field of view so you need to turn it off, you need to have a steady hand when panning and its not very good at taking walking shots, after a few days I got used to it and my videos now look great.

If you buy from the internet you can always return it under the distance selling regs if you dont like it.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 01:09 AM   #7
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That's reassuring, the trouble is, to film skiing without snapping the LCD I willhave to twist it fold it into the body which will block the mic. I was thinking trying to pick up a cheap wired lavalier and sticking it on the top. Please someone tell me if this is a bad idea.
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