Friday, March 28, 2008

Mini Review of the Sanyo Xacti HD1000

This isn't meant to be a comprehensive review, but I really enjoy this device and would like to share my thoughts about it.

To begin with, I've now owned three Xacti devices, and although I always enjoyed the sensation I would cause when I pulled one out, I had been rather disappointed by the performance of the cameras.

The HD1000 is another kettle of fish entirely; I am very pleased with almost all aspects of the performance of the device. Now, you shouldn't expect a $700 device to have the performance of a $3K pro HD camcorder, but I am very happy with the quality of the video. In any kind of decent light it is very nice looking and very HD. However, unlike earlier Xactis, it is not totally useless in low light; the picture degrades in a pleasant way and is still quite watchable.

The HD1000 has compromised still picture size for better HD movie quality (rightly, IMHO). However, even though the stills are limited to 4 MP, I am quite pleased with the way they look, especially the colors. If 4 MP is large enough for your needs (and I never need to blow up beyond 8x10, so I'm fine with it) I think you will be pleased with the still quality of this little camcorder.

The audio sounds good. I recorded a bunch of video at a rock show and the camcorder was able to handle the sound pressure level nicely.

I was unable to test HDMI output, but the component output from the camera dock works very well. I wish the camera had some kind of digital audio out to go with the component video (it has stereo analog only), but that's a nit pick, really; I'm out of HD inputs on my receiver and it's a pain to switch an input to analog just for plugging in the camcorder.

The PS3 is able to play the videos directly from the SD card, or from the internal hard drive. A DVD is evidently too slow; they'll play, but it'll be choppy.

If you are interested in buying a Xacti-style camcorder, you are probably (like me) going for form over function a little bit. However, you will probably be quite pleased with the HD1000.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I blush to admit how much pleasure I get from making naughty passwords and typing them in over and over again.