Sanyo’s new hybrid camera is tiny

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

Jim Jamieson

What is it? Sanyo Xacti HD1A hybrid digital camera

Price: $899

Why you need it: For those tech-lovers who want to consolidate the number (and size) of toys they carry around.

Why you don’t: Combo devices always come with compromises.

Our rating: (three stars out of five)

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High-definition camcorders have been on the market for a couple years and devices that allow you to take both video and still photos are commonplace these days, as any cell-phone or digital-camera owner can attest.

But we’re just beginning to see combinations of HD video recording with still photography. Sanyo didn’t waste any time building this capability into its small footprint Xacti line of hybrid cams.

HD television is a technology that is only slowly gaining marketshare in North America, but it’s natural to want to shoot amazingly crisp video for showing on computer screens and video players such as Apple’s iPod as well as those who want to display their work on their own HDTVs.

The 235-gram Xacti HD1A shoots HD digital video and high-resolution five-megapixel stills, housed in a tiny body — 7.9 centimetres wide by 11.9 cm high by 3.5 cm deep — and designed for one-handed operation.

The camcorder in this device can shoot at 30 frames per second, similar to TV, while the

3.8-megapixel still-camera function delivers photos in the widescreen format.

With memory cards continuously expanding in size, video length isn’t a problem. The HD1A can record up to 21 minutes of HD video per gigabyte on a standard SD or SDHC memory card.

Available at CompuSmart.

© The Vancouver Province 2006


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