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Sanyo's Xacti VPC-HD2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sanyo, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Sanyo: New model for Xacti HD-series
By
(Thursday, January 11, 2007 - 15:38 EST)

Japanese consumer electronics company Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. has unveiled a new digital camera that updates its existing Xacti HD1a model with some new features.

The original Xacti HD1 was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show a year ago, followed mid-year by the HD1a (which dropped the original model's OLED display in favor of a more standard LCD display, added a couple of new still and video resolutions, and made it possible to edit videos in-camera). One year later, and the Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2 follows at the exact same $699.99 price as the HD1a, but with two more megapixels of resolution. The Sanyo HD2 couples its seven megapixel imager with the exact same body and lens as the previous models. The only other change of note that we came across in our perusal of the specifications is that Sanyo has dropped the HD1 and HD1a's unusual 60 frames-per-second video mode - perhaps because the data can't be clocked off the higher resolution sensor fast enough to make the mode possible.

The Sanyo Xacti HD2 is marketed as a hybrid device with an emphasis on its better than average (by still camera standards, anyway) video capabilities, and features an unusual vertical "pistol grip" design reminiscent of a camcorder, with no optical viewfinder in favour of a large tilt/swivel LCD display. It features an F3.5 10x optical zoom lens (the lens design originally coming from Konica Minolta), plus an MPEG4 movie mode with resolutions up to 1280 x 720 pixels, and frame-rates up to 30fps in all resolutions. Images are stored on Secure Digital cards, and thankfully (given the camera's ability to fill a 2GB card with video in around 30 minutes) the camera is now compatible with the newer SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) cards. SD cards max out at just 2GB, whereas SDHC cards may be shipping in capacities up to 16GB by the end of the year (should Panasonic fulfil a promise made at CES).

MSRP pricing for the Sanyo Xacti HD2 is set at $699.99, and the camera ships this March.

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2
Sanyo's Xacti VPC-HD2 digital camera. Courtesy of Sanyo, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera TypeOther
ManufacturerSanyo
Model NumberVPC-HD2
Dimensions3.1 x 4.7 x 1.4"
78.7 x 119.4 x 35.6mm
Weight235.3 g
8.2 oz
Planned Price$699.99
Planned Availability 2007
Image Capture
Sensor Type1/2.5
7.21 megapixels (total)
7.10 megapixels (effective)
Aspect Ratio16:9, 4:3
Image Dimensions

3680 x 2760 (10.1 megapixels, interpolated)
3072 x 2304 (7.1 megapixels)
3072 x 1728 (5.3 megapixels)
1600 x 1200 (1.9 megapixels)
1280 x 720 (0.9 megapixels)
640 x 480 (0.3 megapixels)

Image Preview / Review
ViewfinderNo
LCD2.2", 210,000 pixels
Playback Zoom58.0x max
Lens
Lens TypeKonica Minolta
10x optical zoom
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length6.3 - 63.0mm (actual)
38 - 380mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.5
Focusing System5-point
Manual Focus possible (16) steps
Focusing RangeNormal: 4" - infinity (10 cm - infinity)
Macro: 0.4" - 41" (1 cm - 100 cm)
Exposure
ISO SensitivityAuto (50 - 400), 50, 100, 200, 400, 1600* (lamp mode)
Shutter Speed4 - 1/2000 second
Metering ModesMulti, center-weighted, spot
Exposure Compensation+/- 1.8EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Sampling, Manual
Internal FlashModes: Auto, Forced, Off, Red-Eye, Slow synchro* (Night View mode)
Range: 30cm-2.8m [Wide], 30cm-1.9m [Tele]
Creative
Scene ModesSports / Portrait / Landscape / Night View / Fireworks / Lamp
Digital Zoom10x
Self TimerYes, 2 or 10 seconds
Movie FormatMPEG-4 without audio
1280x720 and 640x480
Max. frame-rate: 30 frames per second
Storage
Recording MediumSD/MMC
File SystemFAT16, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatJPEG (EXIF 2.2)
Connectivity
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherCamera dock w/ PC, video and DC connection
Power
Battery TypeLithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary
Product Bundle
SoftwareSANYO Software Pack 7.4 CD-ROM
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory0.0MB
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Remote ControlYes
 

Original Source Press Release:

WORLD’S SMALLEST AND LIGHTEST HIGH-DEFINITION DIGITAL VIDEO CAMERA TAKES 7.1-MEGAPIXEL STILL IMAGES, TOO

SANYO Xacti HD2 Offers Next-Generation Performance Upgrades Including a New 7.38-Megapixel Sensor, Up to 76% Greater Low-Light Sensitivity and an HDMI Digital Interface

LAS VEGAS, January 8, 2007, CES Central Hall Booth #11017 – Packed with performance upgrades including a new 7.38-megapixel CCD image sensor that dramatically improves low-light sensitivity, the new SANYO Xacti HD2 is the world’s smallest and lightest high-definition digital video camera* and the highly anticipated next-generation follow-up to 2006’s innovative and multi award-winning HD1 and HD1a series.

The SANYO Xacti HD2 combines the functionality of a 720p high-definition digital camcorder and 7.1-megapixel digital still camera into one ergonomic, pocket-sized device. For optimized performance, a new HDMI digital interface, built into the HD2’s multifunction docking station, provides an all-digital output to HDTVs and high-definition video recorders. Featuring a unique pistol-grip and thumb-operable design, the HD2 can record up to 21 minutes of high-definition video (or up to one hour of standard-definition video) per gigabyte of available memory on any standard SD or high-capacity SDHC card (memory cards sold separately). Using a single 8-gigabyte SDHC card, HD2 users can easily and spontaneously shoot nearly three hours of high-definition video, up to eight hours of standard-definition video or thousands of 7.1-megapixel digital still images.

“The enormous worldwide demand for the high-definition HD1 series inspired and invigorated SANYO’s design team to significantly raise the performance bar on the HD2,” said John Lamb, Senior Marketing Manager for SANYO Fisher Company’s Audio Video Division. “Increased low-light sensitivity is just one example of how the HD2 has been engineered to provide a more satisfying user experience than ever before.”

Sporting a stylish blue graphite body, the SANYO Xacti HD2 will be available in the U.S. in March 2007 at an MSRP of $699.99**.

The Xacti HD2 responds to light as low as 12.5 lux in auto mode. This represents an up to 75% increase in low-light sensitivity when compared to the 50 lux auto mode capability of the previous models, the HD1 and HD1a. The HD2 responds to light as low as 6 lux, in lamp mode, representing an up to 76% increase in low-light sensitivity when compared to the 25 lux capability of the HD1 and HD1a. The HD2 features a special “High Sensitivity” button, allowing users to quickly switch from standard sensitivity mode and shoot in a wide variety of low-light situations.

Super-fast start up
The Xacti HD2 high-definition video camera is designed for super fast start-up and shooting. With no tape to queue up, simply open the display and the HD2 automatically powers up and is ready to record in as little as 1.7 seconds.

Image Stabilization
The SANYO Xacti HD2 features a digital image stabilization that works across the full shooting range from wide-angle to telephoto. Using an original corrective algorithm developed by SANYO, the HD2 is able to distinguish between “trembling hands” and “camera work” such as panning and tilting.

1280 x 720 progressive HD video scanning
Thanks to highly efficient MPEG-4 technology, the HD2 is able to create richly detailed high-definition 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) videos at 30 frames per second. That’s up to three times more pixels than standard conventional video cameras.

High-definition engine
The SANYO Xacti HD2 is powered by high-precision LSI (large-scale integration) circuitry for advanced, high-definition image processing. This powerful “high-definition engine” processes a vast number of calculations and enables the HD2 to realize image processing functions such as high-definition 720p processing, real-time MPEG-4 compression and noise reduction.

Super-fast 9Mbs frame rate
The SANYO HD2 high-definition digital video camera features an accelerated frame rate in the HD mode that is more than four times faster than earlier digital cameras. Transmitting data at 9 megabits per seconds ensures that camera and subject motion are smooth and natural, without the image lag or distortion that might occur in slower-responding systems.

10x optical zoom
The HD2 features a generous and highly efficient 10x optical zoom lens. Built from 12 elements designed in 9 groups and with a built-in neutral density filter, the 10x zoom lens has a maximum aperture of f/3.5 in both wide and telephoto angles, allowing for clear images in lower light situations. Combined with a 10x digital zoom capability, the HD2 is capable of a total 100x zoom.

2.2-inch LCD display
The HD2 features a large Sanyo-developed 2.2-inch LCD display with 210,000 total pixels for exceptionally clear viewing. The display flips out from the camera and rotates up to 285 degrees on axis for taking great video or still images even in difficult locations.

Digital video and stills, all in one
The HD2 can record 7.1-megapixel still images in addition to 720p video clips. It can even snap a still image while recording high-definition (1280 x 720-pixel) digital video with a simple press of the shutter button during the shooting of a video clip.***

Video recording optimized for personal media players
The HD2’s “Web-SHQ” recording mode is designed specifically to capture video destined for video iPod and other popular MPEG-4 capable personal media players. For optimal playback on such devices, video is captured at a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels and a smooth and natural 30 frames per second.

16:9 still shooting
A selectable 16:9 shooting mode allows users to capture stills in the same widescreen format as their high-definition videos for eye-catching viewing on a 16:9 television screen.

Convenient in-camera video editing
The HD2 offers enhanced video editing functions, enabling quick A>B deletions and easy combining of video clips. In-camera editing makes it easy to remove unwanted material and helps conserve memory card space.

Very small, very light
Lightweight at only 8.3 ounces (including battery and a standard SD memory card), the HD2 measures 3.1" W x 4.7" H x 1.4" D.

Other SANYO Xacti HD2 features include:

  • 16:9 widescreen format (HD-SHQ / HD-HQ modes)
  • Rapid 7.1-megapixel sequential still shooting
  • High-quality 48 kHz, 16-bit, stereo AAC-LC sound (MPEG-4 Audio)
  • Convenient pop-up flash
  • HD/Norm switch for easy video mode changes
  • Talking navigation guide for first-time users
  • Super Macro shooting down to 1 cm (W) / 1 m (T)
  • Self timer (2 seconds / 10 seconds)
  • Voice recorder function
  • Red-eye reduction mode
  • Multifunction compact docking/charging station with HDMI, Component, S-Video/AV output
  • High-capacity SANYO rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
  • Remote control included
  • Exif Print and Print Image Matching III
  • PictBridge-capable for PC-Free printing with PictBridge-compatible printers

SANYO Xacti HD2 optional accessories include:

  • NEW Belt-clip Holster Case (VCP-HCX1) $19.99**
  • 0.6x Wide-angle Lens Adapter (VCP-L06WU) $99.99**
  • 1.4x Telephoto Lens Adapter (VCP-L14TU) $99.99**
  • 49mm Lens Filter Adapter (VCP-AL49) $17.99**
  • L40 Battery Charging Cradle (VAR-L40U) $39.99**
  • Original SANYO L40 Battery (DB-L40AU) $49.99**

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. is a $20 billion manufacturer and distributor of consumer and commercial electronics, including multimedia and telecommunication products. Based in Chatsworth, California, SANYO Fisher Company (a division of SANYO North America Corporation, a subsidiary of SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.) markets digital cameras, PCS phones, audio systems, portable and mobile electronics, televisions, dictation devices, home appliances, LCD projectors, security video equipment and air conditioning systems.

# # #

All products and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Because its products are subject to continual improvement, SANYO reserves the right to modify product design and specifications without notice and without incurring any obligations.

* Among commercially available high-definition video cameras, as of January 07, 2007.
** Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Pricing subject to change at any time. Actual prices are determined by individual dealers and may vary.
*** Depending on the mode used to take still images, simultaneous video clip shooting may be interrupted.

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