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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awkward To Hold, Shoots Sharp 720p HD
The Sanyo Xacti VPC-SH1 is a tiny little "Dual Camera" that shoots Full HD video and takes 10 Megapixel (interpolated) photos. Sanyo is a brand name I'd normally associate with "poor quality" and "cheap", but as of December 2009 they're a subsidiary of Panasonic! The Xacti comes in a small (17.5 x 11.8 x 13 cm) black box which contains the following 12 items:

-...
Published on 21 Sept. 2010 by Alan

versus
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's small!
The first thing you will notice is the size and ridiculously lightweight aspects of the camera - It feels like a toy rather than a solid bit of kit....but...it's FUN!

I found it a bit fiddly getting used to holding and shooting purely down to it's size - my 8 year old daughter finds it easy (hence she is now the appointed camera person!). The display screen is...
Published on 21 Feb. 2011 by mutlien


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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awkward To Hold, Shoots Sharp 720p HD, 21 Sept. 2010
By 
Alan (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sanyo VPC-SH1EXBK Xacti SH1 Full HD Dual Camcorder with 10M Photos and HDMI - Black (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Sanyo Xacti VPC-SH1 is a tiny little "Dual Camera" that shoots Full HD video and takes 10 Megapixel (interpolated) photos. Sanyo is a brand name I'd normally associate with "poor quality" and "cheap", but as of December 2009 they're a subsidiary of Panasonic! The Xacti comes in a small (17.5 x 11.8 x 13 cm) black box which contains the following 12 items:

- Xacti VPC-SH1 Camcorder (black, but it's also available in red)
- Li-ion battery pack (DB-L90)
- AC adaptor (VAR-G11) + UK plug
- Lens cap
- Hand strap
- AV interface cable (composite: yellow, white, red)
- Ferrite core (for the AV interface cable)
- USB cable
- CD-ROM (Xacti Software CD 1.8)
- Safety Manual
- Quick Guide
- Guide for Basic Operation

The Xacti itself is smaller and not as ugly as Amazon's product image would lead you to believe. At a super slim 11.7 x 5.9 x 4.2 cm you can actually slip it into your jeans pocket. Even with the battery pack and an SD card inserted, it weighs just 234 g. It looks quite stylish too with its glossy black plastic and chrome accent finish; similar to the iPhone 3G/3GS.

Unfortunately, its small size also works against it. Handling is a major issue. The Xacti is difficult to hold with just one hand, while attempting to rest your fingers over the Video recording button and Zoom switch. It can be done but it's uncomfortable and feels awkward. To hold it and operate it at the same time, you really need to use two hands. Sanyo have included what they call a "hand strap", but it's so skinny and unpadded that it's fairer to call it a wrist strap. It doesn't help.

The 35 mm wide-angle lens is great for videoing indoors, and the 23x optical zoom (30x with digital) is technically impressive. The problem is, due to the camcorder's weight and electronic (not optical) image stabiliser, getting stable hand-held shots at full zoom is impossible. Even the slightest hand movements create huge vibrations, rendering the 23x zoom pointless unless you have a tripod. In addition to that, the Xacti can't actually zoom at a constant speed from 0x to 23x; it annoyingly slows down when it gets half way.

If you're a Mac user, you're in luck. The Xacti saves each clip as an MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 movie file (e.g. SANY0001.MP4) which you can play in the Finder using Quick Look (as well as in iTunes, QuickTime and iMovie) without any special conversion or use of Sanyo's CD-ROM. You can even shoot video using Apple's own iFrame format (960 x 540 pixels, 30 fps) although I found the results looked low-resolution and noisy.

Based on my own tests I'd recommend using the HD-SHQ setting (1280 x 720 pixels, 30 fps), which looks fantastic and gives you 106 minutes of recording time on an 8 GB SDHC card. Shooting at 60 fps looks even better, because you get that very fluid, live feeling, similar to MiniDV tape. However, not a lot of websites or devices support 60 fps video (e.g. YouTube, Dailymotion, iMovie '09, iPhone 4, iPad, Apple TV). So for compatibility's sake, stick to 30 fps.

The Xacti comes with one Lithium-ion battery pack that has a capacity of 1200 mAh. There's no charger supplied because the battery can actually be charged in the camcorder, simply by connecting the AC adaptor to the DC IN terminal by the lens. When fully charged, the Xacti shows 140 minutes of battery time using the HD-SHQ setting. The battery pack is actually hidden within the Xacti, behind a plastic cover that clips over it. While this helps to streamline the look of the camcorder, it actually prevents it from accepting larger capacity batteries.

No SD memory card is included in the box, but the Xacti supports all the different types such as SD (up to 4 GB), SDHC (up to 32 GB), SDXC (up to 64 GB), and Eye-Fi. Sanyo don't specify a particular class of SD card you should use with the Xacti, but Canon always recommend class 4 speed or higher. The camcorder actually does have its own internal memory, but it's only enough (50 MB) to shoot 38 seconds of video in HD-SHQ.

The quality of recorded sound is pretty good, although the stereo separation is poor and there's a surprising amount of background hiss. The microphone is actually located on the back of the LCD monitor, which means you can't hold on to the monitor to help stabilise shots. Still, there's a Voice Record mode which lets you record a ridiculous 67 hours of audio on to one 8GB SDHC card. Each recording is saved as a .M4A file, using the same high quality 256 kbps AAC audio encoding as iTunes Plus.

Overall, I think the Xacti VPC-SH1 is a very nice product. It definitely has some issues, such as the handling being poor and the image stabiliser not being good enough for the 23x zoom. But it's an attractive little camcorder that's easy to use and shoots sharp HD video. Perfect for taking on holiday.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 'Broadcast Quality' Results, 21 Oct. 2010
By 
Mr. B. R. Good (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sanyo VPC-SH1EXBK Xacti SH1 Full HD Dual Camcorder with 10M Photos and HDMI - Black (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
10 years ago, you would need a budget of £3,500+ and kit the size of a microwave to achieve this kind of exceptional quality.

It is no exageration or fantasy to imagine that one day, a film crew could be making TV programmes or movies, using small hand-held HD consumer camcorders such as this.

Sanyo Xacti VPC SH1 - Build Quality:
Already familiar with the Sanyo range of camcorders - I was expecting exceptional build quality and video performance. What I experienced was even more impressive.
This camcorder is only 8.3oz (including the Li-ion rechargeable battery pack & memory card, strap etc), with a shiny, sleek black shell (other colours available) and silver edging making it aesthetically pleasing - although due to it's dainty size, it does not feel particularly rugged. However, Sanyo is the current master of waterproof camera technology and although this is not marketed as being waterproof, I rather suspect the build quality is perfectly capable of holding it's own. For the record its size is: 42.8 x 117.9 x 59.2 W,D,H (mm)

Video Performance:
Exceptional - detailed, rich & vibrant. On Full HD Mode, 1920 x 1080, 60field/s (60i) an 8GB card would provide just over an hour of footage. I would recommend keeping to the highest setting and purchasing extra storage because the results are incredible. The electronic image stabiliser is one of the most effective I have experienced in years of camera trials. The 23 x Optical zoom (beyond this is magnification to 50x)is of course, best used with a tripod as you begin to reach max zoom. The shake, even with stabiliser is overwhelming. Not an issue to do with the camera, simply a fact of life - CMOS sensor limitations.
In Low light, the camcorder does struggle. Approx 10 lux is the spec. The manual mentions 4 lux on a high sensitivity 'lamp' mode but I have been unable to select this. If you are wanting to record in a darkened restaurant, or a stroll at night, you would probably not be in the market for an HD cam anyway. With quality HD comes the need to provide a well lit environment. If you've ever seen a professional movie being made, you will know that ultra bright lighting is used even if the scene is a night-time environment.
Important note: If playback footage appears flawed, such as pixel inconsistencies or lines appearing where they shouldn't, DO NOT assume it is permanent and that the camera has recorded this. A brief but short lived panic I experienced! In most cases, the footage is perfectly fine, however your TV or PC Software may be in need of updating or setting corrected. In my case, the movie playback software needed to be updated with the latest version.
Lens: Wide-Angle Lens, f = 4.0 mm to 92.0 mm.
As a still camera - the 10 Million Pixel results are equally impressive. It's a cliché but even if this was JUST a still camera - it would still be worth buying. Again, low light is an issue and the automatic flash can overwhelm the environment but the pictures are generally lifelike and colourful. Due to the dainty size of the device, you really would want to use this for still shooting whereas larger, older camcorders with built in still capability would be less desirable.

Battery/Power Supply
On Full HD record mode, the device should cope with 110 min or 330 min playback.

Summary, a very solid performance from a well priced and high quality Sanyo product. 10 years ago, you would need a budget of £3,500+ and kit the size of a microwave to achieve this kind of exceptional quality.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good results, just don't expect too much though., 22 Sept. 2010
By 
Dicko (North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sanyo VPC-SH1EXBK Xacti SH1 Full HD Dual Camcorder with 10M Photos and HDMI - Black (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For the price this is actually a pretty good HD camcorder. It's very small, and would easily fit into a coat pocket. It's only about 5 inches long and about an inch and a half thick so it fits nicely into your palm. However, there's no hand strap like on a 'traditional' camcorder so you're left thinking 'how am I really supposed to hold this'? After a while though you do get used to it.

For such a small camera, it has quite a nice wide angle lens (it says 35mm on the box), which is much wider than some other much more expensive HD models on the market which is really good for scenic shots as well as indoor footage. Picture quality wise, it's actually quite good. Shooting outside in the sunshine produces some nice vibrant colours and the image stabilisation works quite well. Indoors, it has its limitations due to the speed of the lens, the picture does start to get quite grainy and the quality does drop quite considerably, but most camcorders do this, not just this one. The screen is nice and bright as well and is of a good quality. The unit itself is a bit plasticy, however, it's a nice and shiny type of plastic!

The menus are easy to navigate and appear similar to other camcorder menus that Panasonic etc use.

Using it is a camera produces mediocre results in my opinion; it won't be replacing my SLR! It claims up to 10 MP photo's but in reality, the quality is nowhere near that. It's useful to have the function of taking photo's though.

It's bang up to date with its technology. It supports SDXC cards if you really want to use a 64GB card - not sure why you would, but the option is there. It has a mini HDMI output as well as a Mini USB out and face recognition.

All in all, a really good affordable HD camcorder, easy to use, pretty good results for the money, but don't expect miracles, it does have limitations. As long as you bear this in mind I don't think you'll be disappointed. Just remember to buy a large SD card (as one is not included), it does have 50 MB of internal memory which lasted about 7 seconds at full resolution!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's small!, 21 Feb. 2011
By 
mutlien "NT" (Warrington, Cheshire UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sanyo VPC-SH1EXBK Xacti SH1 Full HD Dual Camcorder with 10M Photos and HDMI - Black (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The first thing you will notice is the size and ridiculously lightweight aspects of the camera - It feels like a toy rather than a solid bit of kit....but...it's FUN!

I found it a bit fiddly getting used to holding and shooting purely down to it's size - my 8 year old daughter finds it easy (hence she is now the appointed camera person!). The display screen is nice and sharp giving an accurate representation of what you're filming (make sure you have a 4gb or 8gb SDHD memory card to go with it as the internal memory is negligible)

You can take still photos (excellent quality) and the touch screen is easy to use / accurate.

My PC really isn't good enough to display the finished results (I'm getting a jerky picture) so I will not be able to comment on the practicality of the software - on first impressions it looks user friendly enough and was easy to install.

Overall, I would recommend this camera as a gift for the young budding film maker (my daughter absolutely loves it!) I wouldn't consider this as a serious bit of kit - although it's size makes it a good holiday camera.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small but perfectly formed., 29 May 2011
This review is from: Sanyo VPC-SH1EXBK Xacti SH1 Full HD Dual Camcorder with 10M Photos and HDMI - Black (Electronics)
Hi All,

I was given the task at work of finding a relatively cheap video camera that we could document and analyse our production processes. After looking at several similar cameras we decided that this one ticked more boxes than the others did.

It has now been used quite extensively to video and analyse some of the production systems at work and I have to say that I am astonished by the quality and clarity of the high definition video and still footage. The camera is very simple to work - charge it - plug in the memory card - start videoing - plug the memory chip into the (PC USB card reader required) watch the recorded footage on a PC (after installing the software that comes with it) or plug the camera straight into the back of a T.V. and play it back there.

So far it has been hassle free.

There are loads of other function that this camera has that we have not even explored so I suppose this review is a bit limited and basic.

THE PLUSES ARE -
No video tape or disk drives to worry about - solid state memory is definitely the way forward!
The camera can be used on battery or with the charger plugged in - a bonus when trying to find a fault that only happens once every three or four hours!
Amazing video footage quality - 5 years ago if a camera like this had been available it would have cost an arm and a leg.
The PC software is glitch free - so far.....
The optical zoom is excellent.
The 10 Mega pixel stills camera is very useful and can be used during videoing.

THE NEGATIVES ARE -
The on board memory is tiny - A 16GB class 6 or above card is the minimum we can survive with here at work.
Tiny camera = tiny fiddly controls - They took a bit of getting used to with my chubby fingers!
Be careful with the little covers for the memory / charger etc. - Again tiny camera = tiny fiddly components!
May be too fragile to take with me snowboarding next year - I'm not sure if it would survive one of my massive wipe outs.
An EVF (electronic view finder) as well as the screen for videoing in very bright sunlit situations would be a great addition - Not really a negative more of an observation.

Summary -

Can't complain at all, brilliant value, superb camera, great editing software and easy to use. As I have said already it ticks all the boxes and my boss is happy with the results. Which means his boss gets the information that he needs perfectly presented to him so that we can get money for improvement projects with not too many arguments. A win win situation all round!

I would have added a some on-line video footage but the reduced quality on-line video would not do the camera any justice.

Jim
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, 4 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sanyo VPC-SH1EXBK Xacti SH1 Full HD Dual Camcorder with 10M Photos and HDMI - Black (Electronics)
For 40+ years I have taken photos of deer and other wildlife, reluctant to buy a camcorder for the same purpose. However the SD card simplicity of the Sanyo Xacti sounded worth the risk and has proved to be ideal:
* the x27/30 zoom works very well. I have a lightweight tripod. I focus on the deer and then take my hands off the tripod and shield the camera from the wind. Result excellent.
* 9pm dusk and low light... excellent results... it can take two or three more seconds to focus but the picture is astonishingly good.
* standby mode is invaluable: just close the screen and open it again when the subject appears right to be filmed.
* having "record" buttons at both front and back is really helpful.
* the battery lasts well... I bought a second for just £13 but I have not had to use it in emergency.

The camera is light and small and it is critically important to buy a lightweight tripod ( I have a Hama Star 700 which is tall enough without being at all heavy. With wildlife filming you need the movement to be provided by the animals themselves... pan sometimes... zoom rarely... I found it almost impossible to film nuthaches and tree creepers, they move so quickly up and down tree trunks; but large mammals... brilliant results and you do not have to get too close and panic them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Value for Money, 3 May 2011
By 
I'm a blogger and travel a lot so needed a small lightweight video camera that is also cheap (in case of loss/thief and my insurance refuse to pay) and this camera fits the bill. The two main downsides are battery life but I also purchased two spares batteries :) and the fiddly small buttons which even with my smallish fingers are awkward to use.Plus sides far outweigh these though. Good image and audio quality,fits in your pocket, decent zoom and price. For an entry level camera it delivers a lots for little ££££.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars David of camcorders, 10 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sanyo VPC-SH1EXBK Xacti SH1 Full HD Dual Camcorder with 10M Photos and HDMI - Black (Electronics)
This is a compact and basic HD camcorder capable of really good results. It's limitations in terms of features and usability are due to cost and size restraints. Buttons are small and aren't in the most natural place, the hand strap is not very stable. You can't plug in microphones or headphones. But it can fit in a large pocket and is cheap. It is also beautifully finished. I love it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Little Camera but 'iffy' sound quality., 24 Dec. 2010
By 
Alan Starkie (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sanyo VPC-SH1EXBK Xacti SH1 Full HD Dual Camcorder with 10M Photos and HDMI - Black (Electronics)
I have now been using the Sanyo Xacti VPC-SH1 for a few months, mainly on hiking expeditions where the lightweight aspect of this camera comes into its own - not to mention the standard wide-angle lens, roughly equivalent to a 35mm wide-angle lens on a 35mm camera. I used to use a Canon XM2 camcorder which was big and bulky and of course SD not HD. The footage that the Sanyo shoots is excellent in good lighting - not so good in poor lighting but I don't do much indoors - it hasn't been an issue at all for me.

The only thing I'd like to bring to your attention is the quite poor sound quality. If you record a definite sound source - such as conversation etc - no problem but whenever you have a quiet section, you will notice a kind of white background noise creeping in. I don't know if this is caused by the cheap mic inserts or the electronics but since this camcorder isn't equipped with a mic socket, I can't really find out. I'm already thinking about getting an audio recorder and mic - but that goes against the whole point of having a small unit.

Don't get me wrong - most people wouldn't be bothered by this. The Xacti is small, relatively cheap and produces excellent video that is easily edited (on a Mac anyway). The poor(ish) sound is the only fly in the ointment to spoil this otherwise excellent bit of gadgetry.

If you are a serious film maker where audio quality is a deal breaker - you might want to think again - otherwise highly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Performs well for the price, 18 Oct. 2010
A very competent piece of kit at a good price. Produces excellent quality videos & stills (simultaneously if required). Can be used either in with simple pre-sets or many advanced settings. A cosy pocketful!
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