Digital Cameras: SANYO’s HD video range packs serious punch

In my last post on HD video, I made a flippant remark about SANYO’s peculiar shaver-like video camera design approach. Since discovering SANYO’s part in the great consumer HD video race, I’ve since read numerous reviews and spec sheets and I’m starting to take the brand pretty seriously. Definitely much, much more than an average camera with a wacky chassis, SANYO’s packed some serious punch into its Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 . While I’m yet to get my hands on one, they’re hitting stores now, and I for one am excited by the possibilities.

*NOTE: I have since purchased this camera, and have shot several commercial videos with it.

Rather than rehash countless camera reviews, I’m going to cut straight to the features that raised my eyebrows on closer inspection. For starters, it’s a full HD 1920x1080p video camera, and apparently the first of its kind to offer 60 frames-per-second slow motion. For me this gives my old Super8 cameras the jitters, especially since the whole kit even handles like a Super8 (with a pistol grip and trigger action). Beyond that, the camera can shoot ridiculous slow motion speeds at lower resolutions, including 240 frames-per-second at the awkward resolution of 448 x 336, and the real killer: 600 frames-per-second at 192 x 108. This is giving the slow-motion trailblazing Casio Exilim EX-F1 (which steps up the rate one more notch to 1200 fps) a pretty good run for its money!

One review described the camera as producing great footage in low light, another appealing feature for me, as I shoot a lot of footage at dance parties, nightclubs and video installation events. The specs say it rates at ‘2 Lux’ sensitivity, which places it at the front of the pack (most certainly for its price). Apparently the menus are uncluttered (and also uncomplicated) but with a terrific shutter/frame rate range, 10x optical zoom (16x ‘advanced’ zoom) I’m not wanting for extra features. As a B-camera on documentary shoots, this camera looks like the business!

SANYO are really making some noise with their new line, and if you want to see the arsenal and hear from a SANYO rep himself, check out the video below… hot off the recently past 2009 PMA event in the USA. I’m going a little camera crazy here people… these are exciting times.

Cameratown Video – Sanyo HD Video Cameras – PMA 2009 from Ron Risman on Vimeo.

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