Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2 Review

By Movable Type Admin

Steve's Digicams

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2



Record Mode Screens & Menus



Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

The HD2's viewfinder display in SD video mode -   In the upper left are the still image settings - 5Megapixel, High quality, 1554 pictures available. In the upper right are the motion video settings - TV-SHQ is 640x480 @ 30fps at the highest quality bit rate, we can record 2 hour 41 minutes and 58 seconds of action. Whenever the zoom is changed an onscreen gauge is shown for a few seconds.



Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

The HD2's viewfinder display in HD video mode -   You can see the HDTV (16:9 aspect ratio) borders along the top and bottom of the screen and the big "HD" icon in the center of the bottom. You quickly change from SD to HD video modes by pressing the HD/NORM button on the side. The "hand" icon indicates that the image stabilizer is enabled.



Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

When you half-press the still image shutter to achieve the focus and exposure lock, the AF target marks will display and show what area it is focusing on. You might notice that the viewfinder shows MORE of the scene than it did in the first frame - this happens if the Image Stabilizer is in Mode A. The first frame shows the actual capture area whereas the half-pressed display shows it all. The aperture and shutter speed values will also be shown in the lower left corner.



Sanyo Xacti HD2

If the image stabilizer is in Mode B as shown here, there is an inner frame border displayed. Only the area inside the inner frame will be captured.



Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

Scene modes: AUTO (default - camera automatically selects the scene mode), Sports (faster shutter speeds), Portrait (optimized for "people" pictures with blurred background), Landscape (infinity focus), Night View (flash illuminate close subject but also capture background night scenery), Fireworks (fireworks at night) or Lamp (low light non-flash photography).



Sanyo Xacti HD2

The Lamp Scene mode allows you to use faster shutter speeds for flash-less photography in low light. The ISO sensitivity can be automatically boosted as high as 1600. The image size is automatically lowered to 0.3M in this mode.



Sanyo Xacti HD2

High sensitivity mode is activated by pressing the dedicated button on the side of the camera. While Sanyo doesn't explain this mode in the manual, I found it automatically boosts the ISO to 400, which, like Lamp mode, will allow you to use faster shutter speeds in lower lighting. However image size is not changed, so you can shot at full resolution.



Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

More experienced users can select Shutter-speed priority, Aperture priority or Manual exposure modes from the menu. Shutter-speed priority lets you select a given shutter speed from 4 to 1/2000 seconds to either freeze or blur moving objects. Aperture priority lets you select from f/3.5 to f/8.0 to control the depth of field. Manual mode lets you select both the shutter speed and aperture values for complete exposure control. In any mode you can enable the ND (neutral density) filter which is used to cut down the light reaching the sensor, this allows you to use larger apertures and slower shutter speeds in bright environments.



Sanyo Xacti HD2

When you have Voice Recording mode selected the microphone icon is shown in the upper right corner and the amount of available recording time is shown below it. You press the movie mode shutter button to start/stop recording. The total recording available time is shown as 52 hours 44 minutes and 56 seconds.



Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

Record Menu options:

    Video Clip - Size/quality for movie capture (see below) or Audio recording mode

    Photo Resolution - Size/quality for still image capture:

      10M (interpolated), 7M-H (low compression), 7M-S (high compression)
      16:9 (5.3M), 2M, 16:9 (09.M), 0.3M or Sequential (640x480)

    Scene Select - Auto, Sports, Portrait, Landscape, Night View, Fireworks, Lamp

    Exposure mode - Program, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual

    Filters - Cosmetic (enhance skin tones), Monochrome, Sepia

    Self-timer - 10 sec., 2 sec., or Off

    Image Stabilizer - Mode A (Video mode), Mode B (Photo mode), Off

    Focus Range - Total, Standard, Manual or Super Macro

    Focus Area - 9-point (default) or Spot (center only)

    Light Measuring - Multi-section, Center-weighted, Spot

    ISO Sensitivity - Auto (50-400 stills / 200-1600 video), 50 (200 in video), 100 (400 in video), 200 (800 in video), 400 (1600 in video), 800 (3200 in video), or 1600 (3200 in video)

    White Balance - Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent or Manual





Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

The default "Total" focus mode covers normal and macro from 3.94 inches (10cm) to infinity in Wide angle and 3.28 feet (1m) to infinity in Telephoto. The Super Macro mode covers from 0.39 inches to 3.28 feet (1cm to 1m) in Wide only.



Sanyo Xacti HD2

Pressing the SET button lets you quickly review or delete the last still image or movie clip that was captured without leaving REC mode.



Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

Sanyo claims the HD2 is capable of recording true 720p high definition video at 1280 x 720 pixel resolution at a super-fast 9 megabits per second frame rate which ensures that camera and subject motion are smooth and natural, without any image lag or distortion. It is recorded to the SD card using the highly efficient MPEG-4 compression with 48kHz, 16-bit, 2-channel (AAC compression) stereo sound.

The optical zoom can be used during recording. There is a Digital Image Stabilizer, a Wind Noise Reduction filter and a Flicker Reduction filter (helps eliminate the flicker effect from fluorescent and vapor lights.) There are two different HD and four SD movie size/quality settings you can select from:


Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

  • HD-SHQ 1280 x 720 (30 fps, 9 Mbps)
  • HD-HQ 1280 x 720 (30 fps, 6 Mbps)
  • TV-SDV 720 x 480 (30 fps, 3.5 Mbps)
  • TV-SHQ 640 x 480 (30 fps, 3 Mbps)
  • TV-HQ 640 x 480 (30 fps, 2 Mbps)
  • Web-SHQ 320 x 240 (30 fps)
  • Web-HQ 320 x 240 (15 fps)




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