Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2 Review

Click for our main menu

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

Review posted 4/30/2007

Click to take a QTVR tour of the Xacti HD2

Packed with performance upgrades including a new 7.1-megapixel CCD image sensor, 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 models.

The 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 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.

The SANYO Xacti HD2 features 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.

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.

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.

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.

The HD2's large 2.2-inch LCD displays has 210,000 total pixels of resolution 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.

Connect the HD2 to a VCR or DVD Recorder to make back-up copies of recorded content. Still images and video clips are played back continuously and in chronological order. The HD2 offers convenient connection to your Windows or Mac PC. Simply "drag-and-drop" video clips and still images to the hard disk for emailing, editing or archiving. Still images can be printed directly to any PictBridge compatible printer without the need of a computer.

Xacti HD2 Features:

  • Compact, thin (1.4 inches) and durable metal alloy body
  • 7.1-megapixel CCD imager with 10-megapixel interpolated mode
  • 10× optical zoom lens with 38-380mm 35mm equivalent coverage
  • Digital image stabilizer for shake-free movies
  • 16:9 (5.3MP) still mode as well as widescreen video format (HD-SHQ / HD-HQ modes)
  • True 720p HDTV (1280x720) MPEG-4 movies @ 30fps with stereo audio
  • MPEG-4 movies @ 30fps (640x480, 720x480, 320x240) with stereo audio
  • 320x240 "Web-SHQ" video mode; optimal for playback on many personal media players
  • Capture hi-resolution 7MP still images during movie recording
  • Automatic macro focus switching, Super Macro as close as 1cm
  • Wide viewing angle 2.2" color monitor, swivels 285°
  • Advanced TTL 9-point autofocus system with manual focus option
  • Program Auto, Aperture priority, Shutter-speed priority, Manual and 6 Scene modes
  • New High Sensitivity mode that boosts the ISO for brighter images
  • 3-shot Sequential and 3-frame AE Bracketing modes
  • Voice recorder function: 33+ hours recording time with 2GB SD card
  • Evaluative metering on focus point, Center-weighted and Spot options
  • White Balance: Automatic, 5 presets or Custom
  • Talking Navigation Guide is helpful for first-time users
  • Color filters: Cosmetic, Monochrome, Sepia
  • ISO speeds in Still mode: Auto 50-400, Manual 50 - 1600
  • Built-in stereo microphones and speaker
  • Popup flash with red-eye correction mode
  • HD Component, S-Video and Composite video outputs
  • Secure Digital/SDHC memory card storage
  • Multifunction Docking Station and wireless remote control
  • High-capacity rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • Padded carrying case included
  • Exif Print, Print Image Matching III and PictBridge Compatible
  • USB 2.0 high speed plug-n-play connectivity for PC and Mac

The SANYO Xacti HD2 comes with the SANYO Software Pack 7.4 CD-ROM, Docking station, Dedicated AV interface cable, Dedicated USB interface cable, Cable adaptor, Lithium-ion battery charger and battery, AC adaptor and power cord, Soft case, Lens cap, Neck Strap, Remote controller, and Quick guide.

Sporting a stylish blue graphite body, the SANYO Xacti HD2 is available now at an MSRP of US$699.99.

Physical Views

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

The Xacti HD2 compared in size to a standard CD.

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2

The HD2 and its slimmer 6-megapixel sibling the Xacti C6 for size comparison.

Continue on to
Features & Controls

VPC-HD2 Specifications

Effective Pixel Count Approx. 7.1 megapixels
CCD 1/2.5 inch, 7.38-megapixel CCD (total)
Recording Media SD memory card, SDHC memory card compatible (up to 8 GB*1)
Recording File Format Still: JPEG (DCF*2, DPOF*3, Exif Ver2.2*4 standard)
Video: MPEG4 (ISO standard)
Audio: 48 kHz sampling, 16-bit, 2-ch, AAC-compression (stereo)
Resolution (Pixels) Still:
[10M] 3680 x 2760
[7M-H] 3072 x 2304 (low compression)
[7M-S] 3072 x 2304 (standard compression)
[5.3M (16:9)] 3072 x 1728
[2M] 1600 x 1200
[0.9M] 1280 x 960
[0.3M] 640 x 480

[0.3M] 640 x 480

[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)
Lens f = 6.3 - 63 mm (equivalent to 38 - 380 mm on a 35 mm camera)
F: 3.5 (wide) - 3.5 (tele)
10.0x optical zoom lens
Auto focus 9 groups, 12 lenses, Built-in ND filter
Photo Range Standard: 10 cm (wide)/1 m (tele) to infinity, Super Macro: 1 cm - 1 m
Shutter Speed Still: 1/2 sec. - 1/2000 sec. (Flash: 1/30 - 1/2000 sec., Lamp mode: max. 4 sec.)
Sequential: 1/15 sec. - 1/2000 sec. (No flash)
Video: 1/30 sec. - 1/10000 sec. (High Sensitivity mode/Lamp mode: max 1/15 sec.)
Digital Zoom Shooting: max. 10x
Playback: max. 58x (in [10M] mode, depending on the resolution)
Focus Auto (Stills: 9-point AF/spot AF, Video clips: continuous area AF)
Manual (22 steps)
Digital Image Stabilizer Stills: no, Video: yes
Scene Select (Program AE) Auto/Sports/Portrait/Night Portrait/Landscape/Fireworks/Lamp*5
Filter Function Standard/Cosmetic/Monochrome/Sepia
Photometry Multi-section measuring/Center-weighted measuring/Spot measuring
Exposure Control Program AE, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual
Exposure Correction ±1.8 EV (in 0.3 EV steps)
Sensitivity Still: Auto (ISO 50 - 400), Manual (ISO 50/100/200/400/800/1600)
Self-Timer 2 sec./10 sec.
White Balance Auto: full auto TTL
Manual: Sunny/Cloudy/Fluorescent/Incandescent/Sampling
Flash Auto/Forced/Off/Red-eye reduction (Slow Synchro mode possible in Night Portrait mode)
Flash Range GN = 6.4, 35 cm - 2.5 m [wide], 1.0 m - 2.5 m [tele])
Audio Microphone: built-in stereo
Speaker: built-in monaural (L/R mixed output)
LCD Monitor 2.2" a-Si display, 150,000 pixels (100% coverage, 7-level brightness), 285゚rotation
Interface AV output (Video: HDMI, component video/composite video/S-Video, NTSC/PAL, Audio: stereo)
Microphone input
USB 2.0 high-speed mode (Storage Class + PC camera + Video Class)
Interfacing via docking station or connecting adaptor
Multi-Language Display 11 languages: Japanese, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, Korean, Traditional and Simplified Chinese
Power Source Lithium-ion battery (DB-L40, included: 1200 mA), AC adaptor (VAR-G8, included)
Approx. Battery Life*6 Stills: CIPA*7 standard 180 images
Video clips (HD-SHQ): Approx. 85 min.
Playback: Approx. 150 min.*8
Dimensions (W x H x D) 80 x 119 x 36 mm (excluding protrusions), Volume: 204 cc
Weight Approx. 210 g (main unit only), Approx. 235 g (including battery and SD card)
(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

Continue on to
Features & Controls

Return To Our
Reviews Menu

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.