Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD1a Review

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Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD1a

Features & Controls

The HD1a features an internal 10x optical zoom lens with a 38mm-380mm (35mm equivalent) focal length and a maximum aperture of f3.5 from Wide to Telephoto. This is an all-glass lens constructed of 12 lenses in 9 groups with 3 aspheric elements. There is a 10x digital zoom that extends the range to a total of 100x.

The optional Sanyo VCP-AL49 lens adapter allows you to use 49mm filters such as polarizers, special effects, U/V or clear to protect the lens, and the HD1a is also compatible with the Sanyo VCP-L06W Wide/Macro and VCP- L14T Telephoto conversion lenses.

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

The TTL contrast detection autofocus system automatically selects one of five focus areas with a selectable Spot (center only) focus mode. It features continuous area focus with a manual focus option with 22 steps.

The focus mode can be selected from:

  • Total - automatically covers normal and macro range / 3.94 inches (10cm) to infinity in Wide, 3.28 ft. (1m) to infinity in Telephoto
  • Standard - 31.5 inches (80cm) to infinity
  • MF - 22 steps from 0.39 inches (1cm) to 26.25 ft. (8m) infinity
  • Super Macro - covers 0.39 in. to 3.28 ft. (1cm to 1m) in Wide only.

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

The Motion Compensation (image stabilizer) has two modes of operation; Mode A and Mode B. as selected in the menu and indicated onscreen by the "shaking hand" icon. Both modes are digital, what this means is that a certain portion of the outer edge of the image is lost during the image stabilization process.

    Mode A (movie mode) does not have an onscreen indication, during still image mode you will notice the live view shows less than when the shutter is half-pressed. The live view represents the actual frame area that will be captured.

    Mode B (photo mode) displays a visible border on the screen to indicate the active capture area as shown above.

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

The manual popup speedlight has modes for: Auto, Forced Fill-in, Forced Off and Red-Eye reduction (Slow synchro in Night View mode.) Pressing the flash button not only pops the flash up, but also changes the desired mode. The working range is:

    35cm - 2.5m (13.7 in. - 8.2 ft.) [Wide], 1 - 2.5m (3.3 - 8.2 ft.) [Tele]
The flash output is reduced for properly exposed macro shots in Total focus mode but is disabled when the Super Macro mode is selected.

Also shown is the external stereo microphone jack (2.5mm).

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

The 2.2-inch color LCD display has 210,000 pixels and 4 levels of brightness with a wide viewing angle. It serves as the live viewfinder with 100% coverage. The monitor can be swiveled upward and used like a waist-level viewfinder, tilted downward to shoot above your head or turned to face the front for self-portraits, it rotates a total of 285°.

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

On the back of the LCD is the speaker and the stereo microphones. The HD1a also accepts optional external microphones through its [MIC] jack. The internal microphones are disabled when an external mic is connected.

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

Controls on the back: Two shutter releases, the left one is for taking still pictures, the right one is for recording movies. Between them is the zoom lens control which functions as the magnify and index buttons in review mode. The 4-way controller is for navigating menus and selecting images in review mode. Press it straight in to accept menu selections. In record mode press "up" to activate AF Lock, press "down" to change focus mode, press "left" to change shutter and aperture values in ASM modes, and press "right" to adjust exposure compensation. The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menu system. The REC / PLAY switch controls the operational mode of the camera.

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

Controls on the side: The main power on/off button, the HD/NORM button for video quality and the Single/Sequential button for still image mode.

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

On the bottom is the docking port for the cradle which can be fitted with the cable adapter that allows connection of the A-V output cable (L-R stereo audio, S-Video and RCA video) and the input jack for the AC adapter used with the cradle.

The Component Audio-Video cable must be plugged into the docking cradle and allows the output of high resolution 720p video to HDTV-capable displays with separate RGB video and L-R stereo audio connections.

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

The Composite AV, USB, Component AV cables and AC power adapter can also be plugged into the back of the cradle. The high-speed USB 2.0 cable can be connected to Windows or Mac computers for fast downloads or directly to any PictBridge compatible photo printer.

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

The supplied infrared remote control can be used when the camera is in the docking cradle or on a tripod as the receiver is built into the camera. The remote has a maximum range of 7 meters and must be used within 15° of the centerline of the front of the camera. It controls both record and playback functions.

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

The Xacti HD1a stores its data on removable Secure Digital cards up to 4GB and SDHC cards with capacities of 4GB and 8GB. The camera has no internal memory and does not come with an SD card.

Mode SD Memory Card capacity
512 MB 1 GB 2 GB 4 GB
Video Clips HD-SHQ 7 min. 17 sec. 14 min. 22 sec. 28 min. 46 sec. 57 min. 34 sec.
HD-HQ 10 min. 49 sec. 21 min. 20 sec. 42 min. 42 sec. 1 h. 25 min.
TV-HR 10 min. 49 sec. 21 min. 20 sec. 42 min. 42 sec. 1 h. 25 min.
TV-SHQ 20 min. 59 sec. 41 min. 23 sec. 1 h. 22 min. 2 h. 45 min.
TV-HQ 30 min. 34 sec. 1 h. 2 h. 4 h. 1 min.
Web-SHQ 1 h. 20 min. 2 h. 38 min. 5 h. 17 min. 10 h. 36 min.
Web-HQ 1 h. 56 min. 3 h. 49 min. 7 h. 39 min. 15 h. 18 min.
Sound only 8 h. 31 min. 16 h. 49 min. 33 h. 40 min. 67 h. 23 min.
Still Images 10M 151 images 297 images 596 images 1190 images
5M-H 202 images 399 images 795 images 1590 images
5M-S 302 images 595 images 1190 images 2380 images
3.8M (16:9) 483 images 953 images 1870 images 3760 images
2M 766 images 1510 images 2950 images 5900 images
1.2M 1200 images 2380 images 4770 images 9540 images
0.3M 3920 images 7740 images 15500 images 31000 images


  • Available video recording time is shown when a re-formatted card is inserted.
  • The maximum sequential shooting time in WEB-SHQ mode is 7 hours.
  • The actual frame rates for this model are 59.94 fps at 60 fps, 29.97 fps at 30 fps, and 14.985 fps at 15 fps.
  • The maximum sequential recording time for sound only is 13 hours.
  • Photo capacities and recording times are approximations only, and may vary according to the type and manufacturer of the memory card, the subject and the shooting situation.

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

The HD1a is powered by a proprietary DB-L40 3.7v 1200mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery.

Battery Life (approx.)

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

Sanyo Xacti HD1a

The HD1a's internal battery is automatically charged whenever the camera is placed in the included docking cradle.

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