Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD1a Review
Record Mode Screens & Menus
The HD1a'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.
The HD1a'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.
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.
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.
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).
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 1.2M in this mode.
More experienced users can select Shutter-speed priority, Aperture priority or
Manual exposure mode 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 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.
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 time is shown as 65 hours 49 minutes and 39 seconds.
Record Menu options:
Photo Resolution - Size/quality for still image capture:
16:9 (3.8M), 2M, 1.2M or 0.3M
Scene Select - Auto, Sports, Portrait, Landscape, Night View, Fireworks, Lamp
Exposure mode - Program, Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Manual
Filters - Cosmetic (enhance skin tones), B&W, 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 - 5-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)
White Balance - Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent or Manual
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.
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 claims the HD1a is capable of recording true 720p high definition video at 1280 x 720 pixel resolution at a super-fast 9 megabits per seconds 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:
Storage Capacities (approx.)
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