Little, yellow, super-sturdy, and waterproof = Fun & Adventerous!
Jun 28, 2009
I recently had the opportunity to test out the Sanyo VPC-WH1 HD Waterproof Camcorder. I've been jumping feet first into the world of digital camcorders, but I'm still new to the medium and therefore most of my thoughts are coming from the point of view of ease of use and quality from a non-enthusiast. My first impression right out of the box was how sturdy this little Sanyo digi-cam is and how extremely easy it was to get it set-up for use. I had it unwrapped and charging in minutes, and after an hour I was already breezing through the menu settings and shooting video.
I thought I'd start off with my main complaints, which are the design, placement and size of the function buttons. For the most part, these buttons are well placed and pretty intuitive for use on the go. The power-on button is on the top-back of the unit (instead of on the side under the flip out screen like most digital camcorders I've used), which is nice though the button is small and recessed which makes it slightly difficult to power up quickly. The rest of the buttons (menu access, play/select/d-pad, playback menu, camera, and record buttons) are all located on the back, and are again fairly intuitive. What I didn't like is the two menu buttons and the select/d-pad. First off, there are two separate menu buttons, one to access the camcorder settings and one to access the image/video playback menu. Honestly, this seems like a function that could have been combined into one button that toggles through three menus. To add insult to injury, the playback menu button has the traditional right arrow play icon on it, which can easily be confused with playing back video, but it only toggles between the playback menu and the standard record setting. To playback a video you need to press the Set button in the middle of a small d-pad. It's not a huge deal, but it can get confusing, especially when trying to switch between functions on the go. I also think that the d-pad is a bit too small to easily use the directional function without pressing the middle set button in tandem.
Now what I love. As I mentioned above, this is the sturdiest camcorder I've ever played with. The body construction and flip out screen feel very tight, and my guess is that the unit could probably take a decent beating. The camcorder also has a very nice 30x optical zoom. The only drawback is that the farther you zoom, the more the camera needs a tripod to capture good video. The best feature though is the main selling point which is the waterproof construction. The camera touts an IPX8 waterproof rating, and is supposed to be able to be submerged up to 3 meters (around 10 feet). I tested out this capability in a friend's koi pond and was surprised at how well the camera handled underwater. There are three main points/doors on the camera that need to be closed to ensure a waterproof seal (the A/C adapter door, the battery compartment, and the USB/SD Memory card door. As part of this functionality, Sanyo placed a second record button on the right side near the lens of the camera so you could hold onto the top of the camera, dunking it and your hand in water and still have easy access to the record button. The only drawback of recording under water was the recorded audio of water seeping into the microphone and any waterproof crevasses. I found that dunking the camera in the water a few times prior to filming helps to ease this audio. I also love that this camcorder has the ability to take still photos while recording video.
Also the camcorder records in Mpeg-4, and it acts like an external USB drive when hooked up to a PC so it's super easy to take the video off the camera as well as editing it and playing it back on a PC.
As far as the quality goes, the video is not quite as nice as some other camcorders that have similar size video capabilities. It records in 720p, but I have seen better. The video tends to break-up a bit and look pixilated when there is a lot of action on the screen. As far as the still photography quality, it takes 2 megapixel photos, which is pretty low quality with a lot of noise. Indoors, even with the flash the quality is pretty bad.
All in all, with the versatility of its super-sturdy waterproof construction (which makes it a great all the time camera that doesn't have to be smuggled into a bag or purse when rain suddenly starts falling) and its surprising low price point, it balances out its issues with slightly reduced video, and very poor still photo quality. It's a super fun camera to use and I think it makes for a great on the go adventurous gadget.
I wanted to like the Sanyo VPC-WH1 HD Camcorder I got from Amazon Vine. Who wouldn't want the ability to take videos above and below the waterline if you were on a holiday in the Carribean? While it all works, it's not the best picture quality you could find unless all the conditions are just perfect. And that doesn't happen very often... I found that darker scenes ended up showing a fair amount of graininess, both above and below the water. That's probably not too bad if … more
Take underwater High Definition video and still photos to a whole new level! The compact Sanyo Dual Camera Xacti WH1 has earned the highest possible IEC 60529 waterproof rating--IPX8--allowing footage to be captured without worrying about the effects of water or snow. The WH1 is capable of underwater depths down to an astounding 10ft for an entire hour and delivers High Definition video, up to 2-megapixel digital photos, with a 30x optical zoom. The combination of waterproof HD video and 30x optical zoom allow the WH1 to go where no camera dare go before. Its compact design makes the WH1 extremely portable and easy to use. Videos, still photos and the various settings and menus can be easily accessed with the user’s thumb. The WH1’s convenient design makes sharing videos and photos via social networking web sites, portable video devices like iPods, TVs and computers, a breeze.
Sanyo Xacti WH1 Highlights
Style Design Made Simple The Dual Camera Xacti WH1 packs cutting edge technology into a small, stylish, easy to use camera. Designed to fit perfectly in the palm of your hand, the Dual Camera WH1 features an easy to navigate menu which make it a great choice for the beginner and the more advanced user. It is the perfect blend of style, performance, and ease of use.
Large, 2.5-inch Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) The display flips out from the camera and rotates up to 285 degrees on an axis that allows you to take great video or still images from ...