March 10, 2009 The convergence of video and still cameras has been happening practically since the first digital cameras rolled off the production line. It’s now pretty standard for still cameras to be able to capture short bursts of video and it’s easy to capture a still pic using most video cameras. Sanyo’s Xacti dual camera range seeks to blur the lines between still and video cameras even further by allowing the capture of still and 60 fps video images simultaneously.

All that is required to take a happy snap while recording video is the press the shutter button. The range includes models in both horizontal and vertical form factors as well as waterproof models and a choice of Compact/Standard HD (1280 x 720 pixels) and Full HD (1920 x 1080). The range also boasts the world’s first full HD 60 fps progressive cameras. Video is captured in AVC/H.264 format on flash memory (SDHC memory card and/or built-in memory depending on the model), providing longer battery life and all models also sport a three-inch LCD screen.

The Full HD DMX-HD2000 and DMX-FH11 can record continuously for up to 135 minutes and can take 8-Megapixel still photos even while recording Full HD movies, with real-time interpolation technology also allows up to 12-Megapixel photos. The Standard HD VPC-WH1 horizontal and VPC-CA9 pistol waterproof models can be fully submerged to 1.5m and 3m respectively with battery life providing up to 200 minutes of shooting time.

The Full HD pistol grip DMX-HD2000 and horizontal form-factor DMX-FH11 are in stores now for USD$600 and $500 respectively. The waterproof VPC-WH1 horizontal and VPC-CA9 pistol cameras are due to hit stores this week for USD$400 and $350 respectively, while the Compact HD VPC-TH1 will go for USD$300) and the VPC-CG10 for USD$200.

In their infinite wisdom Sanyo has seen fit to give the models in their new line different designations for different parts of the world, so depending on where you’re reading this from the cameras might be sporting different model names. Here goes my attempt at a brief explanation of a few of the differences. In Japan and the US the Full HD models go by DMX-HD2000 and DMX-FH11, while in Australia your Full HD choice is limited to the AUD$799 VPC-FH1EXBK. The waterproof models are known as the HD VPC-WH1 and VPC-CA9 in the US, but as the DMX-CA9 and DMX-WH1 in Japan, while the Compact HD VPC-CG10 found in the US goes by the similar DMX-CG10 in Japan. I think that’s right. Make sense? No, not to me either.

Darren Quick

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