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Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 - Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000
The HD2000 offers no less than five regular video shooting modes. As mentioned earlier, the top setting operates at 60 progressive frames per second and 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD. The data rate is a relatively healthy 24Mbits/sec, although it is worth bearing in mind that this will actually use more aggressive compression than the next setting down, which keeps the Full HD resolution but records 60 interlaced fields instead at a 16Mbits/sec data rate. Then there's Full HD at 30 progressive frames per second and 12Mbits/sec - essentially half of the top setting - and 720p at 9Mbits/sec. A VGA option is also available, again using 30 progressive frames per second, with a 3Mbits/sec data rate. A 4GB SDHC card is enough for about 20 minutes of footage at the top 60fps Full HD quality setting.
As if the 60fps recording weren't enough, Sanyo offers two ultra-high speed modes, too, for producing smooth slow motion. You can record at 240fps or 600fps, but with a proportionate reduction in resolution to compensate for the increased frame rate. The 240fps mode uses 448 x 336, and the 600fps mode 192 x 108, which isn't going to be tremendously useful most of the time. The video is then played back at 60fps, giving you 25 per cent and 10 per cent slow-mo respectively.
There are quite a few manual settings available, but only if you delve into the full menu. No quick access to the most oft-used options is provided. There are four white balance presets, two each for natural and artificial lighting, plus fully automatic and manual. Aside from automatic exposure, there are shutter and aperture priority modes, plus fully manual control over both. The iris can be varied from F1.8 to F8, and the shutter from four seconds to 1/10,000th, although in video mode the minimum effective shutter is 1/30th, and in photo mode you can't go beyond 1/1,000th. All of this is configured with the little joystick, as is the manual exposure. Sanyo now even includes its own version of face detection called Face Chaser. This tracks human visages, and then sets the camcorder so they are properly exposed.
You even get jacks for microphone input and headphone output, although these are positioned on the front where your index finger naturally falls when using the camcorder handheld. The microphone jack is also of the 2.5mm TS variety. A 2.5-3.5mm adapter cable is included in the box, but if you forget to bring this with you, you will have problems. There's even a full-sized, standard accessory shoe lurking secretively beneath a slide-off plastic cover on the top of the camcorder.