Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 waterproof camcorder
There are only two reasons to buy the Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1, but they're good reasons: it's inexpensive, and it's waterproof.
- Decent price, waterproof
- Video is not especially impressive
While waterproof housings are available for other small camcorders, they typically cost at least as much as the Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 does. The Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 is a good choice for use in and around water, including under rain and snow, and for situations where you don't want to risk recording with a more-expensive camera.
Price$ 400.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
Note: pricing for this product is in US$.
Compared with footage from the best 1080p HD camcorders, the Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1's 720p HD video (at 30 frames per second) exhibits noticeably - but not disastrously - reduced resolution, sharpness, colour accuracy, and motion. The VPC-WH1's overall video image quality is middling.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1's 1.1-megapixel still images, which suffer from low resolution, inaccurate exposure, and noticeable image distortion.
Results from our jury evaluations confirmed the Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1's video and still-image shortcomings in comparison with more-expensive, higher-resolution camcorders. Among our test group of six camcorder models, its video quality under both bright light and low light trailed the rest of pack, earning an overall video-quality score of Fair.
Still images didn't fare even as well as that, showing distortion and a lack of sharpness; for stills, as a result, the Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 received an image-quality score of Poor.
That's the kind of image quality you might expect from a camcorder with a single, tiny 1/6-inch CMOS sensor, though. And the sensor isn't the only compromise in the Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1. The electronic image-stabilisation system doesn't remove user-induced shake as effectively as the optical or dual-stabilised systems in more-expensive camcorders do.
The 2.5-inch LCD panel is also nowhere near as bright or sharp as the screens of better camcorders. Costlier camcorders provide more automatic and manual control, as well, and offer broader frame-rate and data-rate options.
On the upside, the Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 is easy to use, the 30X-optical-zoom lens works well, the camera records to inexpensive SDHC cards, and the battery runs significantly longer than those in many other small HD camcorders. In our battery evaluations, the Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 lasted more than 3 hours on a single charge of its battery - more than twice as long as some competitors - earning a battery-life score of Superior.
Although the Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 does not record video to the increasingly common AVCHD format, the camera's MPEG-4 video files use the same codecs (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 for video, and AAC for audio) as standard AVCHD does. The bundled TotalMedia Extreme for Sanyo software works well with files from the VPC-WH1, as you would expect. But some editing applications may require a time-consuming conversion of the MP4 files to another format before you can start working with the footage.
The camcorder's low price and waterproof construction at least partially offset its drawbacks. Sanyo says that beneath 10 feet of water, the Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 will remain waterproof and functional for 1 hour.
My informal tests in a pool, under sprinklers, and at an ocean beach confirmed Sanyo's claims.
Macworld editor Roman Loyola also tested the Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1's underwater chops in a swimming pool, and found the camcorder's shallow-water performance to be very good, with a couple of caveats. The LCD is hard to see underwater, and during playback the footage shot underwater doesn't look much better than standard-definition video.
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z3 review: The no-frills flagship
- 2 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: The busiest, biggest and best Samsung phablet
- 4 Aldi's $279 Bauhn Sphere review: Disappointing
- 5 Nokia Lumia 735 review: Perfectly ordinary
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Connected, self-driving cars in the front seat at CES
- MIT unifies Web development in a single, speedy new language
- Google, Microsoft, Sony make 'The Interview' available online
- Experts: FCC will adopt net neutrality rules in early 2015
- Romanian version of EU cybersecurity directive allows warrantless access to data
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.