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Sanyo VPC-CS1EX-B Xacti CS1

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£1.99 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk marketplace See more offers
4 Reviews
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    4 Reviews
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      19.08.2015 23:36
      Very helpful
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      Good Choice

      I am a big fan of mini DV camcorders as I like the safety of tapes - I always fear that the DVD burner on a camcorder will give up at the vital point or the memory card will suddenly lose the vital bytes. However, my HD Sony camcorder, the HDR-HC3 is a bit heavy after a while and therefore sometimes I curse its weight (although its recording quality is fantastic).

      I was pleased to be given the chance to use two Xacti camcorders, both of which are very similar: the Sanyo VPC-CS1EX-B Xacti CS1 Full HD Dual Camcorder which has an 8MP camera and the Sanyo VPC-CG100EXBK-B Xacti CG100 Full HD Dual Camcorder with 14M Photos and HDMI - Black with a 14MP camera. I will give a run down of both of these tiny camcorders, which both give virtually identical performance - hence there are similarities in the reviews.

      The Sanyo VPC-CS1EX-B Xacti CS1 is boxed with a huge selection of accessories. There are cable for connection to a TV (very important now that we no longer have slide projectors), the battery and charger, a wrist strap (this saved my kids on a number of occasions!) and a strap to hold the lens cover when not in use. Again, as with the CG100EXBK-B I have to say I found the lack of an automatic lens cover slightly annoying but you have to expect economies at the price and also due to the size. The one glaring omission is a memory card. There is a tiny amount of memory built in but this soon goes unless you are just taking photos. I recommend a ByteStor 16GB SDHC Class 6 Memory Card card which gave no issues in terms of performance and is at a great price. This size of card will hold a couple of hours of HD video, which is the same as 3 DV tapes and more than enough for most people - just remember to download to your PC every now and then.

      Setup is extremely easy, following the instructions to set the time and then you are ready. There is a small amount of charge in the battery to get you going.

      Weight-wise it is fairly light, it seems lighter than a digital camera and well weighted. Small point to note is that with most cameras it is (annoyingly for me!) set for a right handed grip. Lefties can use it but it's not optimal for us.

      Some buttons are accessible by thumb, (record and zoom) but some are on the right of the payback - in this way it was not as user friendly and a bit less intuitive in use. But saying that, the camcorder is simple to use. Build is good with the screen having some flex in it. As with most things if you throw it around too much it will break so remember to use the wrist strap.

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      30.07.2015 21:51
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      Very useful

      This is easily the smallest HD camcorder I have used, and my reaction after a few minutes' fiddling around was that it was quite incredible for its size. But now that I have familiarised myself with it over a few days, I have a few reservations, none that should deter a purchase I wouldn't have thought, but some factors that a would-be buyer needs to be aware of before making the commitment.

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      22.05.2015 23:44
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      • " Excellent for its size"

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      Good Product

      This is easily the smallest HD camcorder I have used, and my reaction after a few minutes' fiddling around was that it was quite incredible for its size. But now that I have familiarised myself with it over a few days, I have a few reservations, none that should deter a purchase I wouldn't have thought, but some factors that a would-be buyer needs to be aware of before making the commitment.

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      15.03.2012 17:01
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      Good if you really want a small size HD Camcorder, otherwise may be better out there

      First of all, in my view you should only consider this camcorder if size is quite important to you. Due to the Sanyo Xacti's small size & slim profile (fits into even a small pocket easily), I believe it's unfair to compare the Xacti directly to bigger camcorders that have more room to include better optics etc.

      Video quality: Quality is good outdoors during the day in fair conditions. If you're going to do most of your shooting in such conditions, you'll be fine with this camcorder. It should be noted that the Xacti has a very small lens compared to proper camcorders and thus won't capture as much light. As a result, in low light and indoors, quality suffers massively and the image is very grainy.

      Still photos: I tested the still photos feature indoors in decent light, and unfortunately it's very poor - worse than even a mediocre mobile phone camera without flash. Don't bother using this for stills.

      Build quality: Unfortunately the build does feel a bit tacky in places, yet it seems sturdy enough and I wouldn't worry about it breaking even with rough handling. I should note here that the lens cap is a bit dodgy, it can be difficult to get it to click into place sometimes.

      Accessories: Considering this is a Full HD camcorder with a mini-HDMI port, I think it was quite poor for Sanyo not to supply a mini-HDMI to full-HDMI cable. People typically don't have such cables lying around (unlike normal full-HDMI cables) and it's the only way to output Full HD video directly to a TV. It wasn't a big deal as such cables are available for a couple of pounds, but this makes the lack of inclusion even less excusable - I didn't even realise this type of cable existed before I read about it in the manual, and I would usually expect such a cable to be included. The component cable supplied can't handle Full HD.

      It was a bit difficult to decide whether to give this camcorder 3 stars or 4 stars. If you're comparing it to proper camcorders on image quality, even 3 stars is difficult, but then - as I mentioned at the start of this review - such camcorders are much bigger, heavier and pricier, so I don't think such a comparison would've been fair. Considering its size, I think a comparison to good quality phone video cameras - such as that on the iPhone 4 or latest Nokia models - is fairer, in which case the Xacti generally comes out much better (except possibly in low light!). For the afore-mentioned reasons, and as I think the phone video camera comparison is fairer, I have given this 4 stars.

      In conclusion, this is a decent choice if your mobile phone's video camera isn't good enough for your needs, but you don't need a fully-fledged camcorder, and want to retain phone-like portability.

      I have also reviewed this on Amazon under the name M. Marikar

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