The Sanyo VPC-E1
The new Sanyo Xacti E-1 Digital camcorder is a great home video solution even if it isn't specifically used underwater. From the getgo, the exterior design of this camera looks amazing and the overall size is very slim. The videos and photos are stored on a separate memory card as opposed to a DVD; and can fit up to an hour and twenty minutes per 1GB card. The camcorder itself supports up to an 8GB SDHC memory card; which in turn can store nearly ten hours or more of full motion video or over 4000 full resolution photos. The photos are high resolution, 6 megapixel still images and come out beautifully both above, and under, the surface of water. The video is recorder in a full 640*480 resolution at 30 frames per second. The camcorder also provides a chance to take images while in the process of filming simply by pressing the shutter button; in the event the kids do something cute and you're still in the middle of recording a video. It also includes an image stabilizer for when video is recording; and can differentiate between unintentional camera shake and intentional movement. The stabilizer can detect both up and down or side to side movement.The camera lens includes a 5x optical zoom and a 12x digital zoom allowing up to a total maximum of 60x zooming power.
The camera operating system and power up routine was designed to keep the flash of the moment in mind. Camera startup time takes a max of 1.7 seconds and is great for those spur of the moment shots when you need to snap pictures or record a film right away. It helps out a great deal when you're taking pictures of the kids; we all know how random they are. The compact design also allows the camera a perfect fit in the palm of your hand; with quick access to all the buttons and functions close to your thumb. It's also available in blue, white and yellow.
The videos themselves are stored as a highly compressed MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format which means the actual file size is about 25% smaller than the average MPEG-4 video file. The videos are natively compatible with all iPods which means they can be transferred and burned to DVD and CD's directly through iTunes. The camcorder also features a direct hookup for your TV so you can share files with others that have not yet been transferred off the memory card. The computer USB connection is easy to connect, and simple drag and drop functions are all that is required to transfer and store video files on your computer hard drive.
Better yet, you would think the average waterproof camera would normally cost a fortune however Sanyo has produced this model at a very affordable price. The E1 retails at about 499.99 putting the total cost right around that of a normal camcorder.
Overall the Sanyo VPC-E1 makes a great family camcorder of its own accord; it's well designed, compact, takes great photos and videos, and provides tons of portability that for once hasn't caused functionality to be sacrificed. This product is highly recommended, especially for those family trips...and did I mention it's waterproof and can withstand water pressure up to five feet?