Anyone own Sanyo Xacti HD100 or HD700

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by maestrokev, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. maestrokev macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #1
    I have a Panasonic PVGS500 and want something smaller to carry around.

    Anyone here own the Sanyo Xacti HD700 or HD1000, if so, what are your opinions of it?

    Thanks.
     
  2. baypharm macrumors 65816

    baypharm

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #2
    Sanyo Xacti HD 1000 Owner here

    Yes we own one. The quality of the HD footage is spectacular. It has good low light performance as well. In bright sunlight we used an 8x neutral density filter over the lens as well as a polarizer. It is well built and feels solid in your hand. Nothing about seemed cheap or inclined to break. Battery life was great. And at first we like the idea of a "pistol grip" akin to the old Super 8 cameras. This design is ideal for hand holding shots. The trick to getting steady shots is to keep your arms close to your body and not extend your arm out. We like to use our cameras supported by a bean bag. With this camera it is not possible. The bottom is threaded for use on a tripod and it worked great with our fluid head. We got professional results 100 per cent of the time. The automatic white balance function worked well under all types of light.

    At times the automatic focusing sensor had trouble finding focus. It would hunt and go in and out of focus for what seemed like an eternity before it stopped. Secondly, we got some strange looks from people when we did a shoot downtown on homeless people. In fact, a police officer yelled and then came over to see if we had a gun to someone's head - I kid you not. This was most disturbing to us - not comical. We love the pistol grip in spite of the encounter with law enforcement.

    This camera delivers fabulous HD footage. We made a 5 minute test short and put in on DVD. A friend of ours owns a local movie theatre and we asked him if we could see it on his big screen. All I can say is mouths dropped open and we were all amazed. True this camera is not designed for professional applications but it certainly could be used for that. Being a small camera, you can carry it anywhere. We had no problems loading the footage into iMove '08 and Final Cut Pro 4 on our iMac running Tiger. It is easy and a joy to edit.
     
  3. maestrokev thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #3
    Excited to hear that. Do you have the HD700 or 1000? I'd like to go with the HD700 for the smaller size but not having seen them at a store I'm not sure how each model would fit in my pocket. Currently I have a Panasonic PVGS500 and that's definitely not pocketable.

    Thanks.
     
  4. bozigle macrumors regular

    #4
    If you're looking for a pocket size camcorder you can also consider the canon hv10... a bit bigger than the sanyo and it uses Dvtapes but video qualities is great... the sound is not. buy now you should be able to find it for quite cheap
     
  5. mikeyPotg macrumors 6502

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    Mar 20, 2006
    #5
    Hey so I'm close to jumping the gun and getting a Sanyo Xacti HD1000. After having yours for a while longer, do you have any other comments/concerns about it?

    How's the editing going?

    I've read that the best setting to use it in is 700p, have you tried 1080p?

    Can it fit in your pocket?

    When you transfer the footage to DVD, does it lose quality? I'm not too sure how that works since theres no HD DVD/Bluray burners out yet.

    Anything else I should know?

    Thanks and sorry for all the questions!
     
  6. maestrokev thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #6
    I posted an Amazon Review titled "The best cam I've ever owned because it actually gets used"

    Take a skim and let me know if it doesn't answer your questions.


     
  7. mikeyPotg macrumors 6502

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    Mar 20, 2006
    #7
    Great review! Thanks for that. I still have just a couple questions (sorry!)

    "10. 1080i video requires latest modern Core2Duo computers to playback. My Mac can't play the 1080i but there are some codec workarounds until Apple fixes Quicktime. Windows users have more codec options but it is still taxing on the PC. Be warned, if you don't have the latest and greatest PC you're not going to be watching videos smoothly or doing any editing. "

    What kind of mac do you have? Also, I thought the HD 1000 worked with imovie and FCP right out of the box without having to worry about extra codecs? This was one of my major selling points.

    You also mentioned that the quality on the Canon HV 20 is better, but how would you say it compares with any previous Mini DV camera you've owned?

    Thanks for the advice. I tend to be a spontaneous buyer, but I like to be well informed.

    Mike
     
  8. maestrokev thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #8
    If you read my signature you'll see I have the latest iMac 24" 2.8GHz.

    The MP4 files work with iMovie but I don't have FCP. With FCE it only works if you have Firewire on the camcorder and play in real time the files through Firewire capture. I don't know what Apple is thinking when they updated FCE and said it supports AVCHD. The whole point of the new codec is to allow file copy of the MP4 files, streaming through firewire to capture is so yesterday!

    I used to own a Panasonic PVGS500, like its predecessor the PVGS400 it was noted as having one of the highest image quality for standard DV camcorders. There's no comparison when you put high def next to it.

     
  9. sigamy macrumors 65816

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    NJ USA
    #9
    We have pretty similar situations. I have the Panasonic GS400, which like you said, is one of the top consumer SD cams of the past few years.

    I got interested in a pocket cam so I picked up the $130 Aiptek A-HD. It shoots 720p HD. This is a step below the Xacti but for $130 I can't believe the video I get when outdoors in good lighting. Indoors in low light it is pretty noisy. This will make a good take everywhere or 2nd unit cam.

    Here is a sample.
    http://gallery.mac.com/brian.andrews29#100094

    Do you have any sample footage from the Xacti to show us?
     
  10. maestrokev thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #10
    Hi Sigamy, thanks for the link to your .mac gallery. Video looks pretty good. I've yet to use my gallery and edit footage but seeing yours motivates me to start uploading. Yes, we're in the same boat, need something pocketable for family videos.

    I haven't used the Aiptek but a lot of other Xacti owners talk about it. The Xacti HD700 (Amazon had sale for $300 at one point) would be similar. I think most of the HD camcorders do quite well in bright light but it is indoors low light where they differentiate themselves. It's difficult to evaluate properly on video websites as most compress, need the raw footage to view and then it's night and day, especially when viewed on a LCD TV.

    I've found few good critical reviews of the Xacti line, most gloss over the fact that the biggest advantage is the size and because of that it can't compare to full size HDV camcorders. Take a look at Steve's forum for raw footage to download. This was the best user review site that helped me make my decision to buy the HD1000.

    Unfortunately there aren't that many Mac users there as I'd like to hear from more Mac users on how they edit their Sanyo MP4 footage. The Xacti lacks firewire so you can't import into FCE 4.

     
  11. mikeyPotg macrumors 6502

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    Mar 20, 2006
    #11
    Wow, no firewire port? That's a big bummer.
    Well, at least according to this guy on this site:
    http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?p=799508

    ...The clips work right out of the box with the newest QT FCE/FCP updates.

    And here's the link in steves forums for some awesome sample footage:
    http://stevenunez.com/xactihd1000/xacti.html

    Those clips really make me wanna get one now. My biggest concern is probably the stability... Any ideas on a nice, small steadycam mounts?
     
  12. maestrokev thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #12
    I've only been recording at 720@60fps because of the QuickTime problems playing 1080i and because video is gorgeous captured at 60fps. AFAIK, QT still doesn't play 1080i without a 3rd party codec or downgrading to an older version.

    I guess the reason why they eliminated Firewire was that the HD1000 records to SD card and it's a straight copy and paste of the MP4 files to the desktop. I love this aspect of the camcorder, no more waiting to transfer in real-time via Firewire - I just wish FCE was updated to allow import of MP4 files directly rather than the older log and transfer function through Firewire.

    As for steadycam I find my Gitzo basalt monopod an inexpensive and portable alternative.
     
  13. mikeyPotg macrumors 6502

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    Mar 20, 2006
    #13
    I didn't know you couldn't import MP4 files into FCE. How else can you get the footage on it? The drag & drop files is the main reason I want the camera, but also the only reason I'd still like a firewire - for when theres issues with the files.
     
  14. mikeyPotg macrumors 6502

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    Mar 20, 2006
    #14
    Oh, another quick question. When you record something, does it have to be processed after you're done, or can you record/stop like normal tape cameras?
     
  15. jaml1221 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #15
    Xacti 1000

    Hi,
    I would like to meet others using the Xacti 1000HD. I was recently given one that is in Japanese. I do have the English manual and am learning how to use it. There are a couple of screens that don't show in the manual and I can't read Japanese. I would appreciate any connection to other users. My email is JamL1221@mac.com
    Thanks,
    Jamie
     
  16. maestrokev thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #16
    Jamie, I assume you knew that "Option Menu 3", then select Language, allows you to choose any of the 13 languages built-in. Did you try updating the firmware, Sanyo just released a new english version.
     
  17. maestrokev thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #17
    Sigamy, did you use iMovie08 to create your Mac gallery of videos? I just tried a File Import and the MP4 file came into iMovie no problem. Just can't drag and drop into iMovie which is weird. I'm able to publish to my Mac gallery but since the video is down-converted it doesn't do the 60fps capture any justice.
     
  18. maestrokev thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #18
    Nope, doesn't need to be processed. Can start/pause/stop in under a second since it doesn't use tape. Standby mode is when you close the LCD viewfinder without pressing power off. Comes out of Standby in a second, also much faster than tape. Standby mode also uses virtually no power so I leave it in standby mode most of the time so it can turn on quicker to shoot vids. You can do basic editing in the camcorder do, cut clips etc, and I prefer to do trimming inside the camcorder as it is much faster than using Mac software. At any time I put the SDHC into my reader and copy off the MP4 and it's done. 8GB is about 1.5hrs of 720p@60fps. Yes, I love the HD1000, can't go back to tape.
     
  19. jaml1221 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 4, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #19
    Hi,
    I have the DMX version and I am told it only has Japanese language. It works exactly the same, but writing, etc in Japanese on camera. What is the firmware and how would I get that? Thanks so much I appreciate any assistance. I love the camera and have had fun with it already. Great Pictures, beautiful! I did take video, but since I did it in HD setting I believe I couldn't view it on my MacBook Pro. I have only ben playing with it for 2 days, and just found the English manual online today. Thanks :)
     
  20. maestrokev thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #20
    If you have the DMX version then you'll want Sanyo Japan. You can play the video, both 720p and 1080i on your MBP. 720p plays fine on my iMac, MBP and MB. To play 1080i you need to download the avc1decoder and drop it in your Quicktime Library folder.

    Have you hooked your HD1000 to a HDTV via the dock? The video is stunning beyond description. In bright daylight it rivals Discovery Channel at times.
     
  21. jaml1221 macrumors newbie

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    #21
    I appreciate the information. I am excited to hook it up to HDTV. I am just starting to use it. I was reading in the manual how you can edit right on the camera. Do you do that? If so, how do you like that feature? Is it easy to do?Since everything is in Japanese on my screen it is taking me a bit longer to learn the camera. I pull up the manual and go through it with my camera. I think this is the first time I have read an entire user's manual. LOL! There are a few screens they don't show in the manual so I don't know what the choices are on the camera. Also, where do I find the avc1decoder?
    Thanks,
    Jamie
     
  22. mikeyPotg macrumors 6502

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    Mar 20, 2006
    #22
    Okay, I think I'll bite the bullet and order one from B&H tonight/tomorrow...

    I'm just wondering about exporting the footage onto DVD. After I edit the footage on FCP and export it as a movie/DVD, do you think the HD quality gets lost in the export? If so... that would defeat the purpose of what I want to do. Its great to be able to hook up the camera straight to an HDTV and show the great footage, but I want to edit and put HD quality footage onto DVDs (without an HDDVD/Bluray burner).

    maestrokev, or anyone else, do you have any insight on this?
     
  23. bking1000 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 29, 2007
    #23
    non-blue ray DVD records in SD format. DVD format is MPEG2, a non-HD format. Data will be lost if you burn to DVD. Doesn't mean it might not look nice. Try it. But it will not be true HD, even if it's 16:9 (widescreen) format.
     
  24. maestrokev thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #24
    Hi Jamie, yes I do edit on the camera. Just go into playback mode and find the option to edit (the English manual should have the directions on how to do that). It's great because I often start the cam earlier and finish laster on a scene I want to capture. Then I go into the menu and trim out excess parts I don't want, takes seconds and the file is finished ready to download and watch. I downloaded the AVC1decoder from VersionTracker.com. It makes a huge difference as the 1080i and 720p video are now shown brighter than before. No delays or stuttering in video playback on any of my Intel Macs.
     
  25. maestrokev thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maestrokev

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    #25
    If you're looking to buy, consider Amazon and J&R as they have 30 day return policies. I bought from B&H but since they only have a 15 day policy, the HD1000 dropped $50 on day 16 at all 3 sellers and B&H wouldn't match Amazon/J&R's policy of price matching. The prices are dropping every month.

    Yes the HD quality will be lost on standard DVD's. That's a problem with all HD camcorders and trying to burn to Standard Definition - not a Sanyo Xacti problem. However, since the video was coming from such a clean source the video should still look pretty good on DVD - I haven't burned one yet but will soon.
     

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