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Review of the Waterproof Sanyo Xacti E1 on Freevlog.com

I just came across a video review of the new Sanyo Xacti E1 waterproof SD card camcorder (VPC-E1) on the website freevlog.com. I found the video to be entertaining, well produced, and the host was very honest with her criticisms and praise compared with other Xacti models and other camcorders in general. I learned about the review from one of my favorite newsgroups that focuses on online video production, blogging and the business side of online video: Videoblogging on Yahoo!Groups.

It is the world’s first waterproof camcorder, and by looking at a few sample videos, still images and reviews, the most impressive features in my opinion are the quality of the movies it can produce, which look very good, the weight (approx. 8.3 oz with battery and SD card), ability to fully submerse it, ability to directly import MPEG-4 files into Apple iTunes and the fact that you can get up to 5 hours of video with a 4GB SDHC memory card.

The still image quality of the sample photos posted on Sanyo’s site are also very impressive, however, I wonder how good the 10 megapixel captures look, if that’s not a typo. According to the info on this page, it produces “6-megapixel digital still images,” but on the full specs page, it lists 10 megapixel stills as one of the options. I like the colors as well (blue, yellow and white). It seems to me like yellow would be easiest to see at the bottom of a pool if it fell out of your hand (hopefully in the shallow end!). About a week ago, Dick DeBartolo, on the very entertaining and informative podcast, Daily GizWiz (co-hosted with Leo Laporte), also reviewed the camera. That specific episode can be found here.

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The main negatives I see with the camera are the fact that the manufacturer recommends the camera not be used more than five feet under the surface of the water. That rules out snorkeling at depths that would be considered very common (10-15 feet). I actually wonder what happens to the camera at 6-15 feet below water, and I look forward to seeing some tests that show the power of the built-in light. I also read here that the Sanyo Xacti E1 does not float, which could make it $500 fish food if you’re not careful!

Related Links:

Sanyo’s main page for the Xacti line

Sanyo’s product page for the Xacti E1

Sanyo’s detailed spec page for the Xacti E1

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Find prices for popular Xacti cameras on Amazon.com:

(The Xacti E1 is $466.94 as of 7/10/2007)

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