Sanyo Xacti SH1 Full HD camcorder
An affordable and attractive Sanyo HD camcorder with a 23x optical zoom
- Classy and compact design, 23x zoom lens, good video performance for asking price
- Some minor build quality issues, small sensor struggles in poor lighting
The Sanyo Xacti SH1 is an attractive entry-level HD camcorder that performs well for the asking price. It will suit casual users and fashion conscious videographers.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
The Sanyo Xacti SH1 (AKA VPC-SH1TAR) is an entry-level Full HD camcorder that records MPEG-4 video to removable flash memory cards. Its main claims to fame are a powerful 23x optical zoom lens and ultra-compact size. For an asking price of $599, it’s a competent little performer that will satisfy the majority of users.
The Sanyo Xacti SH1 is surprisingly attractive for a budget camcorder. It sports a traditional camcorder shape — as opposed to the ‘pistol-grip’ design favoured by the Xacti HD1010, Xacti VPC-CA8 (EXBK) and Xacti VPC-CG9. It has an eye-catching red and silver finish, but if red’s not your bag you can choose from a multitude of other colours, including black, blue, yellow and purple.
In addition to looking great, the Sanyo Xacti SH1 is also incredibly compact: it measures a minuscule 42x59x118mm and weighs just 209g. By contrast, the Canon Legria HF M31 — which we complimented for being svelte — measures 68x60x123mm. The Xacti SH1’s smart looks and portable size make it an ideal handbag accessory (er, or jacket gadget for the blokes).
While it certainly looks fashionable, the Sanyo Xacti SH1’s build quality could be a bit better. We were especially disappointed by the cheap connectivity flaps: it’s easy to accidentally jam the battery door, for example. The dangling lens cap can be a bit of an annoyance too, but these are small quibbles given the budget price tag. All in all, the Sanyo Xacti SH1 looks better than any budget HD camcorder on the market.
For menu selection, Sanyo has stuck to a traditional joystick interface, as opposed to a touchscreen. The menu is well laid out and very beginner friendly -- there are no symbols or quirky phrases to memorise; instead everything is in plain English. There’s a respectable array of modes and features on offer, including manual focus, exposure and white balance, face detection, nine scene selections, a colour targeter and a handful of digital effects.
The Sanyo Xacti SH1 boasts a 23x optical zoom, which is above average for a Full HD camcorder; most high-definition cameras come with 15x zooms or lower. This allows you to capture close-ups of distant objects or people with zero loss in image quality — although you’ll need to practice keeping your hand steady at full zoom.
The Sanyo Xacti SH1 did a pretty good job when it came to video quality. We previewed our footage on a Pioneer KURO PDP-C509A plasma TV and were satisfied with the results. Our outdoor test shots were full of detail, while colours remained bright and accurate. Its performance took a nosedive in dim environments, however — a side effect of its solitary 1/3.6in CMOS sensor. Nonetheless, for a budget camcorder we think it acquits itself well.
Sanyo is touting the Xacti SH1 as a ‘Dual Camera’ due to its ability to capture both photos and video. This is something that practically every camcorder on the market offers; apparently Sanyo didn’t get the memo. The still image mode has a maximum native resolution of four megapixels (which can be boosted to 10 via interpolation software). It also comes with an inbuilt flash, a red eye remover and eight ISO settings. Its output will prove suitable for Facebook and other social networking sites, but medium and large prints are probably best avoided.
In addition to SD/SDHC, the Sanyo Xacti SH1 is compatible with SDXC memory cards. This is a faster, higher capacity format that can hold up to 64GB of memory.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Facebook adds Apple TV and Chromecast support as video push ramps up
- Remocam review: This security camera can control your home appliances
- Logitech's C922 webcam is the revered C920's vastly upgraded successor
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
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.
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSOE Team LeaderWA
- TPMicrosoft Dynamics CRM DeveloperVIC
- CCPowerOn Mobile SpecialistWA
- TPSenior Systems EngineerWA
- FTService Lifecycle Management RepresentativeVIC
- CCLinux Systems Infra and Network EngineerACT
- FTLead Software EngineerQLD
- CCSQL Data and Reporting AnalystNSW
- CCWeb Designer or Visual Interactional DesignerNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystSA
- CCProduct Manager - TV and MediaNSW
- CCSenior Technical Business AnalystWA
- TPJava Analyst ProgrammerQLD
- CCData Scientist (Big Data)VIC
- FTLicensing SpecialistVIC
- CCSenior Infrastructure Project ManagerVIC
- CCProject Manager/Scrum MasterVIC
- CCJava DeveloperWA
- CCSiebel DeveloperNSW
- CCWeb Application SpecialistWA
- CCExchange EngineerNSW
- CCOBIEE/ Oracle BI Analyst- Informatica & DACNSW
- FTTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- CCSolution Designer - MulesoftVIC
- CCSystem EngineerNSW