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Sanyo VPC-FH1A Full HD Video and 8 MP Digital Photos (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

3.6 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews
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  • Capture Full 1080p HD video (60fps) and up to 8-megapixel still photos
  • 16x advanced zoom for video; 10x optical zoom for photos
  • Face Chaser technology (can detect up to 12 faces for photos and videos)
  • Built-in still photo flash; High-Speed Sequential Shooting (12fps)
  • Compatible with iFrame video format
4 used from $120.00

Technical Details

Product Description

Take stunning Full 1080p High Definition video at 60fps and amazing 8 megapixel digital photos! The Sanyo FH1A Dual Camera is also the world's first camcorder that is compatible with iFrame. The new iFrame video format can dramatically speed the process of importing, editing, and sharing your videos. The FH1A features 600fps slow motion mode, face-chasing technology which automatically reads and corrects focus and lighting for up to 12 different subjects, and 16x optical zoom for video. Its compact design makes the FH1A extremely portable and easy to use. Videos, still photos and the various settings and menus can be easily accessed using your thumb. The FH1A's convenient design makes sharing videos and photos via social networking websites, portable video devices like iPod's, TV's and computers, a breeze. 10x Optical Zoom for photos 16x advanced zoom for video Digital Image Stabilizer (Movies & Stills) Face Chaser technology (can detect up to 12 faces for photos and videos) Built-in still photo flash HDMI Output MPEG-4, H.264 Video Optional lenses - Tele, Wide, Semi-Fisheye SD/SDHC memory compatible

Product Information

Product Dimensions 2.1 x 2.3 x 4.1 inches
Item Weight 11.2 ounces
Shipping Weight 3 pounds
Item model number VPC-FH1aBK
Customer Reviews
3.6 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #18,619 in Camera & Photo
#979 in Camera & Photo > Camcorders
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes
Date first available at Amazon.com February 16, 2006

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
Superb low light response.
Excellent Mac compatibility
Reasonable price
Generally good set of options in the menu.
37mm threaded front lens so it it is compatible with a large assortment of attachments
Reasonable HD performance
Also functions as a pretty good and easy still camera

Zoom speed cannot be slowed or controlled in any way. (I stand corrected on this point - read below)
No mic or audio line input.

General Discussion
All things considered, this is a fine product. If you are a Mac person this will save you many hours of work. The MPEG4 file format is very mac friendly. But there are a few things to keep in mind.

This camera has an unusually large sensor; as such this has some interesting consequences. On the positive side, this produces stunning low light capabilities. Furthermore, one can isolate the subject from the background very easily by carefully controlling ones exposure and focus; few other consumer camcorders have this ability. However this places great strain on the auto focus. If one is simply wishing to place it in an auto mode and leave it there, it tends to have a lot of focus problems.

The zoom speed is too fast. Aside from the fact that I feel, that it is aesthetically unpleasing, in every case except bright sunlight, the zoom is faster than the auto focus. Therefore almost any attempt to zoom in while shooting will yield out-of-focus pictures. Consequently you must consider the zoom on this camera to be essentially useless.

For some inexplicable reason, they chose not to include an external mic/ audio in jack. This severely limits its usability.

David Courtney
Houston, TX
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* Questions from the comments (I can't reply the post for some reason so I have to update the review here): No. An adaptor cable comes with the camcorder (one end goes to the camcorder, the other end connect the USB cable of your external drive). The drive has to be in FAT32 format (not NTFS, which is the current format standard for vista and win7 system). FAT32 is format for older windows. The limitation is file on it can not be larger than 4GB (this is why the sanyo camcorder can not record file larger than 4GB, though I don't know why you would have one file that large, not reliable at the first place). Also a note by a comment that the harddrive may have to be self-powered, according to the manual.

I have not actually used the Xacti library feature myself so please refer to the manual (a pdf file you can google) before you make up your mind.

I believe the FH1A is just the FH1 with the additional Apple iFrame video format (an odd format, smaller then 720p, so I doubt anyone would use it). So my review applies to the FH1 model as well. Btw, most of the camcorderinfo review on the VPC-HD2000 model applies to this one as well.

When this camcorder is on sale for $400 or below, it is certainly the best HD camcorder for the money.

Pros: -Many video resolution options, covering 1080p, 1080i, 720p, vga, and ultra-slow motion video. The 1080p (60fps progressive) is really detailed and smooth. I have read that someone may have problem playing back the 1080p video smoothly on an even quad-core windows (can be solved by choosing the right software). But video play back is quite good on my quad-core Mac (well it's an HP hackintosh).

-H.264 mp4 video format makes it very easy to work with, especially on Mac platform.
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1. Records in iFrame format. iFrame is just a specification made up by Apple for recorded movies to be more iMovie friendly. It uses the standard H.264 video codec and AAC audio codec. However, it's not HD as the resolution is only 960x540 (although it's still higher than 480p), but the bitrate is set at 24Mbps. That's a lot, considering even the 1080p mode on this camcorder only has a bitrate of 16Mbps. Another plus of the iFrame format is that it's progressive. I'm getting sick and tired of camcorders recording interlaced video. I can't see the point. Interlaced video looked horrible, and requires extra processing time/quality loss due to transoding during editing to de-interlace it. Most consumer HD camcorders, even the expensive ones from Sony and Canon, records in 1080i. Try importing/editing that 1080i clip on your computer, it's more difficult than it should. iFrame clips recorded by this camcorder can be scrubbed smoothly on my 2008 iMac with iMovie09. Out of the box, iFrame is the default recording setting.
2. Records in 720p. As nice and iMovie friendly the iFrame format is, the higher resolution of 720p video is just amazing. You can see details that you won't normally see on 480p/480i videos recorded by standard def camcorders. Now, you must be asking why I put 720p as a pro, considering this camera can do 1080p. Well, that's because other HD camcorders, even more expensive ones from Sony/Canon, cannot record in 720p. Most HD camcorders by other manufactures only record in 1080i. I already pointed out that I hate interlaced video. I'd rather have 720p than 1080i. On my iMac, iMovie 09 choked a little bit with the 720p video. Scrubbing is not as smooth as the iFrame format, buy boy the extra resolution is just nice.
3. Price.
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