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on April 27, 2009
I have had many a camcorder in my day. From VHS to HI-8 to miniDV. One of the best features of this camera is that it is tape-less. Beyond that it record superb HD quality and fits in my hoody pocket. The pictures it takes are good too. Although it is listed as only taking 4mp pics, there is a setting in the camera that lets you take shots up to 8mp.

There is a built in hot shoe for accessories such as an external lapel mic or external light.

It is a small camera so it can be tricky keeping it steady. I recommend a tripod or monopod if you need stability with your video.

I usually downscale the video to a TV quality since I like to edit my video in post production with Premiere Pro. The HD quality is beyond my computer's ability, but it is nice having that potential.

I recommend this camera to anyone that wants a fully featured, sturdy, hand-held, multi-purposed camera for under $700 bucks. I really like this camera and have been using it for about 1 year now. I take it to concerts, shows and even use it for work interviews.
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on October 29, 2008
I bought this camera because I wanted to be able to record footage in places that were rugged enough to where I'd be challenged to want to bring any video camera at all. Video cameras are such pains many times, with their size and delicateness. Oftentimes if I am going hiking or camping, I am tempted at every turn to leave a video camera behind. So the Xacti seemed to me to be a great camera in that it could fit in a pants pocket. The portability of this camera is excellent, as well as its sturdiness. The large lens lets in plenty of light. The screen is a standard size but good and bright. The only complaint about this camera is the image stabilizer. An optical stabilizer is so much nicer than an electronic one, but an OIS is a large and bulky assembly. And this camera is so light that using the image stabilizer while hand-holding it is a must. And the image quality suffers some because of CMOS jitter. But even so, I found the image quality to be amazingly sharp and detailed. Video cameras are still all about compromises. You can buy an amazing, 3CCD beauty, but it will be completely impractical to carry such a thing on a hiking trip. Or, with some compromises on image quality, you can have a perfectly portable camera like the Xacti, easily toted almost anywhere you'd want to go. And you'll have an image quality that is, well, good enough, for most any amateur purpose.
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on July 8, 2008
This camcorder exceeded even my highest expectations. I have only had it a little over 24 hours but so far it has been incredible. the interface is very intuitive, the movie quality is, as far as I have seen, unsurpassed in a camcorder this size and price, and is everything its advertised to be (and then some).

Pros:
light weight
intuitive menu system
REALLY good screen
4MP digital camera
full HD camcorder
can take still pictures while making a movie (I love this feature!!!)
the WOW factor, because every-time I pull it out to use everyone around me goes WOW, what kind of camera is that. no one believes me its a HD camcorder!
so light and small it can fit in your car/purse/back-pocket/pez dispenser.

cons:
price - for me this wasnt a issue. I was able to replace my camera and add a HD camcorder for a reasonable amount.
grip - I would like to have seen the grip area be a bit larger. I have found a way to make it ft nicely in my hand, but if the grip was either larger or came with, say, a plastic extender maybe that you could put on the bottom it would be great. I have put the camera in 6 different peoples hands and they all said it felt nice after holding it for a few minutes. You just have to find a way that it is comfy for your hand size.

screen rotation - the one and only thing , if I were the designers of the HD1010 that I would change (and now you'll see how nitpicky I am being). If the viewing screen would rotate to the front I could hold the camera in front of me, look at the screen and know I'm in focus / in the shot, and make a quickie recording. Sort of a looking at the camera, blair witch kinda shot. It only rotates to the top and bottom, not to the front. just a wishlist thing. thats the absolute worst thing about the camera so far.

Comparing it to all of the complaints of the HD1000, I can say everything that was complained about in the HD1000 has been fixed. Sanyo even admitted that this is not supposed to be a whole new model, only a upgrade to the HD1000. By that I mean all of the autofocus issues I read about with the HD1000 have been resolved. as a matter of fact I couldnt MAKE it have a focusing problem. I've tried low light, bright light, moving subjects, even the fan in my living room. everything focused perfectly.

The camera takes great pictures also. They turned out better than any digital camera I have ever used, albeit I have always used more of the personal point and shoot olympus / nikon type. Dark rooms, outdoors, inside with fluorescent bulbs, you name it the pictures have been better than what I expected.

Like I said, I have had 6 other people try using it, from my girlfriend with really small hands to a guy I work with who is 6'7" and has Andre the giant hands and they have all loved it. I have not told anyone how to use it. Just handed it to them and said 'I just got a new camera, try it out and see what you think.' With no instructions everyone has taken both movies, pictures, and had smiles while doing it. Its rare to find something electronic that anyone can use with no instructions given and the HD1010 is something you can use straight out of the box. It really is fun to use.

bottom line, if you are looking at getting a camcorder, this one deserves a close look. I am very picky when it comes to electronics, and I am amazed at what they have done with this camcorder/camera. Everything I expected when I ordered it has been greatly exceeded. Great camera, ease of use, quality of the product overall, and in the end quality of the movies it makes... you cant go wrong.

UPDATE
-------
thanks to everyone who mentioned you can rotate the lens to the front. I was wrong about that, you can! well, that pretty much zero's out the thing I wanted them to change so, my new complaint is that it doesnt come with Kevin Smith to make better movies with it :)
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on December 8, 2009
At this price, for full 1080p it cannot be beat! I decided to switch from a still great Sony TRV-33, but was getting tired of the time involved with minidv tape editing.

Also, not using the new AVCHD format is a plus.

The whole image stabilization is overblown, and its more a factor of the mechanics of how you shoot your video using your arms against your body to stabilize the image. Any video with full zoom will be shaky without a tripod or monopod.

Great choice for the money. Free shipping too.
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on September 3, 2009
I purchased the Sanyo HD1010 from Amazon last month and have used it frequently in that time to justify a review.

I love this camera and highly recommend it to anyone that wants a quality HD camcorder and a quality 4 MP still camera (up to 8 MP actually) all-in-one. I buy a new digital camera every year because quite frankly none of them have everything that I wanted in one camera. I have the Flip Camera (which I did like and did recommend in its day), Aiptek A-HD, etc. Now that I have the Sanyo HD1010, my camera shopping days are over.

Here is what I love about the Sanyo HD1010:

-HD resolution with 8 different resolutions and frames/fields per second to select from including the super fun high speed mode of 300 fps.
-Quality still camera with several resolutions to select from up to 8 MP. You can also select widescreen modes.
-Ability to seamlessly snap pictures while recording video.
-Great video quality.
-Great audio quality.
-Ability to edit (cut/join) video clips within the camera.
-Big viewing screen that rotates over 270 degrees.
-Easy to understand buttons and ability to assign defined commands of your choosing to the toggle button.
-Understandable menus that drive some very deep functionality and control.
-Or you can just use auto mode to take great pictures and video.
-The lens is beautiful - 10X Optical Zoom
-External Microphone input
-Uses SD or SDHC cards
-The native video format (.mp4) is compatible with my LG Blu-ray player so I can just pull the card, put it in a reader, and plug it into my blu-ray player to watch the clips (edited or unedited).
-HDMI output on the docking station
-Battery Life has been as advertised
-Docking station is one of the best that I have ever experienced
-and on and on, this camera is the best I have owned with no compromise on video over stills or vice versa.

On the downside:
-the camera is a little bulky for its small size and won't fit into a shirt or pants pocket.
-image stabilization is a little shaky especially at high zoom (which is typical for most cameras), so I carry a small tripod with me to help anchor the camera against my chest while I shoot.

I hope this review helps you.
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on September 28, 2008
This is a fantastic little camera. The image quality is great, and I love being able to finally record true HD and have them look stellar on my HD TV. I think everybody agrees on what's right with the camera. I'll skip that, and go straight to the two glaring problems. Others have pointed them out, and I just have to add my bit.

Focus hunting.
Doesn't matter what I'm filming. Doesn't matter what settings I have. The subject will start off in perfect focus and the camera will always dart quickly out of and back into focus. For the life of me, I don't know how to stop it. If I set the camera on a tripod and film an empty room, there is no hunting. But add ANY movement, and the hunting begins. It is always brief, and it always recovers. But why is it there? My cheap cameras would sometimes lock to something else, and eventually would wander back. But this thing goes -POW- way out of focus and right back in quick blips. I've studied the clips and can't figure out what it is even trying to focus on. Whatever it may be, it never gets there. It isn't locking to something else. It is just darting out of focus and right back again. Some say they've noticed it, and it isn't annoying. It sure is annoying to me!

Image Stabilization.
Does it really do anything? I can't tell if it makes the images better or worse... or maybe does nothing at all. There seems to be no way of walking with this camera and then being able to view the results on a TV. Try as you might, there's just no way of holding the camera still enough. And even bracing myself with elbows locked to my sides, the image still wanders around. Just what does the IS do? And when does it do it? If I use a tripod, the image is great, of course. But even panning on a tripod creates image jiggles that I don't understand. The sad truth is that I've never owned a higher-end cam corder than this one, and I've never had one with worse IS. :(

But you know what? Even with these warts, I'm keeping the thing. If these two items could be solved (seemingly with a firmware upgrade) I'd be down-right giddy about this thing.
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on October 13, 2009
The prior reviews have pretty much said everything there is to say, my take is this. Great features, so-so low light performance, good battery life and good picture overall. The only thing you should be aware of is that IS is software, not optical, so you'll have mixed results, although with careful filming you will be fine.
I wish there was a built-in LED camera light for low light filming, as in very low light the camera is a bit grainy, but overall, for most applications, this is the camera to buy for the price. I purchased for 350USD a few weeks ago and have been happy with the performance in most applications. The still camera isn't bad either. 4MP with flash and red eye reduction makes this an easy camera to take with you almost anywhere. Don't compare this camera with a higher end HD camcorder. Think of it as the equivalence of a point and shoot camera compared to a DSLR camera. You sacrifice some features and quality for portability, but for the price and most uses, this camera offers a lot of bang for the buck. 1080P recording at 30FPS, 720P @60 FPS or a few other options such as 300FPS slo mo mode at less than VGA res makes this camera a mainstream memory maker at a great price.
If you're willing to accept the shortcomings, for the price this camera will impress you with it's features and versatility.

***UPDATE 18 OCT 2009***
Upon using this camera there are two annoyances.
I'm a tall guy and have very large hands. I end up holding his camera with one finger tucked under the base just to make my hands fit.
Also, it's hard for me to get a smooth, slow zoom with the thumb control zoom. I much prefer an index finger actuated zoom control.

All that aside, still a great camera.
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on September 23, 2009
I read a ton of reviews and watched a bunch of [...] videos before purchasing. In the past I have used $[...]+ Sony DVD cams as well as a real HD $[...]+ Sony Camera (the thing is was a tank.)

For those trying to compare this to a real $[...] dollar camera that is the size of a peanut butter jar, that just is not fair. For a SLIM camera like this there are so many limitation that Sanyo faces. You WILL lose some image stabilization, and you will notice a TINY bit of choppiness from time to time. However the trade off of course is you do not look like a complete dork/tourist while carrying this around. Its small and easily fits into a cargo pocket. The HD video was smooth/clear/detailed enough SO MUCH so that I DECIDED TO USE THIS TO FILM MY WEDDING RECEPTION!

Up against the Sony it is a real draw. They are both nice. The Sony you are paying for the name and the GPS in my opinion and to some extent the Sony adapts better say when you walk inside to outside. For some people those may be deal breakers but for me (and I am a Sony die hard) I have to say the Sanyo HD1010 is by far the most absolutely amazing camera I have used to date.
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on December 20, 2009
While I was editing some 20 year old VHS tapes to DVD I was thinking how great it was to have someone that a video cam to capture these old family moments and look back at them, hence my search for a video camera.
Thinking a "standard" video cam just didn't make sense in this digital world,I purchased this camera thinking format forward and seeing I have a high def tv and all I decided to give it a try.
Boy was I supprised... The picture is clearer than I could have imagined, operation of shooting videos is a snap ( just a second or two from opening the screen up ) and editing is well.... slow but good let me explain....
First of all the files are HUGE and editing them will take a somewhat fast computer ( dual core or faster )if you dont want to wait a week for the videos to transcode and burn to AVCD for the best picture. What I do like is that each time you record and stop it starts new folder that makes editing easier( just remember I just edited a VHS tape and had to fast forward, rewind, etc. )
The shaking that some have talked about is a issue with all small cameras although I can't imagine all antishake modes are as bad as this one.... I will just have to have a more steady hand, post, monopod... whatever, but I DO like the "pistol grip" design.
For the price I don't think you can go wrong for a entry level Hi Def camera for saving those family memories,
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on September 20, 2009
I bought this for $350 on Amazon. For a real HD camera, that is a good deal. Big optics provides great photos, with zoom from wide to x10. The stabilization is not great on long zoom shots, but I have gotten use to holding the camera against a sign post, or something so I can get a steady shot at full zoom. Battery life is good, and a inexpensive 16 GB memory card will provide lots of HD video.
Sure, you could spend $700 to $1,500 on a Sony HD camera, but you would not give it to your 12 year old or wife to have fun with. This HD1010 is the family camera, for sharing. Easy to operate, easy to dock for playing on TV and charging. Even takes still photos while in video mode.
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