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Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA100


A camcorder able to work underwater

The new Sanyo Palm camcorder it’s a very compact digital camera and it has a 12x digital + optical zoom. Is able to take records into multiple formats of file: like SD / HC / XC.

Sanyo Xacti CA100 it’s waterproof camcorder able to take videos in full HD standard mode. This camera is very lightweight and compact. It has a 12x digital + optical zoom and is able to record photos and movies directly on an SD Memory Card, SDHC or SDXC card.

The new Xacti CA100 it has a great shape and it fits easily into a pocket when we’ve tested for this review. Its weight it’s only 242 g, a very lightweight camcorder. It’s design is vertical, and allows it to be appreciated as much of that left-hand people. Its case it’s able to protect the camcorder under the water (waterproof) up to three meters deep. Indeed, this makes from Xacti VPC-CA100 an ideal companion if you are planning to go into vacation and are a diver passionate.

Full HD videos and photos

Sanyo-Xacti-VPC-CA100The CA100 Xacti shoots in Full HD standard resolution ( 1920 x 1080 pixels ). In the same time it also acts as a digital camera, and is able to take photos at 4352 x 3264 pixels without interpolation. If you use interpolation you can obtain 4640 x 3480 resolution pictures. The both functions are easily accessible through separate keys and are easy to use.
For athletes, the camera it has a burst mode able to to take continuous shots at a speed of up to 7 pictures per second, a very good value for its price. The camcorder it has a 5x optical zoom, but the technology called “zoom Dual range” developed by Sanyo can receive a 12x zoom in video ( 40-480 mm in 35mm equivalent classic film mode).

Two types of zoom in video mode

For video mode you have two zoom ranges just by pressing a single button. You can choose between “Wide” which is equivalent to 40-240 mm (6x) and ” Tele” which is the equivalent of 80-480 mm (6x).
For a 6x optical zoom instead of 5x, the 14.4 megapixel sensor employs a larger surface for capturing the image at a high quality. According to the Sanyo producer, this new technology does not cause any loss of quality, comparing with the digital zoom which intermediate pixels are created artificially by its internal software.

SDXC compatible

The Xacti CA100 it has only 50MB of internal memory to store just few photos. If you want to use this camera you should buy an SD card, a SDHC (up to 32GB ) or SDXC memory card (up to 2TB ) to take videos. We tested the camera and a 32GB card it can save about four hours of full HD video, a very good value.

This reviewed digital camera also accepts SD Eye-Fi, to transfer data wirelessly directly to the computer. The standard lithium-ion battery provides, according to Sanyo, an autonomy of 60 minutes in full HD video recording mode. The battery life in reading mode is about 210 minutes.
The camcorder is able connect to the computer through a USB cable or directly to your TV using a composite video or HDMI mini. A bad point for Sanyo is that it does not deliver any HDMI cable for data transfer. Another feature of this camera is that it has a color display wit 16 / 9 2.7 -inch (6.86 cm diagonal), able to swivel in different positions.

The price of Xacti CA100 is about 349 euros and the camera is available in three different colors ( yellow, pink and black) .

Positive points (pros)

* It works underwater
* Is able to take videos at Full HD standard
* A good 12x zoom
* Lightweight

Negative points (cons)

* The mini- HDMI cable is not supplied in the standard package
* Useless video mode without a memory card

Technical specifications

Chip TypeCMOS
Resolution Width in Pixel4640
Resolution Height in Pixel3480
Viewfinder TypeLCD Monitor
Memory TypeInternal and External
Optical Zoom5
Digital Zoom10
BluetoothN / C
Depth in mm40.8
Height in mm123
Lowest Focal Length in mm38
Focal Length in mm190
Interchangeable lensNo
Screen Size2.7
Video CaptureVideo + Sound
Secure DigitalYes
Micro DriveNo
Compact FlashNo
Memory Stick / Memory Stick ProNo
Memory Stick Duo / Duo ProNo
Internal Memory size in MB0
Continuous shooting0
Resolution in Pixel230000
Max Resolution Mode Video Width1920
Max Resolution Mode Video Height1080
Ability to save files in RAW0
Maximum Aperture Tele0
Maximum Aperture Wide0
Shutter Speed Fastest in Second0
Shutter Speed slowest in Second0
Sensor Size0
Battery Type0
Image StabilizerStabilizer Electronic
DebuggingFace Detection
Shutter Priority0
Aperture Priority0
Number of frames per second in video mode60

HTC Wildfire


The younger brother of Desire

HTC Wildfire is a smartphone which costs less than 300 euros outside premium operator offers, with a quality capacitive screen. This version benefits from the versatility of the new version of Android Operating System. The HTC Wildfire is a smartphone running Android 2.1 and is dedicated to social networks.

In the spring of 2010 HTC announced the arrival of the little brother of the excellent smartphone called Desire. The news was about the Wildfire phone. This device uses Android 2.1 (Flash) OS and is powered by a Qualcomm processor, running at 528 MHz. The smartphone tested for this review was launched in June 2010.

A fast look at Nexus One and Desire

htc-wildfireAt a first glance, the Wildfire seems to look very similar to Nexus One (produced by Google) and HTC Desire. We should therefore find the glossy brown finish, the matte black soft touch and nice appearance of these smartphones.

We like Nexus One, but HTC Legend is also very impressive. At the bottom of the display (with a diagonal of 8.1 inches – 320 x 240 pixels) you can find a capacitive touch-sensitive keys for the stall, good access to the menu and choices of fast rewind or info search.

Anyway, the ball used to move through menus or move the cursor is replaced by a new optical sensor, similar to the sensor used at HTC Desire and the Legend models. As these last two models, the new HTC Wildfire incorporates a powerful photo sensor with five million pixels, autofocus and a LED flash that you can use to take pictures in the dark.

Friendly Stream interface

The new HTC Wildfire is presented as a smartphone dedicated to youth and social networking junkies. Its interface called Steam Friend is able to combine Facebook messages, Twitter and Flickr in a single widget. This is an easy and pleasant way to go directly to the comments of your favorite social networks, directly from the smartphone interface.

In addition to that interface, another widget is Sense HTC. It is able to handle the interaction between the contacts of your social networks and contacts stored in the directory. A good example could be the next one. When you receive a call from a contact found in the address book, its photo from his Facebook profile (if he really has such an account) will appear on the phone display. Apart from Internet Mobile (HSDPA), the HTC Wildfire incorporates a module wireless working at 802.11g standard.

This model has been available on the market since June 2010 at a price of € 299. At this price, it’s a safe bet. However, the phone tested for the today’s review is available at some phone operators packs with a price of less than 100 euros.

Positive points (pros)

* Good price for the phone
* Interface Sense Widget included
* Application Stream Friend for Social Networks access
* The 5 megapixel camera sensor with LED flash

Negative points (cons)

* Nothing


Weight in Grams118
Resolution Width in Pixel2592
Resolution Height in Pixel1944
Optical Zoom0
Digital Zoom0
Vertical Resolution320
Horizontal resolution240
Integrated CameraYes
Operating SystemAndroid
TypeExcluding Pack (Phone Only)
Integrated TV TunerNo
Integrated RadioFM
Height in mm106.7
Width in mm60.4
Depth in mm12.9
E-Mail FunctionYes
Instant MessagingYes
Memory Card ReaderYes
Number of Display Colours16 Million Colors
Any stall ButtonNo
TechnologyUMTS (3G)
Keyboard / TouchscreenVirtual Keyboard On Touchscreen
MP3 PlayerYes
Customer VideoN / C
Number of Screens1
GPSIntegrated GPS
Push (Email and Multimedia Content)Yes
Screen TechnologyTFT
MP3 or WMAYes
Talk Time (H)8.1
Standby time (in days)20
Video resolution in pixels320 x 240 (QVGA)
Dual SimNo
Specific Absorption Rate in W / kg (DAS / NAS)0.75

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2


A hybrid digital camera

Now it’s more simple to choose between camcorder and digital camera. The new Panasonic Lumix GH2 is able to work very fine in both areas. Here is a test and the review analysis at the end of it. Let’s see it !

The expectations

After the GH1 model success, an interesting model but quite expensive, Panasonic has updated its super hybrid camera. The result of these upgrades is called DMC-GH2. The reason of this hybrid camera is the target aimed by the Panasonic brand: to have a powerful digital camera and a camcorder at the same time. The GH-2 incorporates the look of G1 and G2. The similarities end here because the sensor, the processor and the additional video capabilities are totally changed and improved.

The reality

panasonic-lumix-dmc-gh2The new Panasonic GH2 is the worthy successor of GH1. What we mean is that it has a small SLR body, but it is much lighter compared to the previous model (390 g without battery). It includes a rotating screen really necessary for a device that is intended to be used as a camcorder and a camera at the same time. It has a hand grip, usual at the Panasonic brand.

Great touch screen mode

The Canon competitor has incorporated a rotating screen to its new 60D digital camera. This has been a major advantage until now but the engineers from Panasonic haven’t wasted any time at all. The new GH2 has a major difference compared to its old brother: its touch. For all working photographers, the touch screen offers a real advantage as it has faster, easier and more efficient settings.

High speed of sensor

The new improved autofocus sensor module operates at 120 Hz. The previous version was able to work at that of 60 Hz. This results in a great contrast detection for this camera. This advantage can be a crucial if you decide to choose a very fast digital camera.
Panasonic DMC-GH2 is more than twice faster compered to the previous version. This happens because this camera includes the Venus Engine FHD and it has three embedded processors. In fact, it is able to obtain about 5 frames per second burst. Wow! Not bad at all !

Impressing video mode

Panasonic offers Full HD quality for all movie lovers. This model is able to offer you Full HD 50i 1920 x 1080 pixels, 50 frames interlaced. You have to realize this device works as a digital camera at the same time! The capabilities are very advanced. The format of video is able to offer good performance for productions adapted to the needs of the cinema.

The sound of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 is another surprise. It offers full stereo mode sound recording. Compared to ther competitors’ models, it is far more advanced because the competition offers only mono recording of the sound. You can use an external microphone, too, because this device includes a microphone jack for external device connecting.

Review conclusion

The new Panasonic GH2 is a significant achievement as it is good in all areas. The high quality of its provided videos is simply the best we have ever been given to see until now on our tests. The 14-140 mm optical elements are another point that justifies the high price of the acquisition. This is a great product and can be used as a digital camera and HD camcorder with real success.

Positive points (pros)

* Video mode able to offer true 50i and 24p quality
* Touch Screen and mobile display
* Able to offer image burst up to 5 fps
* Calling rates of interest
* More manageable than a DSLR in video mode
* Great autofocus comparing with old models

Negative points (cons)

* Is still expensive comparing with an SLR