Published on March 27th,2009 at 5:41 PM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

Sanyo Xacti HD2000, An Evolution Rather Than a Revolution: The Review

A couple of weeks ago Sanyo Japan was kind enough to send us a test sample of their latest high-end HD camera, the Xacti HD2000. We’ve already talked about the HD2000, but let’s refresh your memory.

The HD2000 feature a 8Mpix censor for still pictures and 5.31Mpix for videos, it supports both SD and SDHC cards up to 32GB, and shoots video in a gorgeous full HD at 60fps (1920 x 1080 / 60p), has a 10x optical zoom an ISO range from 50 to 3200 and is Sanyo’s first camera with a Reverse Sequential Shot function and a Hi-Speed Video shot mode up to 600fps.

In order to better understand the following review, it may be important to read back what we wrote about its little brother the Xacti HD1010 here New Xacti HD1010 Hands On! Not Very Revolutionary….

The Xacti HD1000 is a huge step forward for any one looking for a compact and powerful HD camera, Full HD. Impressive camera, the HD1000 isn’t prefect, and later Sanyo released a HD1010 model fixing many flaws and correcting bugs that were found on the HD1000. As you can imagine, we were quite impatient to see the HD2000, and to finally get some playtime with it.

There are virtually NO differences whatsoever between a HD1000, HD1010 and HD2000, these camera are strictly similar, only what is written on the camera is different from each model, so if like us you’re are a huge fan of its “pistol” like shape that provides increased comfort when shooting video, you’ll be very pleased that Sanyo didn’t change a thing!

Usability and Video
As you may have guessed, improvements added by Sanyo on the HD2000 are within the camera body, or skin if you prefer. First Sanyo added more “RAW” power to the HD2000, we’re moving from a 4Mpix censor (HD1010) for videos to 5.31Mpix on the HD2000.
Sanyo also added a more powerful CPU and now records video in 60p instead of the 30p on the 1010, and has better video bitrates for better video quality from 12Mbps to now 24Mbps. The higher your bitrate the “bigger” will be your video files but with increased quality.

To give you an idea, our P2 video camera records video in 100Mbps while the average PRO Summer Sony camera records up to 24Mbps due mainly to the miniDV limitation. The bottom line, higher bitrate means better video.

The HD1010 had a 300fps video mode (in 448×336), the HD2000 now lets you record video up to 600fps in a tiny image size of 192×108 at 8Mbps. To be honest, if a feature like this was impressive on the Casio EX-FH20 and its 1000fps, I really don’t understand the need of such mode especially when your output video is so small. Who will use a 192×108 video (10 times smaller that the 1920×1080 that we can record in 60fps). David our photographer and I would have WAY more appreciated a 1280x720p60 mode instead of slow motion.

What about video in 1920×1080… If the HD2000, like the 1000 and 1010 will never replace or achieve the video quality of our beloved P2 camera, for most of us the HD2000 will give stunning videos, and surprisingly even better ones once reformatted and exported in 720p.

Compared with the HD1000 and HD1010, the HD2000 gives crispier and sharper videos and the 60fps mode will make your videos smoother and more realistic. For movie like a 24p video you’ll have to do your magic in post prod. Once again Sanyo outperforms their direct competitors thanks to beautiful and sharp video…

Unfortunately if video is amazingly crispy and sharp, Sanyo is still struggling with both the AF (Auto Focus) and Image Stabilizer. Yes they did improve these two points and the HD2000 will please many of you, but as far as we’re concerned, Sony did a better job in both AF and Image Stabilization. We hope Sanyo will use Panasonic’s expertise for future Xacti.

Being called the new “Dual Camera” and trying to create a new category of hybrid cameras, not only does the Xacti record great looking videos, but it is also can shoot photos, with two very interesting modes: the Reverse Sequential Shot function enables you to NEVER miss the correct moment shooting a moving object when taking pictures while recording video.

If we have no real complaints regarding video quality, we can’t say the very same for pictures… Yes, if you shoot a photo and view it on your screen you’ll have a pretty descent shot, but if you zoom on it and get to the 100% mode you’ll see how poor photos are… Rest assured this is not only Sanyo’s problem, I own a compact a Canon IXUS 920is and they both provide roughly the same quality. If you know what I’m talking about or a happy owner of a 920is you’ll be very happy with the HD2000 photo quality… But compared to the HD1010, photos taken with the HD2000 are way better! But don’t expect anything close to even a Canon 300 or 350D DSLR quality.

We have some video and photos sample that are straight from the camera, just download them on your PC… This will help you make your own decision whether this camera is for you or not.

1920 x 1080 @ 60 fps recording
1280 x 720 @ 30 fps recording
Slow Motion Video
Photo Samples at 8Mpix
Photo Samples to compare the 1010 and 2000

Like the 1010 was for the 1000, the 2000 fixes many bugs and brings many improvements when compared to the 1010. We expected a little more, we would have loved more “Pro” oriented video features on this hi-end camera…
Last two points worth noticing and for us are a big plus is the selection of additional lenses and the awesome wind noise cancellation that allows you to ride a bike and record video with no wind bothering your audio.

Category Review Camcorder
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  • Way

    It is not so simple. The codec in the HD2000 can be something like 4-6 times more efficient per Mb than your P2 camera (unless it is h264 intra based or Sanyo h264 inter codec is not so good). But this is only on simple scenes that are not too complex or have to many changes. So sometimes it might be better and sometimes worse.

    But what makes the p2 camera good, is that it is usually used in reasonable prosumer or professional cameras. Thee have great lens systems and sensors that have great latitude and low noise (very good low light performance) accurate subtle color and picture rendering etc. But if you use one of the cheaper original prosumer P2 based cameras the latitude, and maybe even the noise level, of the Sanyo maybe better. The resolution might also be better on the Sanyo, as the cheaper p2 camera might be using pixel shifted sensors.

    Sanyo deserves to be congratulated for coming out with this camera at 24mb/s, still prefer 36mb/s though .

  • Rawit

    Why did Sanyo drop the 720p/60 mode? Are they planning releasing an HD2010 or HD2020 soon?
    I hope they include that mode again with a firmware update or something. I really like this range of dual camera’s a lot, they are fun to use. So I hope Sanyo gives the users some good support, like firmware updates. They should and can keep the entire HDXXXX line up to date.

  • noobee

    it looks like a gun

  • curious

    These gun shaped cameras are going to cause an incident some day. I can just see a nervous cop reacting with tragic outcomes.

  • Anon

    The form factor of a gun is born out of utility.
    If overlap of form factor between guns and cameras are a concern, maybe the shape of gun should be changed to look less like a camera. ;-P


  • sesa

    Why not 1280 x 720 @ 60 fps recording is my question….. why only 30p….. i dont under stand

  • Lefteris

    Like the previous posters, I would also like the 720P/60 to be there. Why on earth did they remove it? If the reason was to bring out a Xacti 2020 or something, that’s plain stupid.

    I would also like to ask the reviewer about the battery life. I have Xacti HD 1000 and battery life is great. How does it compare to that?


  • http://N/A FaiRLane

    I highly interested this camera, thanks for review of it.

    Just wondering why 60fps only? Why no support for pal? (25/50p)

    Pinnacle Studio 14 HD ultimate can import Xacti HD2000 files, but it warns to me (vgacard (matrox P650) do not support 1920×1080 60p mode). So i can see on timeline 30p version of video. Converting it to mpeg2 format, i cant find how much quality is worser when converting mpg4 -> mpeg2 (i cant see much diffrences) Clip what i use is short and taken inside of house.

    Editing mpeg2 file is much much faster than Mpeg4

    Exporting to DVD, it can do only 720×480/30fps. I tried to do DVD and played it PAL DVD player, it works (i tried it only Yamaha DVD player)

  • http://N/A FaiRLane

    Downloadeble material is not anymore available.


    • Daimaou – G-A.G

      Thanks to Sanyo DE we are now uploading back the samples… It will be online in 30m after this post has been posted !



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