As many of you know I'm always keeping an eye on weight when I travel. I'll be in Asia for two months this summer and I'd like to start filming more video of people and places but most video cameras are either not very convenient or are too large. I took several hours of video in 2004 of London and Venice and it sat on tapes for 2 years before I got to it. Yes, I only needed to plug the camera into a firewire card and send it to the computer but it took quite a while to do this and once I had the video it was DV so I still needed to process it into something else before I could really use it. That and I had to lug that camera around.

So what I've really been looking for is a decent quality (We're not talking professional level HD video here) camera that saved video on flash cards in a format that I can view and edit easily. You might be wondering why I just don't take video with my still cameras because they do a pretty good job these days. The answer is my Canon still cameras only record in motion-jpeg. The quality is good but at 10 minutes a GB you run out of flash fast. I've really been looking for something that would film in mpeg2 or mpeg4-h.264. Sanyo who is the pioneer of small flash based video cameras has not been sitting on it's laurels in the past couple of years. I originally checked out the Xacti line and found the low light quality to be lacking and overall the video was not up to snuff. Since then they've released about 6 different cameras so it's time to investigate again.

What you see at the right is their new Xacti HD-1000 camera and you'll probably notice it's all lens!  I'm not going to just copy and paste the info from Sanyo's site because you can go there and read it for yourself but here's a synopsis.

The SANYO Xacti HD1000 camcorder combines the superb image quality of full 1080i high-definition video with 4 megapixel still images in a single compact and elegant design.

  • Full 1080i HD Recording
  • 10x Optical (f/1.8) HD Zoom Lens
  • 4 Megapixel still photos
  • 2.7" Widescreen Display
  • Advanced MPEG4 AVC/H.264 Format
  • HDMI high-definition output
  • Records Directly to SDHC Memory Cards

Sanyo Xacti HD1000