05. 22. 2007
The fully waterproof video cam- Sanyo Xacti E1
I think we've all been fooled by cameras or camera cases dubbed "water-resistent" or "splash-proof" and thought it'd be okay to just take it into the ocean a little bit and then had a wave topple us over and killed the camera the second it was fully submerged. Okay, maybe I'm the only one dumb enough to have done something like that, but I'm always very suspicious of anything claiming to be "weather-proof" because it usually just means that a few raindrops won't completely destroy it.
Sanyo's new Xacti E1, on the other hand, is fully submersible up to 5 feet, for up to an hour at a time. It's in the familiar Xacti camcorder shape, but comes in blue, yellow, or white. I love the Xacti series, the HD-2 is my personal video camera and my primary still camera as well. The E1, like all the Xactis, is a great hybrid of of camcorder and still cam, because it takes high-quality video (up to 640x480, and iPod compatible H.264 mp4 format) and excellent 6 megapixel still shots.
What's remarkable about the E1 is that the waterproof housing hasn't made the the camera a hulk. It's still just over 8 oz. and truly palm-sized. There's a 2.5" LCD, which is also waterproof, as there isn't an optical viewfinder. You can play back photos and videos while you're still at the beach.
I remember a few years ago my sister had a gigantic yellow waterproof still camera and it was great- for the beach vacation which happens once a year. The Xacti E1, on the other hand, is small enough and versatile enough to be your everyday camera. A few more specs: 5X optical zoom, a low light mode that lets you film in environments as dark as 2 lux, anti-shake digital stabilizer, and the ability to take stills while you're filming video. It's tapeless, of course, using SD cards. There's also a whole range of optional accessories, like a "surf-style" camera leash for the wrist, and special waterproof camera case.
Very reasonable price too, just $499. The Xacti E1 will be available in mid-June, right in the swing of pool season, and you can check for vendors at Sanyo.