Thursday, 29 November 2007

Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD1A

My two big bugbears with our Canon MV600i DV camcorder were (i) its size and (ii) the tape motor noise (which always seemed to intrude on any quiet scene). So when it packed up and I was looking for a new camcorder I was keen to get something smaller which recorded on to an HDD or memory card.

So I came across the Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD1A which is larger than a compact digital stills camera but way smaller than the Canon (it fits quite neatly onto my belt). It records to SD and SD HC cards for both video (up to 720p) and 5 megapixel stills. A 4Gb card will give you about an hour of video.

This isn't going to be a camera for everyone (especially left handed people) but it does everything I need and it means I'm happy to carry it around. And that's the most important thing for me; there were so many times that I missed opportunities to record things simply because I couldn't be bothered to lug the Canon around. Of course the limited capacity does mean you need to swap out cards but how many times have you actually shot continuously for more than an hour without any opportunity for a break?

The HD1A has now been superseded by the HD2 which takes 7 megoapixel stills.

Welcome to WebWitter

I have always been interested in technology and I wanted somewhere to post my odd thoughts and views on tech and other topics, like movies, tv etc., somewhere outside of TheWargameShed, my gaming blog. So here it is. I suspect the frequency of entries may well be somewhat unpredictable as the mood takes me.

So what's my tech background? My first computer was a Compukit UK101 which had a 6502 processor and the expanded 8Kb of RAM! It didn't even come with a case just a bare PCB with the keyboard soldered straight on to it. It ran BASIC and you loaded and saved programs to cassette tape and used a standard TV as the display. At least the keyboard had some travel unlike the Sinclair ZX80 and ZX81 machines (plus the RAM didn't fall off the back if you were a little overzealous with the typing!).

I graduated to a BBC Micro (the Model B) which had colour, graphics capabilities and you could even have a floppy disk drive (and they were floppy in those days!). The BBC Micro introduced me to some great games like Elite and Chukkie Egg - which though not great graphically by today's standards really had the basics right with the gameplay experience.

Eventually I moved on to a PC (an Amstrad PC1512) initially with only 2 floppy drives but ultimately adding a 32Mb hard disk card. With that setup I actually ran a BBS called PsychoBabble Opus for a couple of years on FidoNet but eventually my PC packed up and I had to call it a day.

The Amstrad was replaced by a PCAT clone which I had until a few years ago despite superseding it with a Pentium based PC. I even managed to run the original Windows on the AT but the limitations of the 286 were made pretty apparent. At that stage I was running a small Novell network for my office which was fun but as I moved to larger firms they had their own IT departments and the computer side fell back into a hobby.

As to my current set up - I'm sure that'll be the subject of future posts!