Many thanks to Sanyo for sending me their VPC-CS1 camera for review. I really enjoyed my time with the camera and as you can see from the review it is capable of taking some stunningly clear video. I think it offers the best value for money in pocket camcorders today - especially if you manage to pick one up at Amazon for £110.
I just want to say one thing about pink coloured electronics - does anyone buy these? Every year I see the January sales full of unwanted pink versions of electronics whilst the black/silver devices remain at full price. Surely that is an indicator of the lack of demand that exists. For every teenage girl who wants a pink camera - there must be hundreds of adults who would rather have something a bit more subtle. I bet I'm not alone in feeling that it also cheapens the whole range of products concerned, making them associated with toys and fads. It might be crazy - but I think I'd be be less likely to buy a product where a pink coloured version also exists in the range. Anyway, rant over - but I want the manufacturers to realise that for every pink device they sell, they may well be losing out tens of sales in more normal colours.
Back to the VPC-CS1, I won't be trading in my trusty Sony TG3 camera yet, but it wouldn't take too much for Sanyo, Sony or even someone else to get me to upgrade - they would just have to bring out a new camera that meets all these requirements.
Wide Angle Lens (I'd happily sacrifice my 10x zoom for an 8x if I could get a wider angle lens)
Auto Lens Cap - Absolutely essential for a one handed camera
720p - I'm not too bothered about 1080p in a pocket camera - it's also easier to edit (forget 1080i)
60fps - This would enable me to do better slow-motion.
Decent & quick Still Photos - good enough so I won't need my Panasonic Lumix TZ10
GPS for Photos - I want all my photos GPS tagged from now on
Touch Screen -
Decent Battery Life -with swappable batteries
Good Stabilisation -
Microphone-In socket - Many people ask for this, but it's rarely included
Multi Speed Zoom - This should be standard
One Thumb Operation - For stop, start, zoom etc.
Comfortable ergonomic design
In the video I also indulge myself by stating the case for the vertical oriented camcorder - this is a very important feature for me and I felt I needed to defend this format. I have no idea why everyone seems to buy horizontal cameras, for me the design makes no sense at all. However people do, and as a result this is what the manufacturers make. The vertical camera design as used in the Sanyo CS1 makes so much more sense to me - and hopefully after watching the video you'll understand why I'm so enthusiastic about this orientation of camera over the traditional style. If you don't want to listen to me going on and would rather see the review itself, just skip 5 minutes into the video.
Unfortunately I have a bad feeling that the Sony TG5 / TG7 might be the end of the line for the vertical style of camera from Sony. The last time this range was revised was in 2009 - and Sony now appear to be concentrating on 3D and the Bloggie range instead. So that leaves Sanyo as the last man standing in the quality vertical camcorder game and I await their future models with great interest.
Most companies currently appear to be involved in a race to the bottom and are attempting to make the cheapest Flip competitor - but the way that the cameras in mobile phones are improving year on year, this appears to be a very short sighted strategy. The alternative is people shooting videos using a SLR or Micro 4/3 camera, this is fine for the high-end of the market - but there is plenty of room in the middle for someone to bring out a convenient and powerful pocket camcorder to suit my needs.