Sanyo VPC-CA102 Waterproof Dual Camera Xacti Review

The Sanyo VPC-CA102 Dual Camera Xacti is capable of producing decent quality HD video and has still capture capability grabbing 14MP images at the press of a button. What sets the model VPC-CA102 apart from the the other Xacti cameras and many from other manufacturers in the class is the waterproof, sport camera design . What’s great about being waterproof is not just the ability to submerge the camera in water, but to keep on shooting when the rain comes or those moments when your child learns to swim and that moment can be captured while your right there in the water too.

At first I had mixed feelings about the upright form factor of the Sanyo VPC-CA102 Xacti. I felt griping the camera was a bit awkward while using my thumb to operate the video, still capture and zoom control buttons. I found that wrapping my index finger up, over the lens barrel not only allowed for better thumb movement, but also stabilized the camera. So, operation from that point has been straight forward, although, I’m not completely sold on the upright form factor. I will say that I am becoming more accustomed. I do like the solid quality feel. Sanyo has never really struck me as seller quality, but after spending some time with the VPC-CA102 Xacti my opinion of Sanyo quality has changed. Playback and menu options are straight forward and easy to navigate. There were really no surprises there. I didn’t submerge the camera in water to test the waterproof capability, but I have no doubt that the VPC-CA102 will live up to Sanyo’s claims. Every nook and cranny is sealed up very well and the output ports and battery cover seals great when the doors closed.

The VPC-CA102 Xacti video quality is quite good as I mentioned and image stabilization is on board, but it could be better.  As always any stabilization is welcome.  The 7x zoom  makes pulling in close on subjects easy and helps in keeping a nice solid image since real movement can be limited with the long rage.

Accessories

Extra Memory: While the Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA102 comes equipped with 50MB internal memory, you will need to get a memory card.  I’ve used the basic Kingston SDHC cards in the VPC-CA102, which worked just fine. No need to go all out on fast memory cards with the VPC-CA102. You’ll just need to make sure you pick up SD cards that are Class 4 or higher in order to capture Full HD video. The VPC-CA102 is compatible with all SD, SDHC cards and SDXC cards.

Memory card reader: If you don’t own a memory card reader, they make transferring images to your computer a world faster. I highly recommend picking one up one. They’re cheap and big time saver. Lexar makes a good card reader for about $15.

Extra Battery: When you are out and about an extra battery is a good idea so no action gets missed.  Sanyo has a replacement battery, but is a bit pricey or for about half the price Pearstone has a suitable battery.

Case: The first negative impression I received upon opening the MemoryCAM was the lack of a case or pouch.  An inexpensive case is good insurance when carrying a camera of any kind when not in use.

On-Camera Light: Although, the VPC-CA102 has a light , it van be activated for only still capture flash. A CameraBright LED light that screws into the tripod mount would serve well to pick up the slack.

Final Thoughts

While I came to like the Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA102 fairly well because of the build quality, 7x optical zoom, great waterproofing and good image quality, there are a few drawbacks like the lack of a light for video, price and puny internal memory.  All-in-all a good camera especially if waterproofing is a must.

Sanyo VPC-CA102 Dual Camera Xacti – $349.00

Specefications

Optics

  • Sensor: 14.4 Megapixel 1/2.33″ CMOS
  • Lens: 6.8-34mm; f/3.5-3.7
  • Zoom: Digital – 10x

Recording

  • Recording Media: SD/SDHC, SDXC; Internal Flash Memory 50MB
  • Recording Time:

1.  SD/SDHC

  • 32GB SD/SDHC/SDXC: Full-HD: 4 hours, 1 minute
  • 32GB SD/SDHC/SDXC: Full-SHQ: 5 hours, 17 minutes
  • 32GB SD/SDHC/SDXC: HD-HR: 5 hours, 17 minutes
  • 32GB SD/SDHC/SDXC: HD-SHQ: 6 hours, 55 minutes
  • 32GB SD/SDHC/SDXC: TV-SHQ: 16 hours, 53 minutes

2.  SD/SDHC

  • 8GB: SD/SDHC/SDXC: Full-HD: 1 hour, 1 minute
  • 8GB: SD/SDHC/SDXC: Full-SHQ: 1 hour, 21 minutes
  • 8GB: SD/SDHC/SDXC: HD-HR: 1 hour, 21 minutes
  • 8GB: SD/SDHC/SDXC: HD-SHQ: 1 hour, 46 minutes
  • 8GB: SD/SDHC/SDXC: TV-SHQ: 4 hours, 19 minutes
  • Video Format: High Definition; MPEG AVC/H.264; 1920 x 1080i, 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720 (60/30/60 fps)
  • High Definition: MPEG AVC/H.264; 1280 x 720 (30 fps)
  • Standard Definition: 640 x 480 (30 fps)
  • Still Image Resolution:
  • JPEG: 0.3 Megapixel, 640 x 480
  • JPEG: 0.9 Megapixel, 1280 x 720
  • JPEG: 2 Megapixel, 1600 x 1200
  • JPEG: 2 Megapixel, 1920 x 1080
  • JPEG: 10 Megapixel, 4352 x 2448
  • JPEG: 14 Megapixel, 4352 x 3264
  • JPEG: 12 Megapixel, 4608 x 2592
  • JPEG: 16 Megapixel, 4640 x 3480
  • Audio Format: 2-ChannelStereo

Display

  • Display Type: LCD
  • Screen Size: 2.7″
  • Touchscreen: No

Features

  • Image Stabilization: Digital
  • Lux: 17 (Auto mode, 1/30 second); 5 (High-sensitivity/Lamp mode, 1/15 second)
  • Built-in Mic: Yes
  • Built-in Speaker: Yes
  • Built-in Light/Flash: Light – No; Flash – Yes
  • Accessory Shoe: None
  • Tripod Mount: 1/4″
  • Input/Output Connectors
  • Inputs: None
  • Outputs:1x A/V; 1x Mini HDMI; 1x USB 2.0
  • Microphone Input: No
  • Headphone Jack: No

General

  • System Requirements: Windows 7
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
  • Power Adapter: A/C to USB 5V / 1.0A
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 3.62 x 4.84 x 1.61″ / 92 x 123 x 40.8mm
  • Weight: 0.53 lb / 242g

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