Although it's still chasing the competition, this tiny HD camcorder offers decent video capturing plus still-image capabilities.
Conveniently compact, the HD2 boasts an HDMI output and captures 720p high definition footage, which looked quite good: sharp and fairly clear, on both our lab computer monitors and our HDTVs. The device also lets you store video on SD and SDHC memory cards. Video is encoded in MPEG-4 format: so, if you're using a 2GB memory card and capturing at the highest quality setting, expect about a half-hour of video.
During testing, video clips had too much contrast, which tended to swallow up details in shadow areas. Highlights were blown out as well. Color, however, was fairly accurate and vibrant. In my action-clip test, the autofocus performed pretty well but at times seemed to be searching for something to focus on. As for resolution, the camcorder averaged 625 lines on my chart, which is low for an HD camcorder. There was also some shutter lag in still-picture mode.
As a camcorder alone, the Sanyo Xacti VPCHD2 would be merely average. But with its decent to very good digital-still camera capabilities, this device adds up to a satisfying hybrid.
SANYO XACTI VPC-HD2: $699.99