By July 16, 2009

Sanyo Xacti WH1 Review

I really enjoyed reviewing the Sanyo Xacti HD2000 so of course I was excited when Matt sent me the Xacti WH1. It’s a quite affordable camera and its main feature or selling point is that it is waterproof (up to 3m) with an IPX8 (full water submersion) certificate. Let’s see how it measures up.

WH1_angledThe Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1


What’s in the box?

  • Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1
  • Battery
  • Hand strap
  • Mains charger (UK 3 pin and European 2 pin connections)
  • USB cable (proprietary connection to the camera)
  • Composite audio and av cable (connects to the proprietary socket on the camera)
  • Manuals
  • CD with Xacti software, instruction manual and ArcSoft Panorama Maker 4


Check out Matt’s unboxing video for more information.


Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 specification:

  • Effective Pixel Count
    Photo : Approx. 1.10 megapixels // Video :Approx. 0.97 megapixels (in HD), Approx. 1.10 megapixels (in SD)
  • Sensor
    C-MOS sensor, 1/6 inch, approx. 1.10 megapixels
  • Recording media
    SD Memory Card (Up to 32GB SDHC Memory Card) Internal memory approx. 43MB
  • Recording file formats
    JPEG (DCF 1, DPOF2, Exif Ver2.2 3standard)
  • Resolution (Pixels) – Still
    2M: 1600 × 1200 (Pictrise) 1.1M: 1184× 888 0.9M (16:9): 1280 × 720 (16:9) 0.3M: 640 × 480
  • Resolution – Continuous Shots
    2M: 1600 × 1200 1.1M: 1184 × 888
  • Resolution – Movie Clips
    HD-SHQ: 1280 × 720 (30fps 9Mbps) TV-HR: 640 × 480 (60fps 6Mbps) TV-SHQ: 640 × 480 (30fps 3Mbps)
  • Lens
    Focus distance:f=2.5 – 75.0 mm F=1.8(W) – 4.3(T) Auto Focus 7 groups, 10 elements(2 aspheric elements, 3 aspheric surfaces)
  • Photo range
    Standard: 50cm – ?(wide), 1.0m – ?(tele)Super macro: 1cm – 100cm (wide)
  • Shutter speed
    Photo:f=43 – 1290mm x30 Video: f=43 – 1290mm x301/2 – 1/1000 sec.(Flash: 1/30 – 1/1500 sec., Lamp mode : Max. 2 sec.)
  • Digital zoom
    1/30 – 1/10000 sec. (High-sensitivity mode and Lamp mode: Max.1/15sec.)
  • Focus
    Auto (Photo:9-point AF/Spot AF, Video:Continuous area AF) Manual 22 step
  • Sensitivity
    Auto(ISO 50~200)Manual ISO 50/100/200/400/800/1600/3200, Switching System)
  • Exposure correction
    ±1.8EV (in 0.3EV steps)
  • Digital Image Stabilizer
    Multi-calculation electric image stabilizer
  • Other functions
    Red-eye correction in Photos/Contrast correction in photos/Wind noise reduction
  • Self timer
    2 sec./10 sec.
  • White balance
    Auto : Full auto TTL / Manual : Sunny, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, One-push
  • LCD monitor
    2.5 inch Low-temperature polysilicon TFT colour wide screen LCD Approx. 150,000 pixels (7-level brightness, 285-degree rotation)
  • Interface
    AV output (Video:HDMI/Composite Video, NTSC/PAL; Audio:Stereo) USB2.0 (high-speed mode)
  • Dimensions/Volume
    58.7(W)×62.8(H)×112.4(D)mm (maximum dimensions, excluding protruding parts), Approx. 327cc



Front – The lens can be seen here which is contained within a waterproof cover. The flash can be seen here below the lens as well as the microphone holes on both sides (as it’s a stereo microphone)

WH1_front Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 – front view


Side – From the left you can see the latched cover which houses the AC adaptor socket for charging the camera. Next to this is the loud speaker and then there is a start/stop recording button. You can also see the zoom rocker button on the top of the camera here.

WH1_side Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 – side view


Screen – The screen is a 2.5 inch low-temperature polysilicon TFT colour wide screen LCD Approx. 150,000 pixels (7-level brightness, 285-degree rotation)

WH1_screenSanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 – screen view


Bottom – The enclosure for the battery can be seen here on the bottom of the camera. As expected, the cover has a rubber seal around it to keep the enclosure waterproof.

WH1_bottom Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 – bottom view


Connections – The SD card compartment, USB and HDMI connections are sealed under a cover. The latch at the top shows when the cover is closed properly as there is a red strip that shows if it is not sealed properly.

WH1_connectors Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 – connections view


Controls – At the back of the camera are all the controls. The still photo capture button is on the left, then the video start/stop recording button, the record/play mode button is in the middle, and you can also see the menu and set/select button. There is also the up/down/left/right button surrounding the set/ok button.

WH1_controls Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1 – controls view




  • Solid/sturdy build
  • Affordable price
  • Compact size
  • Controls easy to use
  • Good battery life
  • Stereo microphone
  • Face chaser



  • Video quality underwater is poor
  • Not full HD
  • Only 2MP quality stills
  • No video light





The Sanyo Xacti range seem to have been a hit and the reviews that you read reflect this. The WH1 is another member of the Xacti range so it does seem a little strange that it’s not got the typical pistol grip. There is a reason for this, and this is that the WH1 has been designed for sports (of the wet variety!). The hand strap which attached to the camera keeps the WH1 quite securely on your hand whereas the pistol grip design relied on, well. your grip!

As you can see from the pictures, the model have been given to review is a very bright and shocking yellow colour! Mind you, after thinking about it, it’s a sports camera which can be used under water. then it seems quite fitting. Ok, it’s still bright! But there are also two other colour options – Silver or blue and black.

WH1_backThe Sanyo Xacti VPC-WH1


The built of the Xacti WH1 is robust and nicely compact. Seems quite a durable piece of kit that would withstand a few bumps.

The controls on the WH1 are even more straight forward than previous Xacti cameras. The buttons are big and spaced out enough so there is much less chance of pressing the wrong button. This is idea when in an active situation as you don’t have to concentrate too much on the controls. There is also the start/stop recording button on the side of the camera which I guess is for ease is you are holding the camera in a different position.

The video quality settings offered are HD-SHQ: 1280 × 720 (30fps 9Mbps) TV-HR: 640 × 480 (60fps 6Mbps) TV-SHQ: 640 × 480 (30fps 3Mbps). Unfortunately it doesn’t offer full HD of 1080p but the 720p generally gives a decent quality of footage. In good lighting the video quality is very good, and with the 30x optical zoom you can get some great footage. In low lighting the quality struggles. the camera could really do with video light.

As mentioned, the WH1 is waterproof. So of course I had to try out the camera under water. and that’s what paddling pools are for. aren’t they? I tried taking footage when it was nice and sunny and then when it was overcast. When it was bright and sunny the footage was quite impressive and clear, but the overcast footage (which I thought would be more realistic if you were using it for something like snorkelling in the sea as the light is generally dimmer) was pretty disappointing. The quality seemed to be lost in lower light.

The inbuilt microphone is a stereo one. This picks up sound clearly but not underwater. But of course, you can expect sounds underwater to sound quite muffled.

As with previous Xacti cameras you are able to take still pictures whilst recording video by just pressing the still capture button. This is definitely a function that still impresses me.

This leads me onto the still image quality. Quiet disappointingly the Xacti WH1 only offers a 2MP resolution which is even lower than the average camera on a phone. You can still get good clear pictures with it (but again, not in low lighting although there is a flash) but don’t expect to get any large prints from it. On the plus side, the WH1 is quite affordable and the lower MP camera may be the reason for this.

One feature that stands out is the great battery life. From a full charge the camera lasts over 3 hours



Although I was somewhat disappointed with the still shot quality I think that Sanyo have made a durable and reliable video camera that you would feel confident taking up the ski slopes, going snorkelling, or even just being able to take great holiday footage by the pool without worrying that it’s going to get wet and break. The fact that it takes an SD card means that there are no moving parts on the data storage side of things, so a lot of movement won’t damage your precious footage.

It’s compact size and simple controls layout makes it extremely easy to use. I have no complaints about the LCD display. It’s clear and bright and the size of it is fine.

I guess you would just have to take into consideration what scenarios you would want to use your video camera in as this is definitely one of the the most affordable waterproof cameras on the market but there are many higher quality and affordable normal video cameras out there.



Reviewed by: Emma

Posted in: Reviews

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