By April 22, 2009

Sanyo Xacti HD2000 Review

The Sanyo Xacti HD2000 is a recent upgrade from the HD1010. It looks similar, it feels similar. So what’s changed?


The Sanyo Xacti HD2000

What’s in the box?

  • Sanyo Xacti HD2000
  • DB-L50 Lithium-ion battery
  • AV Cables (Composite and component)
  • Lens Cap
  • Battery mains charger
  • Remote Control
  • HDMI Cable
  • Docking Station
  • USB Cable
  • Microphone Adaptor
  • USB Adaptor cable
  • Software CD-Rom
  • Manuals
  • Wrist lanyard
  • Soft, padded camera bag


    Have a look at Matt’s Sanyo Xacti HD2000 unboxing video for more.


    Sanyo Xacti HD2000 specification:


  • Zoom: 16x optical

  • Resolution: 5.31Mp (HD)

  • Definition: High

  • Scan method: interlaced & progressive

  • File type: MPEG-4

  • Image size: 1920×1080

  • Focus types: Continuous area AF, manual

  • Minimum illumination: 2lux

  • Monitor: 2.7in TFT LCD screen

  • Interface: HDMI, component, S-video, composite

  • Formats: NTSC, PAL

  • Power: Li-Ion battery


  • Zoom: 10x optical

  • Resolution: 8Mp

  • Sensor size: 1/2.5in

  • Sensor type: CMOS

  • Image size: 3264×2448

  • File type: JPEG

  • Sensitivity: ISO50-3200

  • Storage: SD/SDHC

  • Focus types: 9 point AF, spot

  • Normal focusing: 50cm-infinity

  • Close focusing: 1cm-1m

  • Metering types: Multi, centre-weighted, spot

  • Exposure compensation: /- 1.8EV in 1/3 step increments

  • Shutter speed: 1/2-1/1000sec

  • Flash: In-built

  • Monitor: 2.7in TFT colour screen

  • Interface: USB 2.0 via docking station (included)

  • Power: Li-Ion battery

  • Size: 112.6x90x54.5mm

  • Weight: 311g (inc. battery and card)


    Full specification can be found on the Sanyo Website



    Sanyo have adopted the pistol grip design again for the Xacti HD2000. It has a compact and robust feel to it with almost all of the controls at just a thumb’s reach away.



    The Lens – 10x optical zoom, focal range = 6.3-63.0mm (35mm equiv = 44.4mm-710mm), aperture = f/1.8-f/2.5, filter diameter = 40.5mm. The lens also has a built in neutral density filter.

    The Sensor – 1/2.5 inch CMOS

    The microphone and headphone sockets are located near the top of the pistol grip along with the infrared remote sensor.

    Sanyo Xacti HD2000 – front view



    The integrated flash is located on the top and has a button to manually activate it

    Sanyo Xacti HD2000 – top view


    Right side

    The right side of the pistol grip is the battery housing. Nothing else here!

    Sanyo Xacti HD2000 – right view


    Left side

    The flip out 2.7 inch LCD screen can be seen here in the closed position. The perforated section on the back of the LCD houses the inbuilt microphone and speaker.

    Sanyo Xacti HD2000 – left view


    The Screen

    The LCD screen flips open and can twist around 270 degrees. The switch you can see to the left of the screen is a menu type selector – switching between normal and simple.

    Sanyo Xacti HD2000 – opened view


    The controls

  • The top button changes between views/displays on the screen.
  • To the left is the up/down slider to control the zoom.
  • The centre of the controls is split in two. The left being the shutter release for capturing stills and the right to start and stop recording of video.
  • The right up/down slider switches between recording and playback modes.
  • At the bottom is the menu button.
  • On the pistol grip is the joystick for use within the menu screens. Pressing the joystick acts as the select/set button. When it is pressed in the normal recording mode it opens the ‘Instant review’ where pictures and videos taken can be reviewed
    Sanyo Xacti HD2000 – controls view


    Pistol grip

    The SD card fits into the back of the pistol grip. At the bottom of the grip is a DC in socket for charging the camera.

    Sanyo Xacti HD2000 – grip view



  • Compact design
  • Pistol grip – easy to hold
  • Large range of resolutions for stills and video
  • 8MP still images and up to 12MP on the highest setting (interpolated)
  • 16x zoom for video
  • Stills can be taken during video capture



  • Low quality on low light images/video
  • Expensive


    Opening the box and emptying the contents would make you think that the Sanyo Xacti HD2000 is a complicated device as there is so much there! This is not the case! Once you’ve managed to get your head around all the cables, adaptors, remote, docking station, etc (or just ignore them for the moment) the device itself is quite strikingly simple!

    Conveniently the battery was already charged up (thanks Matt!), so when I flipped open the LCD screen the first feature of the camera came to light. It switches on and off with the opening and closing of the screen. The time it takes from being switched off to being ready to shoot is surprisingly fast. Without getting into the different settings, the basic functions of the camera are quite clear from the controls which are all a thumbs reach away. You can take still pictures, record video footage, playback the images and video.

    Looking into what features the Xacti HD2000 offers opens up a whole other chapter and I could go on and on about the different features.. but. I won’t. I’ll try and pick out the main highlights and lowlights. After that, I recommend that you have a look at Matt’s sample videos taken with the Xacti HD1010. I know it’s not the HD2000 but the features are pretty much the same so you may find the videos useful.

    The fact the this camera is relatively small and compact makes it really appealing and easy to carry about. The pistol grip design that Sanyo have decided to stick to seems to work well and the positioning of the controls is well thought out.


    For still photos the 8MP camera takes a decent picture in good lighting. It has a feature aptly named the ‘face chaser’ which, well… you can guess! This can detect up to 12 faces in the frame which is useful for getting your pictures as sharp as possible.

    The main issue I have with the camera is the low quality of images in low light situations. You can use the flash but I’m one of those people who hates using built in flashes. The light bounces straight off the subject giving a really unnatural look to the picture. So what can I do about that? The ISO (light sensitivity of the sensor) can be changed manually and can be set right up to 3200. I tried a few shots at different ISO levels but still not that thrilled about the camera in low light. The noise levels on the pictures are pretty bad (especially on the higher ISO settings.

    But, apart from the low lighting issue, it’s possible to take some good pictures with the camera and you can take advantage of the 10x optical zoom and handshake reduction/stabiliser setting


    Video recording is a breeze with Sanyo’s Xacti HD2000. As mentioned before, the controls are nicely positioned making it very easy to start and stop recording without too much movement when pressing the capture button. The video stabiliser helps with and handshaking and the zoom is a 16x advanced zoom. This is an upgrade from the 10x zoom on the Xacti HD1010.

    You can probably guess what I thought of video recording in low light!! Say no more!! In fact, I have to mention one thing though. There is no light/lamp for taking video in low light. Would have been a useful feature to include in this upgrade.

    Moving on! There are seven different video formats you can choose between and an additional setting to record voice only (the different formats can be seen in more detail on the Sanyo website). On the highest resolution (Full-HR 1920×1080 (60fps/24Mbps)) the video output is excellent. As you can imagine it take up a lot of memory though. Matt mentioned that he uses the HD1000 to record the unboxing videos and has it set to HD-SHQ 1280 x 720 (30 fps/9Mbps). You can see the quality in the unboxing videos is pretty good even though it’s at a lower setting.

    The most interesting video format is definitely the ‘Web’ format, or more commonly known as the slow motion format. It’s great fun to play about with an you can get some pretty amazing footage. Again, check Matt’s videos from the HD1010 as he’s got footage in there using this slow motion feature.

    One feature I really like is that you can take still pictures whilst recording video footage. This is definitely not a standard feature with camera/video camera devices.


    The Xacti HD2000 comes with a docking station where you can place the camera to charge, connect to a pc or connect to a TV. You can also charge the camera by plugging the charger straight into the bottom part of the grip so you don’t need to take the docking station with you if you don’t want to. There is also a remote control included that you can control the camera with and carry out almost all of the functions with from it.



    The CD ROM provided includes Nero 8 Essentials and Xacti Screen Capture 1. It also includes the instruction manual. (there is a hard copy one in the box too).

    The footage captured will play on recent versions of QuickTime, which most people already have installed on their PCs/Macs.



    The Xacti HD2000 has definitely impressed me. It’s compact and easy to use design makes it enjoyable to use and the quality is generally quite impressive (just don’t put me in any low light conditions!!)

    The fact that it’s just so simple to use makes it a great camera/video camera for anyone to use.

    The only thing that would really put anyone off would be the price. Whilst writing this review I checked out the price range that the Xacti HD2000 was selling for and it ranges from £400-£500. If you’re looking for a good camera to take still pictures with you could buy a pretty decent DSLR camera and even be given change from the money we’re taking about here.

    It’s a shame that the price is what’s letting this camera down as I did enjoy using it.



    Reviewed by: Emma

  • Posted in: Reviews

    About the Author:

    Loading Facebook Comments ...

    Post a Comment

    No Trackbacks.