Sanyo VPC-HD700 review

Price when reviewed

All three of the Sanyo models featured in this month’s Labs share the same unconventional pistol-grip design, and the HD700 occupies the middle ground between the affordable but flawed CG9 and the high-end HD1000, which wins our Recommended award.

Sanyo VPC-HD700 review

It’s an unusual design but feels remarkably natural to use, and is far more comfortable to hold for long periods than a traditionally styled camcorder. The thumb hovers naturally over the record and still shutter buttons at the rear of the chassis, and the zoom rocker is handled by the same digit.

The design also makes the Sanyo one of the smaller models on test in this Labs – the HD700 can even be squeezed into a jeans pocket, a feat that could prove painful if attempted with the bulky Canon HG10.

At just £234, it is also very cheap, so it’s forgivable that the 1,280 x 720 resolution is not as high as some of the more powerful cameras featured, such as the Panasonic HDC-HS9, which shoot in Full HD at 1,920 x 1,080. To make up for this, though, the HD700 can take 7.1-megapixel stills shots, second only to the 9.1-megapixel CG9.

The quality of video possible with this small camera is surprisingly good, and although the headline resolution figure isn’t particularly impressive, the colours captured are authentic and bright. For its size, the camera performs well.

One problem we did encounter with the HD700 that limits it slightly is that the electronic image stabilisation is poor at preventing shake without degrading the image. This problem is partly offset by the unique way the camera is held, as this makes it easier to keep the unit steady than with a normal camcorder, but it’s all too easy to add jerky motion to video. It’s clear that if you want the best image quality you have to spend a bit more money than this.Unsurprisingly, it shares this iffy stabilisation with other budget models, such as the Samsung VP-HMX10. But it can’t match the latter’s 10x zoom or internal storage, and that means as a budget option it just falls short.


Camcorder HD standard720p
Camcorder maximum video resolution1280 x 720
Camera megapixel rating7.1MP
Camcorder recording formatAVCHD
Accessory shoe?no
Camera optical zoom range5.0x
Camera optical image stabilisationno
Electronic image stabilisation?yes
Screen size2.7in
Built-in flash?yes
Number of sensors1


Internal mic typeStereo
External mic socket?no
Quoted battery life190mins


Dimensions width32
Dimensions depth67
Dimensions height118
Dimensions32 x 67 x 118mm (WDH)


Integrated memoryN/A
Camcorder internal storage typeN/A
Memory card supportSD/SDHC Card


Composite video output?no
Component video output?no


Remote control?yes

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