Thursday, October 15, 2009

Upgraded Sanyo HD2000A with iFrame

Sanyo has just launched the updated version of the HD2000, calling it the HD2000A and also a similar upgrade for the FH1, the FH1A. At the same time, Apple has announced its new video format, the iFrame. Here is the logo for this new format.

So what is the common factor here? You've guessed it, both the new Sanyo camcorders records videos in the new iFrame format. Calling this an upgrade may not be appropriate as the iFrame format has a resolution of only 960x540, exactly a quarter of the HD 1920x1080 format so it is actually moving backwards as far as resolution goes. But being able to do something that cannot be done before is an upgrade, right?

Anyway, this will probably only excites Mac users since they will be able to edit iFrame videos using iMovie. Here's part of the blurb from Apple, "The iFrame Video format is designed by Apple to speed up importing and editing by keeping the content in its native recorded format while editing. Based on industry standard technologies such as H.264 and AAC audio, iFrame produces small file sizes and simplifies the process of working with Video recorded with your camera."

On the Sanyo site, it says "iFrame is a computer-friendly video format that has been specifically designed to simplify the process of working with video recorded from a camera. With iFrame, the video recorded in the camera is in the same format that will be used for editing, which means that importing video is fast and file sizes are small. This translates to quick and easy editing and sharing of movies across multiple platforms and devices."

Isn't this marriage made in heaven? BTW, both the Sanyo camcorders defaults to the iFrame resolution so it cannot be any simpler for Mac users and this sticker below is also stuck on the camcorders. Currently only these two camcorders support the iFrame format so it is another scoop for Sanyo since Sanyo is still the only consumer camcorder with 1920x1080, 60p videos.

Looking at the specs of the camcorders in the Sanyo site, using iFrame seems to be the only thing new compared to the earlier HD2000 and FH1. What every Sanyo user is looking for - OIS instead of the dreadful EIS - is still a dream. So there is still something to look forward to in the next Sanyo release.

Ronald Kwok

Friday, October 2, 2009

Display Information

There are two ways to remove information displayed on the LCD screen, one is available from the Options Menu and the other is somewhat hidden under the Shortcut key settings.

Under the Options Menu 1 (accessible when switch is at either REC or PLAY position), there is a INFO DISPLAY setting when you can select options to display or not the Date & Time and Counter information during Playback of the videos. This is useful when you do not want other information cluttering the screen during playback of the video.

The other (hidden) display option can be accessed only from the Shortcut setting screen at the Options Menu 2.

One of the options for the shortcut button is called DISP. ON/OFF and this sets whether information is displayed on the LCD screen in the idle state. If this option is set to one of the Shortcut button, it will toggle the display information on the LCD screen on and off, prior to taking a photo or a video. This will remove all the clutter when you want to frame your shot. However, once recording is started, relevant information will return to the screen. I suppose this is logical since you need to know what the camcorder is doing.
The difference between these two Display options is that the first one is used during Playback and the second one is used in the idle state. Hope this information is useful for users of the HD2000.
Ronald Kwok