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My first ever Full HD Vlogging Camera

A slightly different episode of Tech Tuesdays this week. I’ve been doing some cleaning and came across the first ever Full HD camera I ever bought. It also happened to look like the ideal Vlogging camera. Despite being more than ten years old, the specs suggest it could do a decent job even today. So I tested it out…

Sanyo Xacti HD2000: https://amzn.to/2IHtAun

TRANSCRIPT


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Whatup nerds? I’m Jay Shareef. Welcome to 
another episode of Tech Tuesdays. Normally  

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I’d be telling you all about whatever gadgets or 
tech I’ve bought in the last week. However, this  

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episode is going to be a little bit different, 
because I’ve been doing some spring cleaning,  

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And I happened to come across some old equipment. 
Including the first HD camera I ever bought,  

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more than 10 years ago. And it’s still in the 
box, obviously. Because that’s the kind of nerd  


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I am. Whenever possible, I always keep the box and 
the accessories. Because you never know when you  

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might need to sell your old equipment. So this 
is the Sanyo HD2000 which first came out in 2009.  

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And I distinctly remember when and where I got 
this. Back in 2010 I was living in Kent – about  

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an hour away from London – but commuting to my 
offices at Trafalgar Square. Now my job involved  

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a lot of foreign travel. And I decided I wanted 
to buy a new camera to document my travels,  

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and to record some family videos as well. It’s 
hard to believe it now but back in 2010 online  

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shopping wasn’t normal. People still didn’t quite 
trust the idea of ordering from a website. I mean  

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I still read online reviews. I still did my 
research online. But when it was time to buy,  

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I went to a shop. And my favourite destination for 
gadgets and tech was Tottenham Court Road. Where  

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they had row upon row upon row of electronics 
shops. And maybe they still do have them. But  

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we live in a very different world now, and 
I suspect a lot of those shops don’t exist  

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anymore. Anyway, I loved to browse the tech and 
gadget shops in central London. And one day,  

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in the summer of 2010, off I went to browse 
the shelves for a new camera. I was basically  

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looking for a good all-rounder that could take 
great photos and record high quality video too.  

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And that’s when I spotted this Sanyo HD2000. The 
salesman was kind enough to show me a display  

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model. And I absolutely loved the look of this 
thing. The big selling points for me were that it  

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has two big buttons – one for photo one for video. 
It has an articulating screen that you can use for  

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selfies as well. It takes photos at 8 Megapixels 

  • which seemed like a lot back in those days.  

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And it records video at full HD at 60 frames per 
second. Which was quite a novelty at the time.  

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And, finally, from the outside it looks like 
it has a massive lens. And I assumed this meant  

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it delivered excellent picture quality. 
At the time I was very naive and I knew  

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nothing about the importance of sensor 
size. In fact, the sensor on this thing  

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is only… 1 / 2.5 inches. In other words, 
it’s less than 25 square millimetres. That’s  

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absolutely tiny! Anyway, I bought it straight 
away, for the very reasonable price of £500 GBP.  

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So let me give you a quick rundown of the 
specs on this camera. It records in full HD,  

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widescreen, at 60 frames per second, 
at a rate of 24 Megabits per second.  

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Photos can actually be taken at 12 Megapixels – 
via something called “interpolation” – but I think  

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that’s only possible in the 4×3 aspect ratio. For 
widescreen images, in 16×9 format, the limit is  

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8 Megapixels. It saves your footage to an 
easily removable SD card – up to 32 gigabytes in  

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size – with photos in jpeg and video in mp4. And, 
by the way, it’s worth keeping in mind that when  

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this camera came, out back in 2009, SD cards were 
not yet the standard format for camera storage.  

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The HD2000 weighs about 310 grams, including the 
battery and SD card. The removable battery has a  

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capacity of 1900 milliamp hours – which is pretty 
impressive – and it’s supposed to be good for  

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90 minutes of video recording. Unfortunately 
there’s no USB charging. You have to charge  

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the camera from the mains supply. However, it 
does come with a dock, which acts like a stand  

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so you can plug this into the mains and record 
video at the same time. Which I can see being  

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very useful. It has an internal mic built-in as 
you’d expect. And it claims to have electronic  

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wind noise reduction. However, you can also 
plug in an external mic. Unfortunately, it  

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doesn’t have a standard 3.5mm socket. Instead you 
have to use the bizarre 2.5mm microphone input.  

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And I think I do have a converter so I might 
give that try later. The HD2000 has a standard  

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headphone socket at the front, so you can listen 
to whatever you’re recording. It also has a HDMI  

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output in case you wanted to connect this to a 
monitor or a projector. In addition, it also has  

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component, composite and S-video outputs. And I 
expect most of you don’t have a clue what any of  

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that means. But back when I first started making 
short films S-video was a really important part of  

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my process. But now that everything is digital … 
that’s all meaningless in this modern world. The  

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view screen is 2.7 inches in size. This is a TFT 
screen, which is a type of LCD that was popular  

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at the time. And it looks reasonably good for a 
device from 2009. Now, as I mentioned before ,it  

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has a tiny tiny sensor just 1/2.5 inches in size. 
However, if you didn’t know that, you could be  

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fooled by this large-ish lens here into thinking 
it had a much better spec than it actually does.  

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Obviously, with a tiny sensor it’s going to 
have poor low-light performance. However,  

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there is a small pop-up flash built into 
the camera body. Which is fantastic.  

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But doesn’t work with video. That’s to be 
expected. The battery would die pretty quickly  

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if this flashlight was used continuously. 
However, there is also a cold shoe mount  

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at the top of the camera. So, if I wanted, I could 
attach my modern LED light onto the top of here.  

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There are a few different modes included in 
this, such as: landscape mode, portrait mode,  

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sports mode, a macro mode, a night mode, and 
even a fireworks mode. However, what’s really  

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interesting is the beauty mode. Yes, the “beauty 
mode”. Nowadays, a lot of cameras have a beauty  

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mode, specifically pandering to the vanity of 
vloggers. But I was genuinely surprised to see  

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it in a camera from 2009. Does it work? Does 
it make your skin look soft and smooth? Well…  

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we’ll test that out later. As you can see, there 
is a small hook here for attaching a wrist strap.  

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Which is always a very useful feature. 
And should stop the camera from falling  

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if I ever lose my grip. You can mount the HD2000 
onto a tripod quite easily, because it has the  

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standard quarter inch hole at the bottom. However, 
it’s not really designed to be used with a tripod.  

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The “pistol grip” design is obviously there for a 
reason. Basically, you’re supposed to hand hold it  

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like a gun and point it towards whatever you want 
to film or photograph. And it’s just as easy to  

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turn the gun on yourself – for some vlog style 
video or if you want to take some selfies. But  

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keep in mind that the internal microphone 
is behind the screen here. So if you’ve got  

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the camera pointed at yourself then the mic is 
on the wrong side and the sound quality will be  

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much worse. Also worth noting is that the lens 
on the HD2000 has an equivalent focal length of  

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38mm at its widest setting. In other words, 
this camera has a maximum viewing angle of about  

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50 degrees. Which probably isn’t wide enough 
for handheld vlogging. Now, personally,  

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I think a 90 degree angle of view is the best 
choice for vlogging. And that would be a full  

0:08:15.920,0:08:23.280
frame equivalent focal length of about 18mm. 
Anyway, that’s enough talking. I think what we all  

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really want to know is: how does this thing 
perform in the real world? And how does it  

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compare to a modern camera? Now i’m not going to 
put it up against a modern day mirrorless camera.  

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That would be stupid. But it might be interesting 
to compare it to something like my GoPro Hero5  

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Session. Mainly because the image sensor in this 
four-year-old GoPro is exactly the same size as  

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the sensor in this 11 year old Sanyo. Let’s start 
with some photography. But keep in mind that these  

0:08:54.800,0:09:02.320
two cameras have very different lenses. The GoPro 
has a 3mm lens. While the Sanyo has a 6mm lens. So  

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the GoPro photos will always have a wide angle 
look, and will always have image distortion.  

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So this is an image taken by the Sanyo. it looks 
pretty good and it’s probably good enough for  

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posting on social media. Now here’s the same 
photo taken by the GoPro. And I think it’s  

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pretty obvious it’s an inferior image. And when 
you zoom in the difference becomes even clearer.

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Now obviously these two cameras are about 
six years apart in age. And a lot can happen  

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in six years. And the technology world moves very 
fast. However, lenses can make a huge difference.  

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Also the Sanyo takes images at 12 Megapixels. 
Whereas the GoPro tops out at just 10 Megapixels.  

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Here’s another photo taken with the Sanyo. Again 
it’s decent. Nothing to write home about. And it  

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doesn’t even come close to what a modern compact 
or mirrorless camera can achieve. But at the same  

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time, it’s good enough for posting online. 
And here’s the same image when recorded by  

0:10:12.880,0:10:19.920
the GoPro. And, again, it’s not even close to the 
same quality. Which is a bit disappointing, but  

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not really a surprise. And once again, when you 
zoom in, the differences become even clearer. And,  

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again, this isn’t a surprise. OK, so it looks like 
the Sanyo has the advantage over the GoPro when  

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it comes to photography. But the Sanyo has a much 
wider aperture. So maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.  

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Next, let’s check the video and sound quality. 
That is going to involve a trip outside. And  

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i’m going to put both the Sanyo and the GoPro 
at the end of a long monopod. Also keep in mind  

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that I’m setting both the cameras to Auto Mode. 
I’ll be filming at full HD, 30 frames per second.

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It’s raining outside. So I’ve had to take shelter. 
Anyway, the youngsters out there might well be  

0:11:12.560,0:11:20.400
wondering: “what the hell is a Sanyo?” You might 
even suspect it’s like one of those cheap knockoff  

0:11:20.400,0:11:27.440
brands that are so common in China nowadays. 
Actually, Sanyo was a highly respected and very  

0:11:27.440,0:11:34.480
successful electronics company back in the 1980s 
and the 1990s. They were based out of Japan, and  

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produced all kinds of products. Including cameras, 
camcorders, projectors, audio equipment and a hell  

0:11:42.320,0:11:47.120
of a lot more. Things started to go wrong for 
them in the early 2000s. However, by the time  

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I bought this camera in 2010, they’d already been 
taken over by Panasonic. And, not long afterwards,  

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the Sanyo brand was retired. Panasonic then went 
on to be quite a major player in the camera world.  

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And they were instrumental in the success of the 
Micro Four Thirds format for mirrorless cameras.  

0:12:08.000,0:12:14.160
Anyway, how does this sound? I’m now going to plug 
in an external mic, so you can compare the two.  

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And I’m going to switch on the “beauty mode” 
and set the Sanyo to Aperture Priority F1.8…  

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Right, so here we are on beauty mode, aperture 
priority at 1.8. Now what’s really interesting  

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is that Sanyo produced quite a lot of these 
Xacti cameras in the pistol grip format. What  

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I didn’t know was that they even produced some 
waterproof versions. And you could literally  

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take them swimming with you. They weren’t 
rated for diving. But you could take them  

0:12:46.560,0:12:51.840
down about five feet and they’d cope just 
fine. Unfortunately, none of the waterproof  

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versions were full HD. The best you could 
hope for was 720p. Nowadays, of course,  

0:12:57.040,0:13:03.120
the GoPro cameras are waterproof straight out 
of the box, all the way down to about 10 metres.

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So… there you have it. The Sanyo 
HD2000. My first ever HD camera. And,  

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in a way, this was my first ever vlogging camera 
too. Even though I’ve never done a day of vlogging  

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in my life. I’m not a vlogger. I’m an artist. 
The disappointing part of that video footage was  

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the very poor autofocus capability of the Sanyo. I 
actually filmed quite a lot while outside and the  

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face tracking feature does work… but most of the 
time it doesn’t. I will say this: the Sanyo camera  

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does have some impressive features for a device 
so small. Firstly, it has some decent slow-motion  

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credentials for its age. It can shoot slow motion 
down to 240 frames per second. Not in HD, but it’s  

0:13:53.760,0:13:59.760
not too bad under the circumstances. You can also 
record slow-mo at 600 frames per second, but the  

0:13:59.760,0:14:08.320
quality of that video is absolutely atrocious. The 
HD2000 also has an inbuilt 10 times optical zoom,  

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which is quite a feat considering how small this 
is. It’s also supposed to have inbuilt image  

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stabilisation, and face detection autofocus. But 
neither of those seem to work very well in video  

0:14:21.040,0:14:28.240
mode. In case the camera nerds were wondering… 
yes you can shoot in full manual mode if you want,  

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with full control over Aperture, Shutter Speed and 
ISO. The ISO can be set as low as 50 and as high  

0:14:34.960,0:14:42.000
as 3200. You can also shoot in Shutter Priority 
and Aperture Priority. Incidentally, the aperture  

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range goes from F1.8 all the way to F8. And the 
Shutter Speed can be varied from 4 seconds all the  

0:14:50.160,0:15:00.080
way to 1/ 10,000 of a second. Now Sanyo advertised 
this very prominently as a “dual camera”. And it’s  

0:15:00.080,0:15:07.280
definitely capable of shooting photos and video. 
There is a catch though. Being a camera for both  

0:15:07.280,0:15:14.080
means it’s not particularly good at either. Its 
video wasn’t as good as an equivalent camcorder  

0:15:14.080,0:15:20.080
of the time. And its photos weren’t as good as a 
dedicated stills camera from back in the day. The  

0:15:20.080,0:15:27.680
more experienced photographers and videographers 
are likely to notice barrel distortion, vignetting  

0:15:27.680,0:15:35.360
and purple fringing, due to chromatic aberrations. 
Which is disappointing considering this camera  

0:15:35.360,0:15:42.960
cost me £500 GBP. And right now, in terms of 
quality, this Sanyo is clearly one of the worst  

0:15:42.960,0:15:49.680
cameras I own. However I can’t bring myself to 
sell it. Because I’m quite nostalgic about it.  

0:15:49.680,0:15:55.680
It did travel the world with me. And the 
Sanyo brand doesn’t even exist anymore. So  

0:15:56.480,0:16:01.840
i like having this in my collection. The good 
news is there are plenty available online if  

0:16:01.840,0:16:07.200
you want to buy one for yourself. They are all 
second-hand, of course. And you can pick one up  

0:16:07.200,0:16:14.400
for about £50 GBP on ebay. However, in my opinion, 
it’s much safer to buy second-hand camera stuff  

0:16:14.400,0:16:19.680
from Amazon rather than ebay. So I’ve put 
a link in the description for you, in case  

0:16:19.680,0:16:25.760
you were tempted and willing to part with £170 
GBP for this. However, for that kind of money,  

0:16:25.760,0:16:33.440
you can easily pick up a used DJI Osmo Action. And 
the Osmo Action is an absolutely brilliant little  

0:16:33.440,0:16:39.360
machine – a hundred times better than this. 
Anyway, this has been another episode of Tech  

0:16:39.360,0:16:44.400
Tuesdays. And a much more nostalgic one than 
you’re probably used to seeing. Thank you for  

0:16:44.400,0:17:03.840
joining me on this trip down Memory Lane. I’ll 
be back again next week with more. Later nerds!

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