Sanyo shrinks the HD camcorder

Shooting video in high-def was once the preserve of professionals with deep pockets and strong shoulders – a small round of applause is due, then, for

Shooting video in high-def was once the preserve of professionals with deep pockets and strong shoulders – a small round of applause is due, then, for Sanyo's tiny HD1, the first camcorder capable of recording HD to memory cards.

Sporting similar looks to the existing Xacti range, the new high-def flagship is remarkably close in dimensions too – considering the enhanced video quality, a body that's twice as fat and a little heavier (145g) than the C5 is a more than reasonable payoff.

The video resolution has been doubled up to 1280x760 progressive, which is the more basic high-def flavour of 720p. This is then compressed into MP4, meaning you can store around 41 minutes of super-sharp film on a 2GB SD card – not bad considering 2 hours is the max for standard-def on the Xactis.

Aside from letting you film your homemade sequel to Team America using your team of gerbils, the HD1 can also capture 5.1MP stills, simultaneously with video capture if fancy showing off its tech prowess. There's also an improved 2.2 OLED display, which don't need a battery-draining backlight like normal LEDs, and USB 2.0 for super-fast connectivity.

The HD1 is expected to launch in the UK during Q2 this year, although Sanyo haven't supplied any pricing yet – its website has more info, and we'll update you as soon as we've got our mitts on one. With JVC also promising an HD Everio soon, it's all go for the high-def 'corder in 2006.

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