Sanyo unveils Xacti HD700

Sanyo has announced the Xacti HD700, a pocketcam that can record 720p video and 7-megapixel still photos.

Sanyo just announced its latest pocketcam, the Xacti HD700. Like the Xacti VPC-HD2 we looked at last spring, the HD700 can record 720p video and 7-megapixel still images to SD and SDHC cards, and features the same signature pistol-grip design of the rest of Sanyo's Xacti line.

Despite its many similarities, the HD700 differs greatly from the HD2. The new camera can record AVC/H.264 MPEG-4 video, a format Sanyo claims greatly reduces file size while retaining quality, and will let you fit more video on a card. It also uses Sanyo's new "Face Chaser" feature, a face-detection system that the company says can track up to a dozen faces and adjust focus and exposure accordingly.

The HD700 also uses a larger, 2.7-inch flip-out screen compared to the HD2's 2.2-inch display. Unfortunately (and confusingly), the HD700's lens gets a bit of a downgrade from the HD2. The new pocketcam uses a 38-190mm-equivalent, f/3.5-4.7 lens that only offers 5x zoom power against the HD2's f/3.5, 10x lens. While the smaller lens is a bit of a buzzkill, it helps keep the HD700 small and light; the new camera measures just 4.3 inches tall and 1.4 inches deep and weighs just under half a pound with battery and card, slightly smaller than the HD2.

This new camera comes less than a month after Sanyo announced the Xacti HD1000, a high-def pocketcam that features both a 10x zoom lens and AVC/h.264 MPEG-4 720p recording. Unfortunately, the HD1000 also retails for about $200 more than the HD700, an odd price jump since it only shoots 4-megapixel stills and, at 2.1 inches deep and 11 ounces with battery and card, is much bulkier than the HD700.

The Sanyo Xacti HD700 ships in late October, and will retail for about $600. It will come in silver, red, and brown versions. The black HD1000 ships later this month with a suggested retail price of $800.