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Video Cameras

Photos: Hands-on with the Sanyo Xacti CA8 waterproof camcorder

The Sanyo Xacti CA8 is a go-anywhere sort of camcorder, with a sturdy waterproof constitution as well as 8-megapixel stills and a 5x zoom

Usually when a waterproof gadget arrives in Crave Towers, we bust out our cagoules and sou'westers take some pictures of said gadget in the sink. But we've been getting wet enough just stepping out of the door lately, so the Sanyo Xacti CA8 camcorder gets to stay dry in our pictures. Water won't bother it though, because it can swim with the fishes up to 1.5m.

It packs a 1/2.5-inch CMOS sensor, boasting 8 megapixels. It also sports a 5x optical zoom lens to get you closer to the life aquatic. A built-in stereo microphone takes care of the sound.

Standard-definition video is recorded in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (MP4) format. You can choose from VGA-resolution 640x480 pixels at 60 or 30 frames per second, or dial it down for the Web to 320x240 pixels at 15 or 30fps.

As well as video, the CA8 shoots 8-megapixel stills. It also captures up to ten sequential 8-megapixel shots -- that's 3,264x2,448 pixels according to Sanyo -- at 1fps. Both images and video are electronically image stabilised, which basically means the camera chops off the edges of the frame to make it look less wobbly.

There are a number of scene modes, including the usual portrait, landscape and night modes, as well as sports, snow and beach for sporty types. Finally there's lamp mode, for use down mines or in the 18th century.

Click 'Continue' to see more photos of the CA8 in action.

The fold-out, twist-over screen measures 64mm (2.5-inch) and packs approximately 150,000 pixels. It also displays seven levels of brightness.

The CA8 takes SD and SDHC memory cards, up to 32GB like this one 'ere. The hatch for the card and battery is securely locked and sealed aganst the elements.

Also included in the box with the CA8 is this snazzy holster, although for some reason it lacks any kind of strap attachment or belt loop.

The CA8 is controlled by a slightly odd clickpad/joystick combination. The whole pad rocks up and down in a decidedly wobbly fashion, and takes some getting used to.

The Sanyo Xacti CA8 will set you back around £210, and is available now.