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Video Cameras

Sanyo VPC-CA8: Waterproof camcorder braves British weather

British summertime is here with a squelch as the heavens open on us. Essential kit includes wellies and the new Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA8 waterproof digital camcorder

British summertime: cricket and cream teas, beer gardens and barbecues, Pimms and patios. And rain. Sleeting, sheeting rain. We've recently seen Glastonbury and Wimbledon on the same weekend, which is the sort of meteorological scheduling catastrophe that sees weather reporters commence with building an ark on the top of the Met Office.

Fortunately, you won't miss the action if you come equipped with waterproof kit and once you've invested in a pack-a-mac, your next purchase could well be the new Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA8 digital camcorder.

It's JIS IPX5 and IPX8 certified, which means it can be fully submerged underwater at depths of up to 1.5m for up to an hour at a time, which if you live in Gloucestershire is probably enough to film your swim to the corner shop to stock up on tinned food and sandbags. It has the traditional vertical Xacti pistol grip body for one-handed shooting, so the other hand can be used to cling to driftwood or wave to Sean Penn from the roof of your house.

On the camcorder side, the CA8 shoots at 60 frames per second with MPEG-4 AVCH/H.264 compression to SD/SDHC memory card. Face chaser function -- 'face chaser' cracks us up -- is capable of detecting up to 20 faces at a time in stills and six faces when filming a video. You can capture still and video images simultaneously and Sanyo claims a burst mode of 5fps.

The CA8 sports a 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD screen, 5x optical zoom lens, wind noise filter and red-eye reduction. It will be available in ice white, sea blue or orange juice orange and will set you back £239.99. -Rich Trenholm