The small and easy-to-use Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG100 aims to blend the capabilities of both a 1080p high-definition camcorder and a 14-megapixel camera. It's also shaped like a ray gun and comes in a range of natty colours. Plus it only costs around £230. What's not to like?
Jack of all trades
As part of Sanyo's promisingly named 'dual camera' Xacti range, you might expect the VPC-CG100 to shoot equally good photos and videos. Previous models, however, have often failed to excel at either, so we weren't exactly filled with hope when the VPC-CG100 came our way.
Aside from an extra zero in its name, the latest Xacti initially appears very similar to last year's Xacti VPC-CG10, sharing many of the same technical specifications and, potentially, many of the same flaws. On closer inspection, though, a number of small but important improvements seem to have been made.
Among them is the VPC-CG100's better video performance. In the past, we've found the automatic functions of Xacti models to be slightly lethargic -- the autofocus, for instance, has often taken an agonising second or two to work out what it's supposed to be focusing on. In our VPC-CG100 tests, we noted a marked improvement in areas like these. Consequently, it's a much more capable point-and-shoot camcorder than some of its predecessors.
Compared to previous models, the VPC-CG100 also offers advances in photo quality. Our test shots of spring flowers were crisp, without being over-sharp, colourful without being over-saturated, and extremely detailed.
Sanyo hasn't changed the VPC-CG100's design hugely since last year's models, but it still looks stylish, and it also offers some practical benefits. The VPC-CG100 is incredibly small and light, which means you're much more likely to take it with you on your adventures. Sensibly, Sanyo has retained the uncomplicated menu system and limited number of buttons.