Summary: I see all of the reviews over the years for this ancient Xacti and so many people have been done wrong by Sanyo and this camcorder. But, this is a dissenting viewpoint. It's 2012 and this camera is going into the sunset, so let me tell you what's good about it. I have owned many Canon, Nikon and Sony DSLR's/SLT's and film cameras, but I keep going back to this old Xacti to make images.
Summary: This works very well given its size. As a still camera it works well bright light but it is no Canon in dimmer conditions. teh Videos are reasonably good in HD mode but if you are expecting hdtv quality it comes up a hair short. All in all it is a great deal I am happy I have it .
Summary: I bought the HD1A because I wanted to shoot High Def video. The video this camera shoots is definitely better than SD video, but it doesn't look like broadcast HDTV either. Without being able to show you the difference the best way to describe it is that the HD1A produces small amounts of video "noise" and the less ambient light there is, the worse this problem gets. The problem, however isn't severe enough to make this a three star camera.
Summary: The quality of video is good in HQ standard modes. HD video is ok in outdoor lighting. Very pixelated indoors low light. This is common for most camcorders. The big benefit is the quality you get for the size. The stills are great. If you need a camera for on-the-go outside activities this is a great deal. If you want low-light functionality look at the $2000 Sony. Then again you can't put the sony HD in your pocket.
Summary: I was hoping to get a camcorder that looked cool, im not a fan of the rounded ones, but also took good indoor, lowlight footage. I almost got it here. It does a great job of picutes in almost complete darkness fairly close up, but the indoor footage left a lot to be wanted. Being able to take pics while filming is a good feature and the quality of the pics are great for 5MP.
Excerpt: If I had to produce a wish list of the characteristics for a digital video camera, then the Sanyo Xacti would most likely check off the whole list. It is very much a pocket-sized digital camcorder and possesses a lengthy ten times optic zoom, being not just exclusively capable of shooting high-level resolution 5 megapixels clear pics, but HD video as well. The Sanyo Xacti even has a built in narrator.
Summary: Seeing some of the other comments, and as the owner of an HD1 and an earlier version (C5?), there's a couple of points to make: * MP4 playback software that actually works was hard to find. It looks like the latest Real Player is ok, so long as your PC is fast. There are probably other usable software products as well now. Movies I took 2 years ago that seemed jerky on playback at the time now play ok using later software versions.
Summary: It's too bad there are so many people that don't. What were you expecting? "I know, I'll spend $500 on an HD camcorder and I'll be burning Blu-ray's in no time!" This is one awesome unit! And before you ask, I work in broadcast TV, so I know what HD camera's should and should not do. The first thing is they SHOULDN'T cost under $2,000, but this one does. Second, if it does cost under $2,000, you're not allowed to complain about the picture quality.
Summary: I've have had this device since about 5/2006 and have been relatively pleased with the results. Video in low light conditions is not great, but outdoors video and indoor/outdoor photos are fine. Though I do have a HD television, I tend not to view my videos on it. I transfer the video files to my MacBook Pro and view them with QuickTime Player. I think the video quality is great and just the fact I have instant access to the videos is a huge plus!
Summary: After vigorous research and investigation, I decided on this camera because of portability with quality. Bigger cameras may provide better HD picture quality but I believe you may lose lots of opportunities since the camera is not in your pocket. I used 4GB SD card to take about 1 hour of HD video. With two 2GB SD cards, I am pretty much covered in most occasions.