Sanyo's VPC-MZ1 Series Digital Camera uses internal correction filters and an algorithm known as "Real Time Interpolation" to produce 3-million pixel detail from its 2- million pixel CCD. The compact viewfinder camera has an impressive range of picture modes including wide dynamic range shot, where under and over exposures are taken simultaneously and merged to produce a single image, reducing under and overexposure in parts of the picture. The optical zoom can achieve 14x when combined with the 5x digital zoom and the 8MB CF card can be replaced by a 1 GB Microdrive to significantly boost memory. The scrolling interface is simple to operate but takes a while to get used to given the relative complexity of available functions for a camera of this type. The 1.8-inch LCD monitor on the rear of the unit lets you display and edit single shots or nine frames at once on the fly. The first frames of nine different video clips can also be displayed and a range of editing features such as the ability to cut and paste sections of video and extract still shots from clips are available inside the camera. The VGA video and sound recording that can be viewed on a TV and on both PC and Mac. The clips are high-quality - up to 30 frames per second - and using the 1GB Microdrive the VPC-MZ1 can hold three hours of five-minute clips on the lowest resolution setting. The high-speed processing necessary for video also means you can fireoff 15 still shots in 1.5 seconds and the AE Shift Sequential Shot feature enables rapid shooting with different exposures so that you end up with a choice of the best shot. Sanyo has also left enough room for an effective flash and the sound recording can act as a stand-alone feature holding more than 30 hours of audio. The VPC-MZ1 costs AUS$899.
About the Author
Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.All articles by Mike Hanlon