Sanyo takes the plunge into high-def, 14mp underwater shooting with the Xacti CA100

By Naomi Mackay,

Whether you’re snorkelling, on the beach, or just plain stuck in your average Great British summer scenario (ie. wet), the latest offering from Sanyo will let you take high-def video and 14mp still shots at depths of up to 3m (that’s about 10ft).

The Sanyo Xacti CA100 has come out just in time for the school holidays, ready to be taken on holidays both abroad and in the great British outdoors.

Sanyo-Xacti-CA100

While 1080p high-def video is already available for water lovers in the shape of the Kodak Playsport and the Toshiba Camileo BW10, the Xacti CA100 blows them out of the water (sorry) with its 14mp still capabilities.

The pistol-grip design, which naturally lends itself to more active users, whether you’re treading water with the other arm, or holding a brolly, is similar to that of its predecessor the Xacti CA9, which failed to impress its critics by falling down on the quality of its photos. Hopefully, the Xacti CA100 has come up to the mark, offering improved video and stills quality. A nice touch is a dual record button, which allows users to take pictures instantly even while shooting a movie.

As well as the distinctive design, the Xacti CA 100 ensures it stands out thanks to a choice of bright yellow or pink versions – you’ll never lose those on the beach. Or if you’re feeling less than adventurous, there is a black option.

A 6x optical zoom is included in the package, with the added enhancement of a 6x “Advanced Zoom”, which crops the image sensor, rather than just blowing up the pixels, which is the case with your regular digital zoom.

There’s a wide-angle 35mm lens, with high-def video being shot at 60fps, and the 12x Double Range Advanced Zoom will help you capture even distant events underwater (why do I keep thinking about shark attacks?) There’s an underwater filming mode that automatically adjusts colour and contrast ration to help you achieve true-to-life colours under the water and Sanyo says it has an improved digital image stabiliser to keep footage smooth (again, I’m picturing shark attacks – “It’s okay dear, the beast ate the other arm, and thanks to the image stabiliser, I got a great shot of the whole thing.”)

Other technical niceties include a 2.7in TFT LCD display, recording to SD card and the new high-capacity SD XC cards and MP4 format for easy uploading to Facebook and YouTube. Eye-Fi card compatibility means you can upload videos and images to your social networks from any hotspot. (“I’m sitting in the hospital now, but here’s the footage of Gerald getting his arm chewed off by a great white.”)

The Sanyo Xacti CA100 is out now for the princely sum of £349, but if you take into account the fact that it may well be good enough to replace both your video and still camera, that makes it altogether more palatable (just like Gerald’s arm).