The days of tape in camcorders are numbered as many more cameras are either recording straight to hard disk or to SD card.
And as there are no moving parts, these cameras are becoming cheaper to make for manufacturers. So when the first Xacti cameras came out a couple of years ago the buying public took to them like a fish to water.
And that’s exactly the way the new VPC-CA8 takes to water, like a fish. The reason: it’s completely waterproof, up to 1.5 metres. That means you can take it with you to the beach or the pool and not worry about water damage.
The CA8 can shoot both stills and video. The stills camera is fair enough, with an 8 megapixel CMOS sensor and a 5x optical zoom. The flash works well and there is a full range of camera settings, including “face-chaser” to let you get your friends in focus.
Video is recorded to SD card (not included) and is compressed into MP4 format. Video footage is also good quality, but don’t expect to be wowed here, because you’re recording straight to SD it’s compressed quite a bit. Video looks good during the day, but you’re not going to be too thrilled if you want to film at night, even with decent interior lighting.