A first glance of the E1 left me impressed. It looks like a gun, and feels like one too. My bad comparison apart, I like that it can fit in almost any nook or cranny of my bulging duffel bag when I go on vacation. It comes with a sturdy carry bag, so you don’t need to worry about scratches when the only place left to port it is next to the iPod.
It shines a deep lime green, with polished white on one side and brushed grey in the middle. The camcorder’s petty handy, and although it does feel heavier than you would expect from something that looks so small, it’s not something you'll mind after you give it a shot.
Why do I like this form factor? Well, there’s less strain on the wrist for one. If you buy any Sanyo camcorder, you will be relieved to find the usual buttons in their usual place. The playback and the start/shut button are hidden behind the 2.5-inch LCD screen, which swivels 285 degrees. I would have liked to see a semi-diagonal swivel that some of the more advanced handycams offer.
The E1 is truly amphibian. It offers great clarity both in water as well as on dry land. The manual specifies an allowable depth of 1.5m (5 feet). I dragged it well below that and it didn’t show any strain from the extra pressure, but I'd advise you not to try anything so foolhardy.
The camcorder mainly relies on the SD card to store videos. To enable it to shoot and record more in less space, the E1 uses AVC/H.264 video compression. Usually MPEG4 camcorders will take up more space. How did they manage this? Well, Sanyo has manufactured a dedicated Qpixel brand H.264 video compression IC for this very purpose.
The interface can support up to 8GB. Don’t be content with 1GB though, for you get less than an hour of video, and it wouldn’t really be worth it. I tried it with our 4GB card, and faced no problems at all.