The new Sanyo Xacti series of digital camcorders are doing a pretty good job of getting rid of the old side-handgrip design that camcorders have been using since forever. It's adopted a vertical design that lets you hold the camera a lot more naturally, without stressing your wrists. We checked out the high-definition camcorder from the Xacti series – the HD2. While on the subject of stress-free wrists, I might add that the HD2 is extremely light to hold at 230g (including the battery).
All the functional controls are located at the back of the camcorder, namely the zoom toggle, separate buttons for shooting video and taking a still picture, menu, etc. Even the switch for record and play mode is right there at your thumb's disposal.
Only three buttons are located under the screen flap of the HD2: one for switching to High Sensitivity mode, another to switch between high-definition and standard definition resolutions, and finally the On/Off button. The good thing is that the camera automatically switches off when you put the screen back in the closed position and automatically starts up when you raise the screen.
The screen, as in all camcorders, is tilt-and-swivel. So you can get some cool camera angles when shooting your video. Its rotation angle is 285 degrees, so rest assured, you have ample options to play with.
Overall the camera design is clean and very simple to follow even if you don't refer to the manual to know what's what.