Sanyo VPC-PD2BK pocket HD camcorder shoots 10-megapixel stills with 3x optical zoom

Sanyo adds the VPC-PD2BK pocket camcorder to its Xacti line, featuring 1080p HD video, 10-megapixel still shooting and a 3x optical zoom.

Long before Flip Video took the pocket camcorder market by storm, Sanyo had already come out with several pocketable video recording devices in its Xacti line of hybrid digital cameras/camcorders (the original Sanyo Xacti C1, released in 2004 could shoot 640x480, 30fps MPEG-4 movies as well as 3.2-megapixel stills). Well Sanyo just announced the latest in the long line of Xacti devices, the Sanyo VPC-PD2BK, which eschews the usual pistol-grip form factor for a decidedly Flip-like design.

While it does offer the requisite easy uploading to Facebook, YouTube, Picasa, etc. as well as a built-in, flip-out USB connector, the VPC-PD2BK is no Flip. Firstly, like the rest of Sanyo's current "Dual Camera" line of camcorders, it also shoots high-resolution still images (10 megapixels in this case). Secondly, it actually sports a 3x optical zoom lens. And it has a built-in flash. But perhaps the best feature of all is its $170 price tag for full 1080p video recording. Its most direct competitor would seem to be the recently announced Panasonic HM-TA1 which also shoots 1080p video at 30fps and is priced at $170. Though the Panasonic sports a sleeker design and is a bit slimmer and lighter than the Sanyo model, it can only record 8 megapixel stills and doesn't offer an optical zoom.  Look for the VPC-PD2BK to hit stores in September.