Sanyo's Xacti VPC-HD1010 is a high-definition camcorder that's much smaller than your typical HD model, making it ideal for carrying with you around town. In fact, we found the VPC-HD1010 to be an exciting little device, full of features and capable of capturing impressive videos and still photos.

When we picked up the VPC-HD1010, the first thing we noticed was its solid feel. It weighs 311g (11oz) with the battery, and you hold it as you would a pistol. The 2.7in LCD opens up and extends out like LCDs typically do on camcorders. It's interesting to note that despite the VPC-HD1010's small design, its LCD is just as large as those found on regular-sized HD camcorders such as the Canon Vixia HF10.

With the camcorder in your hand, you can access all of the controls with your thumb. The ring of buttons and switches atop the VPC-HD1010 looks intimidating at first, but it's actually quite intuitive to use. The centre holds two record buttons: one for video, the other for still photos.

A switch on the left side of the ring controls zoom, while a switch on the right side puts the camera into playback or recording mode. A Menu button rests at the bottom of the ring, giving you access to the camera's settings.

The Photo View button at the top of the ring lets you switch the field of view back and forth between photo view and movie view. Video can be shot at 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio, while photos are shot at 4:3. If you're shooting video at 16:9 and decide you want to take a still photo, the Photo View button changes the aspect from 16:9 to 4:3 so you can properly frame your still photo. A mini joystick is used to navigate through the camcorder's copious set of features.

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