Social networking addicts have a new entry-level camcorder to play with in Sanyo's VPC-GH4. For $200, this newest addition to Sanyo's Xacti line purportedly offers easy tagging and uploading of videos and pictures to sites like Youtube, Facebook, and Picassa. Twitter users will also benefit from the bundled software, which serves up a convenient link for use with the microblogging service, Sanyo says.
"More than ever, consumers are interested in easy to use imaging solutions that deliver with cutting edge technology," says Tom Van Voy, General Manager of the Consumer Solutions Group for SANYO North America. He added, "SANYO’s GH4 offers the perfect blend of style and performance while recording archive quality photos and videos that people will be proud to display on their HDTVs or share with friends and family from their computer."
Looking over the spec sheet, Sanyo has a compelling package in the budget camcorder arena. The $200 Xacti boasts 10MP photos, a 2.7-inch LCD monitor, Full HD videos at 1080, 60i (1920x1080), 10X dual range optical zoom, SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card support, and mini-HDMi port.
There are plenty of camcorders for landlubbers to choose from, but not so much for those who can't seem to stay out of the water. That's where Sanyo's new Dual Camera Xacti (VPC-CA102YL) comes in, which can record over 480 minutes of 1080p Full HD video and 14MP photos on a single 64GB SDXC card, all while submerged in up to 10 feet of water.
"Dual Cameras are packed with features and offer incredible flexibility," says Tom Van Voy, Vice President and General Manager of the Digital Solutions Division for Sanyo North America. This is the 'take everywhere' camera; water, snow, or land. Getting great HD video and still images is incredibly easy with the new CA102YL."
Other features include a 38mm wide angle lens, 5x optical / 12x double-range zoom, 2.7-inch LCD display (can be turned 285 degrees), and mini-HDMI port.
You'd look pretty silly trying to shove 6 microphones into your pocket, unless those 6 mics come integrated with Sanyo's new ICR-PS605RM Xacti stereo recorder.
Why so many mics? According to Sanyo, for true 360-degree recording, who arranged the microphones in a W-XY configuration, including an omni-directional stereo pair, an XY directional pair, and two directional mics for recording frequencies above 20,000Hz.
Other features include MP3 and PCM recording, various voice recording presets, 4GB of internal memory, a micro SDHC port, and support for up to 96kHz / 24-bit / 40,000Hz PCM sound files.
Sanyo's XACTI camcorder line has proven pretty popular in the Japanese market, and starting this March, the company will find out if the devices hold the same appeal in the U.S.
The models we're talking about are the DMX-CG110 NR and DMX-SH11, which have inexplicably been renamed to CG102 and GH2, respectively, along with a new upright model, theCG20.
All three units come capable of recording in 1080i at 60fps, with the first two models sporting a 14.4MP resolution. The XACTI CG20 tones the resolution down a bit to 10.7 megapixels, while adding SDXC memory card support and 5x optical zoom (which can be extended to 12x via Sanyo's lens technology).
Look for the trio to show up in March priced at $229 for both the XACTI CG102 and GH2, while the XACTI CG20 will run $199.
Green technology is an up-coming wave for the future, and Panasonic intends to be riding that wave when it crests. Panasonic has just announced it will “be the first to bring to the market a storage battery for home use, which can store sufficient electricity for about one week of use.”
Panasonic is building on its recent acquisition of a 50 percent share of Sanyo, which possesses advanced rechargeable battery technology. Through Sanyo, Panasonic intends to produce a lithium-ion power cell that will complement solar and fuel cells (neither of which can store electricity). Panasonic’s objective, it says, is to help us realize a “CO2 emission-free daily life.” Panasonic claims it has already test-manufactured such a battery.
Interestingly, Panasonic’s efforts aren’t targeted toward the eco-friendly markets emerging in the United States and Europe. According to Fumio Otsubo, the president of Panasonic, the battery is intended for “middle-income people in such emerging countries as China and India, which haven't been hit by deflationary pressure.” It would seem that Panasonic no longer views us as a profit-center.
It was just over a year ago that Panasonic first began showing interest in purchasing a controlling stake in its smaller rival Sanyo Electric, and while it may have taken 13 months to pull the trigger, Panasonic proved to be anything but gun shy this week in a deal worth $4.6 billion.
That's how much Panasonic said it will pay to buy a 50.2 percent stake in Sanyo after closing its five-week tender offer that began on November 5. Panasonic, which is the world's largest plasma TV maker, will pay 131 yen, or about $1.48 USD, per Sanyo share.
The deal is considered a win for both sides. For Panasonic, it will now be able to draw upon Sanyo's technical prowess in solar panels and rechargeable batteries. And for Sanyo, the takeover comes at a time when the company has been struggling financially.
Panasonic said it will most likely retain the Sanyo brand and keep its shares listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, BusinessWeek reports.
Panasonic earlier in the week said it had begun a tender offer to take over rival Sanyo for an estimated $4.4 billion, which would create one of the world's largest electronics companies. But before that can happen, China is forcing Panasonic to sell off assets in Japan if its to approve the deal, the Financial Times reports.
The landmark ruling, which is based on anti-trust laws introduced in August of last year, has some concerned over the growing power of Beijing's competition authorities. Those who study competition law say the Chinese demands go further than those of the European Union and make international companies take greater notice of China when considering acquisitions.
Should the deal go through, Sanyo is expected to become Panasonic's subsidiary by mid-December, or a year after the two companies first announced the potential takeover.
From wireless controllers to tail-less mice, it's a good bet you own a set of rechargeable batteries, but even these are good for only so many uses before they no longer hold a charge. Sanyo's "eneloop" brand, which was first announced in late 2005, has won a following thanks to the batteries coming pre-charged from the get-go and offering up to 1,000 recharges before giving up the ghost, and the newest batch performs even better.
According to Sanyo, a breakthrough in battery technology now allows its eneloop brand to be recharged up to 1,500 times, a 50 percent improvement over the original design.
"Incorporating new technologies for 'material,' 'manufacturing methods,' and 'structure' developed through the knowledge gained since the first release of eneloop in November 2005, the number of times a battery can be recharged has been increased by 1.5 times to approximately 1,500 times compared to conventional models, which makes the total number of times it is able to be recharged the industry No. 1," Sanyo stated in a press release.
The technologies involved include the development of a "highly-durable super-lattice alloy," an advanced manufacturing method consisting of a new additive being added to the negative electrode material, and the continued use of a thick, outer case.
Should Japanese electronics maker Panasonic Corp. manage to purchase a controlling stake in its smaller rival Sanyo Electric, Panasonic, who is already the world's largest plasma TV maker, could become Japan's biggest electronics firm as well. For that to happen, the company would have to come to an agreement with Goldman Sachs, Daiwa Securities SMBC, and Sumitomo Misui Banking Corp, all of whom are major shareholders in Sanyo.
The acquisition would put Panasonic ahead of the pack in the global market for rechargeable batteries, a market that is expected to see significant growth amid increased sales in portable electronics and hybrid vehicles.
"This appears to be the kind of deal where you add one and one and get three, instead of two," said Masayoshi Okamoto, head of trading at Jujiya Securities. "Their battery operations would truly be world-class."
Sanyo is currently the world's largest supplier of lithium-ion batteries, ahead of both Sony and Panasonic. The company can also boast being the seventh largest solar cell producer world-wide, another increasingly popular market sector that would benefit Panasonic should the acquisition come to fruition.