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Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG20
Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG20
Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG20

Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG20

We've given the CG20 a grade of A-.
This product is ranked
40th of 75 in High Definition
26th of 48 in Media Card
1st of 1 in Sanyo
3rd of 9 in Pocket Camcorders

Editor's Review

The Sanyo VPC-CG20 is the most budget-conscious of Sanyo's HD lineup this year. It pulls this off by cutting a few features offered by the higher-end models, but it still has an impressive set of functions. This camcorder records in HD video, shoots still photos at 10 megapixels. Unlike the other models released by Sanyo, it doesn't offer the new Double-Range zoom option, but it still gives you a decent 5x optical zoom during both video and photo capturing. Its vertical-style body is super-compact and has a cool thumb-trigger one-handed layout, too.


  • 1080i HD video
  • MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format
  • 10 megapixel still photos
  • 5x optical zoom
  • 2.7-inch LCD monitor
  • Burst shooting
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Mini HDMI output
  • Captures to SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: Mar 01, 2010

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Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG20 Reviews

Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG20 Reviews by Camcorder HQ Users

  • 4.0 out of 5
preview issues during recording (john — 08/05/2011)
Im really pushing the limits of this little camera. My kids and I are making a short movie with it. I've constructed a 20' jib arm for the camera and I need to see what it's recording on a larger monitor close to me. In playback it plays fine on any standard rca or hdmi set. The problem is when I record it puts the external monitor in a standby mode or blue screen. This of course presents a problem when you need to see what your shooting from 20' away. Any thoughts?
  • 4.0 out of 5
Awesome dual-purpose HD camcorder / still camera, a bit weak in low light (Yves Dehnel — 06/02/2011)
I've been a Sanyo fan since 2001, as they were the first to market a combination digital camera / camcorder that performed well in both functions. The VPC-CG20 is my 4th Sanyo (and my 3rd in the Xacti series.) For $129 on sale at Radio Shack I believe this was a total steal! This one does full HD video and 10 MP still pictures. New features include burst mode still pictures (great and practical for action shots) and face detection. The digital stabilization seems to work well, it doesn't cause the "wobble" effect seen on earlier models. Video and still shots are sharp and colors are accurate, especially outdoors. The unit is very convenient to use and starts up fast. Despite the small set of buttons it has lots of controls, such as scene settings. It's so small I take it everywhere. The only negatives, as in previous models, are battery life (1 hour in video mode - I always carry some spare batteries) and noticeable noise when shooting video in low light situations. Also, a red-eye reduction feature for flash photos would have been nice.
  • 5.0 out of 5
confused (stennerboy — 03/26/2011)
What are you people on about.This camera is brill.I use mine all the time and i've had no prob with it at all.I bought mine for £95 on e bay.I get very good playback on my very old laptop and one thing that hasn't been mentioned is the sound.I record a lot of live band gigs and the sound is very good with very little distortion if any. I've only ever used a basic sd card that cost me £3 on e bay. I've got a cg 10 as well and that's brill too.
  • 3.0 out of 5
Video quality very good, stills quality only mediocre (Davey Jones — 02/20/2011)
I've the CG20 for a number of months now and have shot several videos and taken quite a number of photos. I'm very impressed with the video quality - if shot at the lowest hi-def mode (SHD) the picture looks smooth on a TV using a mini-HD cable. The file sizes are large but if you use an SD-HC card or better then you should get a lot of recording time. Other good points are the convenient pocket size and ease of use including the menu in advanced mode. People mentioned about the lack of light sensitivity while filming in dark areas but that can be rectified by upping the ISO mode to say 400 or above rather than keeping the recorder on Auto which seems to default to a lower value. This camera boasts a high 10mp stills definition which i.m.o. doesn't reflect the picture quality at all. The images appear grainy once uploaded to the computer screen and it turns out that the bit depth is only 72dpi which is really quite disappointing. My old camera, before it packed up was 8 years old and took photos at 300dpi. Can anyone tell me what's going on here or how one can increase the resolution scale as I can't seem to. For a very new camera like this you would expect full resolution photos with a high bit depth. All in all this is between Average and Good as the stills quality is the main let-down here.
  • 4.0 out of 5
Great camera in its class (Ron — 02/16/2011)
I've been using the VPC-CG20 since Christmas. It's a great little camera and takes great video. My only gripe that I have with the camera is that it has a very poor battery lifespan. At full charge, I will not be able to fill up an 8GB card at full resolution. I've had to buy an extra battery to extend the usage. Luckily they aren't too expensive and I plan to get a couple more.
  • 1.0 out of 5
christmas video memories gone (Beth Van erp — 12/26/2010)
Going back TOMORROW!!!!!! The video didnt save to my computer, only sound! did not copy to SD card. All my Christmas was on this. NOT HAPPY!!!!!!!
  • 5.0 out of 5
Helpful hints on Sanyo VPC Cg20 (Dr. Dave — 07/22/2010)
I have been reading everyone's comments. Here are a few thoughts. First, the camera is the best buy for the money and size for sure. I also have a Flip MinoHD and the Sanyo is far superior. The Flip gives you no options at all and no still photos. I bought and returned two Samsung HMX U20 camcorders and took them both back. They were terrible, sound didn't work right, video herky jerky. I thought it was just a lemon but the second one was the same. The Sanyo takes superior video all the way up to 1080p and excellent 10 megapixel stills with built in flash. As others have suggested, don't buy a cheap SD card, spring for a somewhat more expensive Class 6 SDHC card, an 8 gigabyte one should sell for about $18 - $20. That will get you a couple of hours of video. Playback of video shot with the Sanyo will depend on your computer and what software you use. An older computer will not play these high definition videos well no matter what. But even a brand new one may seem off. For example, when I take 1080p video and play it with Quicktime on my brand new 21 inch iMac, the video is not right, it's a bit herky-jerky, although the same clip shot in 720p seems to play fine. But the same 1080p video played using VLC player is perfect (VLC is a free video player). The Quicktime codecs seem off to me. Meanwhile I have found that I can't see any difference between video shot at 720p versus 1080p so I am shooting all my video in 720 at the moment. If this is true you could buy the Sanyo VPC CG10 for $123 and save some money as well, since it shoots in 720p. I also find that by resizing video for email using the free software MPEG Streamclip, I could take a 30 megabyte 20 second clip and resize it to about 2-3 megabytes with very little loss of clarity, and those resized videos will play well on just about any player. Try playing around with settings on the Sanyo. I find better results with noise reduction turned off. I set the focus on spot rather than auto. Also, buy yourself an extra battery on ebay for about $5-$7, so you won't run out of juice. For the money this Sanyo is just the best, providing everything you need in a compact very affordable camera.
  • 2.0 out of 5
disappointed (Karen — 04/30/2010)
I bought this at a Radio Shack. I also bought a couple of 8-gig cards to go with it. I didn't see the pics until I returned home from vacation and loaded them onto my computer. The video can be choppy, and the pics are funny looking. Either they are grainy and the colors are not right, or the subject is too dark (the fill-in flash doesn't). If the light is just right and the subject is less than 3 feet away, the resolution is good. I should have just got a disposable camera and saved over 200 bucks.