Sanyo Xacti VPC-C1

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Sanyo Xacti VPC-C1

Pros

  • Size, battery life, MPEG quality, useful USB docking station

Cons

  • Included SD card too small, tiny size makes recording stable handheld video difficult

Bottom Line

The Sanyo Xacti VPC-C1 is a combination digital camcorder and digital still camera that takes reasonable still images and surprisingly good quality video.

Would you buy this?

One of the smallest and lightest video cameras on the market at only 155 grams, the Xacti VPC-C1 looks more like a large clamshell mobile phone than a video capture device.

The Xacti is a breeze to operate, with simple, single-handed operation of the record and playback buttons and control over the 5.8X optical zoom within easy reach of the thumb. A useful joystick/menu button combination allows you to delve deeper into the settings when needed.

The Xacti captures still images at a resolution of up to 2 megapixels (interpolated up to 3.2 megapixels), with image quality good enough for 6" x 4" photo prints.

It records video to an SD card in MPEG-4 format, with the highest resolution mode being 640 x 480 pixels, shot at a rate of 30 frames per second (fps). Alternative rates include Web-HQ (320 x 240 at 15fps) and Web-S mode (176 x 144 at 15fps).

Video and still images are stored on a removable SD flash memory card. The Xacti is supplied with a 128MB SD card, which only gives you around 8 minutes of video at the highest setting. Purchasing a much larger SD card is highly recommended.

We found that the video was, at its highest quality setting, close to VHS quality. There is no widescreen mode.

The 5.8X optical zoom is excellent. The Xacti also has a 10X digital zoom, but this should used sparingly as the results are less than satisfactory.

A useful docking station serves as a video-out point should you want to copy video or stills to tape. It also provides USB 2.0 connection to a PC or Mac and acts as a battery charger for the camera.

The lithium ion battery was very effective, with one charge in our testing lasting for more than an hour of video and dozens of still images using the onboard flash.

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