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Old Oct 13, 2006, 12:00 AM   #1
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I have been looking for a good MPEG4 memory card camcorder and the Sanyo Xacti's seem to be the best out there at the moment for their price.

The Xacti C40 seems to be well under $300 most places and the video that I have downloaded form Sanyo seems pretty good. I am mainly going to use it to record my young son. I had been using an Aiptek IS-DV (until I managed to lose it) which was pretty decent considering it's price. I replaced this with an Aiptek PVR which unfortunately has an issue with video distortion that Aiptek are now aware of. Whether they will do anything about this anytime soon however is anyones guess and my Son is growing quickly so I don't want to miss any of his silly moments! Hence I am looking at the Sanyo C40.

I have noticed that there are a distinct lack of reviews of this model which makes also makes me nervous as to why it's so inexpensive compared to it's siblings in the Xacti range.

How does the video from model compare to it's the C5 and C6 for instance? I am more interested in it's video than the stills. I am well aware that these cameras are not good in low light, but I am used to that with the Aipteks and it doesn't bother me as I tend to use them during the day.

I just want to know what others think of this camera and make sure I am not going to buy the problem child of the siblings!

Also, I take it these devices have a dual voltage Power Supply for travel? I assume so, since even my cheap Aiptek has it, but I just want to check.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 4:17 PM   #2
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Seems like there is very little interest in this particular model...!
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 4:43 PM   #3
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Amazon.com has some customer reviews of this model. As I recall it was the first of the Sanyo mpeg4 camcorders so it's to be expected that there's been some improvement. I use the C5 and like both stills and videos. I think the C6 is even improved somewhat over the C5.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 5:02 PM   #4
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The C40 is technically the third generation. There was the C1 (under the Fisher brand in the USA), the C4 (not imported into the USA) and now the C40.

If you haven't seen, Amazon is running a special on the C40 at $229.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 5:17 PM   #5
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Sanyo wrote:
Quote:
The C40 is technically the third generation. There was the C1 (under the Fisher brand in the USA), the C4 (not imported into the USA) and now the C40.

If you haven't seen, Amazon is running a special on the C40 at $229.
That is exactly why I am intetested in it. It was just that there are so few reviews for this model making any bad reviews not very statistically valid. One complains about blurry photos which I find hard to believe (did he just get a bad unit or is this user error?) and the other complains about sound being inaudible from a meter away although the Sanyo Clips seem ok to me. So I was trying to get correlation to see if these were isolated cases before I order it.


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Old Oct 14, 2006, 5:23 PM   #6
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I just bought it from Amazon for $230. I am mixed about it, but if you don't have the money for a C6 you might consider it. First thoughts - stills are good if you shoot only in high quality mode and get them focused. Focus seems very touchy though it has a spot focus mode which may help this (haven't tried it much). It is pretty easy to get a blurry picture if you don't pay attention to the settings and keep pretty still. In this way I don't really find it a pure point and shoot since I seem to have to mess with ISO, exposure comp, scene mode, and white balance to get it to do what I want. I wonder if the C6 is the same. As many people have pointed out, low light performance is bad and flash is weak. 400 ISO pics are noisy. Do not expect this camera to be good in low light. I find auto white balance poor also -- indoors I had to put it on incandescent since auto didn't do well.

Video is very reasonable for this price and the ability to carry it in a pocket. Outdoors it does well, though its focus doesn't track very fast. It works best when you stay fixed on a certain distance and keep one object or person at center. While panning it will mainly be out of focus so I wouldn't expect great sports video. When you're not panning you have to pay close attention that what you want focused is dead center. The image stabilization does seem to help, though it occasionally adds artifacts. Indoors get as much light on the subject as you possibly can or results will be poor.

Pluses: 5.8x lens, more than any of the ultracompacts as far as I know. Video outdoors is probably about as good as the C6 at $200+ less. Good mp4 compression that gives you a lot of video. Decent battery life. Price !!!!

Minuses compared to what I know of the C6: Resolution of course. Low light performance is not as good, I hear. Doesn't look as well made - fragile card and battery doors. Not as good an accessory package -- has no case. Steve's digicams says the C6 has good auto white balance so maybe they fixed that.

I already have a good Nikon and wanted something I can carry in my purse so this will work as an extra for me, mainly for video. I am thinking of it as an outdoor video camera and will get the Fuji F30 for indoors. I can get both for close to the price of the C6 so I think this is a decent compromise. Wish there was one great solution but I couldn't find it. (When the Fuji F series hits 8x I'll have it all except mp4). Overall, if your use is mainly outdoors, you shoot fairly long video so you can't get enough out of the ultracompacts, and you don't need high resolution for stills, this is a good deal at the price in my opinion. If you have the money, the C6 is better.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 5:31 PM   #7
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Just read the previous post about whether blurry photos are operator error, so I'll add a little more. When I first took it outdoors and shot on everything in auto, I got way too many blurry picture than is reasonable, so I think this is a real issue. It seems to default to 50 ISO too much and sets slow shutter speeds. By adjusting settings and learning the camera a little better, I now get very few blurry pictures, but still occasional ones I don't think should have blurred. I don't think this camera has a great focusing mechanism so you have to be willing to work with that and adjust settings and pay some attention to keeping still. It may help to keep it on sports mode when outdoors to force faster shutter speeds. Someone on Amazon suggested that I think. But don't expect great results out of the auto settings.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 5:45 PM   #8
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The C6 is almost twice the price and not worth it if the video is almost the same which is what I am mainly wanting this for. The low light abilityI expect to be poor in these devices. I am mainly looking to replace my Aiptek PVR (DV8800) which takes pretty good video all things considered. Unfortunately it has a serious oversharpeningfault which Aiptek are aware of now. The problem is they don't seem to be in a great hurry to come up with a fix. I have a miniDV and it's just not convenient enough like the MPEG4 devices so it ends up only being used for main events. The only thing concerning me is the focus problem. Is the C40 is the only one to suffer from this?

I was looking at the Canon A540 as a backup camera due to its great photos. If it wasn't for it's limited video length of 10 minutes or1GB Max file size it would make an ideal camera for both.

Like you,it maymake better sense to getthis and the Canon A540 for about the same price as the C6 alone.
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Old Oct 14, 2006, 5:53 PM   #9
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Thanks Jim,

I just read your second post as well. I guess I thought it's low price was too good to be true. I don't expect a camera to get everything right in auto all the time, but this seems like a serious problem. While I intend it to mainly be a video camera, if the focus doesn't work well, then murphy's law will dictate that the one time I get a good shot, I will have been using auto and got a blurry photo!

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Old Oct 14, 2006, 6:11 PM   #10
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I know what you mean. I have figured out a lot of settings that help, but will I remember them when I pull it out for a fast shot? I'll try leaving it on sports setting for awhile -- that would be easy. I really wonder if the C6 has a better focusing mechanism. Steve didn't mention any difference in that between the C4 and the C6.

This is a compromise camera for sure, but has some good points and is a good price. It just depends on what you want it for.
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