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Old Jan 17, 2006, 4:33 PM   #111
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I managed to drop both our Canon A75 and old Sony TRV-11 over the holidays, rendering them both inoperable. We wanted to replace both. After much research (including lots of time on this site), I had decided on a SD450 (camcorder was still up in the air). Then I came across Steve's C5 review. I was intrigued! Almost got the C5, when this board convinced me to wait for the C6.

Got my black C6 from warehouse123 yesterday.

Posted some pics here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobmatn...7594049885798/

Here are my first impressions:
  • Its esthetically beautiful. Even my wife, who isn't as susceptible to geek toys (as with most good wives) as am I, oohed and aahed over it (I love our black glossy finish, but it will show prints).
    [/*]
  • Its amazingly well engineered. The hardware ergonomics are great -- I've had no problems operating the unit with either hand, and I have large hands (see this picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobmatn...57594049885798 for confirmation!). All buttons are well placed and easy to operate. I love the mini joystick! One quibble -- mentioned elsewhere -- what is it with that cheap lens cap!!!
    [/*]
  • The software is very well designed. I learned how to use most functions without help of the manual within 15 minutes. Its very easy to change settings on the fly, and the quick-adjust settings (flash, focus) work very well.[/*]
  • The C6 is tiny! I was surprised at how tiny it is. It would be hard to operate as a camcorder if it was much smaller (again, see how my hand swallows it up). I did cover the flash with my forfinger on a couple of initial shots (and they were smart to move it over the lens in the HD version). I took the C6 with me when running errands today, and it went in my pants and coat pocket easily. The weight was hardly noticeable.[/*]
  • The dock works great. If you've got a Mac, you'll be in heaven. Plugs right into iPhoto and iMovie. In fact, this device with its elegance and functionality is something that Apple could have designed.
    [/*]
  • Despite all the discussion over picture quality, I am so far very happy with the results, even in low light. Yes, pictures and video are not as good as high quality dedicated devices. I don't know if its been mentioned, but filming while walking will require an extremely steady hand with this thing. No question, the difference is noticeable. So don't get it expecting not to trade off for the convenience. But the convenience is considerable. I am also quite happy never to have to sit through a real-time digitization of a mini-dv tape again (yes, I've got dozens of old ones that I'll have to deal with at some time).[/*]
If anyone needs to see more sample video, let me know and I'll put some up. The other samples you've seen here are representative. Its good, but you'll notice the effects of compression when viewing in high res. I haven't seen results on a TV yet.

One issue I anticipate is that if you take a long trip without a computer, you'll need more than one 1G or 2G card. But I'm expecting that prices will come down in time for our next extended trip!!!

--b
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Old Jan 17, 2006, 5:37 PM   #112
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If you are not carrying a computer to offload the pictures and video from the Xacti, but have any USB device with available space, such as an MP3 Player with a 20gb hard disk, you can use a USB bridge to connect the Xacti to the device, and download the files in the other USB device (Ie your mp3 player). An example of such a device below

http://www.delkin.com/delkin_products_usb_bridge.html

or

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProdu...duct_Id=245923

The only drawback at this point, is that these bridges operate at the USB 1.1 data rate so not very fast (12Mbps), so it takes about 25mn to transfer 1Gb, and another 25mn if you verify the transfer. Hopefully this will change in the near future and they will make them at USB 2 data rate.



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Old Jan 17, 2006, 7:16 PM   #113
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Thanks for the tip, Scrambler. That's just what I was looking for. And I have a 20G portable drive that will work great with that! I wonder if they'll come up with a USB2.0 version soon.
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Old Jan 17, 2006, 7:18 PM   #114
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bobmatnyc:

Instead of buying many 1 or 2GB SD cards, you can keep two or three handy and download the video files onto an external hard drive - not any external drive but must be one with OTG ("on-the-go") ability.

I posted about this some time ago:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...rum_id=52&

I have a C4 and I bought this no-name OTG external drive enclosure and hard drive separately. I also need an external flash card reader and a USB cable. The OTG external drive, like any other PC external drives, is fast USB 2.

My no-name OTG drive recognizes ALL file formats (still pictures, video, non-image files ....) and transfer them automatically. I tested this myself with random non-image/video files copied from my PC.

I have used my OTG on four trips and seven videos (plus numerous pictures), with no mishaps. The device bleeps and flashes red LED to warn you that there is error in data transfer, but this has never happened to me. In any case, you can be assured that you can start the download again, since the original files are never erased on the flash card (until you put it back into the camera to be formatted for reuse).

Nowadays there are also numerous ready-made OTG drives (with HD installed), many with built-in flash card readers. They are more expensive but price is coming down like all computer gadgets. Of course the data transfer is fast USB 2 speed with these internal card readers.

Do a web search on "OTG external hard drive".

Digital photo storage devices like image tanks and digital wallets use the same OTG principle - the device acts as the master, which recognizes the flash card as slave, to transfer all its content. Steve reviewed many such devices like Epson, Transcend, X- Drive (see "Accessory reviews" - "Image storage devices").

However, since these image tanks are designed for still pictures (this is before "video modes" are popular in digital still cameras), I am not 100% sure if they will recognize video files (like MP4, or even MJPEG and MOV - the latter two are popular files of "video mode" of digital still cameras). I shall PM Steve to ask if he still has some of these image tanks and see if he can test these.

*NEW* ----> Steve said ALL file types are recognized and copied by the digital photo storage devices he tested.



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Old Jan 17, 2006, 7:54 PM   #115
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Another great suggestion. Thanks, blindsight. A third option would be to get a video iPod, and the camera connector. Haven't been able to find out if the C6 is compatible, but it should be simple to test. A much more expensive solution, but then you also have the iPod to preview pics (video probably wouldn't play, 480x480 is the limit, I think)

blindsight wrote
Quote:
Instead of buying many 1 or 2GB SD cards, you can keep two or three handy and download the video files onto an external hard drive - not any external drive but must be one with OTG ("on-the-go") ability.
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Old Jan 17, 2006, 8:32 PM   #116
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agrees:

In fact Apple (iPod) and Sony (PSP) are relative newcomers. There are many other portable multimedia players (my fav is Archos), but I doubt these non-Apple devices would play MP4 video files (most would play DIVX/ XVID, maybe ASF/ WMV, maybe MPEG-2). However, these lesser brandname devices are less expensive than the iPod (especially comparing byte-for-byte and versatility) - but it doesn't mean they are not as good.

My favourite Archos: http://www.archos.com

budget: AV400 series (previous model)

"big" screen: AV700 series

newest model: AV500 series

These amazing devices can do much more than the average portable players - OTG host data transfer/ storage with windows explorer-style file viewer (built-in memory card slots); picture viewer; digital music player; digital video player AND recorder (from external video sources such as TV programmes, and even a "helmet-cam"!). However, before I go on forever, this is getting beyond whether the device plays MP4 or not.
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Old Jan 17, 2006, 8:40 PM   #117
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P.S.

Forgot to mention: the USB speed of the device (1.1 vs. 2) makes A LOT OF difference when it comes to transferring the files from the storage device to your PC.

However, you may not find a dramatic increase in speed from 12 Mb/s to a whopping 480 Mb/s from USB 1.1 to 2, when you transfer files from your camera/ memory card to the storage device.

This is because the transfer speed is now limited by the READ speed of the memory card - in the current state-of-art, the read speed of high-speed cards may be higher than 12 Mb/s, but never as high as 480.
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 11:44 AM   #118
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Here's another pic I took using a mini-tripod and the night filter. I'm pretty happy with the results!

See the original here:

http://flickr.com/photos/bobmatnyc/88191762/
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 12:06 PM   #119
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that looks just great!!!
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Old Jan 18, 2006, 2:43 PM   #120
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bobmatnyc wrote:
Quote:
[...]See the original here:
http://flickr.com/photos/bobmatnyc/88191762/
Very nice, and I see it was taken at full 6MP, but with a 2 second exposure! Thanks, but when I go to flickr, I can't see the original, just the same small version you posted here?
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