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Old Apr 26, 2006, 3:45 PM   #1
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Hi,

I'm thinking of getting the C6 but want to know for sure that it's the cam I want before I spend the money on it.

If you have one, can you tell me how well does it take pictures of fast movement like cycling or skiing? Does anyone have any samples they can post?

Also, is there a long delay between pressing the shutter and it taking the photo compared to other cameras? That's the problem I have with my Mustek.

Thank you
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Old May 2, 2006, 5:00 PM   #2
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It takes a still image quite fast when pressing the shutter release - thisdelay is of course variable due to autofocus speed which is slower in lower light levels. You can also grab a still photo while shooting video, there is a slight interruption of video but it is brief. The C6 takesgood video in lower indoor lightbut not as good as most camcorders, outdoors they are excellent.

See my Xacti C6 review for conclusion text and samples


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Old May 3, 2006, 4:03 PM   #3
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Steve wrote:
"You can also grab a still photo while shooting video, there is a slight interruption of video but it is brief."

The problem, is that the very moment you chose to capture the still is likely to be the most interesting moment, and if the brief (about 3 or 4 seconds to caputure and save, as I recall) interruption means that the most interesting part of the video is missing, well the video is pretty much ruined.

I love lots about my c6, but one thing I don't love is this interruption problem.

A while ago I was taking stills and movies, and my wife was annoyed that I had only movies, no stills for her scrapbook, of our 2 year old, in a certain setting. I used the frame capure feature to step though the movie, and save the very best frames for her to print out. The resolution was not all that good, but it was far better than I expected, and the ability to capture the exact frames where he looked the best is an amazing paradigm shift. My next buy may be the "hd2," so in the future, I'll shoot several seconds of
video, then without autofocus delays and closed eyes, I'll capture the exact stills I want while reviewing the ultra-high resolution clip in slow motion.

As far as the c6 is concerned, my advice is this: If you're willing to carry two cameras, and want the very best quality in both stills and movies, don't buy the c6. But if you're looking for a good compromise, particularly the 9-pixel ISO 3600 low light performance, regret all the times you didn't have any camera, at all, and want a pocket sized camera, get the c6. I see someone posted something about the Nokia n93 phone, and I think that's something to watch, for people who always carry a phone, and want real (at lease [email protected]), not toy, video resolution.

I got my c6 from warehouse123, without incident.
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Old May 4, 2006, 3:25 AM   #4
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Cole22,

I echo what fdf said - I have hadsimilar experiences. In addition to that, I think it's important for people who have had decent to high quality video cameras to know that the C6 is still quite primitive by comparison. YOU CAN NOT BEAT THE C6 in terms of portability and ease of use, but it has significant shortcomings in the areas of whilte balance and image stabilization / anti-shake. I hate to say it on Steve's forum, but I think his review was too soft on the C6 in these areas, and seemed a bit "pro Sanyo" in retrospect. No offense Steve :-)

That said, if any C6 owners out there have found tricks to get the image stabilization to work well, please drop a reference to it here! I can correct the white balance problems with post-processing, but the shakey video is intolerable. In many cases, I have found the video to be less shakey with image stabilization turned off. It seems that the software searches too much for an "anchor frame" and shifts the image erratically, especially during panning. This is the first video camera I've had that can't handle panning like this.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and for the casual user who may not be a video editing guru, here's one thing to look out for with the C6. The MP4 video is 640x480 resolution - which is pretty good quality.However, the DVD standard is 720x480 or 706x480 depending on what you're trying to burn. What does this mean? Well, not much if you plan to watch the video on a PC / mac or played on the TV direct from the camera. But if you plan to dl the MP4's and make a DVD, you will have to transcode the video every time. I haven't found that to be a big deal, I need to post-process anyway to clip the video and correct the white balance issues, but some people just want to dl and burn, so this is an extra step. Just thought you should be aware.

And by the way, upon reading back over this post it sounds like I'm bashing my C6. I'm not. I like my camera but it's not perfect. Someone making the buy or not to buy decision should know about thisstuff.

Hope this helps!

Clatu

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Old May 6, 2006, 11:51 AM   #5
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I've had the C6 for a month now and I'm really pleased with it. I haven't had an issue with the auto-white balance on my camera, the colors look right, both indoors and out. Could there be different revisions of this cam? Is there a way to check the firmware version? I think I've decided not to use the digital image stabilization. It sacrifices resolution and it's only good if you are trying to hold a steady shotwith an extended hand. It appears detrimental if you are moving/panning. I get very stable video handheld if I follow the simple advice from the manual: hold my elbow against my waist (and stay put, don't walk, just pivot). While showing the videos to others on large TVs I've received many surprised comments about the quality and how steady it was... and that's without stabilization. Panning or movement, like shooting from a vehicle is much smoother without stabilization as well. Put this thing on a tripod and the video quality is amazing (steady image means more MPEG-4 data dedicated to details rather than key frames and movement).

I like all of the quick shortcut functionalities, like the ability to lock auto-focus, switch to manual focus, adjust exposure, volume etc., from the controls without entering the menus. The menus have many options, but it's a lot to navigate. Photos look great, I'm really pleased with the results. 5X zoom is really handy. 1cm focus gets almost microscopic detail.

As for the pause in video when taking a high-res photo, I don't find it that distracting. In fact it reminds me, while watching the video, that there is a high quality photo of that moment. Also, extracting a still from the video (camera functionality), while not photo grade, can be an acceptable option. For example, I've attached a still extracted from an indoor video (ISO: 450). Good enough for a scrapbook/webpage/email.

Only two things I've found to be issues, and I was prepared for both from reading this forum: 1) The flash is weak, only good enough to take high-res photos of a few people at most, not groups at night. But nightview and fireworks are great for night scenes with people in close foreground, and exposures can be long enough to take night scene stills. Video has been great under most indoor/outdoor lighting. 2) Indoors, in quiet environments, the auto-focus, zoom and general pressing on controls can be heard in the audio. The workaround is to keep your thumb on the joystick and lightly push up to lock the focus as soon as your subject is in focus. Both theseissues are due to the tiny size of the cam, I'm not sure they can easily address these given the format. I honestly don't think they could/should make a smaller (non-spy) video/photo camera.

Bottom line, this is a great tourist/everyday camera. When you're on the move you can carry this tiny unobtrusive device and it takes great outdoor photos and indoor/outdoor videos.
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Old May 7, 2006, 11:20 AM   #6
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Thanks so much to everyone for all the detailed answers!

Caelum, your capture from the video looks pretty good. I think it's of an acceptable quality for me if I don't want a video to pause.

I'm looking for somewhere reliable selling it in the UK for a good price. It's so much cheaper abroad but I'm not sure if I want to take the risk in case there are problems with it. Amazon.co.uk only has the C5 listed but it's more expensive than the C6 in US/Asia!
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Old May 7, 2006, 11:40 AM   #7
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Hey caelum:

Nice kitty you have! This is my shabby little ginger dog who desperately need a haircut.
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Old May 15, 2006, 5:22 AM   #8
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Hi All,

New to forum here, my first post...

I got my C6 3 months ago, generally has been happy about the video. However, I found the image in low light and the anti-shake function is as good as I expected.

Althought I did read thru the manual, I probably messed up some setting and thus not getting the best pictures out of the C6. I will post some pictures to show the problems I'm having.

Clive
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Old May 21, 2006, 9:34 AM   #9
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I bought my C6 with the purpose of taking video while scuba diving. A case is manufactured by Epoque, model number EHX-500X and also the EHX-400X for the C4. With this case you can use the camera, including all controls down to 50m/150ft. The camera/case cobination represents an extreemly economical way into underwater video, a "conventional" camera and case would cost at least 3 times as much. In addition the case is pretty robust and I would recomened one to anyone interested in filming outdoor activities from skiing to a day on the beach.

The camera works very well underwater and I have some great footage. I would upload some but you can't upload MP4s. If anyone is interested then contact me through the forum and I'll send you some. White balance is an issue but this is true of all underwater photography but the camera works well in the reduced lighting conditions and focus seems accurate too and usably quick. Most housings require both hands to hold, however the C6s one handed functionality is retained which is another big plus.

However, I do have some serious misgivings about the camera above the waves;

1 The flash is frankly pathetic, low powered, produces wierd skin tones and doesn't even have red eye reduction. This is a serious defficiency which is found on just about all other cameras regardless of price point.

2 The optics aren't the best. Even on highest settings the images appear soft.

3 The image stabalisation is poor and better turned off. Panning produces jerky footage even at 30 fps.

4 The most important problem is the extreem overexposure in bright lighting conditions. The exposure compensation dosn't seem to work in video mode. Is this a common problem or is there something wrong with my camera? Is there a firmware fix for this?

For my specialist application of underwater videography I can't recommend the camera/case enough given the bargain price. However far better video cameras are available at the price as are still cameras.
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Old May 23, 2006, 7:25 PM   #10
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spacemonkeyxx wrote:
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Panning produces jerky footage even at 30 fps.
A few people said this but this is not something I've experienced with mine. When I pan it's smooth, if I pan very fast then it just gets blurry like a normal video camera, but it doesn't get jerky. I suspect thiscould bedue to either the PC or the software you are using to playback the video. You need a powerful PC and good playback software. Or do you mean it's jerky when you pan while the digital stabilizaton is on? That's possible.
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