Xacti CA65

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Fri 2007/07/06 19:01 JST in Gadgets
The latest Xacti video camera by Sanyo - the CA65.
I owned the first Xacti back in 2004 (my ancient review here) and then the Xacti C5 in 2005 (review here). After using the C5 for a while, I realized how crap it was. They made it smaller than the original C1 but the lens got smaller too meaning absolute crap quality in low light conditions. Even by day, the quality was grainy.
I was fed up of the Xacti series and was going to go for the Panasonic SD3 at 104980 yen but after looking at many video samples for this xacti CA65, I decided to go for it. Cost me about 41000 yen on Rakuten.
Xacti is about the only flash memory based video camera that saves in a format compatible with Macs (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) The myth of "Macs being good at video editing" - dont know where that came from considering that you have to convert most movie formats before being able to edit on a Mac.
The usual crap that comes in the box. A video cable that I will never use (never used it with the previous Xacti's) and a manual that I never read because it contains too much info (like a whole page with diagrams on how to insert a battery.)
The speaker for listening to playback on.
Konomi-chan is todays model.
The CA65 is waterproof down to 1.5 meters - you can see it in action in this clip. I chose this model over the CG65 because I can take it to the beach (Okinawa to be precise ^^)and not worry about the sand or water damaging it.
A bit bigger than I thought it would be but can live with that for the convenience of not having to convert it on the Mac.
The strip of metal holds the stereo microphone.
Comes with a 6Megapixel camera.
The lens has gone back to being the same size-ish as the first 2004 model. The bigger the lens, the more light gets let in and the better quality the final clip will be.
Power button. The Xacti will also sleep when the viewer is closed.
No cover included with the CA65 this time which is fine as I never used the cover on the previous two models.
The screen is gorgeous - bright and huge at 5cm x 4cm.
Konomi's bottom is also bright n huge ^^;
Records about 40mins of VGA quality video on a 1GB SD card.
Viewer flips over 180.
The big round rocker button with the smaller button in the center is a bit awkward to use. The button placements on the previous models were much easier to press.
Uploaded a raw sample here - 3.36MB file at the highest quality the Xacti can handle. The sample was taken on the day of the Dance vader shooting.
Quality is not amazing but not bad given the convenience of the unit size and file format. I just wanted something which will let me get upload something to the web in the shortest possible time. The Dance Trooper clip was taken on the Xacti too but was terribly compressed by YouTube.
Battery compartment is protected by a rubber sheet underneath the cover to prevent water getting in. The battery is the same since the C1 (thank you Sanyo) and the USB connection is located here too. I can mount the Xacti as an external drive on the Mac.
The most uncoolest case I have seen.
The battery charger however is most cool.
And this is the reason why the charger is cool - that bundle of shite on the left is the charger for the C1!
Folks outside Japan can look for this on Jlist (or ask them to get it for you)