Published on May 11th,2007 at 2:11 AM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

Sanyo Xacti, the buzz cam power in your pocket !

Sanyo has been very active on the Super Small Camera market with its Xactis, its immediate success pushed Panasonic and the D-Snaps from the reigning champion, to the challenger’s seat. Let’s take a look at what this last version of the Xacti is capable of.

The first thing that comes to your mind when you hold the Xacti DMX-CG65 is “how could they put so much technology in such a tiny box?”. This “toy” is as big as a pack of cigarettes (68 x 100 x 35 mm and 150g) but Sanyo managed to put a digital camera, camcorder, flash, “large” screen, stereo microphone, control buttons, SD card reader and all the connectivity that you need in… this is the ultimate weapon for all the buzz-men wandering in the streets of the world, no matter what you wear, the Xacti will fit in your pockets and take pictures, record videos or audio in the blink of an eye… really, really impressive.
I can already hear some saying that most products of this size are just “gadgets” and often offer nothing more than mediocrity in terms of visual quality… and I can’t say that they are entirely wrong… but not with the Xacti !
I was surprised by the quality of the videos and photos which is as good as any middle range product from the most famous companies, but more about that later.

Effective Pixel Count Approx. 6.0 megapixels
CCD 1/2.5-inch, 6.37-megapixel CCD (total)
Recording Media SD memory card, SDHC memory card compatible (up to 8 GB)
Recording File Format Still: JPEG (DCF, DPOF, Exif Ver2.2 standard)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (ISO standard)
Audio: 48 kHz sampling, 16-bit, 2-ch, AAC-compression (stereo)
Resolution (Pixels) Still:
[10M] 3680 x 2760
[6M-H] 2816 x 2112 (low-compression)
[6M-S] 2816 x 2112 (standard-compression)
[16:9] 2816 x 1584
[3M] 1536 x 2048 (vertical)
[2M] 1600 x 1200
[0.3M] 640 x 480

[TV-SHQ] 640 x 480 (30 fps, 3 Mbps)
[TV-HQ] 640 x 480 (30 fps, 1.5 Mbps)
[Web-SHQ] 320 x 240 (30 fps)
[Web-HQ] 320 x 240 (15 fps)

Lens f = 6.3 – 31.7 mm (equivalent to 38 – 190 mm on a 35 mm camera)
5.0x optical inner-zoom lens, F: 3.5 (wide) – 4.7 (tele)
Auto focus: 9 groups, 12 lenses
Built-in ND filter
Photo Range Standard: 10 cm (wide)/80 cm (tele) to infinity, Super macro: 1 cm – 80 cm (wide)
Shutter Speed Still: 1/2 sec. – 1/2000 sec. (flash: 1/30 – 1/2000 sec., lamp mode: max. 4 sec.)
Video: 1/30 sec. – 1/10000 sec.
Digital Zoom Shooting: Max. 12x
Playback: Max. 58x (in [10M mode], depending on the resolution)
Focus Auto (Stills: 9-point AF/Spot AF, Video clips: Continuous area AF), Manual (16 steps)
Scene Select (Program AE) Auto/Sports/Portrait/Night Portrait/Landscape/Snow & Beach/Fireworks/Lamp*5
Filter Function Standard/Cosmetic/Monochrome/Sepia
Photometry Multi-section measuring/Center-weighted measuring/Spot measuring
Sensitivity Still: Auto (ISO 50– 400), Manual (ISO 50/100/200/400/800/1600, switchable)
Minimum Illumination for Movies 7 lux (Auto, 1/30 sec.)
2 lux (Lamp mode, 1/15 sec.)
Exposure Correction ±1.8 EV (in 0.3EV steps)
Self-Timer 2 sec. or 10 sec.
White Balance Auto: Full automatic TTL
Manual: Sunny/Cloudy/Fluorescent/Incandescent/Sampling
Flash Auto/Forced/Off
Flash Range GN = 3 (10 cm – 1.7 m [wide], 80 cm – 1.3 m [tele])
Audio Microphone: Built-in stereo
Speaker: Built-in mono (L/R mixed output)
LCD Monitor 2.5-inch amorphous silicon color TFT LCD
110,000 pixels (100% coverage, 7-level brightness)
Interface AV output*(Video & audio): composite video, NTSC/PAL, stereo audio
AV output* (Audio only): 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack
USB 2.0 in high-speed mode (Storage Class + PC Camera + Video Class)

* The AV output can be used either for video & audio or audio only.
Power Source Lithium-ion battery*(DB-L20, included), Battery charger (VAR-L20NI, included)

* Can also be charged from PC via USB cable.
Approx. Battery Life Stills: CIPA standard 155 images, Video clips: 70 min.
Playback: 200 min.
Dimensions (W x H x D) 67.7 x 100.3 x 34.5 mm (when LCD is closed), Volume: 144 cc
Weight Approx. 150 g (main unit only), Approx. 169 g (including battery and SD card)
Operating Environment Temperature: 0°C – 40°C (32°F – 104°F); Humidity: 30% – 90% (non-condensing)

In the hands
Simplicity, one button to start/stop video recording, another one to take snapshots at any moment (even while recording videos which will pause it…) and that’s it !! Of course there are zoom in/zoom out, playing/reading, menus… buttons. The small size doesn’t make it hard to manipulate, even for those who have large fingers, everything is pretty straight forward, well placed and you shouldn’t screw up that much.
As you can see, the Xacti DMX-CG35 is a pure “push and shoot” tool, and for me it has been a real pleasure to hang around with it during a couple days to shoot all the types of things that I wanted; once again, the size is a big advantage, because you’ll always find a place to put it.

The video
Remember that it’s a camcorder, so this better be a good point and… it is, the quality is really enjoyable but there is, in my humble opinion, one downside: the 640×480 VGA resolution! A 720×480 (NTSC) or 720×576 (PAL) DVD-like resolution would have been so much better! As a result, the videos are more destined to web-sharing (Dailymotion, Youtube…) than anything else, and that’s a shame.
Here are a couple video tests (Quicktime needed):
- interior (7.55Mo)
- macro (5.4Mo)
- exterior, 5x zoom (2Mo)
- exterior, x5 zoom (6.85Mo)
- exterior, stabilized x5 zoom (7.20Mo)
- various exterior videos without stabilization (39.9Mo)

The Killer-Test !
Introducing to you with this review the “Killer-Test” for the video part in order to see what each product is really capable of !
Download the Killer-Test ! (5.42Mo)

The Stabilizer is not really good, and weird micro vibrations appear on screen when you use it… in the end, it isn’t very useful unless you really shake a lot… another good point though, comes from the possibility to edit your videos directly from the Xacti, perfect to keep the parts you want, delete the rest, and get some space back on your SD card !

The photos
The haters who were predicting an horrible image quality for photographs will once again be disappointed because, one more time, I have been surprised by the Xacti! So ok, we are nowhere near the quality of high end reflex digital cameras, but still, this is far from bad and the overall level is similar to most middle range digicams. Just take a look at the gallery, entirely made of pics taken with the DMX-CG65.

The connectivity
There is not much but…there is just what you need!
The mini USB will please 99.99% of the potential buyers, and it’s a “true” Plug-n-Play device: no driver or software needed, your computer will show it as an external HDD… one last thing; if you want to edit, make sure your software supports the .mp4 (h.264) !

Super small
Super light
Good picture quality for this range of product
SD cards support
Autonomy (easily 1 day of action)

VGA instead of DVD type resolution

I wish I could have kept this Xacti DMX-CG65 (especially the green version that i love) !
It is very easy to use, practical, able to record videos in no time and as much as you want… the only downside and fact that makes me hesitate to buy one is the VGA (640×480) resolution when a DVD standard like 720×480 NTSC or 720X576 PAL would have been much more enjoyable. As a result this product is mostly destined to internet, buzz/web videos.
All in all it’s a very good product, it simply depends on what you plan on doing with it; a sure thing is that it’s certainly the perfect tool for all the videopodcasters out there !!

Category Review
Sanyo Xacti, the buzz cam power in your pocket !Sanyo Xacti, the buzz cam power in your pocket !Sanyo Xacti, the buzz cam power in your pocket !Sanyo Xacti, the buzz cam power in your pocket !Sanyo Xacti, the buzz cam power in your pocket !Sanyo Xacti, the buzz cam power in your pocket !
Sanyo Xacti, the buzz cam power in your pocket !Sanyo Xacti, the buzz cam power in your pocket !Sanyo Xacti, the buzz cam power in your pocket !Sanyo Xacti, the buzz cam power in your pocket !
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  • David

    It’s a really good review ! :winks:

  • Jinx

    Look like a decent camera, but there is really no wide mode on it ?

  • David

    Jinx -> in fact it’s look like a 28mm wide… but in specification it’s writing 38mm, and no wide lens option to plug on it.

  • brd

    how does this compare with the sony pc 350 or the sony dcr pc 1000

    any comments as i want to buy one for my skydiving and dont know i this would be ideal or not..

  • Aaron

    If you want a camera for extreme sports such as skydiving or the like, you might consider SANYO’s latest camera, the CA65 (or E1 in America).

  • caspian

    Does the CA65 (or E1) shoot the same quality video and stills? I am curious to whether it is the same camera in a protective package, or is it a different camera all together?

  • Aaron

    The CA65 is a completely different camera. It really is designed more for rugged use, although you should probably go test one at the store before buying it to make sure it is what you want…

  • pj

    When reveiwing video clips on the camera is the playback volume audible without the use of external headphones?

  • Nex

    I just bought this at a local electronics store.
    It is working very well. I am surprised at just how small it is and the very wide set of features.

  • canucks

    Thanks for your work.
    It gave me a good help to get it.



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