Sanyo Xacti CG6 Review

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$329

Pros: Creates good 640 x 480 video; Comfortable design for shooting video; Better-than-average sound quality

Cons: Form factor not good for portraits; Limited photo modes; Video quality not a massive improvement over a point-and-shoot's

Verdict: Solid video clip quality marred by a form factor ill-suited for capturing stills.

Setup and Ease of Use

The CG6's light pistol-grip is very easy to use; the camera turns on quickly when you open the LCD, and dedicated photo and video buttons are easy to see on the uncluttered control area. You can charge the camera by using a separate battery charger or by plugging the CG6 into a computer's USB port. This takes a bit longer but is far more convenient.

Still Photo Quality and Features

The CG6 takes good, solid 6-MP stills; details were sharp and color rendition was mostly on target, though reds were heightened slightly. But modes and options are skimpy: You can have the flash on, off, or on auto, and Sanyo adds only seven scene modes. Furthermore, the form factor that works well for video isn't as good for stills. The cam isn't really comfortable to hold when composing precise frames; a finger can block the flash easily, and tilting the cam up to snap portraits felt awkward. One bonus: The CG6 can shoot stills while recording video.

Video Quality and Features

The CG6's dedicated video functions mean that the clip quality is good. The MPEG-4 encoding keeps details fairly sharp during camera or subject movement. We also like that the resulting video conforms to iTunes (though there's no YouTube mode on this model), so users can drop their recordings right onto an iPod. And while the form factor undercuts shooting some stills, it's more comfortable than a standard point-and-shoot for taking video. Sanyo also bundles Ulead DVD MovieFactory 5.0SE, Motion Director SE 1.1, and Ulead Photo Explorer 8.5SE Basic to edit photos and videos. The CG6 supports SD Cards (up to 4GB) and SDHC cards, for about one hour of 640 x 480 video per gigabyte. While audio for both devices was unremarkable, the CG6 offered more natural overall sound and greater depth than the EX-S880.


The Verdict

For $329, only aspiring videographers should consider the CG6, which needs more photo options to be competitive outside the video world and doesn't broadly knock out digital still cameras in video performance.

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