This camera/video camera hybrid is water- and snow-resistant, but is it critic-proof?

Product Overview

Overall rating:

81%

Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA6

Features:80%
Overall score:81%
Performance:75%
Value:85%
Design:80%
Image Quality:85%

Pros:

  • Eye-catching design, Reasonable pricing and output

Cons:

  • No way of protecting LCD screen, Plastic feel, Slow and rather clunky in operation

Product:

Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA6

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£300

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Like its C6 predecessor, the CA6 sports a 6MP resolution and 5x optical zoom, but adds a body resistant to water, snow and wet hands.

Features
Both JPEG stills (interpolated up to a max 10MP if required) and MPEG-4 format stereo sound video are recorded to a bundled 1GB SD card. There’s no dock included this time, but with a mains charger, AV and USB leads, it isn’t missed.

Design
This latest Xacti’s plastic body is closely moulded to the shape of a palm, and feels solid despite the lack of metal. One gripe: as the LCD cannot be rotated and stored flush to the body when inactive, its screen quickly attracts fingerprints. Main controls fall readily under the thumb, yet it’s easy to let your forefinger stray in front of the lens. Finding a firm grip is tricky.

Performance
Powering up in just over a second, you have to press the ‘photo’ button quite firmly, and there’s a three-second wait to review the shot if switching from record to review mode.

Image Quality
Exposure is even, colours natural, and purple fringing between areas of high contrast is only noticeable upon close inspection.

Value For Money
With a 1GB card, and £200 cheaper than its predecessor on launch, the Xacti CA6 is great value.

Verdict

Slightly fiddly to use and slow, but images are better than expected. The wow factor of its looks and a street price of £250 go some way to making this critic-proof.

Full Specification

Other:
-
Dimensions:
77 x 100 x 36mm

Power:
Li-ion with battery charger
Connectivity:
USB 2.0

Memory Card:
SD
White Balance:
-

Flash Modes:
GN 3m
ISO Range:
Auto, 50-400

Metering System:
-
Exposure Modes:
Program, 7 Scene, Mov

File Formats:
JPEG
Shutter Speeds:
1/2-1/2000 sec

LCD:
2in LCD 86,000 pixels
Sensor:
1/2.5? CCD (1cm) 6MP

Lens:
6.3-31.7mm (38-190mm) f/3.5-4.7