Sanyo Xacti VPC-C4 Review

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Sanyo Xacti VPC-C4

Features & Controls

The C4 features an internal 5.8x optical zoom lens with a 38mm-190mm (35mm equivalent) focal length and a maximum aperture of f3.5-f/3.7. This is an all-glass lens constructed of 11 lenses in 8 groups with 3 aspheric elements. It has an internal ND (neutral density) filter.

To avoid camera shake blurring, the C4 is equipped with a digital image stabilization system. A portion of the outer edge of the frame is cropped out when using the image stabilizer function during movie recording, it has no effect on still images.

Sanyo Xacti C4

The TTL contrast detection autofocus system automatically selects one of five focus areas. It features continuous area focus with a manual focus option with 15 steps.

The focus mode can be selected from:

  • Total (automatically covers normal and macro range / 4 inches to infinity in Wide, 32 inches to infinity in Tele)
  • Standard (31.5 inches to infinity)
  • MF (manually select from 0.79 inches to 26 ft.)
  • Super Macro (0.79 to 23.6 inches in Wide only.)

Sanyo Xacti C4

The built-in speedlight has modes for: Auto, Forced Fill-in and Forced Off. The maximum working range in wideangle is approx. 8 ft and 5 ft. in telephoto. The flash output reduces nicely for macro exposures but it's disabled when the Super Macro mode is selected.

Sanyo Xacti C4

The high resolution 1.8-inch trans-reflective color LCD has 130,000 pixels and serves as the live viewfinder, the C4 lacks any kind of optical vewfinder. The LCD monitor provides 100% coverage as a viewfinder and is highly visible even in bright sunlight. The backlight is adjustable with 7 levels of brightness, it can be turned off when in very bright, direct light to conserve battery power.

Sanyo Xacti C4

The monitor can be swiveled a total of 293°, turn it upwards to simulate a waist-level viewfinder or swivel it around to face the front for self-portraits.

Sanyo Xacti C4

Located around the Xacti label on the LCD cover are the two stereo microphones, the speaker is on the side next to the power button.

Sanyo Xacti C4

The controls - the main power button is under the LCD. The REC / PLAY switch on top controls the operational mode. On the back are two shutter releases, the left one is for taking still pictures, the right one is for taking movies. Between is the zoom lens control which functions as the magnify and index buttons in play mode. The 4-way controller is for navigating menus and selecting images in play mode. Press it straight in to accept menu selections or in record mode it enables the quick review. In record mode press "up" to activate AF Lock, press "down" to change focus mode, press "left" or "right" to adjust exposure compensation. The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menu system and if held for 2 seconds in record mode it lets you adjust the LCD brightness, in playback it enables display of the image information.

Sanyo Xacti C4Sanyo Xacti C4

When the camera is in its docking cradle, the A-V, USB and power cables are plugged into the back of the cradle. When connected to a TV set, the included remote control (see below) can be used to control playback from across the room in your favorite easy chair.

The docking port which can be fitted with the included adapter that allows connection of the A-V output cable (stereo audio, S-Video and RCA video), the Digital cable (USB 1.1 speed compliant and PictBridge direct-print compatible) and the DC IN jack for the AC power adapter

Sanyo Xacti C4

Included is this infrared remote control which can be used when the camera is in the docking cradle. The padded leather carrying case will protect your camera when it's not being used and has room for a spare battery and SD card.

Sanyo Xacti C4

The Xacti C4 stores its data on SD Cards and depending on the sales region, it may be bundled with a 512MB or 1GB SD card. SD cards are currently available up to 2GB, we tested the C4 with the speedy and spacious SanDisk Extreme III 1GB SD card. Note that Sanyo specifies the use of SD cards only, I tried a MMC-plus card and it did not work.

Storage Capacities (approx.)

Sanyo Xacti C4

  • The maximum continuous shooting time at TV-SHQ or TV-HQ is 1 hour. The maximum continuous shooting time at TV-S is 2 hours and 30 minutes. The maximum continuous shooting time at Web-HQ and Web-S is 3 hours.
  • Up to 9 hours of continuous audio recording is possible

Sanyo Xacti C4

The C4 is powered by a proprietary DB-L20 3.7v 720mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery. Up to 130 4.0M images can be captured in still image mode or up to 60 minutes of TV-HQ video can be recorded per charge. Or a total playback time of up to 170 minutes.

Sanyo Xacti C4

The battery is automatically charged whenever the camera is placed in the docking cradle. A second battery can be charged outside of the camera when placed in the AC Power Adapter's battery slot. It takes a maximum of 90 minutes to recharge the battery.

Photo (c)

The optional Sanyo EHS-400X underwater housing offers the necessary protection for outdoor use and is waterproof to a diving depth of 45 meters. It can be used with the Xacti C4 and C1 models. Read more about it over at

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