One-handed wonder: VPC-C1EX Xacti

With a side-mounted 38mm (110 kilopixel) swivel TFT screen, the C1EX can easily be used one-handed and all of the camera’s function buttons are within reach of your thumb. It measures 69x34x108mm (WxDxH) and weighs approximately 175g (with battery and SD card).

The ability to capture digital stills and video simultaneously is one of the C1EX’s strengths. Using 5.8X optical and 10X digital zoom, digital stills can be captured at a maximum resolution of 3.2Mp (2048x1536) and video can be recorded in MPEG-4 at 640x480 resolution. The built-in microphone can record audio in the MPEG-4 standard of 48KHz/16-bit stereo format (using AAC compression). All recorded formats can then be stored on the supplied 128MB SD memory card, one of the largest memory cards PC World has ever seen bundled with a camera.

Under the usual testing scenarios, I found the C1EX was hard to keep still during close-up shots because of the one-handed design. An optional tripod can be affixed to the base of the camera to curb this problem. The supported scene modes include sports, portrait, landscape, night and candle mode.

The C1EX bundles in some great accessories including a docking station (useful for downloading data to the PC and recharging the battery), rechargeable Lithium Ion battery, USB and video cables, stand-alone battery charger, soft case and a Sanyo software pack.

If you are looking for a 3.2Mp camera with simple point-and-click functions, the C1EX may be a little expensive for your tastes. For users wanting extra functionality in a cool form factor, though, the C1EX is hard to pass up.

In brief: Sanyo VPC-C1EX Xacti
A classy looking camera, albeit a little pricey, offering great functionality and bundled accessories.
Price: $1199
Distributor: Camera House
Phone: 13 3686
URL: www.camerahouse.com.au

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