|The still images are of good quality, the clearness is fine and one can say there is good detail of clearness. Unfortunately this camera has a limited setting on the field of compression. In fact the camera only contains one setting for the resolution at which one standard compression is set. The resolution can be set from 640x480, 1600x1200 until the maximum resolution 2048x1536 pixels. This resolution is sufficient, if correctly exposed, to reach an A4 enlargement. The colour rendering is full of contrast with real-to-live colours, contrast is perfect. The automatic white balance has hardly any problems, only when there is excessive fluorescent light, the white balance experiences some difficulties and the result is a slight colour cast. With an average image editing program it is easy to filter it out. Looking at the recommended price the resolution of the Xacti C1 EX is disappointing. A resolution of at least 4 Megapixels would have been more appropriate despite of the fact that a 10x15 or 13x18cm print comes out fine with a 3 Megapixel resolution.
A choice of five scenes can be made with the scene selection function, beside automatic: Sport, Landscape, Evening, High Sensitivity (ISO is enlarged up to 1600 ISO) and an enhancement of the 3D effect by blurring the background. What I miss at the Sport scene selection is the combination to put emphasis on a fast shutter time and a series of images. It still is a lack that a camera like the Xacti C1 EX is not capable of storing at least 2 images per second in a series. The so-called 3D effect scene and the High Sensitivity are not really useful in my opinion and don't add a lot to the user's convenience. An increase of the sensitivity at which the ISO value is increased to 1600 ISO is only helpful for the lover of a lot of noise. I'd rather see a Close-up scene or Sunset scene, programs that mean more to a starting photographer and are applicable much easier.
The filter menu of the camera gives access to a number of digital effects. There is a cosmetic effect available with emphasis on skin tones, Black & White filter, Sepia filter for brown tones, slim filter to change the vertical/horizontal relation and a ghost filter which creates a stripy effect. This effect will only work while also moving the camera when taking the picture otherwise the image will be sharp without stripy results. These effects are a nice application to do just that little bit extra with a digital camera than just the quick snapshot.
|The internal flash on the Xacti C1 EX is a part of the camera that doesn't really make us happy. The range is, and I don't mean to be rude, saddening and very disappointing! A range of a maximum of 1.2 meters not zoomed out until a maximum of 1.1 meter in telephoto will undoubtedly raise questions from the consumer who wants to use the beautiful optical zoom indoors or at a party in combination with the internal flash. Test images in a situation with atmospheric lighting give a high noise value in the background where the flash doesn't have any effect anymore.
Someone who is daring enough to make the step into the Expert menu meets various settings like: ISO value (50, 100, 200 or 400 ISO) setting. The noise values until and inclusive 200 ISO are excellent, at 400 ISO a slight noise is detectable, but not disturbing. The automatic white balance can be changed through the Expert menu to get a precise balance in bright sunny circumstances or cloudy weather or under fluorescent or incandescent lighting. In general the automatic white balance functions well and it won't be necessary to change it.
The camera has three different focus methods; normal focus at which a minimum distance of 80cm is required, a total focal range at which for wide angle 10cm and for telephoto 80cm distance is required and a Super macro focus at which specifically at wide angle a minimum focal range of only 2cm is reached! This function is only possible in wide angle; therefore a large distortion has to be counted in.
The Play menu offers divers possibilities. A choice can be made to show the images in some sort of slide show, or to show 9 images at once. Beside that the camera has functions like secure an image so it can't be erased accidentally, or the possibility to edit a movie. Showing the image is rather slowly, with intervals of 1 second.
The settings of the Xacti C1 EX are limited to automatic functions. Settings like aperture and shutter priority or manual operations are not possible. Even the light metering method is limited to a multi section metering. Indeed a new target group will have to be found because of the cameras' average retail price of ? 599 (recommended price even ? 749, inclusive 128 MB and docking station), because the camera will not be considered by the mass that easily.