Sanyo Xacti J4
Review Date: November 5th 2004
The Sanyo Xacti J4 has a 4.23 megapixel, 1/1.8 inch CCD that delivers 4.0 megapixels. There are 5 image sizes available ([8M] mode: 3264x2448, [6M] mode: 2880x2160, [4M] mode: 2288x1712, [2M] mode: 1600x1200 and [WEB] mode: 640x480) and 3 compressions settings (Super-Fine, Fine, Normal) which are recorded as JPEGs. The 8M and 6M modes are interpolated up from the default using an in-camera algorithm. There are no RAW or TIFF formats. The camera features a 2.8x optical zoom lens that is equivalent to a 37–104mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 4x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. The camera uses Secure Digital (SD) or Multi Media memory cards.
There are no selectable exposure modes, such as auto, aperture-priority and shutter-speed priority, on this camera. Instead there are a large number of scene modes (12 in total) and a fully auto mode. The Sanyo Xacti J4 has 3 exposure metering modes (Multi/Center-weighted/Spot) and there are 6 different types of focusing available (5-point area Auto, Spot, Super Macro, Infinity, Manual and Continuous). In Super Macro mode the camera can focus as close as 2cm from the subject.
The aperture range starts at f2.8 in wide-angle and f/3.9 in telephoto, and the shutter speed range is 4 sec. (in Lamp Mode) – 1/2000 sec. There are 4 ISO speeds ranging from 50 to 400. There are 5 different White Balance settings to choose from (Sunny/Cloudy/Fluorescent/Incandescent/One push), plus a Full Auto setting. The camera offers exposure compensation in ± 3 in 1/3 EV stops, but there is no autobracketing of either exposure or white balance available. The Sanyo Xacti J4 has a 1.8 inch colour TFT LCD monitor which has 85,000 pixels. Coverage of the scene is 100%. There is also a traditional optical viewfinder (with no adopter control).
The Sanyo Xacti J4 has a normal shooting mode (single-shot) and a continuous mode, which allows you take up to 4 shots at roughly 0.5 second intervals. There are also 4 different self-timer modes (Self-timer - 2 sec, Self-timer - 10 sec, Self-timer sequential - 2 sec and Self-timer sequential- 10 sec). The built-in flash offers a range of different modes; Auto, Forced, Off, Red-eye, with Slow synchro mode possible in the Night View scene mode. To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor or the optical viewfinder. The Sanyo Xacti J4 has a high-intensity white LED assist light for low light conditions.
Movies are a highlight of the Sanyo Xacti J4. There are a range of different settings available ( mode: 640 x 480,  mode: 320 x 240,  mode: 160 x 120), all with with simultaneous audio. There are also two frame-rate options, 30 fps or 15fps, for each mode. You can also use the zoom whilst recording a movie (many cameras don't allow this) and copy your favorite moment from a video clip as a still image. The Sanyo Xacti J4 employs the QuickTime (Photo-JPEG) format, compatible with both Windows and Macintosh. As well as recording movies, the Sanyo Xacti J4 also doubles up as a voice recorder, allowing you to attach an audio clip to an image that you have taken.
The camera's dimensions are 101mm (W) x 46mm (H) x 26mm (D), and it weighs 128g without batteries and storage cards fitted. The camera is powered by a proprietary Lithium-ion battery. There is a a miniature mirror on the front of the camera to help with self-portraits!
Finally, the standard box kit contains a SANYO Software Pack 6.7 CD-ROM, USB cable, AV cable, 16MB SD Memory Card, Lithium-ion battery, Battery recharger and a Hand strap. You will need to invest in a few more SD Cards to store your images on, as the supplied 16Mb card can only store approximately 7 images at the default 4M file quality setting.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Sanyo Xacti J4 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.