Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Canon XA10 Review

There is no getting around the fact that the Canon XA10 is quite probably the most compact professional camcorder that has ever been brought to our attention.

It became immediately apparent that the XA10 does not follow the same standards as other professional camcorders, which are characterized by having bigger form factors and a greater number of buttons located on the exterior of the camera.

Canon XA10 Appearance

Although the XA10’s body is not noticeably larger than that of some of its consumer cam relatives, it is immediately distinguishable from other cameras due to several features located on its outside. The removable handle, which is a good innovation as it gives another grip option for those handheld pictures, is maybe the most noticeable of all of the features.

Those difficult-to-capture low angles are now a snap to get thanks to the extra zoom control and lockable start/stop record button that is located at the front of the handle.

Nevertheless, the two phantom-powered XLR connectors, which come with manual audio controls and an external microphone mount, set the detachable handle apart from the competition and make it outstanding. When space is at a premium or you need to transport the item, having the handle that can be removed is a huge asset.

Canon XA10 Size

Your photographs will be captured by the XA10’s 1/3-inch CMOS Image Sensor; it will utilize the AVCHD codec; it will record at up to 24Mbps, and its color space will be 4:2:0. The 10x HD Zoom Lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 30.4mm–304mm, and when paired with an 8-blade iris, it creates photos that have a fantastic appearance.

Whether you’re filming for the web or want to give your video a more film-like aesthetic, having options in frame rates (such as 60i, 30p Progressive, and native 24p) gives you freedom.

Canon has been successful in including a large number of features that are essential for any professional videographer to possess. The Touch LCD is the primary access point for most cameras’ capabilities.

The XA10 makes it simple to access the capabilities that are often hidden away in the LCD menu, which is especially helpful while you’re attempting to take a picture.

When a user navigates to a certain function, the LCD will show a shortcut button. Because of the shortcut, making changes to our settings was a breeze, which helped to speed up the entire setup process. The Custom button and dial, which can be found on the rear outside of the camera, are another excellent option to alter the images.

When filming in manual mode, pressing the Custom button allowed us to adjust the shutter speed, iris, and exposure while the video was being recorded. This proved to be a beneficial feature when the shooting conditions unexpectedly changed.

On the other hand, whether shooting in Av (Aperture Priority) or Tv (Shutter Priority) modes, the Custom button can only adjust the iris or the shutter speed, respectively.

When it comes to video production, having subjects that are in sharp and clear focus is of the utmost importance, and the XA10 provided us with a wide variety of possibilities for accomplishing this objective. A good place to begin is with the focus ring in front of the camera. When Focus Assistance is switched on, it will automatically engage whenever the ring is moved.

It offers a magnification of two times, which makes it much simpler for us to produce a focused image. In addition, a color peaking feature, an edge monitor waveform display, and a focusing distance indicator are all helpful in establishing perfect focus.

Touch focus, Face Detection, and Touch & Track assisted us in focusing while reducing the time spent setting up the camera, which is ideal for shooting on the move.

To get proper exposure, in addition to having complete manual control of the iris, shutter speed, and exposure, having zebra stripes and a waveform display are both helpful.

White balance can be adjusted in 100-degree increments between 2,000K and 15,000K using the Kelvin settings, which are available in auto, preset, and custom settings as well as the Kelvin settings. These options are available to you so that your colors will always be displayed as accurately as possible.

The addition of SMPTE standard color bars and tone (tone of -12dB, -18dB, or -20dB) is also possible with the press of a button.

The XA10 contains 64GB of internal flash memory, which enables it to record for approximately six hours at the maximum quality option (24Mbps), as well as over 24 hours at the lowest quality setting (5Mbps). If you feel that that is not enough recording time, the XA10 has two memory card slots compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards.

When the internal memory of the camera reaches its maximum capacity, Relay Recording enables the camera to transition recording seamlessly from the internal memory to the SD memory cards. In addition, the SD cards have a setting for Double Slot Recording, which enables you to record a backup copy of your work while recording it on the card itself.

Sometimes the best things come in the smallest packages.

The XA10 may be a beefed-up version of Canon’s higher-end consumer models; however, it has plenty of features that will satisfy the professional looking for a camcorder at a lower price point. Additionally, it gives those who are new to professional camcorders a healthy push in the right direction without making them feel overburdened by an excessive number of controls or a large form factor.

Canon XA10 Final Verdict

The XA10 may be a beefed-up version of Canon’s higher-end consumer models; however, it has plenty of features that will satisfy the professional looking for a camcorder at a lower price point. Additionally, it gives those who are new to professional camcorders a healthy push in the right direction without making them feel overburdened by an excessive number of controls or a large form factor.

Canon XA10 Specs

Image Device1/3″ CMOS Sensor
Native 1920 x 1080
2.37 Mp; 2.07 Mp effective
Bayer pattern filter
Lens10x HD optical zoom (2x digital)
4.25-42.5mm (30.4-304mm, 35mm equivalent)
f/1.8, 8-blade iris
12 elements in 10 groups
58mm filter diameter
Horizontal Resolution900 TV lines or more (1920 x 1080i mode)
Focusing SystemTVAF plus External Phase Difference Metering Sensor
Autofocus (Instant AF, Medium AF, Normal AF, Face AF, Face Only AF), Manual, Full Manual
Minimum IlluminationAuto: 1.3 lux (with Auto Slow Shutter)
Slow Shutter: 0.1 lux
Built-in FiltersBuilt-in ND gradation filter (Auto or Off)
Minimum Focus Distance20mm (0.78″) – wide macro, 60 cm (1.97′) – entire zoom range
Zoom/Focus ControlZoom
Slider or handle; selectable shockless zoom mode

Zoom Speed
Zoom Slider: Variable speed/fixed speed (Fast/Normal/Slow, 16 speed level settings available in each mode)
Handle zoom: Fixed speed (Fast/Normal/Slow, 16 speed level settings available in each mode)

Focus Control
Manual: Lens ring, Touchscreen LCD (touch Focus, Touch and Track), Focus Preset
Auto: Face Priority AF / Face Only AF / Instant AF / Medium AF / TV AF
Iris ControlManual: Custom dial control; touchscreen control
Auto: Yes
Aperture Rangef/1.8 – f/8
Image StabilizationOptical lens shift system (angle & vector movement detection)
3 modes: Dynamic, Standard, Powered
Video Recording SystemCompression: AVCHD (high profile)
Color Space: 4:2:0 (at 24 Mb/s recording)Recording Modes:
MXP – 24 Mb/s
FXP – 17 Mb/s
XP+ – 12 Mb/s
SP – 7 Mb/s
LP – 5 Mb/s
Audio Recording FormatDolby Digital (AC-3) 2-channel, PCM digital recording, 16-bit; 48 kHz
Audio ControlAudio limiter; auto/manual settings via control dials on handle
Microphone attenuation; microphone level meter
Frame Rates50i, PF25
Pre-Record Buffer3 seconds
Scan ReverseUp/down, left/right, up/down/left/right image inversion
LCD Monitor3.5″ (8.8 cm) Touch Panel Screen, approx. 922,000 dots; 270° rotatable, backlight and brightness adjustment
Waveform Monitor and VectorscopesWaveform monitor
MarkersOn/Off (Grid, Horizontal, Center)
Viewfinder0.24″ (6.1mm) color, approx. 260,000 dots (100% FOV, adjustable brightness, color, contrast, +2.0 to -5.5 diopter)
MicrophoneBuilt-in zoom microphone (customizable frequency response and directivity)
External microphone is optional
Memory Card SlotSD Card: 2 Slots
Shutter Speed1/6 to 1/2000 (depending on Scene mode and frame rate)
Slow Shutter (SLS): 1/2 to 1/2000 (Low Light Scene mode)
Full Auto/Manual control (touchscreen LCD or control dial)
White BalanceAuto, Custom (2000K – 15000K in 100K increments), Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent H, Fluorescent, 2x Manual presets
ExposureMetering: Center-weighted average or segment evaluative (determined by shooting mode)
Compensation: -2 to +2 EV (13 steps)
Modes: Smart Auto, Face Detection AE; manual control via Touch Exposure and Exposure Compensation functions
Exposure Lock: Yes
Gain Selection0 dB – 24 dB (in 1 dB increments)
AGC (with maximum gain limit)
Infrared SystemGreen or white shooting modes via built-in IR lamp
Maximum Recording Time64 GB Internal Flash Drive
(Greater capacity is possible when SD cards are used.)
24 Mb/s: 5 hours 55 minutes
17 Mb/s: 8 hours 20 minutes
12 Mb/s: 11 hours 30 minutes
7 Mb/s: 19 hours 10 minutes
5 Mb/s: 24 hours 30 minutesClass 4 or higher SDHC or SDXC card required for 24 Mb/s and 17 Mb/s modes.
Still Recording MediaSDXC/SDHC/SD memory card
Still Picture ResolutionDuring video recording or playback: 1920 x 1080
Data TransferInternal: Internal memory to card, card to card (still & video)
Input and Output ConnectorsComponent (x1 Output)
Composite: 3.5mm A/V (x1 Output)
HDMI: Mini Type C HDMI 1.3 (x1 Output): 1080p50 output possible
Mic/Line: XLR 3-pin with 48V phantom power (x2 Input)
Stereo Mic: 3.5mm Mini Jack (x1 Input)
USB: Mini-B USB 2.0
Headphone: 3.5mm Mini
Remote Control Terminal: LANC (2.5mm)
Color BarsSMPTE
TallyYes
Accessory ShoeCold shoe
Power Requirements7.4V DC (battery pack, included)
Power Consumption3.4W
Battery BackupLithium coin battery (built-in)
Operating Temperature23 to 113° F (-5 to 45° C), 60% relative humidity
Dimensions5.1 x 7 x 8″ (13 x 17.8 x 20.5 cm) – including lens hood and microphone holder
Weight1.71 lb (0.78 kg) – not including battery, memory card, lens hood, mic holder
1.81 lb (0.82 kg) – fully equipped

Canon XA10 Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Detachable handle
  • XLR audio inputs and mic mount
  • Its small form makes it extremely portable
Need Improvements
  • A lightweight body lends to increased camera shake
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