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Canon XA11 Review

The Canon XA11 Full HD Camcorder is a portable run-and-gun camera that records in high definition and is designed for use in ENG, event coverage, and the production of independent and documentary films.

The camera has a CMOS sensor measuring 1/2.84 inches with a resolution of 1920 by 1080 and can record video at various frame rates up to 59.94 frames per second. Additionally, the camera has a 24p mode that provides a more cinematic sense. The inbuilt Canon 20x HD optical zoom lens offers an equivalent zoom range of 26.8 to 576mm when measured in terms of 35mm and is equipped with an 8-bladed iris for more realistically rendering highlights.

The DIGIC DV 4 image processor from Canon is the last component in the chain of picture creation. Canon’s Dynamic IS (Image Stabilization) mode is powered by this high-speed picture-processing engine, which reduces image distortion more than typical up-down, left-right image stabilization by adding correction for camera roll in three dimensions.

You will be able to have web-ready copies of your master footage available as soon as you stop recording thanks to the capabilities of the DIGIC DV 4, which enables the camera to concurrently encode your video to two distinct codecs and bit rates.

The XA11 is equipped with a color electronic viewfinder that has a resolution of 1,560,000 dots in addition to a 3.5-inch OLED touch panel view screen that has a contrast ratio of 10,000:1. The exposure, focus, white balance, gain, and shutter speed may all be controlled fully manually, and the camera also has auto options.

A pre-record buffer, peaking, zebra bars, color bars, and reference tone are some of the professional features included in the camera. The zoom speed may be configured to be variable, constant (with 16 distinct speed levels), rapid, normal, or slow. There are also 16 different speed levels available.

The top handle of the camera may be detached and has a zoom toggle, the record starts/stop buttons, an infrared emitter, a tally light, an accessory shoe, an external mic holder, two XLR connections with phantom power, and manual audio level controls. The XA11 comes with a headphone jack and a Mini HDMI connection already integrated into it. Additionally, it has a 3.5mm mini-jack for audio and video output that is composite.

You can record video to accessible media cards in both of the built-in SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slots simultaneously if the device has two SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slots. This enables you to generate a backup copy immediately to archive and protect your data.

Additionally, you can record high-resolution AVCHD or MP4 video files on one card while simultaneously producing a reduced data rate MP4 that is better suited for use on the web with the second card. It is unnecessary to pause shooting to switch out a full media card when utilizing two media cards and the camera is set to Relay mode. Instead, when one card gets full, the recording is automatically seamlessly switched to the second card.

Canon XA11 Sensor

The XA11 has a 1/2.84-inch HD CMOS Pro sensor that has 2.91 megapixels of resolution. Due to the size of the individual pixels, even while shooting in low-light settings, it is possible to achieve a minimum subject illumination of 1.0 lux.

20x Optical Zoom Lens

The Canon 20x HD zoom lens has a zoom range comparable to a 35mm focal length of between 26.8 and 576 millimeters. It also has an upgraded circular iris design that offers a more natural appearance with out-of-focus regions that are smoother and more attractive. Zoom speed can be variable, constant (with 16 levels), rapid, normal, or slow. It can also be adjusted to any of these speeds.

Image Processor with the DIGIC DV 4

The DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor collaborates with the sensor to produce photographs that have a reduced amount of noise and a greater degree of color depth. Due to the processing capability of the DIGIC DV 4, it is possible to simultaneously encode video to a variety of codecs and bit rates, and then record the encoded video to two distinct SD cards at the same time.

Canon XA11 Auto Focus

The Canon Auto Focus (AF) features include natural-looking medium speed, instant, and face detection AF, which can significantly reduce the effort required when photographers need to keep a particular face in focus in a jostling crowd or a similar situation. Other Canon AF features include natural-looking high-speed, medium-speed, and instant AF.

Canon XA11 Display

You can choose between 70% and 100% for the zebra bars that are offered to assist you in judging exposure.
As a focus help, the XA11 comes equipped with peaking and 2x picture magnification.
Color bars, as well as color bars with a reference tone, can be shown and recorded by the camera. The color bars are by the specifications established by SMPTE. There are three possible decibel levels for the reference tone: -12, -18, and -20.
3″ OLED Touch Panel View Screen with Electronic Viewing Field (EVF).

The touch panel view screen is 3 inches and has 1,230,000 dots. This allows for quick navigation through the menu settings and selection. The color electronic viewfinder has a viewing area of 0.24″, a resolution of 1,560,000 dots, and can swivel up to 45 degrees to allow various shooting situations.

Canon XA11 Manual Control

You can choose between manual and automated control of the camera functions with the XA11, allowing you to adjust the camera to the optimal settings for any given scenario. Exposure, Shutter Speed, Gain, Iris, Exposure Lock, and AGC Limit are some of the functions that may be adjusted.
White Balance has two different manual white balance settings in addition to its six different presets, which are Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, and both Fluorescent H and Fluorescent.

In addition, when a particular adjustment of the color temperature is necessary, the color temperature may be modified in 100K increments from 2000 to 15,000 K. This range of modification is possible because the color temperature is programmable.

The body of the camera includes five buttons that the user may assign. This allows you to personalize the camera to access features without going into the menu system.

Canon XA11 Audio

The XA11 has a microphone that is built in, and the handle can be removed to reveal two XLR Line/Mic level inputs that include +48V phantom power for attaching additional mics. The manual audio level controls are housed within the handle, which may be removed. Accurate audio monitoring is possible with a built-in 3.5mm headphone port that features 16 different volume levels.

Canon XA11 Outputs

The XA11 has a Small HDMI connector that supplies video and audio, and it also has an AV mini terminal for composite video (and audio) through a four-pole 3.5mm mini-jack. This gives you the option of superimposing the timecode over your video.

Canon XA11 Card Slots

The camera incorporates two card slots that are compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC formats, which enables a variety of recording options:
Dual recording enables you to record the same video to two distinct media cards simultaneously, each of which might have a different bit rate and codec applied to it.
Recording to both of the SD memory card slots at the same time is possible with the double-slot recording feature. This will provide you with an immediate copy of the material you shoot.
Relay recording is a feature that allows the XA11 to automatically transition from recording video from one memory card to another when the first memory card reaches its storage capacity.

Canon XA11 Modes

When shooting in extremely low-light environments, switching to the Infrared (IR) shooting mode will remove the IR Cut filter from the optical path of the camera. An infrared emitter built into the top handle that can be detached is a source of infrared radiation. An infrared diffuser that is also included helps to avoid the formation of infrared hot spots on the subject. In the IR mode, you have the option of producing a picture with the classic IR color of green or sticking with the default configuration of producing a picture in black and white.

Canon XA11 Wireless Connectivity

Downloading video from memory cards is made possible via an inbuilt Hi-Speed USB (mini-B) connector. USB. This port can only be used for output.
Port for remote control: This camera has a built-in LANC control that is a 2.5mm stereo mini-jack for remote control.

Canon XA11 Specs

Sensor ResolutionActual: 3.09 Megapixel (2208 x 1398)
Effective: 2.91 Megapixel (2136 x 1362)
Sensor Type1/2.84″-Type CMOS Sensor
Image StabilizationOptical in Integrated Lens
Capture TypeStills & Video

Exposure Control

Shutter TypeNot Specified by Manufacturer
Shutter Speed1/2000 to 1/6 Second
Minimum Illumination1.2 Lux at 1/30 Shutter Speed
0.1 Lux at 1/2 Shutter Speed
White Balance2000 to 15,000K


Focal Length3.7 to 73.4mm (35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 26.8 to 576mm)
Optical Zoom Ratio20x
Max Digital Zoom400x
Maximum Aperturef/1.8 to 2.8
Minimum Aperturef/16
Minimum Focus DistanceEntire Zoom Range: 23.6″ / 60.0 cm
Wide: 0.4″ / 1.0 cm
Filter Size58 mm
Control RingsFocus
Focus ControlAutofocus
Manual Focus

Video Capture

Internal Recording ModesAVCHD
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/29.97/59.94 fps [17 to 28 Mb/s]
1920 x 1080i at 59.94 fps [24 Mb/s]
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/29.97/59.94 fps [17 to 35 Mb/s]
1280 x 720 at 23.98/29.97/59.94 fps [4 to 8 Mb/s]
640 x 360 at 23.98/29.97 fps [3 Mb/s]
External Recording ModesNone
Fast-/Slow-Motion SupportYes
Gamma CurveWide DR
Broadcast OutputNTSC
Built-In Microphone TypeStereo
Audio RecordingAVCHD: 2-Channel LPCM Audio
MP4: 2-Channel AAC Audio
IP StreamingYes

Still Image Capture

Image Sizes16:9 JPEG
2 MP (1920 x 1080)
Image File FormatJPEG


Media/Memory Card SlotDual Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Video I/O1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRRS A/V (Composite) Output
1 x Mini-HDMI Output
Audio I/O2 x XLR 3-Pin Mic/Line (+48 V Phantom Power) Input
1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Input
Power I/O1 x Barrel (8.4 VDC) Input
Other I/O1 x 2.5 mm Sub-Mini (LANC) Control Input
1 x Mini-USB Output
Global Positioning (GPS, GLONASS, etc.)None


Resolution460,000 Dot
Display TypeArticulating Touchscreen LCD


TypeBuilt-In Electronic (LCD)
Resolution1,560,000 Dot
Diopter Adjustment-5 to +2


Focus TypeAuto and Manual Focus
Focus ModeAutomatic, Manual Focus


Operating Temperature32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C (Recommended)


Battery TypeCanon BP-8 Series
Power Consumption4.9 W
Tripod Mounting Thread1/4″-20 Female
Accessory Mount1 x Cold Shoe Mount
Built-In Video LightYes (Infrared)
Dimensions (W x H x D)9.1 x 7.1 x 5.2″ / 231 x 180 x 131 mm (With Grip)
7.2 x 4.3 x 3.3″ / 182 x 109 x 84 mm (Without Grip)
Weight2.49 lb / 1.13 kg

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