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Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders
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Old May 20th, 2011, 10:46 AM   #61
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Congrats David, looking forward to your report!
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Old May 20th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #62
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

UPS was busy today for some of us, I can't wait to get home from work my xf100 was delivered along with the wide-angle lens. I have a ton of testing to try, and compare to the xa10 I had.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 03:10 AM   #63
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Thanks for posting the comparison picture. It looks like if you attach the XLR input on the XA 10 they are both almost identical in seize. XF100 a little bit bigger but not a lot.

I might go with the XF100 as it looks like the XA10 is very difficult to get. I ordered an XA10 and have no idea on the leadtime.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 07:54 PM   #64
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

After having the cameras for a couple of days, I have found things I like and things I dislike about them. Both feel like they are well constructed. Thereís a definite upgrade to the build of the XF100, it feels like a pro cam. That said itís smaller than I expected and the HFG10 is a little bigger than many consumer HD cameras.

The G/X 10 touch screen menu takes a little getting used to, especially those of us who are familiar to more conventional controls. Honestly, at first go I pretty much hated it. Iíve spent years trying not to touch the screen and leave greasy little finger marks but that policy has gone right out the window. And for the love of God man, wiping on the screen to make is scroll?

In my frustration I let the 20 something wunderkid give it a go and he loved it. It operated just like the 10 other devices he plays with on a daily basis and he deemed it just fine and I swear he muttered something like ďold geezerĒ. But then again my hearing isnít what it used to be either. So Iím chalking the touch screen and menu changes up in the ďitís different than what Iím used toĒ category and see how I make the transition. I reserve the right to still hate them later.

The XF100 is much better in menu department but still is a change if you are coming from a more conventional camera, such as an XHA1ís. If you want focus, shutter or Iris pick only one, please. An extra ring or two would have been nice. There are many more controls on the XF100 and it is the easier of the two, for me to operate.

All three cameras, G/X10 and XF100 share the same lens/sensor combination. Comparing the image from the G/X10 against my Panasonic TM900 I would have to say it is not quite as sharp in good light, but that would require a test chart or a DVI pixel-peeker to discern. The HF G10 has the best low light performance of any ďconsumerĒ camera I have ever owned, and I have owned a few. It has a discernable advantage over my TM900 in low light performance. Both of those are just observations on my part, your mileage may vary.

For initial testing I set both cameras to their highest quality and played them back directly through a 50Ē screen. Both cameras were set to auto and all other controls were as they were fresh out of the box and since the sun was finally shining, this was done outdoors. Image quality was excellent on the HFG10 and very good on the XF100. The majority of those present liked the picture from the HFG10 over the XF100.

Indoors with the same settings the HFG10 was still excellent but the XF100 looked, well like poo. I did a reset on the XF100 just in case someone, somewhere down the line made some adjustments to the camera but this had no effect on the image.

After a little research I found this report for setting up the XF100:

http://thebrownings.name/WHP034/pdf/..._XF100-105.pdf

I added both presets to the camera and tried again. (Insert big sigh of relief here and a thank you to Alan Black.) Now we were getting somewhere.
(As a side note to see what these changes do in real time, plug your camera into a monitor/TV when you make the adjustments. That way when you are trying to obtain a certain look to your image, you will know what setting you need to adjust.)

These are different cameras and even though they share the same lens and sensor, the real decision is how are you going to use it?

If you are the kind of person who would rather spend time creating than tweaking your camera and working with different settings and such, get the G/X10. (And still have the manual functions should you get feeling really creative) Mine shot great out of the box and if like me you are a business who needs a great camera for online content, that camera will fill your needs nicely.

I used the face recognition feature on the G10 and it worked very well. How it followed a certain person in a group I have no idea, but I was impressed. The auto mode worked very well and handled switching from wide, to portrait, to close-up all on its own, with very pleasing depth of field in close-up.

Now if you want to get the best out of this sensor/lens combination and/or just want to join the 4:2:2 party for a good price, by all means get the XF100. Itís a much better camera and worth more than the $1000 difference in the list price. (Now I see itís gone to $3300 on the Canon web site)

Not to mention how much easier it is to use (at least to me) versus the touch screen menu on the G/X10. Just be aware that it may take you a little while to dial it in as opposed to the much friendlier out-of-the box G/X10.

A feature that the G/X 10 has that the XF100 doesnít (at least I canít find it if it does) is the digital 2X tele-converter function. If there is one shortcoming of these cameras, itís the relatively low powered zoom.

I know digital zoom is verboten on a pro cam and we all know how bad it looks. But since I already admitted I donít super glue my cameras in the manual mode, I can freely fess up to trying this feature also.

Surprisingly, it worked very well. I used it a couple times and NOBODY picked up on it, not even the critical wunderkid. (He could have been texting at the time though, he does that a LOT) I found that as long as I kept my subjects to less than 100 feet or so it was quite acceptable.

For me the G/A10 cams are not the B camera to the XF100. I am picking up the XA10 to go with the HFG10 for footage on my web site. Those are same day edits and it wonít require any additional post processing to match the footage between cameras. Also, you can hand these cameras off to an inexperienced operator and expect reasonable footage, which for me is a big plus. The XF100 will be used for jobs that need and or can fully utilize the latitude the better codec delivers. (Or when I don't want to deal with the touch screen!)

As a side note, my favorite mic, the Sennheiser 416 with Rycote softie looks ridiculous on the XF100, itís actually longer than the whole camera! Any suggestions for a compact mic would be appreciated. The great guys at B&H told me I donít need a new mic just a new holder, Canon model number XF300. The price seems a little steep but they assure me itís a perfect fit.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 09:38 PM   #65
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

David On the xa10 as noted you have the 2x teleconverter and on the xf100 you have the 1.5x,3x and 6x teleconverter I like the 1.5 and 3x but the 6x is not that clear to me. I loved the picture quality of my xa10 and thought the xf100 would be better. Im having a hard time trying to figure out how to use the best video settings instead of having to do double the work by long render times in Vegas and dropping down to xa10 .mt2s files. I'm missing something. If I play at 50mbs 108060i from the camera what an awesome video but my rendered version is not as nice. Whats your thoughts on the .mxf files from camera to viewing web, HDTV . Thanks
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 07:36 PM   #66
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Gerald

Thanks for the XF100 in-camera telecoverter info, I may have been going blind from trying to read two manuals at once.

As far as picture quality is concerned ďbetterĒ is a very subjective word. I consider the XF100 footage better if you want the latitude 4:2:2 color space gives you. Many people prefer a ďflatĒ image and do color correcting in post. I think itís that difference that you are noticing.

This being a new camera, it will evolve. My first XHA1 was the same way. It just took a while to ďdial it inĒ. Iím sure as more and more people get these cameras, the custom presets will begin to flow, itís just a matter of time.

And you bring up a good point that addresses the true ďcostĒ of the XF100 over the XA10. Do you have the software and hardware necessary to utilize this technology?

I have CS5 and it handles the .mxf files just fine. (The only Vegas I know anything about is in Nevada, so no help there.)

For the web, a good starting point is to try and shoot with your camera settings as close to optimal for the site you are uploading to. (Vimeo, Utube etc.) Remember the XF100 has settings other than 50Mbps, 720X30P @35Mbps looks pretty good. Again, the less you convert you footage the better off you will be.

The most cost effective way I have delivering the highest quality content for HDTV is on Blu-ray, but the customers havenít born that out. I have been burning them for 5 years but in the first three years even though I could do it, few customers had the players. They are becoming much more prevalent now. There are all kinds of flash drives and personal hard drive devices that do a bang up job that you could play your footage on also.

In making your choice between the XA10 and XF100, thereís an important thing you might consider if you want to fully utilize the benefits of the XF100. The hardware and software costs associated with this codec, along with the learning curve can get you playing in the deeper end of the pool (money-wise) real quick.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 07:07 PM   #67
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

David

You are right about the deep pockets with this camera, I want the adobe production suite but $1400 will have to wait for a whiIe. I have to sell some other hobby stuff just to cover the camera and wide angle lens. Your the second person that suggested adobe and I dont want to by a mac right know that may be next years addition.

My concerns with the xf100 is will I be able to get better shots that I got with the xa10 to justify the extra cost and learning curve woes. Im starting to figure it out a little bit but the xf100 out of the box was not as much of a wow factor to me in PQ but with the cp profiles im getting better images.

I just havnt figured out what the .mxf file is good for if I have to render right away to .m2ts or .mp4. I know it has more color info in it and I would like to either upload the raw file online and view it or maybe burn right to a bluray disk and play it. I hope someone comes out with a large external hdd or media player that plays the .mxf file right on my tv's.

I either got to make up my mind and see that the xf100 is better than the xa10 I had or return it, I like that its got all the manual buttons but I loved the size and ease of use of the xa10 ands its PQ was awesome. Thank for the help
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Old May 24th, 2011, 11:41 PM   #68
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Sounds like you may be better off returning the XF100 and WA for the XA10. Investing the diff in a good NLE such as Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium. It does a fantastic job with AVCHD as well.

That will give you far more value and potential than just having a cam and wide angle lens. That's what I would do. I jave CS4 now and am in the process of upgrading to CS5.5.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 09:49 AM   #69
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald OConnor View Post
David

You are right about the deep pockets with this camera, I want the adobe production suite but $1400 will have to wait for a whiIe. I have to sell some other hobby stuff just to cover the camera and wide angle lens. Your the second person that suggested adobe and I dont want to by a mac right know that may be next years addition.
If you are just looking for the NLE you might get the $300 FCP X + iMac or MBP (both starts at $1199) for $1500 instead of Adobe Production for $1400. That gives you just the editor of course.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 10:01 AM   #70
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

I'm going to try the Adobe Premier Pro 5.5 I did some internet checking and I bought it and it's downloading. It's a little never racking because you get what you pay for and it was cheap. Hope it works, hope it's not a scam but I called my Cc company and they said they were not aware of any wrong doings from the Internet Co. And would help me if needed.

I think if all else fails I'm going to spend the big money on a Mac and FCP
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Old May 25th, 2011, 10:10 AM   #71
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

A good rule of thumb is that any software that appears ridiculously cheap is probably dodgy. By cheap I mean 10-25% of the normal retail price. In this case the software definitely is dodgy for as far as I know only Adobe sell their software by download. If another company is selling Adobe software for download then it is pirated.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 10:38 AM   #72
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Gerald,

Nigel is correct and it sounds like you need a DVI. That stands for Digital Video Intervention and we have all been there. It happens when we start spending money in a "shotgun" effect to try and circumvent the higher than expected real costs that arise.

If nothing bad happens to your computer and or credit card from downloading the software, count yourself fortunate, but I would try and get a refund TODAY. And if you haven't installed it DON'T.

After reading your posts in the XF100 section, it sounds like you would be better off with the XA10, or using the XF100 at the lower settings. But you may want to keep the WA, it works on either camera.

Good luck, regroup and no more credit card charges for 72 hours! :)
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Old May 25th, 2011, 10:59 AM   #73
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

I just had to try LOL yes to good to be true called my CC company and they will dispute it for me. The site gives you a bogus Ser#. I think if I keep the xf100 I will get a new pc and buy from Adobe dealer or get a Mac. Ya only have 14 days to make up your mind from BH so jumped the gun.thanks

Edit. With in an hour of emailing Internet co and putting dispute in with Cc company I received a call from the Internet company asking what was wrong with software. Told them Ser# is bogus and I was scammed. They said they would refund ASAP and my cc company said it could be a few days to show up in post, thanks again, now I think I'll just down load a legit trial copy from adobe and see if I like it. and if so buy it from company like BH

Last edited by Gerald OConnor; May 25th, 2011 at 01:00 PM.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 05:15 PM   #74
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

David I took your advice except I was on the phone with BH telling them about my editing issues and long render times in Vagas Pro and they don't recommend vegas. They only recommend Avid and adobe premier pro but more the adobe production pro. The software guy was explaining that adobe has all the presets for the xf100 and outputs direct to Vimeo and other formats. So I bought a Adobe Production pro and if all else fails I will return the camera and get another xa10 but if this program is all that BH says and all you guys it should bd worth it. Thanks so much for the help and advice.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 11:27 AM   #75
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Re: Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10

Hi All,
I'd like to ask about the audio differences between these two cameras. I like to film trains, and have been using a Panasonic HMC40 for 18 months. It has been a great camera, with a great picture, but there is only an audio limiter and the difference in sound between a train approaching at a distance and then passing closely by means I have to limit the levels to not distort when it is at its loudest. Either that or accept severe flattening of the sound as a train passes by. So I miss a lot of the approaching sound. So I need auto audio gain to track the train for the longest time yet not spoil the close pass. I'm too busy concentrating on my pan and zoom, and it's beyond my brain capacity to include close audio monitoring. I sold the Panny for exactly that reason. Now I'd like to try either the XA10 or the XF100. The XF100 overview includes this:

" And both the built-in microphone and XLR inputs have the option for automatic or full manual gain control. To prevent variations in the recorded audio level, the dial can also be locked."

This sounds ideal to me. However the XA10 says this:

"The Automatic Attenuator feature prevents high volume distortion and optimizes audio quality in situations when sound levels quickly change. It automatically keeps the audio clean and even. Additionally, two XLR audio inputs with phantom power can be found on the detachable handle. Both the built-in microphone terminal and XLR terminals have the option for automatic or manual audio level control."

The XA10's standard mic's look dodgy to me: They do not point forward and seem likely to pick up my breathing, moving etc. But if I use my AT 875R then will "Automatic Attenuation" be all I get with the XA10, or does it in fact do auto audio levels the same as the XF100? This is almost as important to me as the quality of the video. I'm open to any and all suggestions beyond these two cameras also.
Thanks
Scott
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