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Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders
For the Canon XA25, XA20, XA10 and all VIXIA / LEGRIA Series AVCHD camcorders.


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Old June 24th, 2011, 09:16 AM   #1
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Good Consumer Match to XA10?

I started a thread in the Stage Events forum regarding the purchase of new HD tapeless cameras for plays/choral shows that I currently shoot. Without going into the long, boring details of my business, it has been suggested that I go with one "pro" cam and one or two consumer cams locked down at different angles/zooms.

The Sony CX series has been highly recommended for that scenario when paired with something from the pro line.

While I'm brand loyal to Sony, the XA10 has a very attractive price point and features I need (more lighting condition control and line-level audio inputs). Aside from the HF G10, which only has about a $500 price difference, is there another model Canon that holds it own alongside the XA10? It definitely needs to be HD and tapeless. If a consumer cam can match up and look as good, I have no problem with that. I work as a "one man band", so the smaller cams would be left on their own with only a glance-check every so often.

I don't want to start a similar thread, but it was suggested that my questions regarding the Canon line would be better answered here. Any opinions and options are welcome, as I have no set path as to how to proceed.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 06:10 PM   #2
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Re: Good Consumer Match to XA10?

Colour wise all the consumer Canons seem to be a pretty close match which means you should have no problems with an HFS or HFM model, but obviously you compromise your manual controls a bit.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 07:25 PM   #3
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Re: Good Consumer Match to XA10?

Thanks, Evan.

The idea is that I'll have one "Pro" "A" cam to get my close-ups, pans, zooms, etc., with one of the consumer models locked down in wide angle as a "B" cam. A more budget-friendly way to move into HD and tapeless acquisition.

Many in the other thread are doing this with Sony models and achieving great results. I'm a Sony person, but the price point and look of the XA10 has me thinking....
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Old June 24th, 2011, 09:48 PM   #4
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Re: Good Consumer Match to XA10?

I'm thinking the same as you Rey, to have a consumer "B" camera locked down on a wide shot and using a Pro "A" cam to get all the important shots. I had done this previously with a Sony HVR-Z1 and a Canon HF100. Just recently though, my Z1 completely bricked up on me and the zoom rocker switch on my HF100 developed a problem where it constantly zoomed in all the time. Of course, both of this happened 5 minutes before the start of a wedding I was supposed to shoot.

I ended up having to shoot the whole wedding with the HF100 locked on a wide shot (using gaffer tape to hold the zoom rocker switch in the wide position), and a Canon 60D (with only a 24-105 lens, 1 SDHC card and a half charged battery) to get all the main shots. Not a fun day at all.

Be careful about using a consumer camera as your "B" camera. I've checked several forums and the zoom rocker switch problem that my HF100 had is apparently a common problem. Not sure if Canon has since then fixed that in their later models.

I'm hoping they did as I'm planning to use my newly acquired XA10 as my "B" Cam and an XF100 (when I can FIND one) as my "A" Cam.
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Old June 25th, 2011, 12:03 AM   #5
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Re: Good Consumer Match to XA10?

You might want to check out the HFM41/HFM40/HFM400 from Canon. They all seem to be built from the same 1/3 CMOS Pro sensor as the XA10, just without the manual controls. The HFM41/M40 have an internal flash drive and the HFM400 has just the SDHC slot but times 2. And they're about 1/3 of the price of the XA10. All from the Canon family with the same sensor so they should all match up.

Canon U.S.A. : Consumer & Home Office : Consumer Camcorders

On a side note - I own the HF10 which is a great small HD camcorder, so small that I can easily carry it in a side pocket of my cargo shorts and not know its there. However, I have the same zoom in problem as noted above, and it started just as the warranty expired. I bought it primarily for long takes and time lapse footage that I'd speed up in post. But I'd set up the cam and walk away to get other B-roll with another cam and return 5 minutes later to have the camera fully zoomed in. I'm sure Canon is well aware of this problem - but it makes me question if I should invest in Canon comsumer/prosumer gear again.

Last edited by Michael Kirinovic; June 25th, 2011 at 12:08 AM. Reason: Clarify model numbers/letters
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Old June 28th, 2011, 06:11 PM   #6
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Re: Good Consumer Match to XA10?

The new Canon VIXIA HF G10 is basically the XA10 without XLR audio.

http://www.tapeworkstexas.com/profes...ia-hf-g10.html

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Old June 28th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #7
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Re: Good Consumer Match to XA10?

Thanks for your opinions.
I currently own a Canon GL2, along with a Sony VX2100. I love the Sony, but the Canon and I simply do not get along very well. With some of the problems noted above, coupled my personal experience, I think I'm leaning towards Sony even though they do cost more than comparable Canons.
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 05:29 PM   #8
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Re: Good Consumer Match to XA10?

I shoot a lot of concerts and have used a Canon HFS-10 and an HF100 along with my HMC150's for doing concert work, and usually its OK. If the smaller cams are used closer to the stage where they can get a lot of light, you may be OK.

I have found that the low light performance of the consumer Canons in the HF and HFS family are worlds apart from "pro" cams, like the 3 chip cams from Canon, Sony and Panasonic when the lighting gets tricky.

Therefore, for choral/concert appIications I would go with whichever got me the best low light. I think that is currently the XA10/HF-G10. I have had good luck with Canons personally, having an XHA1 that I still use as a back-up cam, so I do trust the brand.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 03:03 PM   #9
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Re: Good Consumer Match to XA10?

We have just bought an XA10 and two HF M406 (the European version of the HF M400) and you can use the same settings (WB, exposure, filter) and get absolutely identical image between them.
They even match quite well with the 7D and 600D.
The 5D is obviously better in low light but the other two are only better with an f1.4 lens.
With 2.8 lenses the 7D and 600D are a little darker than the small camcorders.
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Old July 9th, 2011, 12:21 PM   #10
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Re: Good Consumer Match to XA10?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiros Zaharakis View Post
We have just bought an XA10 and two HF M406 (the European version of the HF M400) and you can use the same settings (WB, exposure, filter) and get absolutely identical image between them.
They even match quite well with the 7D and 600D.
The 5D is obviously better in low light but the other two are only better with an f1.4 lens.
With 2.8 lenses the 7D and 600D are a little darker than the small camcorders.
Wow, is that true? I'\m really looking for a comparison between the 7D @ F4 and an XA10 in doors (we shoot a lot in churches and receptions). Do you have such a comparison, or can you put one together ? That would be most appreciated..... :)
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Old July 16th, 2011, 06:32 AM   #11
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Re: Good Consumer Match to XA10?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiros Zaharakis View Post
They even match quite well with the 7D and 600D.
The 5D is obviously better in low light but the other two are only better with an f1.4 lens.
With 2.8 lenses the 7D and 600D are a little darker than the small camcorders.
Spiros, presumably you mean with the 7D at 100ISO and the XA10 at 0db gain?

I just bought a HFG10 (same sensor). It's a very nice camera but in my opinion low light doesn't come close to the DSLRS, simply because you can easily crank ISO on the DSLRs up to 800 and get away with it, whereas on the little video cameras the equivalent (ie, 3 stops, 18db) would murder your image.

I shot an indoors, low light scene with the HFG10 a few nights ago and the results were marginal at 6db - I really wouldn't want to push the gain any higher. I don't think it would have been a challenge for the 7D with a 2.8 lens.
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