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Old July 12th, 2011, 11:57 PM   #16
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Hi Gerald,

I thought about it and I guess I am missing resolution and not sharpness, maybe I confuse here sharpness with resolution. And if I think about it, a chip with 2K pixels can just have 1K resolution. I assume thats why my pictures from the same scene "look" much sharper as they have a 10k pixels and therfore jusst have more resolution.Hope that makes sense.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 01:13 AM   #17
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Andreas
The XA 10 chip has 1920x1080 pixels available to shoot HD video at 1920x1080 resolution.
Having more pixels on the chip confers no additional benefit.
In fact, cams that have more pixels (because they are optomized for still photos) require "line skipping" to produce the video image. This actually creates artifacts (moire, etc.), not better video images or higher resolution.
This is one of the primary unique design features of the XA 10- a 1/3" chip that is optomized only for HD video, with larger pixels, better sensitivity to light, better dynamic range.
My experience with the XA 10 image (2 days of shooting now) is that it is quite good enough on all counts to hold its own against larger pro cams like my Sony EX1, and certainly edges out the other high end consumer cams like the Sony CX 550.
You might enjoy Phil Bloom's video review of the XA 10 & XF 100.
He feels that there is hardly any discernable difference in the image quality of these two cams, even though the XF 100 is 50mbs and 4:2:2 color.
Check it out:
Video review of the Canon XA-10, XF100 and XF105 | Philip Bloom
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Old July 13th, 2011, 09:57 AM   #18
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Hello,

for me in the end the main question is if my XA10 is a lemon and needs to be shipped back to Canon for repair or if this is as good as it gets.

From your feedback I get that the camera is as good as it gets, so thanks a lot for all your response.

Best
Andreas

P.S.

I watched the video from Philip and I think at least in Germany that cam doesn't support real 24p or 25p but just 25p recorded as 50i. That is at least what the datasheet says (attached).

Resolution is not the number of pixels. Looking at the Nyquist sampling theorem (Nyquist?Shannon sampling theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) the resolution cannot be higher then half the number of pixels. IF downsampling is done right you can get a much higher resolution. That is why the pictures from my Nikon (10 MP) look so much sharper in the video.

Of course a lot pixel mean less light per pixel and that means more gain=more noise=not so good low light performance unless you increase the pixels and the sensor.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf XA10_Specification_Sheet-v1_0_tcm83-808307.pdf (72.7 KB, 176 views)
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Old July 13th, 2011, 02:41 PM   #19
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Andreas,
Yes, the footage at the Kronenfest does look soft to me (way softer than other XA10 footage I have seen).
If you, indeed, focussed properly, then I would say your camera might have a back focus issue, because this is NOT as good as it gets. Canon generally has a good warranty/service policy. Can you try another XA10 to compare?
If not, i would send it in for repair or replacement.
Hope this helps,
Ken
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Old July 13th, 2011, 03:52 PM   #20
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Nyquist theory aside, all of the major camera manufacturers equip their top of the line professional cameras with chips whose pixel count match the recorded/delivered video resolution.
The consumer cams & DSLRs, all of which double as still cams, are the only ones with high pixel count chips.
It's not plausable to imagine that Canon would equip their latest top of the line consumer cam with a chip that was inferior to the off the shelf sensors available in their cheaper cameras. This chip is the one thing that is the big deal about XA 10/G 10.
I agree with Ken- if you are not getting sharp, professional level image quality from the camera, it may be defective. There is so much XA 10 HD footage online now, you should be able to conclude if your cam is holding up to what you are seeing online.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 04:34 AM   #21
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas Schmidt View Post
I thought about it and I guess I am missing resolution and not sharpness, maybe I confuse here sharpness with resolution. And if I think about it, a chip with 2K pixels can just have 1K resolution. I assume thats why my pictures from the same scene "look" much sharper as they have a 10k pixels and therfore jusst have more resolution.Hope that makes sense.
Hi Andreas,

DSLR pictures often "look" sharper, but I think this has more to do with contrast between in focus/out of focus ares than real resolution. In fact, all the DSLRs have relatively low (barely above Standard Def) resolution in video mode. Video from a 22mp 5DII looks sharp, but in fact there is little detail there and horizontal res clocks in at <600 lines. The XF300 however (with the same chips as the XA10, albeit three of them) eats the 5DII alive for detail.

Resolution is a function of much more than the chip - the lens, codec, DSP etc all play a big part. I just bought an XA10 as a b-cam for the XF300, and took it for its first work out. My initial impressions are:

1 I'm really pleased with it, I find the images really appealing.
2 I share your impression: it's not all that impressive in terms of resolution.

The XF300 (again, with identical 1920x1080 Canon chips) has vastly more detail. I mean very very clearly more detail. And it should - it costs four times more. Having three chips and a very impressive lens in the XF make a big difference.

Having said that, I like the look of the XA10 images - they are softer but IMHO in a pleasing way... quite flattering/complementary for skin tones. Compared the the XF it's like a soft fx filter is in use.

The XA10 images look very similar indeed to the images I used to get from the XH-A1, but in a very small, incredibly easy to use package.

(the vimeo files are difficult to make any meaningful assessments from)
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Old July 15th, 2011, 06:03 PM   #22
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Dahlberg View Post
I just bought an XA10 as a b-cam for the XF300, and took it for its first work out...
I like the look of the XA10 images - they are softer but IMHO in a pleasing way... quite flattering/complementary for skin tones.
I think it is quite a testiment to the XA 10- a near pocket sized camera- that people are happily using it for 2nd unit, to mix with high end camera footage from the likes of XF 300, EX1, EX3, etc.
Regarding detail- my experience with the EX1 is that it produces so much detail that most users turn the setting down substantially, particularly if going for a "cinematic" look.
Again, my observation of XA 10 footage on 50" HDTV is that it looks quite crisp enough- on a par with much bigger HD cameras I have used, and certainly not defective/inadequate in any way that bothers me.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 06:10 AM   #23
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Hello,

thanks a lot to everyone for the feedback. I am still not sure if my unit is "good" and I am just not enough satisfied or to picky or if I have a unit that show some misalignment.

One additional comment - when I look at the initial footage I captured with it it looks just fine for me. Then the footage from that festival for which I transported the camera the first time by car doesn't look sharp enough for me. Now I am unsure if that is motion blur, or has to do with the image stabilization or with autofocus not working entire properly but then on the other hand I captured that footage of that little truck in the garden for which the camera was on a tripod and the wide angel doesn't look sharp enough for me.

So what will I do? Still not 100% decided but I think to find my sleep I will RMA the cam on Monday and hope for a fast exchange. I need it this weekend as I have two gigs coming up.

Josh - in a earlier post I linked to two H264 files on one of my website as you are right, the image quality cannot be judged from Vimeo. Why too worse due to the compression.

Luis - I am completely familiar with FCPX and I know that I have to mark that little "stabilization" icon in the info window while selecting the clip in the timeline. Again - doesn't do anything to my clip. Maybe it works a lot different then FCP7? I always found quite a difference between the stabilization in FCP7 and iMovie for example, FCP being the much better one but taking a lot a lot longer for analyzing.

If I RMA the unit I will report back if the replacement is any different.

Best
Andreas
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Old July 16th, 2011, 07:12 AM   #24
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Hi Andreas,

I realise now I've erred in model numbers: my new camera is in fact an HFG10... I didn't need the audio features of the XA10 (as I record audio either with the XF300 or a Sound Devices unit) but the picture quality should be the same.

I've uploaded a few frame grabs for you here to show you what my first shoot looked like. Actually I'm shooting with the XF300 (the little guy in a stripy blue shirt) - my assistant took these shots with the HFG10. She's a soundie and doesn't usually shoot so I set it to shutter priority (at 1/50th), everything else (including white balance!) full auto. It spits out a pretty good image!!

But like I said, there's quite a bit more detail in the XF300 images. As you can see in the attached frame grabs, the HFG10 produces images that are pleasing but not tack sharp (these were shot handheld, autofocus, so quite demanding on the camera): the edges are not dead crisp, but I don't personally view this as a negative. Last year I owned a TM700 (Panny) which was subjectively sharper (and tests sharper according to Camcorder Info) but seemed to have a lot of edge enhancement at work - I prefer the slightly softer look of the Canon. There is very little in the way of artifacts, and the colours are pleasing imho.

(sorry, had to blur out the talent's head as we were shooting a "behind the scenes" video of a celebrity endorsement product shoot... the campaign is not live yet).
Attached Thumbnails
Impressions of my XA10-1.jpg   Impressions of my XA10-2.jpg  

Impressions of my XA10-3.jpg   Impressions of my XA10-4.jpg  


Last edited by Josh Dahlberg; July 16th, 2011 at 08:12 AM.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 03:32 PM   #25
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

The XF-300 is without doubt sharper than the XF100, XA10 or G10, but then it has 3 sensors instead of 1 and costs a LOT more money.

I'd have to apply a (very) mild gaussian blur to the XF-300 footage to make it look like the XF-100 / XA10 / HF-G10 - so if yours is not as sharp as the XF-300, that's how it is.....
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Old July 16th, 2011, 07:04 PM   #26
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Thanks Dave, that's exactly what I said:
"It costs four times more. Having three chips and a very impressive lens in the XF make a big difference."

My impressions after less than a week with the G10 are overwhelmingly positive:

* nice ergonomics for its size and useful IS
* easy enough to access manual features
* very pleasing, artifact free images
* good colours and control of noise

Very happy with what I bought. I can't really think of anything I don't like about it - I'm not really a touch screen fan but I'm getting used to it.

Josh
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Old July 20th, 2011, 02:42 PM   #27
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Just a short update. I did some more testing and I found that the sharpness problem mainly occurs if the focus is on infinity and the problem is more visible on wide angel shoots. Once zoomed in and the focus isn't set on infinity the picture is very sharp. I could add a H.264 video clip on my website if you would like to see it. In Vimeo its just too difficult to see.

I would be interested if this is a general problem with these cams (XA10 and XF100) or just with mine?

Josh - I think your pictures look sharp but I assume the focus isn't set to infinity?

Best
Andreas
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Old July 20th, 2011, 06:03 PM   #28
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Hi Andreas.

Actually those were shot by my assistant on auto-focus. I hadn't used the camera at the time. Over the weekend I did a bunch of test shots and I'm actually really impressed with the camera.

It has very little noise, edge enhancement, artifacting = a pleasing, natural image. Low light is very good indeed for a consumer camera.

Also, in cinema mode you can knock down the contrast and saturation for a flat look - good for colour correction, and not consumerish at all. I'm happy with my purchase.

In my opinion, the picture is much nicer than the Panny 700 I had last year, even if it's a fraction softer (actually, I wouldn't say soft, but natural). I really like this camera!

I haven't actually tested at infinity focus - I was checking out low light, indoors = very nice.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 01:42 PM   #29
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Place the camera's peaking mode to ON. Then change the peaking color to RED. Now, when you are making a wide shot, you can override the auto-focus by using the focus ring. The red peaking should be observed at the edges of your objects.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas Schmidt View Post
Just a short update. I did some more testing and I found that the sharpness problem mainly occurs if the focus is on infinity and the problem is more visible on wide angel shoots. Once zoomed in and the focus isn't set on infinity the picture is very sharp. I could add a H.264 video clip on my website if you would like to see it. In Vimeo its just too difficult to see.

I would be interested if this is a general problem with these cams (XA10 and XF100) or just with mine?

Josh - I think your pictures look sharp but I assume the focus isn't set to infinity?

Best
Andreas
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Old July 26th, 2011, 06:06 AM   #30
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Re: Impressions of my XA10

Thanks a lot, I tried just that and it seems to focus just fine. At least I get fine peaking.

Maybe the cam is just as good as it gets, so I will keep it for now and work around its shortcomings. Since yesterday I have in addition the Canon 550D which I believe is called Rebel T2i in the US. With both together I hope to create some nice docs.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback.
Andreas
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