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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 January 20th, 2012, 03:42 PM   #16
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Re: New XA10 comments

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Originally Posted by Mark Ormesher View Post
So far I've taken down the colour, sharpness and contrast down to their maximum adjustments the image looks gorgeous at 24Mbs.
What exactly does this mean? I actually am one of the dumb guys. :-(
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Old January 28th, 2012, 05:26 AM   #17
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Re: New XA10 comments

I've had time to digest and evaluate the footage and camera. I've said a lot of these points before, but I'll just go over what I've found after owning this camera for a couple of months.

Most of these comments come from my position as a DSLR shooter shooting with a 5D.


I found the XA10 to be very useful. It can break down into such a small size, or with tripod, shot mic, and handle on can make a very useful rig.

The lightness encourages you to fling it around a little bit too much. The 5D on the shoulder rig demands a bit more respect and attention, but the lightweight and small form-factor of the XA10 can have you skirting it around if you're not attentive to what you're doing.

The lack of buttons are a bit frustrating. Full manual mode is just barely usable on the fly. You need to assign the custom button and wheel on the back and then you can only control one element: Aperture, Shutter, Gain at a time, unless you scroll through using the wheel.

The touchscreen is laborious requiring quite a heavy gesture to make any sort of effect. You do get used to it, but iPhone responsiveness it aint. This is a bit disappointing as you need to go to the touch screen for pretty much anything. One of the +s canon have done is leave the last menu item as an icon on the bottom right so if you're forever changing White Balance for instance, it's right there, just one touch away.

The focus ring in the front is a little bit difficult to get to with the lens hood on if you have anything more than female fingers.

The Auto focus is good, but hunts sometimes (I don't have any experience with auto-focus, so this maybe the case on all camcorders.)

Out of the box, the IQ is a little bit too saturated and crispy, fortunately you can take this down in the settings.

I've seen chromic aberrations in certain situations.

The noise, or lack of, is amazing. I can pretty much bang the gain up past +15 and still have very acceptable footage, in fact the noise is nowhere near my Canon 5D, which I don't consider a noisy camera at all, especially considering that has a full frame sensor.

I can match the footage from my 5D with the XA10 with a little bit of tweaking, but looked at closely, it's easy to spot the XA10 footage.

At first it was a bit of a pain to deal with the AVCHD format. As I use a Mac, I was a bit stumped. I like to use the Mac finder to spin through the clips quickly - using the spacebar for quick preview or the filmstrip.
As the Mac doesn't support this format natively, I had to drop the clips into Premiere Pro and use PPs preview, which is not really an answer as the preview in PP sucks. Then I found Clipwrap and can't recommend it enough. It wraps the AVCHD footage in a standard H.264 wrapper allowing you Mac to view it in the finder, wow! It's totally lossless as well, big thumbs up. The wrapping takes seconds and only adds another few Mb to the file size, so if you're struggling with AVCHD and Mac, give this ago.



So, overall I'd say it's a very capable camera. I'd have liked them to have a couple more manual controls on the case , made the touch screen a bit more responsive and upped the data rate maybe another 10Mb/s but saying that, if I were back in the shop again and had a choice, I'd still go for the XA10.
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Old January 31st, 2012, 07:46 PM   #18
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Re: New XA10 comments

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Originally Posted by Mark Ormesher View Post
I can match the footage from my 5D with the XA10 with a little bit of tweaking, but looked at closely, it's easy to spot the XA10 footage.

.
Would you be so kind as to share your particular camera settings for both your 5D and your XA10 to get them to match? I've tried several different settings that I've found on various forums and still have not found a combination that is satisfactory yet.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 06:35 PM   #19
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Re: New XA10 comments

There are several other small annoying 'negatives', and I've listed them out on another site, but overall, the video output is pretty darn nice as you've noted.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 09:13 PM   #20
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Re: New XA10 comments: Considering which cam

Guys,

It seems that the Canon XA10 has raving fans, and I'm in the market for a HD Camera. Been looking at the Panny 130 and 160 as well. I will mainly be using it for my video production vlog, and may have a client shoot once in a while, but I usually hire out if I need a cameraman anyway.

For the price the XA10 seems the way to go, but there's the thought that if I'm going to buy, I should by exactly what I want.

Thoughts?
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 06:10 AM   #21
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Re: New XA10 comments

The Panasonics are great cameras, the 130 or 160 would be my choice if money wasn't an issue. It depends on the level of manual control you need. The XA10 is a fine camera, but the 10X zoom is very limiting, unless you don't need more. The Panasonic AG130 is a superior camera in about every way to the XA10 at least as I understand it. I've talked with pros that have used the XF100 and the AG160, and the AG160 was strongly preferred.

The XA10 is crippled control-wise compared to the Panasonic, but again, it comes down to what you need.
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 08:08 PM   #22
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Re: New XA10 comments

I echo what Jeff said. You really need to look at what your deliverable is and the kind of shooting you do. I know this is the obvious answer that most people give, but it's true. The top cameras I would consider are:

Panasonic AC130/160
Sony AX2000
Canon D5 (or another DSLR if it fits your needs, and a separate audio capture device)
Canon XF100 (especially if you want/need 4:2:2 for broadcast)
XA10

Now, if portability and on-the-go shooting is hyper critical to you, or, your budget is pretty limiting, then simply invert the list. The XA10 shoots outstanding video but for true professional work, if you need manual controls, the Panasonic and Sony are probably the better cam for your situation. Plus they look more professional, and there are times paying clients want to know you use what looks like 'pro' equipment. Not all, but sometimes. Double-check the low light on the Panasonic, I read the initial batch weren't all that good in low light, but it's only what I read. I would consider a DSLR too depending on what your shooting locations are like. I like Sony cams. You could also consider getting a used Sony EX1R too, but then you are looking into more money for the batteries and SxS media and I'm not sure what the payback on that would be considering the new cameras like the XF100 offer a lot of great features and low light with the manual controls.

Certainly not trying to talk you out of the XA10, it's a great little cam. Actually, it's an outstanding little cam. Might be just what you need too. Might make the perfect b-roll cam since you often hire out your camera work. I believe it can shoot A type footage, but you have to weigh the features, if you need the manual controls (maybe you don't), lack of ND filters and a few other key things and see how the overall 'package' fits your shooting needs, delivery method/s and business model.

Good luck.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 08:25 AM   #23
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Re: New XA10 comments

Quote:
...lack of ND filters ...
Actually, there is a ND filter, but its operation is different from most other camcorders. It is integrated into aperture setting, not as a separate setting.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 07:16 PM   #24
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Re: New XA10 comments

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Originally Posted by Mark Goodsell View Post
I echo what Jeff said. You really need to look at what your deliverable is and the kind of shooting you do. I know this is the obvious answer that most people give, but it's true. The top cameras I would consider are:

Panasonic AC130/160
Sony AX2000
Canon D5 (or another DSLR if it fits your needs, and a separate audio capture device)
Canon XF100 (especially if you want/need 4:2:2 for broadcast)
XA10

.
Mark, I'm curious about the D5. Why would you recommend that over the GH2?
(I'm using a 7D BTW as well as the XA10)
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Old February 4th, 2012, 07:22 AM   #25
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Re: New XA10 comments

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Originally Posted by Mark Goodsell View Post
...Panasonic AC130/160...Sony AX2000...Canon XF100...The XA10 shoots outstanding video but for true professional work...the Panasonic and Sony...look more professional, and there are times paying clients want to know you use what looks like 'pro' equipment...
This is a valid issue, esp if shooting with a "consumer-looking" camcorder. However I'm not sure clients are that sophisticated they can differentiate between an XA10 with a Rode Video Mic and video light mounted, vs an AC130. They go by superficial bulk and complexity, and if you have several things hanging off the XA10 that probably looks "pro" in their mind.

It also helps if you arrive with your gear packed in quality foam-lined hard cases, not cardboard boxes.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 06:06 PM   #26
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Re: New XA10 comments

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Mark, I'm curious about the D5. Why would you recommend that over the GH2?
(I'm using a 7D BTW as well as the XA10)
Sorry, that was a mix-up. Need to slow my typing (and thinking). I'm not recomending it specifically, I meant to recommend a DSLR as a 'potential' alternate camcorder.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 06:34 PM   #27
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Re: New XA10 comments

Interesting comments. I'm looking at getting "client cam" to loan out (yikes!) and I've seen some great stuff out of that CMOS Pro sensor on the XA10, HF G10, and HF M4x/M4xx series. Can anyone comment on the Automatic settings on the Canons? Or thoughts on how effectively I could set one up and forget about it?
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Old February 4th, 2012, 10:39 PM   #28
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Re: New XA10 comments

I personally think the automatic settings work great. The only thing I would want to show a renter, if I were renting out a cam, would be how to adjust the white balance (using the presets). The automatic white balance is very good, but like any camcorder, there are always wierd lighting situations where you can get better colors by finding the right preset. It's easy to do. Using manual focus wouldn't hurt too, but the auto focus works very well on my cam. Would also want to show how to adjust the volume. But I think that goes w/o saying. The one left-out feature this cam could really benefit from is auto-limiting audio on the xlr's. So, ya gotta adjust the dials from time to time. Other than that, should be good to go.
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