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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 December 25th, 2011, 06:10 AM   #1
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New XA10 comments

Just got a new XA10 for use underwater and for weddings to augment my 5D2 footage.

My introduction to filming has come from the 5D (and from photography) so a lot of the features I'm enjoying are probably common to all camcorder-style cams, but I thought I'd list some things I think are specific to the XA10 that I have noticed and actually really like.

- Rack focus.

Wow. In the menu under the focus item you can preset a focus point, spin the focus ring back start recording, then press the ON menu item and see a slow (medium or fast) rack focus move to your pre-determined focal point. Wow. Loving that!

- Super IS!

I'm impressed with the IS on the camera, it rocks, or not as the case may be, but pushing the Super IS button turned the image rock solid! Fully zoomed in, hand held and apart from a slight wandering you would think it was on sticks. Loving that!

- Handle.
The extra record/zoom controls on top are super-handy. Going under-cover, break the cam down and just take the body, great!

- Image quality in low light.
What noise? I haven't done a side by side comparison to the 5D yet, but it's pretty close.


I'm not keen on....

- The dumbing down of the manual, I'd like some decent technical info other than things like 30FP - good for if you want to upload to the web. Pff, come on guys let's put some decent info in there we're not all retarded.

- 60i WTF. From what I understand it's not even proper interlaced, but that's another can of worms. Please give us 1080 60p. I knew that before I bought it, so I'm not grumbling.

- Rattling. Really? I know you probably wouldn't be banging the cam around, but there's no excuse for putting rattling bits on what will be an audio recording device.


Saying that, these are only small gripes. I love the camera and have had it in my hand since I bought it. Nice weight, feel and action. It's going out on a wedding next week, so I'll be interested to see how it performs. I have yet to pair it up with the 5D yet and still don't know if I'm gonna shoot 24 or 30. I'd be interested to hear from other wedding shooters especially if you shoot along with a 5D.

So far I've taken down the colour, sharpness and contrast down to their maximum adjustments the image looks gorgeous at 24Mbs.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 03:06 PM   #2
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Re: New XA10 comments

Interresting to read those comments from someone coming from the DSLR world. I agree to all you made. There is a fix for the rattling buttons (a sheet available from Canon) that dampens the buttons. The camera shoots incredible video but as far as the feel goes, it you worked with a Sony EX1 or any of the larger Sony or Panasonic cams, you would probably have a different perspective of the weight and feel of the cam. But in a way the small size is what makes this cam special.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 09:41 PM   #3
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Re: New XA10 comments

Mark, that speaks volumes!

Aside from the outstanding video and good audio qualities, it's size is the big asset.

The size and weight is also a curse but I built a rig that works with my 7D or my XA G10, with all the bulk and weight associated with such rigs (Except a cupholder).

But when I get tired of carting it around, ten seconds changes it to a single grip, ten more seconds removes the top handle, LANC, H4n and Mic and when I come to my senses, unhook the QD and stick the camera in my pack or on a tripod.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 10:59 PM   #4
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Re: New XA10 comments

Don,

Any pics of that rig of yours?
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Old December 27th, 2011, 02:47 PM   #5
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Re: New XA10 comments

No but I'll take a few and post them.
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Old December 30th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #6
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Re: New XA10 comments

I did a wedding yesterday, so first real day out with it alongside my 5D. I feel a lot less pressured having the XA10 running, knowing I can take my time with the 5D. I bought a lightweight tripod that I also used as a monopod and used it for getting the camera up high and into areas I wouldn't be able to get the 5D.

As the evening progressed, I found myself using the XA10 more and more, even in the low lights of the disco at the end of the evening.

Overall it was a joy to use. It hunted a little bit in poorer light, I've yet to look at the footage, but the WB was a challenge, just mainly because the 5D on AWB is far too warm and the XA10 is a little cool, but I tried to set it manually whenever I could.

There was one moment when my assistant (wife) dropped the camera of the tripod as it wasn't snapped in properly, there was a shared intake of breath from most of the congregation as they saw it bounce off the floor, it seemed ok afterwards.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Litten View Post
...I built a rig that works with my 7D or my XA G10
I use a Glidetrack and use 577s on all the connections so I can snap them off quickly. The glidetrack can be used as a shoulder rig, bit it is very heavy and you know you've got it on your shoulders after ten minutes or so, but it means I can go from tripod-mount, slider and shoulder mount in a matter of seconds.




Overall the XA10 worked well with the 5D... as I say, I'm yet to get the footage on the timeline, I'll take a look today, but so far impressed, especially now I know it bounces :O)
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Old December 30th, 2011, 08:29 AM   #7
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Re: New XA10 comments

The cam has excellent manual controls, considering it's price. You push the focus button on the screen to go manual focus, it's fantastic. I use the touchscreen a lot for focusing and I switch from manual to auto focus all the time. It is a very nice camera. On top of that, exposure can be adjusted whilst recording, which is huge. I am absolutely in love with mine.
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Old January 1st, 2012, 01:25 PM   #8
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Re: New XA10 comments

Im starting to play with my XA10 today....hard to believe it's so small....which is nice.

I agree the manual is a little vague.

Question...
So we have 60i,30P, and 24P..but no 60P.

I think Jeff Harper prefers 60i for weddings...has that changed Jeff?
What is the main reason some choose 30P over 60i?....is if mainly to have good stills from 30P?

I think I will shoot all auto with the XA10...that automatically puts me in 60i doesnt it?

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Old January 2nd, 2012, 01:08 AM   #9
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Re: New XA10 comments

It's mostly preference and ease of use for me. 24p and 30p don't handle motion well for live event shooting, and this is commonly understood. They can be used quite effectively, but it depends on the nature of your style. For doc style, generally speaking, you can't do better than 720 60p, or 1080 60i.

720 60p, which the GH2 has, but the XA10 doesn't, is my favorite because Bluray supports it and 60p looks awesome. 1080 60p, even if we had it to use, is not supported by Bluray anyway.

1080 60i is supported by bluray. 60i, is supported by DVD. So for DVD you take 1080 60i, crop it on the timleline to 16:9, and render and you're good to go. I try to look at the entire workflow from start to finish, and keep post processing to a minimum.

While Nigel says 30p with pulldown is automatically handled by all NLEs, and I don't know that if that is true, and suspect it is not always the case. I remove pulldown before using footage with it, so to avoid the whole mess. In order to completely avoid issues, I try not to shoot in any "mode" that needs "translated" or adjusted prior to rendering, or at least keep it to a bare minimum.

While the asthetics of 1080 60i can be questioned, the ease of use is second to none. 1080 60i looks great, is easy to do, and is pretty much problem free, so I choose it. For some projects 24p is nice, and I reckon 30p would be fine too.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 03:32 AM   #10
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Re: New XA10 comments

1080 60i is a default if you are in a NTSC area.

These days 1080P is sort of a "holy grail" for many folks. But what counts is what you need, what your clients/customers want, and what makes you happy.

Learn the camcorder, use it in auto when that gives you te results you want, but do try the various manual modes/settings as well. Auto mode works for run and gun when you do not have time to work manual settings, and can give acceptable video under "average" scene and lighting conditions.

There are a large number of NLEs available on the market, at a wide range of price points and capabilities. They are not all equal, and have different strengths and weaknesses. What works for one person may not fit another persons needs. Research counts before you buy. Visit the NLE user and support forums to see what kind of issues users have, and what kind of support you can get from other users. Be sure the forums are active - you cannot judge much from a forum that only gets occasional posts.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 01:18 PM   #11
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Re: New XA10 comments

I like the look of 30P, but like Jeff said, motion 'can' be an issue under some circumstances, but mostly if you are waving the camera around a lot. But it depends on your subject, and what you are trying to achieve. I toggle over to 60i too sometimes.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 05:45 PM   #12
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Re: New XA10 comments

The XA10 and Canon VIXIA family are fantastic for budget conscious people like myself. I can't agree more with all the positive features in this thread so far.

I used the XA10, HF G10, and two HF S200s in a recent live multi-camera event if anyone is curious:

TEDxYouth@ManhattanBeach - Hinda Talal - From No One To Someone - YouTube

This is one of a series of videos for the event. I shot everything at 24p, 1/48 shutter, highest quality for every camera, manual white balance, very light color correction in Premiere CS5.5.

On Youtube, it's hard to tell the difference of what camera was used for what angle - these Canon's cut together so well and for all the web based jobs I do in the future, I'll choose these cams over the more expensive ones (EX1s, AC-160s, etc).
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 12:54 AM   #13
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Re: New XA10 comments

Really nice video, quality of the footage is outstanding. Nice work!
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 11:42 PM   #14
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Re: New XA10 comments

I'm rethinking my approach and may start shooting in 24p more often. Just have to watch my pans, I suppose!
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Old January 19th, 2012, 06:17 PM   #15
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Re: New XA10 comments

Nicely done. The pans aren't bad; you managed to keep up with the speaker's movements pretty well. The quality of the footage is great. The average viewer wouldn't know that the video was shot with essentially consumer-grade camcorders and it's clear that such cameras can really shine in excellent lighting.
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