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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 April 7th, 2012, 11:18 AM   #16
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

One thing I didn't notice till I saw a video review is that I can have the XLR inputs will mount without the microphone mount. I thought it was one unit. This makes great sense since I usually do the same as others ... mount a microphone on a mic stand to get higher for ambient sound and a line in on the second channel. So now a short condenser may or may not be needed.

Regarding manual controls. Most of the time I will lock down the gain and shutter speed and focus prior to the performance. It sounds like I can maybe provide myself with one control (iris) that is easy to get to?

I don't mind spending the money on Canon batteries, but I'll look into generic reviews of the ones mentioned here as well. I just want to get a couple that will go all day (4 hours) if possible. My Sony NP-970s have spoiled me on power.

If it's a matter of speed, maybe the memory cards should be revisited. FAST is good.

Thanks for beating it into my head that I don't really need two of these cameras. I only need one with XLR inputs. There has never been an instance where I've had two cameras hooked into a sound system or used external microphones. In fact, most of my other audio is now captured using digital recorders.

The only thing I might need to pick up for a second camera is a bracket to mount a video light. (I have one wedding coming up this year that I backed off my "no more weddings" policy.) I'm guessing the cameras could use a lighting boost during the reception?

With that said ... I'll take a look at the Canon G10. It sounds like it's very similar to the XA 10.

The other cool thing about this is that I should be able to sell my Sony FX1 and Z7 with batteries and come out ahead.

Thank you.
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Old April 7th, 2012, 12:02 PM   #17
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

Correct, you can leave the mic mount off, I've never even installed it on mine since I personally don't mount a shotgun mic on my camera.

If you lock down shutter and gain, it is very easy if you want quick access to the iris control, if you put the camera in "Manual" exposure control for the shooting program, and you can assign the custom button/wheel on the back of the camera for "Manual". With the camera in manual mode, you will see the shutter speed, iris, and gain on the screen, and each time you push the button on the back of the camera it will toggle between the three so you can use the wheel to change whichever one you want to. In your case you would just leave it on iris and adjust it as you see fit. By doing this you'll have an actual hardware control on the camera and not need to go into menus to adjust it on the fly.

The canon batteries will go 4 hours no problem, I would bet closer to 5 or 6, I've just never needed to push them that far.

The XA10 has a full size cold shoe (hooray!) for your accessories, while the G10 and others will require the mini shoe adapter (booo Canon!) for a standard accessory like a light.
Pearstone CSA-II Shoe Adapter for Canon Camcorders CSA-II B&H
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Old April 7th, 2012, 12:05 PM   #18
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

The Wasabi's are so highly reviewed that I became convinced to try them, and I'm a huge battery snob, because the generic Sony batteries never lived up to my expectations.
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Old April 7th, 2012, 12:29 PM   #19
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

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The Wasabi's are so highly reviewed that I became convinced to try them, and I'm a huge battery snob, because the generic Sony batteries never lived up to my expectations.
Exactly!!! I tried some Sony generics once and only once. They came highly recommended, but they were complete garbage. I just recently threw away a couple of Sonys that I had purchased 10 years ago. They finally got to the point where they wouldn't take a charge. I need to search the Wasabi's and see what I come up with in terms of reviews. Sounds like they must be doing ok.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 01:48 AM   #20
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

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Originally Posted by Scott Brooks View Post
I'll take a look at the Canon G10. It sounds like it's very similar to the XA 10.
The HFM400 also uses the same sensor and is cheaper. Moreover, the zoom range on the HFM400, while still only 10x, may be more suitable for stage events. In particular, the range of the HFM400 is like having a 1.5x telephoto adapter on the XA10.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 07:36 AM   #21
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

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Which microphone would you suggest that I purchase for the cameras?
That depends on your intended uses.

For a camcorder mounted shotgun I find the AT875R works well

For recording stage performance of a concert band I use an AT-825 (single point stereo) on a stand but I believe that it is has been replaced in the product line by the AT8022.

Lots of choices for wireless mics, interview mics, etc.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #22
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

I think I've got about one more question before I go forward ...

Does anyone here use this in conjunction with FCPX? If so, how long does it take to transfer the files? Is it really fast with the cards as opposed to the drive?

Also ... the B&H site has two different messages. One says that on-line ordering is unavailable until 8:45 tonight. The one above it says that it will begin on-line ordering on Wednesday, April 20th. Confusing.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 06:59 PM   #23
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

Scott, nothing will be shipped from b and h until after 4/27 according to the website due to holiday. Ordering will start back up on 4/20, but nothing will be shipped till after 4/27.

This is why it was recommended you look around at other places if you want to get your camera soon. Best of luck!
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Old April 10th, 2012, 03:03 PM   #24
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

Scott, I can recommend J&R, at least for fast shipping. They received shipment of cameras today and camera was shipped out same morning, that's great service.
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Old April 10th, 2012, 03:18 PM   #25
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

Thanks Jeff ... I ended up going with Markertek since they were in stock. Mine is on the way as well. I probably ended up paying for it, but most of the reputable sites were out of stock and I had no idea when they would have them. If I like it I'm going to get the G10 as a second camera.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 08:53 PM   #26
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

I just got my XA10 yesterday, but haven't had the opportunity to work with it yet. All I can say when I unpacked it was WOW. I almost started laughing because of the size. BUT ... that's what I wanted ... a smaller unit to work with.

One thing I did check ... shut out all the lights in my office with only the monitor on. This thing looks like it would almost shoot in the dark, so with any stage lighting at all (and there will be very difficult moments next week) this should be able to shoot it.

I need to dig in and start working because it's going to be the main camera next Friday.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 09:20 PM   #27
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

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I just got my XA10 yesterday
That's great news that it arrived in time! It will be interesting to hear your impressions about how the new FCPX handles AVCHD footage.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 03:16 AM   #28
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

I've been following this thread closely and had a couple of questions.

What are the main differences between the XA10, the G10, and the HF M400?

My main concern is low-light shooting indoors, eg Churches, receptions, etc. and general picture quality.

I've been using an HV30 & Hv40 with a Rode and a Juiced Link preamp (to plug into sound boards/house systems) and have been looking to upgrade. I had my heart set on the XF100 and XA10 and have really looked into them quite a bit, but the G10 and the HF M400 are new on my radar with this thread's recommendations.

Thanks!
Deborah

PS anxious to hear what Scott has to say after getting a chance to "test drive" his new camera :)
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Old April 14th, 2012, 06:29 AM   #29
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

The XA10 has XLR imputs in it's removable handle and the other two take a Canon propriety shoe or an adapter to convert it. The XA10 and G10 have internal memory and HM400 does not but I think the number for the one that does is the HM 40. There is also a new HM500 that should hit the same price point.
IMHO the XF100 is a sweet spot in the Canon lineup and if you can swing the extra cash you would be very happy. Great codec. Coming from the HV20/20/40 lineup the touch screen menus of the XA10/G10 etc may not be a negative for you but I prefer the XF100 set up by a wide margin.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old April 14th, 2012, 09:38 AM   #30
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Re: Canon VIXIA XA10 for stage events?

As a word of caution, despite Scott's report of how well the camera is in low light, I advise readers here to not take the comment that the camera can shoot in the dark too literally.

There are others who are disappointed with the XA10's performance in low light, so I advise those who are looking at this camera to keep you expectations realistic.

I shoot with DSLR sytle cameras and the XA10 does not/cannot compete with the GH2 using a fast lens. This should be commmon sense, but regardless...

The XA10 is somewhat better than the FX1, etc but without the noise. It's comparable to the FX1000, but without the noise in low light. It will handle low light at up to 18db without any discernible noise.

Also, despite the comments that the lesser models (like the G10) offer "identical" footage, there have been other threads where users have stated that in low light there IS a clear difference in noise using the G10 in dimly lit conditions. This is a subject that has been talked to death, so you can find it covered in other threads.

The XA10 does not offer groundbreaking performance in low light conditions, it just offers very good performance for the money. It has been said it is about as good in low light as the EX1, but I don't know if that's really true or not.

I like my XA10, it's a nice camera. I just got my second one. The G10 doesn't have a regular shoe mount, which alone ruined it for me, you need to use a shoe mount adapter just to mount a standard shoe accessory. The XA10 allow you to run a shotgun and light without any adaptations, has dual XLR inputs, and is worth every penny to me.

With each drop in models you lose something, it is true you do get what you pay for. In sufficient lighting, the G10 is a lot of camera for the money as Buba K has demonstrated with his amazing videos, but for me the non-standard shoe mount just kills it for me because of my needs.
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