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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 August 12th, 2013, 08:16 AM   #76
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

It's very slow, I just checked and it took about 5 seconds. For wedding work, when in doubt, I close the LCD and leave the camera on. It does not drain the camera much to leave it on for 30 minutes. If 30 mins in standby uses more power than I can afford, I need to buy more batteries.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; August 12th, 2013 at 10:27 AM.
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Old August 12th, 2013, 11:40 AM   #77
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

Speaking of battery's, I read a review on B&H that said the base plate has to be removed to change the battery. Is this true?
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Old August 12th, 2013, 11:47 AM   #78
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

yes Tim, its the same as the xa10. its very inconvenient.
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Old August 12th, 2013, 11:53 AM   #79
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

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Originally Posted by Tim Akin View Post
Speaking of battery's, I read a review on B&H that said the base plate has to be removed to change the battery. Is this true?
Depends on which baseplate and how you mount it. I use a Manfrotto 501 plate and I can mount it slightly forward so I can still release the battery but the front edge of the plate makes pushing the custom button next to the dial slightly more difficult than it is to begin with.

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Old August 12th, 2013, 12:51 PM   #80
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

Bob is correct, but I find sliding the plate forward enough to release the battery makes using the exposure button/wheel very awkward. It is a lose lose proposition. I feel that Canon did not think this through. A large number of pros, particularly wedding shooters use 501 style heads, so this should have been addressed in the design.
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Old August 12th, 2013, 01:15 PM   #81
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

Yep, mine are 501's.....sounds like some modification will need to be done on the plate for the XA20.
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Old August 12th, 2013, 02:10 PM   #82
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

You can modify the 501/503/701 plate. I had the same problem with my HV30. The long plate made it impossible to remove the battery. I cut the plate down and drilled/tapped for a set screw to keep the plate from sliding on through when in my 503 and 701 HDV fluid heads.

If I think of it, I will take a photo of the one that I modified a few years back and still use on that HV30.

On my XA20 I slid the plate forward like the other guys suggested. It works, but I might go with my modified plate instead.

Rather than Canon addressing the issue, I'd like to see Manfrotto come out with a short version of the plate for small cameras. I think they would sell well.
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Old August 12th, 2013, 02:15 PM   #83
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

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Rather than Canon addressing the issue, I'd like to see Manfrotto come out with a short version of the plate for small cameras. I think they would sell well.
Good point. With pro video camera's getting smaller and smaller there's no need for the plates to be that big.
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Old August 12th, 2013, 06:57 PM   #84
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

Here is the Manfrotto plate that I modified for my HV30 a few years back. I will probably use this on my XA20. Basically I put it in a vice and used an abrasive cut off wheel to cut it down to length.

In the top view, the bugger looking stuff that you see is an epoxy material that I gooped up to keep the 1/4-20 screw from falling out the end. I was going to TIG weld it shut but just never got around to it. The epoxy while not looking pretty has held fine for probably 5 years now.

In the bottom view, in the lower left you can see the set screw (the LENS arrow is pointing towards it). This set screw takes the place of stud section that is to the right edge and keeps the shoe from sliding right on through the fluid head. A lot of my video work is done high above the ground and the last thing I needed was my camera to slide right on through the video head and falling 20+ feet to Mother Earth.

Pretty simple modification really. It frees up the battery latch and gets the shoe away from the Custom Dial.

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Old August 12th, 2013, 07:28 PM   #85
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

Thanks Derek, I'm sure I will be doing something like that if I end up keeping the XA.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 08:49 AM   #86
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

Derek, I think you are absolutely correct, the plates are the issue, and Manfrotto would do well to come up with a smaller plate. I agree it would probably sell well.

Anyway, I'm having several plates modified. I thought of it, but it seemed crazy till you posted your pics!
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Old August 14th, 2013, 12:59 PM   #87
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

Modified a plate today for my XA20. I cut a 501 plate off at the pin. I also rounded the corner that rests against my palm when handholding because it dug in and became uncomfortable pretty quickly. Finally, I used a file to bring back the ramp so I can push the plate into my 701 head without having to push the release button. I forgot to pinch the front corners like the original; I might go back and do that this evening.

Bob


manfrotto 501 plate unmodified by Ranger_Bob, on Flickr


modified plate by Ranger_Bob, on Flickr


Modified Manfrotto 501 plate mounted on XA20 by Ranger_Bob, on Flickr
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Last edited by Bob Ohlemann; August 14th, 2013 at 01:01 PM. Reason: sp
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Old August 15th, 2013, 02:16 PM   #88
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

Jeff or anyone, have you figured out how high the gain can be set before the image starts to degrade?

Seems like the new cameras are doing something different when gain is added. The AC90 doesn't seen to add much noise but the image just starts to degrade when you get over 20db or so. Where the FX1000 will just add noise or grain.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 04:42 PM   #89
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

Tim, on the XA10 I found 18db be to be acceptable. I imagine XA20 is similar.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 10:08 AM   #90
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Re: XA-20 is a fine camera

Maybe one of you guys can tell me what setting I have wrong.

History ... I came from an XH-A1. I often run a Rode shotgun mic on one channel and a Sennheiser wireless mic on the other channel, both XLR inputs. Often have recorded audio on both mics and in post the (Premiere Pro) I have audio from one on the R channel and audio from the other on the L channel. Then I remove the audio channel that I don't want and "fill" that channel with the audio that I do want. Hope that makes sense.

So the other day I shot a quick down and dirty internet spot for a client of mine. First real thing that I shot on the XA20 other than playing around stuff. I had both mics in and each mic showed levels on their respective input channels on screen. I was shooting in MP4 35Mbps mode, which should be ACC audio format. No big deal, just camera on the tri-pod, shot gun mic on camera, wireless mic on the subject. Audio sounded fine in camera.

I took it to post in a 1080p60 timeline, dropped it in, and noticed my audio waves looked the same left to right. After playing around with it, it appears that the audio from both mics was mixed between the R/L channels (I assume in camera) so that I could not pull one mic audio out (for example the shot gun) and used the other. It all worked out fine and sounded good enough for this particular down and dirty project, but most of the time I need one mic input vs another, but I want to record both mic inputs and pick and choose during post. If that makes sense.

So I am curious, what setting is wrong? Do I need to record in AVCHD instead using either LPCM or Dolby Digital? Is it a setting in camera under my channel configuration? Any thoughts?
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