XA-20 - To buy or not (@1799) vs AC90 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders

Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders
For the Canon XA25, XA20, XA10 and all VIXIA / LEGRIA Series AVCHD camcorders.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 14th, 2013, 11:34 AM   #1
Tourist
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC.
Posts: 3
XA-20 - To buy or not (@1799) vs AC90

Hello: I stumbled upon this forum few days ago when I started researching about my first camera purchase. I am a professional photographer and now that one of my siblings has graduated from film school, we have stepped into the wedding video arena as well. We have been shooting mostly with DSLRs but on occasion have used a Sony HDV1000u. Coming from a DSLR, I found the gain noise and having to deal with tapes extremely frustrating.

Hence the search for a tapeless camcorder, ideally for under $2000 but I could spend upto $2500 if I could really get a lots of bells and whistles for $2500. Being an ex-Canon shooter (I shoot Nikon now), naturally, the first pull was towards Canon and in my price range was XA20. However, my local retailer (whom I buy all of my DSLR stuff from) can get an XA20 for $1899 before taxes and XA25 for $2199 before taxes. I am not looking at XA25 since I don't need the SDI port.

This camera would be the main video camera at the weddings and I am hoping someone can help me with the following concerns/needs:

1: While people find its compactness useful, I am concerned that it is too light and small in hands or atop a 504HD head that I use. Anyone coming from a bigger cam found the transition odd?

2: I can get XA20 for $1899 or a Panasonic AG-AC90 for roughly the same price from B&H. It seems a little bit bigger (physically) and has more "on body" controls than Canon, which I really like. Moreover, I have read at several places that the AC90 has really clean low-light performance which is a big plus for me. Several XA20 threads I have gone through on this forum have made me realize that many XA20 owners own the AC90 cam as well. Would you give up one for the other? The big negative point I read almost everywhere about AC90 was that it had a plasticy feel to it. Is the XA20 like that all? Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a local retailer that stocks pro video cams here in Vancouver and therefore cannot go into a store and play with different models.

3: Is XA20 a good enough camera to e the main video camera coupled with one or two DSLRs?

4: Since I am new to filming, this might be a real 'duh' question. The last wedding my team was at, we were asked by the DJ if we could hook up our main video camera into his system so he can project it onto a screen through a projector. As he was requesting this, he took out coaxial cables (or atleast what ooked like coaxial cables to my inexperienced eyes) from his bag and passed them to me. I was like, errr...this isn't going to work with the Sony HDV1000u or any of my DSLRs for that matter. Almost every wedding I have been the photographer at, I have seen the video being projected live on a screen but never paid attention to the "how". Can someone please advise on how this is done and whether I have to have an SDI port to accomplish this or whether I can use of the output ports of XA20/AC90 (component for example) and just use an adapter to plug the component/composite cable to a coaxial cable? This would be a critical piece in my final decision.

5: Being a CMOS sensor cam, does it get affected by the rolling shutter issue that all DSLRs do? Does the AC90 have this problem as well?

6: Last but not the least, it seems that $1799 would be an excellent price for XA20 considering that it is being sold for $2199 everywhere. Would you rather buy this than the AC90 at the same price or should I jump on it? I must mention here that I have been "kind of" looking at the Panasonic HMC150 as well. I am surprised that despite being a 5 year old model, it still goes for the price it does and is still selling and getting positive reviews.

I know I have asked too many questions while providing long-winded details, but I thought it would be better to tell where I am coming from rather than asking few brief question in my first post to this forum!

Many many thanks in advance.

Last edited by Arsalan Butt; September 14th, 2013 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Edit: The quoted price was $1899 rather than $1799.
Arsalan Butt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 14th, 2013, 04:57 PM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,294
Re: XA-20 - To buy or not (@1799) vs AC90

Just an observation: US$1799 sounds too good a price to be true for a XA20. It might be gray market

People here find the XA20 good enough for use as the main video camera for wedding work. It is based on what your and your client's expectations are.

Projection of a live camera feed is possible, but you may not want to be tethered to the DJ's system if it is a one camera shoot. I would use either a second fixed camera for projection, Maybe have it locked down and change the view occasionally. An alternative is to have a wireless link form the camcorder to the projector to give you full freedom of motion for you shots.
__________________
dpalomaki@dspalomaki.com
Don Palomaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 14th, 2013, 05:09 PM   #3
Tourist
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC.
Posts: 3
Re: XA-20 - To buy or not (@1799) vs AC90

Thanks for the quick rely Don. I double checked the email with the quote. It is indeed $1899 instead of 1799 as I thought it was. 1799 was for something else that I had asked a quote on. And it is not a Grey market. The dealer is an authorized canon retailer and I have been buying stuff off of this place for years.

My weddings are always shot with multiple cams. The main camera is always around the stage area and quite close to the dj booth. Hence the physical distance isn't an issue. But how do you connect to the projector if wireless isn't one of the options?
Arsalan Butt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 15th, 2013, 06:18 PM   #4
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,294
Re: XA-20 - To buy or not (@1799) vs AC90

The camcorder has analog (composite) video and HDMI outputs. This is covered around page 107 of the manual. You can download the manual if you haven't already. The XA25 offers SDI as well.

The outputs can be connected to a projector.
__________________
dpalomaki@dspalomaki.com
Don Palomaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 16th, 2013, 10:14 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 625
Re: XA-20 - To buy or not (@1799) vs AC90

About using coaxial cables, this works fine with any camcorder that will output composite SD video. You simply need a $1 adapter, going from RCA to F-Type. It screws onto the end of the coax and provides an RCA connection. Simple. Great for long runs, rather than using an "RCA cable".

The RCA end of the adapter can be male of female. A male would plug direct into older camcorders actually having an RCA output jack. Most newer cameras now have a mini-jack connection, along with a special cable which breaks out to yellow-red-white RCAs, so then you'd need a female RCA adapter that your analog breakout cable would plug into.

A small fishing tackle box or similar plastic box (for hardware screws, nuts, bolts) works great to keep a variety of adapters. Every videographer should carry a nice selection of audio and video adapters for when these situations come up, as they invariably will. Can be a lifesaver!

Thanks
__________________
Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers
Jeff Pulera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 16th, 2013, 01:56 PM   #6
Tourist
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC.
Posts: 3
Re: XA-20 - To buy or not (@1799) vs AC90

Thanks. this makes sense.
Arsalan Butt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 17th, 2013, 07:24 PM   #7
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,294
Re: XA-20 - To buy or not (@1799) vs AC90

I just checked my XA10. I can connect it to a monitor (or projector) for live viewing/projection using:any of the following outputs (while shooting or in pause).
- HDMI
- composite (from the AV jack)
- Component. (However, It appears this output option was dropped form the XA20/25.)

You will need to turn off on-screen display from the menu to avoid having the status display in the image.
__________________
dpalomaki@dspalomaki.com
Don Palomaki is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:16 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network