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


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Old April 7th, 2014, 11:08 AM   #1
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Frustrated with XA20

Daylight outdoor imagery seems reliably good with my XA20, but I am increasingly frustrated with indoor and other low contrast type shooting situations.
In particular, the auto WB seems awful- particularly in comparison with my Sony CX 760.
Even with manual WB adjustment the color seems off.
Often the image on the LCD monitor seems rather flat & washed out, making it even more difficult to sort out what I am actually capturing.
On my Sony CX cams the color balance is excellent, the LCD images "pop", and generally, what I see is what I get, no matter what the lighting situation.
I used the XA 10 for a couple of years and do not remember having these problems, or noticing such a dramatic difference between the Canon and my Sony's.
Is this just my poor memory, or has Canon really missed out on something with the XA20???
I'm thinking of selling the XA20, but I love the small size and I need the pro audio inputs.
I'm not sure what I would replace it with.
Seems like Canon has captured that niche with the XA10/20.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 06:27 AM   #2
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

I would expect an accurate camcorder to produce a low contrast (neutral) image from a low contrast scene.

I used a TM700 to shot some reduced light evening footage a few years ago. When watching it later I at first thought, wow, what a jump-up-and-smack-you image, untill it opccurred to me that the image was not what I saw in real life, and not what I needed for the project. Can't speak to the CX760.
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Old April 8th, 2014, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

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Originally Posted by Robert Young View Post
Daylight outdoor imagery seems reliably good with my XA20, but I am increasingly frustrated with indoor and other low contrast type shooting situations.
In particular, the auto WB seems awful- particularly in comparison with my Sony CX 760.
Even with manual WB adjustment the color seems off. . . . I'm thinking of selling the XA20, but I love the small size and I need the pro audio inputs. I'm not sure what I would replace it with. Seems like Canon has captured that niche with the XA10/20.
did you actually sell it? is it for sale?
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Old April 8th, 2014, 04:17 PM   #4
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

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Originally Posted by Rodger Smith View Post
did you actually sell it? is it for sale?
Not yet- I'm still not sure what I'm going to do.
I'm mostly whining...
I had a day-time shoot at an indoor horse arena with a translucent roof dome the other day.
It was a bit of a crap-shoot getting good looking shots with the XA 20, primarily due to white balance issues.
Again, I just don't recall having these problems with the XA 10.
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Old May 12th, 2014, 09:45 AM   #5
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

Robert I was never so glad to sell anything as I was my XA20. I absolutley hated white balancing the camera indoors. In some rooms it was fine, but in many churches and reception halls I couldn't do it.

Once I had three people help me try and find a WB setting in a church, no one could do it. It was horrible.

Most people are very happy with the camera, and some have suggested the problems were user error. My XA10s are much better.

BTW, I have an XA10 for sale here: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/private-...b-sd-card.html
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Old May 15th, 2014, 07:09 AM   #6
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

Jeff:
What camcorder did you switch to?

Have you considered the new XF200?

Last edited by Richard D. George; May 15th, 2014 at 08:47 AM. Reason: Additional question
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Old May 15th, 2014, 08:50 AM   #7
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

Scrolling through the reviews of the XA20 at B&H, several reviewers praised the white balancing options for indoor shooting. Not sure what to think. Overall rating was very high. The XF200 looks very interesting to me.
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Old May 16th, 2014, 04:42 PM   #8
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

As the saying goes: "One man's meat is another man's poison."
That is why we have choices.
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Old May 16th, 2014, 05:16 PM   #9
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

Don:

Have you had problems setting white balance indoors?
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Old May 17th, 2014, 12:09 PM   #10
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

No significant white balance issues. Most of my XA20 shoots have been outdoors with various mixes of day and artificial lights.
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Old May 17th, 2014, 12:39 PM   #11
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

Richard, my problems were not had by everyone, and were only reported by me and a couple of other people. The WB issues for me were occasional, not every shoot. When things were spot on, the footage looked very nice. The problem is when it was off I couldn't color correct it well. I spent days trying to fix one wedding and it never came out satisfactorily for me.

Luckily for us, there is a new crop of larger sensor camcorders coming, led by Sony. I'm looking at the CX900 with the 1" sensor and it's 4K sibling the AX100.
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Old May 17th, 2014, 03:52 PM   #12
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

My problems have been similar to Jeff's- hit or miss, I never know
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Old May 17th, 2014, 04:14 PM   #13
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

Quote:
...and it never came out satisfactorily for me.
Was the client satisfied?
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Old May 17th, 2014, 05:09 PM   #14
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

Auto WB is always hit and miss and unusable where there are predominant room colors or colored light changes like at some receptions. Just think about it - auto WB tries to make the predominant tone white, e.g. point it at a blue card or wall and it will set a higher temperature - the blue turns paler in your shots. WB doesn't have to be accurate to the nearest degree K. With maybe just a few test shots and a bit of experience you'll be able to judge close enough to get a proper result.
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Old May 17th, 2014, 05:23 PM   #15
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Re: Frustrated with XA20

To emphasize Don's point about "another man's poison", there is a thread going in Industry News where someone can't wait to get rid of their Sony AX100.

Last edited by Richard D. George; May 17th, 2014 at 05:24 PM. Reason: Typo
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