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Canon XC Series UHD Camcorders
All about the Canon XC10 and XC15 4K hybrid stills / video camera.

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Old February 15th, 2018, 02:18 PM   #1
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XC-15; step up or down from an X70?

Before I purchased my Sony PXW-X70 two years ago, I did strongly look at the XC-10. The main two strikes against it were the insane CFast card prices and lack of an XLR-based audio solution.

I do enjoy the X70. I shoot events. And I'm still capturing HD which is great since you have very nice 10-bit 4:2:2 footage. While I can do basic post-work, I'm now more inclined to use picture profiles to minimize post-work. I have no experience in any log based workflows.

I use Final Cut Pro X on an iMac Pro. In the early days of the X70, it was not possible to bring in the native footage. Now you can, so more transcoding.

There are clearly some things on the X70 that I don't need at all and are overkill (e.g. the SDI out). The weight is a tad on the heavy side. I'm using an Audio Technica BP-4025 stereo mic, so the whole rig is just over 4 lbs.

Now then, I'm nowhere near having a true 4K pipeline. But, I'm a bit interested in starting to capture 4K and then down-convert to HD for delivery. For that, I've looked towards to main upgrades:

First is the Sony PXW-Z90V. But, the 4K is limited to 8-bit 4:2:0.

Second is the Canon XC-15. 4K there is 8-bit 4:2:2. The bit rate is also quite different. 305 Mbps vs 100Mbps. Intra-frame vs. Long-GOP.

I do have an ample computer for any 4K editing. 10-Core iMac Pro with two external RAIDs; 600 MBps RAID 10 for the main data and a 400 MBps RAID 0 for a scratch disk.

Things I like about the XC-15. A bit lighter. Waveform monitor!

Things I don't... seems to just have a single ND filter. Though with the f/2.8 to 5.6 lens, I would probably ten to leave on 5.6. Still, I'm not sure what the built-in single ND is and if that would be enough for practical usage. CFast still very expensive. Though I'm looking at a portable hard drive solution and CFReader to offload footage nightly. That may allow me to purchase a single 256 GB CFast card.

Thus, I'm looking for practical advice here... if I get the XC-15, would that be a step down? Any recommendations on 4K solutions around 3,000 USD that would offer at least 8-bit 4:2:2?.

Site note: I do love Canon and own a 5D Mark IV for photography. While I don't need to stick with Canon, it would be nice to stay in their ecosystem. And I did briefly try 4K on the 5D IV but only use a 50mm f/1.2. Very noisy when focusing. So this is not a viable solution at all. I much prefer a dedicated piece of equipment for video.

Thank you.
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Old February 15th, 2018, 03:13 PM   #2
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Re: XC-15; step up or down from an X70?

Dumb question, but I have to ask - you are aware that 4K is a software upgrade on the X70? Just not clear from your post.

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Old February 15th, 2018, 03:24 PM   #3
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Re: XC-15; step up or down from an X70?

Yes, but not appealing since bit rate quite limited at 60 Mbps and still 8-bit 4:2:0. If I stick with Sony, I would rather the PXW-Z90V.
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Old February 16th, 2018, 02:48 AM   #4
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Re: XC-15; step up or down from an X70?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Sharp View Post
Yes, but not appealing since bit rate quite limited at 60 Mbps
This was bumped up to 100Mbps in the version 3.0 firmware release. They're on 3.02 now.

https://www.servicesplus.sel.sony.co...el-PXWX70.aspx


My opinion is that CFast, as a (S)ATA-based memory medium, has its days numbered due to technical limitations, and the CF association is now backing the development of CFexpress (in an identical form factor and pinout to XQD) ... this is the reason why I personally bought into SxS (ExpressCard/34) and XQD formats as they are PCIe-based mediums rather than ATA mediums like CF and CFast or Cardbus (32-bit PCI) mediums like P2.
Even looking at the personal computer and server market, today's fastest solid state drives are not interfaced by SATA or mSATA, but M.2 form factor NVMe interface which is again a packaging of PCI Express.
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