Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Canon VIXIA HF G10 and "Pro" XA10 cameras

Two interesting camcorders Canon has announced are the top-of-the VIXIA line HF G10, and the "pro" XA10.

Canon VIXIA HF G10

The VIXIA HF G10 Flash Memory camcorder is Canon’s new flagship consumer camcorder providing the ultimate in HD video performance and quality. Recording Full HD 1920 x 1080 video, this camcorder features a Genuine Canon 10x HD Video Lens (35mm equivalent of 30.4mm-304mm) with an 8-blade iris providing smooth background blur and reduced lens diffraction. The lens also includes a dedicated manual-focus ring for enhanced control.

The VIXIA HF G10 features the new HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor for high video resolution, outstanding low-light performance and an expanded dynamic range. It also features a 3.5-inch High Resolution (922,000-dot) Touch Panel LCD screen for a large, bright display and easy menu navigation. A Custom Key and Dial can also be used to assign commonly used functions for quick and easy access.

As the flagship model in the lineup the camcorder includes, selectable zooming speed, Face-Only AF, Canon’s new customizable Cinema-Look Filters and Tele-Macro as well as Touch & Track technology, Smart Auto, Relay Recording, Powered IS, and HD-to-SD Downconversion. The VIXIA HF G10 comes with 32GB of internal flash memory and dual SDXC-compatible card slots which allow for simultaneous card recording enabling users to create immediate back-up.

For more advanced videographers, the VIXIA HF G10 includes manual color temperature adjustment (2,000K-15,000K in 100K increments), color bars with test tone, manual shutter speed and aperture control, a built-in Remote Control Terminal (which supports LANC protocol), and Native 24p recording. For shooting on a sunny day, the camcorder also includes a color viewfinder which offers a reliable viewing environment when shooting in bright conditions. The VIXIA HF G10 Flash Memory camcorder is scheduled to be available in March with an estimated retail price of$1,499.99.
Canon: VIXIA HF G10

Canon XA10

The XA10 looks suspiciously like the HF G10, but with a detachable handle that adds XLR inputs.

The compact XA10 includes a detachable handle for low-angle shooting and portability. With the handle attached, the XA10’s functionality is further enhanced with the addition of XLR inputs and an external microphone holder. The camcorder features infrared video capture, ideal for Military and Law Enforcement markets, as well as Nature and Wildlife videographers.

The new XA10 provides the option of recording to a 64GB internal flash drive or two SDXC-compatible card slots, as well as Relay Recording and the ability to record simultaneously to two cards for instant backup.

The Canon XA10 Professional Camcorder features a Genuine Canon 10x HD Zoom lens, Canon DIGIC DV III Image Processor and a Canon 1/3-inch native 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensor which delivers outstanding resolution and quality. The Genuine Canon 10x HD Zoom lens on the XA10 camcorder boasts a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 30.4mm – 304mm withan eight-blade iris capable of rendering natural, smooth background blur with reduced lens diffraction. The lens also features Canon’s SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) system with standard, Dynamic and Powered IS modes for steady video in most any shooting situation. Autofocus speeds can be selected from Instant, Medium and Normal to match the shooter’s preference. A focus ring on the lens allows for manual focus as well. The ability to focus manually combined with other manual features such asshutter speed, aperture control, and gain settings provide users with complete creative control.

For extreme low-light shooting, the Canon XA10 Professional Camcorder includes an infrared feature to help enable the capture of HD video in conditions with little tozero ambient light. The camcorder also includes an infrared emitter with a diffuser as well as a Green or White color option to shoot pleasing high-definition infrared imagery even in complete darkness.

The Canon XA10 Professional Camcorder features dual XLR inputs for external audio sources as well as a built-in stereo microphone. The new camcorder supports Dolby Digital 2ch (AC-3 2ch) with automatic and manual audio level adjustment.

As with other Canon professional camcorders, the XA10 provides users with complete manual control of various functions including frame rates, zooming speed, focus, white balance and gain control. Various frame rates can be selected to match the user’s preference – 60i, PF30, PF24 and native 24p. Through internal menus, users can adjust zoom speed settingsfor High, Middle and Low in 16 one-step increments for both the body lever as well as the handle control. The focus ring on the lens can be customized for manual focus control and users can set the direction of rotation, as well as three levels of response control. In addition to the focus ring, auto focus speed can be adjusted for smooth auto focus transitions, as well as a Face-Only AF mode allowing for a blurred image as a person walks off-screen. The camcorder’s white balance is adjustable from 2000K to 15,000K in 100K increments.

The XA10 camcorder also features a waveform monitor for accurate exposure and detailed analysis of image brightness. The XA10 incorporates this high-end feature into the camera body itself, maintaining its compact size and cost effectiveness while providing professionals with the features they need.

Checking critical focus with the XA10 is extremely easy. In addition to the high-resolution LCD screen, the XA10 features both peaking and magnify focus assists. The camcorder also features Canon’s Edge Monitor Focus Assist system that is quickly becoming the standard on Canon professional camcorders. Through this dynamic focus feedback the user can intuitively tune focus in a scene and quickly change the zone of focus.

For in-camera cinematic effects, the XA10 provides ninedifferent customizable cinema filters. The amount of filter effect can be adjusted in three levels (Low, Medium, and High) Additionally the Standard Cinema Filter function is further customizable through Color Depth, Contrast, Soft Filter, and Key adjustments.

The camcorder’s overall design is intended for comfortable operation whether gripped in your palm, or by the handle for low-angle shooting. Compact and lightweight the entire camcorder weighs only 1.7 lbs. and measures only 3.7 x 8.1 x 7.0 inches including the lens hood and handle. The 3.5-inch High Resolution –922,000-dot – Touch Panel LCD screen provides a large, vibrant display and can be flipped for solo shooting with the LCD screen facing the subject. The camcorder also includes an electronic viewfinder for more for use in bright conditions and where it would be difficult to use the LCD panel.
Embedded in the detachable handle are the camcorder’s XLR terminal inputs, audio switches, infrared light, tally lamp, removable microphone holder, zoom and record switches and a “cold” shoe. For easy connection to both Canon and third party wired remote controllers, the XA10 has a built-in remote control terminal (compatible with LANC protocol). A custom key and dial allow for more convenient, one-touch access to various functions such as focus or exposure and are set through the camcorder’s menu system.

The Canon XA10 Professional camcorder is scheduled to be available in March for an estimated retail price of $1,999.99.

The XA10 is compatible with Canon’s new WM-V1 Wireless Microphone* for seamless audio recording from up to 164 feet away. The WM-V1 also features a function for two way communication between the transmitter and receiver, allowing the camera operator and talent to communicate even if beyond earshot or in noisy ambient conditions. The WM-V1 will be available in May for an estimated retail price of $250.00.
Canon: XA10


Unknown said...

So... from what I can tell the XA10 is the same thing as the VIXIA HF G10 except the XA10 has a handle with a whole bunch of goodies...

Michael Murie said...

From what I can tell they are practically identical - except for the handle which provides XLR audio input and manual dials for adjusting audio levels.

The XA10 also has 64GB of internal memory instead of the 32GB in the HF G10.

It appears from what I can see that the other major features like manual modes, focus assist (peaking), waveforms, compression bit rates, and frame rates are identical.

Unknown said...

Michael, so if im not interested spending 400 dollars more just for audio, should i buy the G10 ?
Talking about image, it would be the same??

I also was looking the sony HXR mc50, what to you think about that?

I´m a sport filmer, i need quality in fast sequences.

Also, the canon ones, do they have photo sequence to do time lapse??

Thank you!

Michael Murie said...


Image quality should be exactly the same as it's the same processor and we think it's the same processing etc.

For me it's really about the convenience of the XLR and audio controls; is that worth $400, and do you want to plug XLR mics into your small camera?

I have heard that the HXR MC50 is a nice little camera. I haven't played with it.

I don't think any of them let you capture stills images as a sequence for timelapses, though that's not a feature I've looked at. Also, the Canon stills aren't very large because the chip is 1920 x 1080. If you want high res stills, you'll need something else.

Finally, if you're into sports, you might look at the Sony HDR-CX700V Camcorder; it can capture at 60p, which might be useful for slowing down sports sequences.

C. said...

Do either of these camera have interchangable lenses? Can you use Final Cut Express or iMovie software to edit video shot with them, and lastly, do you know anything about the Sony Vex 10? If so, how does it stack up to each of these?
Oh, could you buy a break out box the the G10 so you could get the XLR hook ups? I've read a lot about the XLR hook ups on the AX10 jangling or something?

Michael Murie said...

The zoom lens is fixed on these cameras. I think you can get a wide-nagle lens that screw on infront of the lens, but that's it.

Both Final Cut Express and iMovie should work fine with these cameras; it's standard AVCHD. Final Cut Pro 7 has no problem with it so they should work fine too.

The Sony NEX-VG10 and VG20 have a large sensor and interchangeable lenses, so working with them is more like working with a DSLR. Ignoring price, I think the advantage of the HF G10 is for run and gun documentary work in a small package. The VG10/20 give you a more filmic look in a larger package that requires more work on the part of the operator.

You could buy a breakout box to add XLR inputs to the HF G10.

Unknown said...

For me they are just the same but the handler makes the whole difference and also the possibilit of canon wireless connection. That will work great in documentaries shoot in open enviroments.

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