The Canon XA10 HD Professional PAL Camcorder is a fully featured, ultra-compact pro video camera that shares nearly all the functionality of the XF100, but in an even smaller, run-and-gun form factor. Sporting a 64 GB internal flash drive and two SDXC-compatible card slots, the XA10 can record literally for days without running out of memory.
Able to capture AVCHD video at bitrates up to 24 Mb/s, the camcorder's native 1920 x 1080 CMOS sensor also lets you choose 50i and PF25 frame rates for customizing the look of your footage (PF25 is 25 progressive frames per second recorded as 50i.). Bringing further professional oomph to that footage is a Genuine Canon 10x HD video lens, with lowlight sensitivity to f/1.8 and a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 30.4-304mm.
Like the larger XF100, the XA10 also provides full image customization, cinema looks, infrared recording (for night shooting), and HDMI/component/composite output. Other professional features include dual XLR inputs, relay recording, waveform, color peaking, and zebra patterns.
But the camera has a few extra tricks up its sleeve, including a detachable handle to allow for truly low-profile shooting, and a 3.5" touchscreen LCD that adds the extremely useful Touch & Track, Touch Focus, and Touch Exposure functions, which make pulling focus and adjusting exposure dramatically easier. Combined with its other focus, exposure, and composition aids, this makes the XA10 an ideal blend of portability and professional control – the perfect tool for nearly any on-the-go production.
- Flash Memory
The XA10 Professional Camcorder allows users to record up to 24 hours of clear high definition video to a 64GB internal flash drive or to two SDXC-compatible memory cards. With Relay Recording, the camcorder automatically switches video recording from the internal drive to the SD memory cards when the memory becomes full.
Video can be copied from the XA10's internal drive to removable SD memory cards. That makes it easy to insert the card into your computer or HDTV's card reader and view your recorded footage immediately. Double Slot Recording allows recording to two SD cards simultaneously, providing an automatic backup while shooting.
- AVCHD Codec
The XA10 features the AVCHD codec. AVCHD (Advanced Video Coding High Definition) was announced in 2006 and is quickly becoming the standard for professional camcorders. AVCHD utilizes MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression technology similar to the technology used in Canon's HD DSLRs. In addition to professional grade camcorders, AVCHD is very popular in the consumer market and as a result most nonlinear editing software, both professional and consumer, have full support for the codec; this makes for easy compatibility with the XA10 no matter what system you choose.
AVCHD is used for encoding Blu-ray Discs, meaning the XA10 is ideal for capturing content for delivery in this format, as well as making conversion to web-based content in H.264 format easy. Additionally, the XA10 records up to 24 Mb/s, the maximum bit rate of AVCHD, at 1920 x 1080 and 4:2:0 color space for sharp, vivid, and fully professional quality image capture.
- Genuine Canon 10x HD Video Lens
- The XA10 features a Genuine Canon 10x HD Video Lens which offers a 35mm equivalent of 30.4-304mm. It delivers unsurpassed image quality, the versatility of a wide angle of view and smooth and professional looking background images thanks to a sophisticated 8-blade iris. A dedicated manual focus ring allows accurate and precise control.
- Canon Native 1920 x 1080 CMOS Image Sensor
- Designed and manufactured exclusively by Canon, the XA10 Professional PAL Camcorder incorporates a native 1/3-inch, 1920 x 1080 CMOS image sensor, delivering superb Full HD video recording with minimal noise. The high sensitivity and wide dynamic range of this sensor are what demanding users expect from Canon.
- Canon DIGIC DV III Image Processor
- The XA10 Professional PAL Camcorder features Canon's powerful DIGIC DV III Image Processor, which provides enhanced shading, lifelike tonal gradations, new custom picture settings and lower power consumption. DIGIC DV III is also the high-speed engine which powers a variety of Canon technologies: Genuine Canon Face Detection, Touch & Track, and Cinema-Look Filters. On-the-go videographers will appreciate the ability to track one subject in a crowd of people.
- Smart Auto
- Smart Auto uses the power of Canon's DIGIC DV III Image Processor to intelligently detect and analyze faces, brightness, color, distance, and movement, and then automatically selects the best settings for the scene. Among the 38 scenes available in Smart Auto, a standout is Tele Macro. Tele Macro automatically zooms the lens of the camcorder to the telephoto end, setting the minimum object distance to approximately 1.3 feet (from 3.3 feet). This gives you the opportunity to shoot spectacular close-ups with the dramatic look of a shallow depth of field.
- 3.5" Touch Panel LCD Screen
A 3.5-inch, 922,000-pixel LCD monitor provides an ample, accurate area for critical focus confirmation and approximately 100% field of view. The display opens on the left side of the camera body.
Touch & Track
Touch and Track delivers precise tracking of the focus and exposure on any subject – people, animals, vehicles and more. Simply select the point of interest on the Touch Panel LCD and you'll have the subject in sharp focus, regardless of where in the frame it moves during the shot. The exposure will be perfectly adjusted for subject and conditions. Touch & Track is the default setting. Focus or exposure may be adjusted independently by turning off Touch & Track, and turning on Touch Focus or Touch Exposure.
Touch Focus allows the user to pinpoint a specific area to focus on. This function is similar to the Push AF feature found other professional camcorders, but can target a subject anywhere in the frame.
Touch Exposure enables exposure to be locked or compensated for the area touched by the user.
- Electronic Viewfinder
- The XA10 Professional Camcorder features a 0.24-inch, 260,000-pixel Color EVF and approximately 100% field of view coverage for comfortable viewing and accurate judgment of composition. Brightness, contrast, color and backlight are adjustable.
- Focus Assist Functions
Edge Monitor Focus Assist System: With Canon's Edge Monitor Focus Assist system, a red and green monitor is shown at the bottom of the LCD display and three red focus check areas are shown across the display. The green waveform shows overall focus of the image, while the red waveform shows the focus status of the focus check boxes. Through this dynamic focus feedback, the user can intuitively tune focus in a scene and quickly change the zone of focus.
Peaking/Magnify: Two peaking modes and a 2x magnify focus assist function are available in standby and record mode (LCD monitor and EVF), making it extremely easy for the XA10 operator to check and confirm critical focus.
- Detachable Handle with Dual XLR Inputs
A detachable handle provides the pro shooter with expanded audio performance and added flexibility. Removing the handle allows the camcorder to be made more compact for convenient storage when traveling. Included on the handle are the following terminals, controls and monitors:
- Two built-in XLR audio input terminals with phantom power
- Accessory shoe (cold)
- External microphone holder
- Manual audio level control
- Zoom control and record start/stop button
- Infrared light
- Rear tally lamp
- Infrared Recording
- The XA10 camcorder features an Infrared mode allowing the capture of video in conditions with little to no ambient light, a situation which would make other camcorders useless. It does so by removing the infrared cutoff filter from the optical path. Its specially designed lens coating allows the infrared light to pass through to the image sensor. Additionally, the XA10 features an infrared emitter with a diffuser to shoot pleasing infrared imagery even in complete darkness. For nature videographers or law enforcement users, the benefits of a compact, high performance camcorder for shooting in such conditions is obvious. Without the need to add lights, the shooter may remain hidden from their subjects. Also, the XA10 gives the option of recording in green or white light mode.
- Manual Control - Custom Key & Dial
The XA10 Professional Camcorder offers a wide array of functions to provide the professional shooter with an exceptional level of control. A Custom Key and Dial feature allows you to assign functions to an easily accessible key and adjust the settings with a control dial. Functions include:
- TV/AV: Use the dial to adjust shutter speed (TV mode) or aperture (AV mode), as needed. In this mode the key has no effect.
- Manual exposure: When manual control is selected, the dial can adjust aperture, shutter speed, or gain. Select items to adjust, such as aperture or other settings, with the key.
- Exposure Lock can be set on or off as can the AGC Limit.
- Focus Assist - Magnification & Peaking
- To further enhance focusing capability the XA10 also features Focus Assist. It includes enlargement, which helps in capturing your subject in razor-sharp focus. It works by providing a 2x magnification of your subject, which is automatically canceled when you start recording. Also included is color peaking, which shows the shooting object's focused areas in actual colors. With Canon's Edge Monitor Focus Assist system, a red and green monitor is shown at the bottom of the LCD display and three red focus check areas are shown across the display. The green waveform shows overall focus of the image, while the red waveform shows the focus status of the focus check boxes. Through this dynamic focus feedback, you can intuitively tune focus in a scene and quickly change the zone of focus.
- Waveform & Zebra Patterns
- Typically only found on expensive external units, the XA10 has a waveform monitor built right into the camera. The waveform monitor shows a detailed view of overall image brightness. At the same time, enhanced zebra pattern (70% or 100%) indicates "blown out" or high brightness areas to help you set the proper exposure.
- Composition Aids
- With the Level Marker feature, it's easy to keep the camcorder level for more accurate framing. The Grid Marker provides a reference a grid in your viewfinder. Depending on the background color of your shot, you can choose between two different colors for better viewing contrast.
- Advanced Control
The XA10 features full manual exposure, as well as aperture priority (AV), and shutter priority (TV) modes.
Either color bars or color bars and test tone can be selected and recorded using a menu. The color bars comply with the SMPTE standard. -12 dB, -18 dB or -20 dB can be selected as the test tone.
The white balance control has 6 available presets settable through a variety of day and artificial light conditions (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent H, and Fluorescent), as well two manual white balance settings. Color temperature may also be manually set from 2000K to 15,000K in 100K increments for more precise adjustment.
Gain may be manually set from 0 dB to 24 dB in 1 dB increments. Additionally, Auto Gain Control Limit allows you to set the maximum gain limit for the image sensor's sensitivity. With this function, brightness and noise can be balanced as required, and image quality can be maximized in low light situations.
The zoom speed as controlled by the rocker and handle controls is selectable. There is a choice of variable or 16 fixed speeds, with fast/normal/slow settings for greater control while zooming in various situations.
- Frame Modes
- The XA10 records in Full HD 1920 x 1080 two different frame rates. The XA10 is also capable of recording in several different bit rate modes (24 Mb/s, 17 Mb/s, 12 Mb/s, 7 Mb/s, 5 Mb/s), allowing the user the balance quality versus recording time for specific applications. In addition to the standard interlaced frame rate of 50i, the XA10 can also capture video in PF25 (25 progressive frames per second recorded as 50i).
- Cinema-Look Filters
- When Cinema Shooting mode is selected, it is possible to use one of nine different cinematic filters to customize the look and feel of the image. This provides users with almost limitless creative control. Filters are Cinema Standard, Cool, Dramatic B&W, Dream, Memory, Nostalgic, Old Movie, Sepia, and Vivid. The brightness of each filter can be adjusted low, medium or high, for even greater control. When Cinema Standard is selected, color depth, softening and contrast can also be adjusted.
- HD-to-SD Downconversion
- HD-to-SD downconversion allows you to convert recorded high definition video to standard definition files while safely preserving the original HD video. These standard definition files make it even more convenient to share video online. The video can be transferred to your computer via traditional methods – i.e., USB connection, card slot – or wirelessly to sharing sites with an Eye-Fi SD memory card.
- Audio System: XLR Inputs & Manual Control
The XA10 Professional Camcorder offers a built-in stereo microphone to capture high-quality audio. The microphone's direction can be adjusted four different ways to match your needs and taste. Choose from:
Monaural: Single point direction
Wide: Provides a more enhanced, separated stereo effect than normal
Synced with Zoom: Directionality is adjusted to match the zoom position
In addition, the frequency response characteristics of the microphone can be adjusted between low, mid-range and high frequencies.
Normal: Provides a balance throughout all frequencies
Low-range emphasis: Excellent for recording live music with impact
Attenuate low frequencies: Reduces ambient noise and the sound of traffic outdoors, such as wind, cars, and so on
Mid-range emphasis: Ideal for capturing people's voices
Low and high range emphasis: Record live music with balanced lows and highs
The Automatic Attenuator feature prevents high volume distortion and optimizes audio quality in situations when sound levels quickly change. It automatically keeps the audio clean and even. Additionally, two XLR audio inputs with phantom power can be found on the detachable handle. Both the built-in microphone terminal and XLR terminals have the option for automatic or manual audio level control. Canon’s new optional WM-V1 Wireless Microphone allows high-quality audio to be recorded from up to 164 feet away (50 m), making it ideal for ceremonies.
Not only does the XA10 provide the professional user with complete control over the image, it also provides complete creative freedom when it comes to inputs and outputs, including:
- HDMI Output (supports CEC, x.v. Color)
- Component Video Output
- Composite Video Output (3.5mm)
- USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Terminal
- (2) XLR Audio Input (when handle is attached)
- Microphone Input (3.5mm)
- Headphone Jack (3.5mm)
- Remote Control Terminal (compatible with LANC protocol)
- Accessory Shoe (when handle is attached)
- Story Creator
- Story Creator is a unique function that allows the camcorder to guide users in the creation of different video clips to assemble into a finished story during post-production. With this feature enabled, the user can choose from five different scenarios: Travel, Kids & Pets, Party, Ceremony, and Blog. The XA10 suggests specific shots to tell the story and helps keep them organized.
- Intelligent Battery System
- The XA10 Professional Camcorder is compatible with Canon's Intelligent Lithium-ion batteries. These batteries communicate remaining running time (down to the minute) so the user is well-informed at all times.
- Support for 27 languages
- Supported are Czech, Danish, German, Greek, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Hungarian, Malay, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Finnish, Swedish, Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian, Arabic, Farsi, Thai, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.