The Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder is a compact "run-and-gun" camera that is suitable for ENG, event coverage, independent and documentary filmmaking. The camera features a 1/2.84", 1920 x 1080 CMOS sensor that captures video at various frame rates up to 59.94p, including a 24p mode for a more cinematic feel. The integrated Canon 20x HD Optical zoom lens has a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 26.8 to 576mm and features an 8-bladed iris to render highlights in a more natural manner.
The final piece in the image chain is Canon's Digic DV 4 Image Processor. This high-speed image-processing engine powers Canon's Dynamic IS (Image Stabilization) mode reducing image distortion over traditional up-down left-right image stabilization by adding correction for camera roll in three axes. The power of the Digic DV 4 allows the camera to simultaneously encode your video to two different codecs and bit rates, allowing you to have web-ready versions of your master footage available as soon as you stop recording.
The XA20 features both a 3.5" OLED Touch Panel view screen with a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, and a color electronic viewfinder with 1,560,000 dots of resolution. The camera features full manual control and auto modes for exposure, focus, white balance, gain, and shutter speed. The camera provides professional features such as a pre-record buffer, peaking, zebra bars, color bars, and reference tone. The zoom speed is adjustable with variable, constant (with 16 different speed levels), fast, normal and slow settings. The camera features a detachable top handle with zoom toggle, record start/stop, IR emitter, tally light, accessory shoe, external mic holder and two XLR connectors with phantom power and manual audio level controls. The XA20 includes a built-in headphone jack and an HDMI mini connector, and outputs composite video and audio via a 3.5 mm four pole mini jack.
Two built-in SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slots allow you to record video to available media cards in both slots at the same time. This allows you to create an instant back up copy for archiving and data protection or you can capture high resolution AVCHD or MP4 video files on one card while creating a lower data rate MP4 more suitable for the web on the other card. When using two media cards and the camera is in Relay mode, there is no need to stop shooting to swap out a full media card. When one card becomes full, recording seamlessly switches to the other card. Built-in dual-band Wi-Fi allows you FTP video files directly from the camera, or playback footage from the memory cards to Wi-Fi enabled TVs and Computers. You can also remotely control select camera functions from a smart phone or tablet over Wi-Fi, freeing you from remote cables.
Canon Native 1920 x 1080 CMOS Sensor
- The XA20 features a new 1/2.84-inch HD CMOS Image Sensor with 2.91 Mp. The large size of the individual pixels enable a minimum subject illumination of 1.2 lux for shooting in low-light conditions.
20x Optical Zoom Lens
- The Canon 20x HD Zoom Lens provides a zoom range with 35mm equivalent of 26.8mm-576mm, and a minimum object distance of just 23.6 inches (60cm). The lens features an eight blade iris design providing a more natural look, out of focus areas are smoother and more appealing. The lens features an endless-type manual focus/zoom ring and the built-in power zoom control includes user-programmable direction and sensitivity modes. Zoom speed can be set to variable, constant (with 16 levels), fast, normal or slow.
Digic DV 4 Image Processor
- The DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor works in concert with the HD CMOS Image Sensor to provide images with low noise and rich color depth. It also powers the new Dynamic Mode of the image stabilization system, which is an electronic correction of rotational distortion. The processing power of the Digic DV 4 enables the simultaneous encoding of video to different codecs and bit rates for recording to two separate SD cards at the same time.
The XA20 offers optical image stabilization (IS) useful for reducing image blur in a wide variety of shooting situations. Additional IS modes can be manually selected to enhance the optical image stabilization, or you can select Intelligent IS and allow the camera to identify the appropriate stabilization mode for the situation.
- Dynamic IS: improves on standard on translational IS (up-down/left-right) stabilization, by adding three additional corrections - roll axis correction (tilting/rocking of the camera forward and back), horizontal roll correction and vertical roll correction for five-axis correction when shooting on the wide end of the lens.
- Macro IS: corrects angular and shift-type shake in wide-angle shots.
- Powered IS: corrects for low-frequency camcorder shake when shooting at the long (telephoto) end of the lens
- Canon Auto Focus (AF) features include natural-looking medium-speed, instant, and Face Detection AF, which can significantly reduce the effort required when shooters need to keep a particular face in focus in a jostling crowd or similar situation.
Zebra bars selectable between 70 and 100% are available to help you judge exposure.
The features peaking and 2x image magnification as focus aids.
The camera can display and record color bars or color bars with reference tone. The color bars comply with the SMPTE standards. Reference tone levels can be set at -12 dB, -18 dB or -20 dB.
3.5" OLED Touch Panel View Screen and EVF
- The 3.5-inch, 1,230,000-dot equivalent Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) display provides vivid color and a 10,000:1 contrast ratio. The viewscreen has a viewing angle of over 80 degrees in all directions, which allows you to see a usable image even when you are off angle to the viewscreen. The Color EVF is a 0.24 inch with 1,560,000 dots of resolution, and tilts up to 45° to accommodate different shooting positions.
Manual Camera Control
The XA20 features selectable manual/automatic control on the camera functions, allowing you to choose the best settings for the situation. Functions include: Exposure, Shutter Speed, Iris, Gain, Exposure Lock, AGC Limit.
White Balance features 6 presets (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent H, and Fluorescent), as well as two manual white balance settings. Additionally when specific adjustment of the color temperature is desired, the color temperature may be adjusted in 100K increments from 2,000 to 15,000K.
The cameras body features five user assignable buttons so you can customize the camera to access features without having to enter the menu system.
The XA20 features an integrated mic, and the detachable handle houses 2 XLR Line/Mic level inputs with +48V phantom power for connecting external mics. The detachable handle also houses the manual audio level controls
A built-in 3.5 mm headphone jack with 16 volume settings provides for accurate audio monitoring.
- The XA20 features an AV mini terminal for composite video (and audio) via a four pole 3.5 mm mini jack, a mini HDMI out connector which delivers video, audio and allows you the option of superimposing timecode over your video.
Media Card Slots
Two SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots are built into the camera allowing you varied recording options
- Dual recording: allows you to simultaneously record the same footage to different media cards using different codecs and bit rates
- Double-slot recording: allows you to record simultaneously to each of the two SD memory card slots, providing an instant backup for your footage
- Relay recording: the XA20 automatically switches video recording from one memory card to the other when the first memory card becomes full.
Infrared Shooting Mode
- Engaging the Infrared (IR) shooting mode, moves the IR Cut filter out of the optical path for shooting in extreme low light conditions. An IR emitter built into the detachable top handle provides an IR source, and the built-in IR diffuser helps prevent IR hot spots on the subject. In IR mode you can select from the traditional green hued IR image or the default setting, which produces a black and white image.
- Dual-band Wi-Fi (5GHz and 2.4GHz) support is built into the camera, allowing FTP file transfer of MP4 video. The camera supports a web browser interface that combined with Wi-Fi support allows you to control key features of the camera, including start/stop recording, zoom (limited to three speeds), exposure functions, and focus using a smart phone or tablet. You can also view and download recorded MP4 footage from the camera on a PC or mobile device. When the camera is in playback mode video files can be uploaded to social media websites via the free Movie Uploader app for iOS devices.
An integrated Hi-Speed USB (mini-B) port allows you to download footage from the memory cards, this port is for output only.
Remote Control Port
The camera features a built-in 2.5 mm stereo mini jack for LANC control.
Detachable Top Handle
- The detachable top handle contains the audio controls and external XLR audio inputs, as well as a tally light and the infrared emitter and accessory shoe. You can remove the top handle from the camera to create an even smaller shooting package.
- The XA20 is compatible with the optional Canon WM-V1 Wireless Bluetooth Microphone. This feature allows high-quality audio to be recorded from up to 164 feet away (50m), making it ideal for events, ceremonies, nature recording and other situations that call for unobtrusive sound recording. With optional earphones attached, the WM-V1 Wireless Microphone can also be used as a two-way intercom.
Photo capture: The XA20 offers the ability to capture 1920 x 1080 still images. Photos may be captured to an SD memory card during recording, as well as "frame grabbed" during playback.
Pre-record: The XA20 continuously buffers approximately three seconds of video in memory. When you begin recording the contents of the buffer memory are added allowing you to capture footage before you pressed record.
Intelligent battery system: The XA20 is compatible with Canon's Intelligent Lithium-ion batteries, which communicate remaining running time (down to the minute) to the user.
Language support: The XA20 supports 27 languages: Czech, Danish, German, Greek, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Hungarian, Malay, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Finnish, Swedish, Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian, Arabic, Farsi, Thai, Chinese (simplified characters), Chinese (traditional characters), Korean and Japanese.