REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonXA10 HD Professional Camcorder
 
4.5

(based on 266 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (158)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (87)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (6)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great picture quality (216)
  • Easy to use (193)
  • Zoom range/performance (175)
  • Image stabilization (173)
  • Good in low light (165)

Cons

  • Limited zoom (46)
  • Complicated to operate (25)
  • Poor sound (16)
  • Poor still image (6)
  • Poor in low light (4)

Best Uses

  • HD shooting (172)
  • Documentaries (152)
  • Movies/short films (138)
  • Travel (134)
  • Weddings (134)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro (114), Pro videographer (81), Enthusiast (46), Casual user (10)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (239), Yes (7)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Lots of bang for the buck

Since all products are a compromise of some sort (price vs. size vs. weight vs. ruggedness vs ?) the trick when buying a complex product is to determine if the designers made...Read complete review

Since all products are a compromise of some sort (price vs. size vs. weight vs. ruggedness vs ?) the trick when buying a complex product is to determine if the designers made the right compromises, i.e. they gave up features that aren't very important to you and they preserved the features that are.

For me, the Canon XA-10 puts the priorities in all the right places: image quality, manual controls, audio quality, size, weight, price and...did I say image quality? Are there some missing things I wish it included (like more buttons and a larger viewfinder)? Sure, but I'm not willing to pay a higher price and get a larger, heavier camera to get them.

The image quality is superb out of the box, and gets better and better as you learn how to tweak the settings. Sharpness, color saturation and dynamic range are excellent. I used to think only a three-chip camera could deliver video of this quality, especially in low light. Audio quality is excellent with both the built-in mics for ambient sound and with my Rode NTG2 shotgun or a lavaliere for dialog.

I thought I would hate the touch screen. It's not as responsive as my iPhone, but I've gotten used to it. It's bright, clear and the menus are (mostly) logically laid out. Virtually everything can be manually controlled when you want to, and that really makes a difference.

The handle with XLR inputs works well. Mine does have a rattle, but, who shakes a camcorder when shooting? Not me. This problem has been exaggerated, although I agree that Canon should have never let this design or assembly problem happen.

I do have a few small complaints: I wish the headphone jack were not underneath the LCD when closed and I wish the speaker was functional when "headphones" was selected but no headphones were plugged in.

For those of you trying to decide whether to use a DSLR or camcorder for video, here's my take. I've been shooting film and video for almost 40 years, and commercial still photos for just as long. I shoot some video with my pro-level DSLR and pro-level lenses. The ONLY advantage I have found that the DSLR has compared to the XA-10 is limited depth of field. In almost all cases the overall image quality of the XA-10 is superior. Unless you are willing to spend quite a bit on accessories for you DSLR, and have an assistant, and a detailed script and shooting plan, I would choose a camcorder.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

It is what it is: Prosumer

I bought this camera after doing some pretty extensive research. The deciding factor for me was looking at comparison video on Youtube between this camera and the 105: they are completely comparable. So,...Read complete review

I bought this camera after doing some pretty extensive research. The deciding factor for me was looking at comparison video on Youtube between this camera and the 105: they are completely comparable. So, for [$] this camera will deliver incredible HD images. It is light as a feather so that makes it a great camera for docs, and can be mounted to any number of steady cam devices. From a quality standpoint, anyone criticizing this camera does not really know what they are talking about. Doesn't do well in low light? Well, hello, it's cmos sensors--that goes with the territory. Sound is crummy? Well, first of all, the on-board mic is pretty good, and what professional uses it anyway? The XLR inputs work great for both the shotgun and the lav--with the rather professional bonus that the XLR provides phantom power to the shotgun mic--a huge boon.That said, the camera is what it is: a glorified Vixia. Most of that glory is indeed, the XLR adapter that provides phantom power. If you are not a pro, you are buying the wrong camera--just get the top of the line Vixia and save [$] or more. If you are a pro, then you will not be able to put up with the touchscreen over having manual controls. I used this once for event videography and while we were rolling the light changed on us. I was in full manual and needed to adjust the iris, but was locked out for whatever reason. Now, it's true, with a lot more experience I would be master of the menus, would go in and change whatever setting I needed, and THEN would be able to adjust my iris. Alternatively, I could buy a camera that has a manual iris. So really, I can't see a pro using this for feature, documentary, or event video--on the fly stuff like rack focus, irising down, etc. is not REALLY in the tool-bag here. Yeah, some will argue that you can do it by dragging the slider--PLEASE!!! Also, it comes with wave-form and vector--very professional tools, but even a pro like me would like to see the numbers on the side of the waveform please--its just a series of lines without them. So the last thing I'm going to do is condemn this camera. It is a GREAT little camera that will definitely deliver you high-quality video that will impress anyone. But in the end, it is what it is: prosumer. You want the complex stuff, you're going to have to go up a grand to get it.

Reviewed by 266 customers

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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Best Camera Ever For Almost Everything

By Stu Marks Sez

from SW Washington State

About Me Pro Videographer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Good Image Stabilization
  • Good in Low Light
  • Great Picture Quality
  • Great Sound
  • Great Zoom
  • Large Clear LCD
  • Zoom range/performance

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Documentaries
    • HD Shooting
    • Home Movies
    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Movies/Short Films
    • Travel
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

    As a primary provider for live streaming, I can never use this camera for those events, nor for live capturing to ANY capture software in HD without an expensive interface device of some sort.That being said, on any shoot, pro or pedestrian, if you pack a couple of these in your road or studio kit, you'll never need anything other camera, nor most audio gear other than a good mic.The onboard mics are fabulous stereo quality for capturing room and nature ambiance. The XLR inputs are completely pro level. I own a couple of very expensive mics including the Neumann BCM 104, a pro wireless set for talking heads and a great shotgun mic. With these, I need nothing else. I never break out a seperate audio deck for recording the audio of any shoot. The XA10 is winnerTo achieve live streaming, see Teradek. The VidiU box for $ handles the encoding and the access to Internet via 3G or 4G.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Good for the price range

    By KMH

    from Murfreesboro, TN

    About Me Pro Videographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Great Picture Quality
    • Zoom range/performance

    Cons

    • Complicated To Operate

    Best Uses

    • Home Movies
    • Travel

    Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

    Set this up in a Pod Cast studio. It is good for that, but not so easy to navigate the menus. Especially if you like to shoot in manual. Below I put I would not recommend to a friend because I don't want someone needing pro features thinking this a great camera. It is a good camera and a good one to take a step up. It is a great camera for home use on auto or as stated above as a camera in a well lit studio for a pod cast.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Nice step up

    By Steve

    from Dallas

    About Me Semi-pro Videographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use
    • Good Image Stabilization
    • Good in Low Light
    • Great image quality
    • Great Picture Quality
    • Great Sound
    • Great Zoom
    • Large Clear LCD
    • Zoom range/performance

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

        Upgraded from a Canon HF m41 camcorder, which I thought did a nice job for work videos. Then I shot some video (fairly low light too) at the XA10's highest quality and was really amazed at how crisp and clear it was. One nice feature I like the ability to connect my H4n Zoom audio recorder and XLR mic directly to the camera and capturing awesome audio along with the great video. Definitely would recommend for an entry level pro recorder.

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        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Perfect for Elementary Students

        By JNWBW

        from Honolulu, HI

        About Me Casual User

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Perfect For Small Hands

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Documentaries
          • Movies/Short Films

          Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

          We recently started up a Broadcasting Program at our elementary school. The students learn how to operate digital cameras (DSLR and video cameras). This particular product is professional, yet manageable for my elementary 5th and 6th graders to use while conducting interviews or taping a morning broadcast in terms of size and overall functionality. The two microphone inputs are perfect for when they conduct interviews. The only thing I wish that we were able to get more of these cameras, but due to some restrictions with the tax we were only able to purchase one.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Super light, very intuitive HD camera

          By jayare

          from winona, MN

          About Me Casual User

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Good Image Stabilization
          • Good in Low Light
          • Great Picture Quality
          • Great Sound
          • Great Zoom
          • Large Clear LCD
          • Zoom range/performance

          Cons

          • No Record To Chip And Int

          Best Uses

          • HD Shooting
          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

          We use this to record church services for local cable broadcast. This set up and was working in less than an hour. It is easy to understand and produces high quality videao

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          "I would buy this product again"

          By Phi Le

          from leola, PA

          About Me Semi-pro Videographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Great Picture Quality

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • HD Shooting
            • Movies/Short Films

            Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

            I would buy this product again

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Best Kept secret

            By Brooklyn Sketch Comedy

            from Brooklyn Nyc

            Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

            This little baby pack great smooth video with XLR options. Made to take professional videos without the bull crop. Mount you a light and put it on the tripod and it's better then all these full frame cameras that is made for pictures and not videos. Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, anyone who went to film school would not use a picture camera to make a simple good full video

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            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            excellent for house of worship.

            By Aaron

            from Los Angeles

            Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

            Using hdmi to blackmagic switchet. Wonderful image and price.

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Awesome camera,great shopping experience

            By craftychicken

            from Denver, CO

            About Me Video Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Zoom range/performance

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Documentaries
              • HD Shooting
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Movies/Short Films

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              I ordered this camera for video blogging - white backdrop/infinite white video shooting. So far it has been great. I needed something where I could adjust the white balance and the focus (old camera would go in and out of focus) AND plug in so the battery wouldn't run out in the middle of shooting - this camera is awesome, the the video quality is great and it solves of of my issues with my old camera. Wish I could record in MP4 because then I would not have to convert, but it is a great camera at a great price. Shipped fast.

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              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Very Compact, Excellent Image Quality

              By Phil

              from New England

              About Me Pro Videographer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Great Sound

              Cons

              • Limited Zoom

              Best Uses

              • Documentaries
              • Home Movies
              • Travel
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              There are a lot of good, detailed reviews of this camera already, but I had a few things I wanted to mention in as consise a way as possible.

              This camera is very small. That makes it great for travel, or if you're a pro trying to cram way too much into a pack already, ideal. Because it's so small, a lot of things pros are used to aren't easily accesible. You have to dig through menus on the touch screen to adjust things like exposure on the fly for example.

              The image quality of this camera is very good. The colors are good and skin tones excellent. But it's only average in low light.

              The dual XLR inputs, plus phantom power to the shotgun hotshoe are a real plus. Even the on board microphone is not bad at close range.

              The touch screen is average. Not on the same quality as an iPad for example. It's more finicky than that, but it does work okay.

              The camera has a lot of picture styles that are amateur oriented. But I have to admit I thought they were all interesting.

              The 10x zoom lens is a little disappointing considering many cameras today are 20x and up.

              The price for this camera is excellent considering what you get.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              As good as advertised!

              By TheNewGuy

              from Bronx, NY

              About Me Semi-pro Videographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Good in Low Light
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Zoom range/performance

              Cons

              • Limited Zoom
              • Poor Still Image

              Best Uses

              • Documentaries
              • HD Shooting
              • Movies/Short Films

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              Anyone who buys this camera likely knows what they are looking for and will be happy when they get it. They are looking for a professional, easy to use camcorder that produces quality video. Well that's what the XA10 delivers quality video. I am happy with my purchase. My only wish would be for a larger lens (which is why only 4 stars) and for that you would need to go the DSLR route.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Awesome and easy to use!

              By LDR Productions

              from Las Vegas, NV

              About Me Semi-pro Videographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Great Sound
              • Large Clear LCD

              Cons

              • Limited Zoom

              Best Uses

              • HD Shooting
              • Home Movies
              • Travel
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              The video quality on this camera is excellent. I'm using it to film sit down interviews and with all the options of color temperature correction and iris and shutter speed I get the results I'm looking for. Love the two XLR mic inputs and being able to read the audio levels. Great professional camera for a reasonable price!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Impressive Little Guy

              By Paul the video guy

              from Bermuda Run, NC

              About Me Pro Videographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Zoom range/performance

              Cons

              • A Bit Larger
              • Needs To Be A Bit Larger

              Best Uses

              • Documentaries
              • HD Shooting
              • Movies/Short Films

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              I'm truly amazed with the quality of this small camera. I do quite a bit of shooting commercials, getting accustomed to the smallness of camera. Nevertheless, it's a learning curve and kind of fun. Right now figuring the best way to use wireless microphones and finding a spot to attach or configure "close by" the input for use. Downloading files, very easy and quick, that is terrific since I had read reviews it could be problematic. You can always trust Canon with a great product.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great Camera

              By J-Con Productions

              from Marlette, MI

              About Me Semi-pro Videographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Large Clear LCD

              Cons

              • Manual Operation In Menu
              • Microphone holder

              Best Uses

              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              I purchased this product to replace an older SD camera in the same price category (professional under $2,000). I record weddings and live events in a rural area. The picture quality has been great. The manual settings are tedious to navigate in the touch screen menu. However, I knew that it would from researching the product. I could not find a shotgun mic that would fit correctly in the mic holder and had to tape what I had for a secure fit. The mic I bought was one of the thicker ones in the $100 class. The accessory handle has performed perfect and is a welcome addition. (The old camera did not have anything like this). Great camera for the price.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              first Thoughts

              By Church

              from Baltimore, MD

              About Me Video Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use

              Cons

              • Poor Sound

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              This camera is very small. It was purchased as the first camera for the church media ministries. It is easy to use it does have some bells and whistles like professional cameras but it does not feel like you are using a professional camera.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes

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              5.0

              Wonderful Camera

              By Denise

              from Newton, NC

              About Me Semi-pro Videographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Good in Low Light
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Great Zoom
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Zoom range/performance

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Documentaries
                • HD Shooting
                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Movies/Short Films

                Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

                This is a wonderful camera. You don't have to be a professional to get professional results.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                So far so good but....

                By TCulley77

                from PA

                Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

                I have yet to shoot an actual event with this camera but in all my test shooting so far so good. The rattle noise it makes is concerning. May end up being an issue worthy of returning.

                After hearing the noise I did a search and it seems to be an ongoing issue in some of these cameras.

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                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great video quality.

                By Matt

                from Boise, ID

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Great Picture Quality
                • In Cam Down-conv To Sd
                • Large Clear LCD

                Cons

                • No Firewire

                Best Uses

                • Documentaries
                • HD Shooting
                • Travel
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

                I use this camera to record video for evidentiary purposes. I previously used the Canon HV30 / HV40 for this and am forced to make the change due to unavailability of replacement cameras. Really only need SD video and enjoyed the HV40 series because it could still record in SD directly. The XA10 does not have that capability but will allow in-camera conversion to SD. I am required to retain backups and the SD files are smaller. XA10 does not have firewire connection so all import is conducted from USB cable or direct import of cards. This camera has two SD cards in addition to internal memory. The camera has a setting that allow the ability to record to both at the same time providing an auto backup. The vibration reduction is far superior to the HV40 and is very useful. Don't need audio so I have not used that additional functionality yet. Sorry to say that this camera is far more advanced than I need but due to the lack of availability of the prosumer miniDV camcorders this camera comes the closest to meeting my requirements. This has at the added feature of allowing the Date / Time to show when importing and if captured during playback will show in the final DVD product. An evidentiary requirement. All in all a great camera.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                5.0

                Nice compliment to the XF100, little bro

                By TC

                from Las Vegas

                About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Zoom range/performance

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • Home Movies
                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Movies/Short Films
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

                  Using it as a second shooter to the XF100. They shoot similar and color matching in editing is a breeze.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Wedding Videography

                  By Mitchell Made Memories

                  from King, NC

                  About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Documentaries
                    • HD Shooting
                    • Home Movies
                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Movies/Short Films
                    • Travel
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

                    I use the Xa10 along with the Canon G10 to shoot weddings. I love how compact it is! XLR inputs are perfect and if you are wanting to shoot on the go, this is the camera for you!Yes, you have to use alot of pressure to get the touch screen to work but you get use to it over time. This camera works awesome in dark receptions and dark wedding exits at night. I bought a light kit and I have only used it twice! I would 100% tell a friend looking to buy a camera to check this one out.

                    Some other items I use with this camera include...
                    -Audio-Technica AT875 Shotgun Mic
                    -Sennheiserew 100 ENG G3 Wireless Microphone
                    -Cobracrane 5033 backpacker
                    -Glidecam HD1000
                    -VidproProfessional LED Light Kit (never have to use)
                    -Wasabi Power Battery(work better/longer than canon batteries)
                    -ManfrottoFluid Head and 546B Tripod
                    -Manfrotto 560B-1 Fluid Video Monopod with Head and Quick Release

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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