REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonXA10 HD Professional Camcorder
 
4.5

(based on 258 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (156)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (81)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (6)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great picture quality (211)
  • Easy to use (188)
  • Image stabilization (170)
  • Zoom range/performance (168)
  • Good in low light (162)

Cons

  • Limited zoom (46)
  • Complicated to operate (24)
  • Poor sound (16)
  • Poor still image (6)
  • Poor in low light (4)

Best Uses

  • HD shooting (169)
  • Documentaries (150)
  • Movies/short films (135)
  • Travel (132)
  • Weddings (132)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro (112), Pro videographer (79), Enthusiast (46), Casual user (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (234), 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 258 customers

Sort by

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
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.

    Share this review

     
    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

    Share this review

     
    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

    Share this review

     
    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

    Share this review

     
    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

    Share this review

     
    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

    Share this review

    (0 of 3 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

    Share this review

     
    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

      Share this review

      (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.

      Share this review

       
      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

      Share this review

       
      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

        Share this review

        (4 of 4 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

          Share this review

          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Compact Professional Canon Camcorder

          By Carnaghipro

          from Beverly Hills CA

          About Me Pro Videographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          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 this camera for corporate and private video productions.
            The Canon XA10 has all the Pro features you're looking for in a compact design.
            The main thing I like is that this camera comes with two XLR channel inputs integrated into the handle.
            The only thing I can say that may not be so positive is that this camera is small in size making it look very similar to a many consumer video cameras on the market.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great cacorder

            By Ferrerps

            from California

            Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

            Love this camcorder! Light weight easy to use

            Share this review

             
            4.0

            Awesome&Awesome

            By sasa

            from Egypt

            About Me Semi-pro Videographer

            Verified Reviewer

            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

              • HD Shooting

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              The combination of the expertise of Japanese blended creativity
              You'll find everything you need in this camera

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great camera

              By AJ

              from NC

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              The camera has great HD quality and is easy to use so little training is required for those I have running the camera at church.

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              THIS CAMERA MEETS MY NEEDS!!

              By JIM

              from NEBRASKA

              About Me Video Enthusiast

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • No External Battery Charg

              Best Uses

              • Documentaries
              • HD Shooting
              • Home Movies
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Movies/Short Films
              • Travel
              • Waterfowl Wildlife

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              I BOUGHT THIS FOR A SECOND CAMERA TO FILM WATERFOWL AND TURKEY HUNTS! THE FOOTAGE IS VERY CRISP! THE CAMERA IS EASY TO SET UP NOT TO COMPLICATED! LOVE THE INFRARED MODE! ALLOWS GETTING FOOTAGE SETTING UP DECOYS IN THE DARK AND WALKING TO THE HUNTING BLIND! THE HANDEL NOISE HAS NOT BEEN AN ISSUE FOR ME,BUT CANON SHOULD HAVE ADDRESSED IT! OVERALL I'M VERY SATISFIED WITH THE XA10 AND WOULD BUY IT AGAIN! THE B&H STAFF WAS VERY HELPFUL ON MAKING THIS PURCHASE!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Excellent inexpensive pro camcorder

              By Big G

              from Cana, Va

              About Me Pro Videographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Limited Zoom

              Best Uses

              • HD Shooting
              • Home Movies
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Travel

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              I have used 5 to 8 thousand dollar pro camcorders and this for the money is an great buy .

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              A Great, Versatile Camera

              By Lucas, Documentary Filmmaker

              from Oakland, CA

              About Me Semi-pro Videographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Poor Still Image

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              I love this camera. After much research I bought this as my first video camera. I do a range of projects, but mostly run-and-gun documentaries.

              It is small (allowing me to carry it in an empty backpack or small carry bag) so I can walk and bike places easily with it. Because it's small, many of the controls are on a touch screen. This is not ideal, but it works. For example there is no switch for toggling zebra stripes on and off or changing white balance while recording. But this isn't make or break. It has full manual exposure control, zebra stripes, and the autofocus (including face tracking) is very good. There is a focus ring, which I don't use that much. (It's a bit difficult to access when the LCD screen is out, and you have to turn it more than most DSLR to change focus.) For each shot, I generally use autofocus to get focus, and then change it to manual so it doesn't tweak out if someone walks in front.

              FOCUS: There is a button on the LCD screen to toggle between manual and autofocus. You can touch the screen on the face of your subject to activate autofocus and face tracking. It works very well.

              EXPOSURE: On manual, there is a button at the back of the camera that toggles between aperture, shutter, and gain. There is a scroll wheel to adjust each of these.

              This camera has two XLR inputs, which is a huge reason I bought it. I always use a shotgun mic on Channel 1, and for interviews/speakers I use a wired or wireless lav mic on Channel 2. It really nice to not have to use a separate audio recorder.

              This camera has beautiful visuals, not top-of-the-line DSLR but still it's pretty freaking good. I always shoot on maximum bitrate at 1080p. When it's very zoomed in it has a really nice bokeh (blurred background). But its hard to get a blurred background when interviewing someone in a small space, or when you're interviewing fairly close to the person and you want to be next to the camera. That's where you can't beat a DSLR.

              I use this camera for documentaries (interviews, broll) as well as filming live events. (I could use for for short films too but haven't had time). I have a 128GB card that I always leave in, which gives me 11 hours of space. I have two large batteries (about $90 each), which give me each about 3 hours, and one smaller battery. The camera also has built in 64GB of recording space. This, with the small size, makes a great camera to film long events, or long shoot days without running out of card space or batteries.

              Inspired by DSLR "picture styles" settings, I change the image settings to lower saturation and contrast, so I have a little more latitude to alter the image in post. It's produces really nice looking images. Probably similar to 60D or 70D in good light, but not quite as good in low-light (please do a little more research before you verify this.) The infrared setting is pretty cool, but pretty much only works for only things that are near by.

              I'm looking into a 5d for super high quality visuals, but I absolutely love the canon xa10. It's my workhorse, and if you're not focusing mostly on visuals (i.e. audio and run and gun situations are a big part of your work), I HIGHLY recommend this camera.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Lightweight with PRO features

              By Clear Diver

              from Nashville, TN

              About Me Pro Videographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good in Low Light
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Large Clear LCD

              Cons

              • Complicated To Operate

              Best Uses

              • Documentaries
              • Travel

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              The XLR mic inputs and manual focus ring sold me on this camera. Also as the handle is removable, I am able to take it underwater with a smaller housing.

              The ability to convert to Standard Def makes it flexible for now and later when Blu Ray players are more ubiquitous.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              Displaying reviews 1-20

              Back to top

              Previous | Next »