Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder

Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder

Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder - Refurbished

Used Cat.# RBCXA20 MFR # 8453B015AA
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  • Native 1920 x 1080, 1/2.84" CMOS Sensor
  • 20x HD Zoom Lens
  • Canon Digic DV 4 Image Processor
  • Dynamic Image Stabilization
  • 3.5" OLED Touch Panel View Screen
  • Manual Camera Controls
  • 2 x XLR with Manual/Auto Audio Levels
  • HDMI, Composite
  • 2 x SD/SDHC/SDXC Media Card Slots
  • Built-in Wi-Fi Connectivity & Control
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Canon 8453B015AA overview

  • 1Description

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.

Image Stabilization

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.

IS Modes
  • 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

Auto Focus

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.

Advanced Displays

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.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

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.

Wired Connectivity

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.

Additional Features

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.
In the Box
Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder
  • Lens Hood
  • Lens Cap
  • Eye Cup
  • BP-820 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
  • Detachable Top Handle with Screws
  • Microphone Holder with Screws
  • WL-D89 Wireless Controller
  • CR2025 Lithium Battery
  • CA-570 Compact AC Power Adapter
  • Ferrite Core
  • AC Cable A
  • Stereo Video Cable
  • Interface Cable Set
  • High Speed HDMI Cable
  • Software CD
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Canon 8453B015AA specs

    Image Device 1/2.84" CMOS Sensor
    Resolution: 1920 x 1080
    Total Pixels: 3.09 Mp
    Effective Pixels: 2.91 Mp
    RGB Primary Color Filter
    Compatible with NTSC
    Lens Zoom Range: 20x Optical/ 400x Digital
    Max Aperture: 1.8 - 2.8 Focal Length: 3.67 to 73.4mm
    35mm Equivalent: 26.8 to 576mm (28.8 to 576mm with Dynamic IS)
    Minimum Focus Wide: 0.8" (20 mm)
    Minimum Focus Throughout Zoom Range: 23.6" (60 cm) Filter Rings Size: 58 mm Zoom Speed Settings: Variable, Constant (16 levels), Fast, Normal, Slow
    Minimum Illumination Nominal: 1.2 lux
    Low Light Mode: Approx 0.1 lux (shutter speed at 0.5 sec)
    OLED Viewscreen 3.5"
    Touch Panel
    Pixel Count: Approximately 1,230,000 dots
    Viewfinder 0.24" Color EVF
    Pixel Count: Approximately 1,560,000 dots
    Media Card Slots 2 x SD/SDHC/SDXC
    Codec / Format Support MPEG4
    1080: 59.94p, 29.97p, 23.98p 720/360: 29.97p, 23.98p

    1080: 59.94p, 59.94i, PF29.97, 23.98p

    Note: PF29.97 is Canon's designation for 29.97p video in a 59.94i stream
    Bit Rates MPEG4
    35 Mb/s: 1920 x 1080 @ 59.94p
    24 Mb/s: 1920 x 1080 @ 29.97p,23.98p
    17 Mb/s: 1920 x 1080 @ 29.97p,23.98p
    4 Mb/s: 1280 x 720 @ 29.97p,23.98p
    3 Mb/s: 640 x 360 @ 29.97p,23.98p

    28 Mb/s: 1920 x 1080 @ 59.94p
    24 Mb/s: 1920 x 1080 @ 59.94i/p, PF29.97, 23.98p
    17 Mb/s: 1920 x 1080 @ 59.94i/p, PF29.97, 23.98p
    5 Mb/s: 1920 x 1080 @ 59.94i/p, PF29.97, 23.98p
    Maximum Recording Time MPEG4
    • 8Gb: 30 minutes @ 35 Mb/s, 40 minutes @ 24 Mb/s, 60 minutes @ 17 Mb/s, 260 minutes @ 4 Mb/s, 340 minutes @ 3 Mb/s
    • 128Gb: 8 hours @ 35 Mb/s, 11 hours 55 minutes @24 Mb/s, 16 hours 45 min @ 17 Mb/s, 69 hours 30 min @ 4 Mb/s, 91 hours 55 min @ 3 Mb/s

    • 8Gb: 35 minutes @ 28 Mb/s, 40 minutes @ 24 Mb/s, 60 minutes @ 17 Mb/s, 3 hours @ 5 Mb/s
    • 128Gb: 10 hours 10 minutes @ 28 Mb/s, 11 hours 55 minutes @ 24 Mb/s, 16 hours 45 minutes @ 17 Mb/s, 49 hours @ 5 Mb/s
    Shutter Speed Max: 1/2000 sec
    Inputs/Outputs Input
    2 x XLR 3-pin female: audio in MIC/LINE (on handgrip accessory)
    1 x 3.5mm stereo mini-jack
    1 x 2.5 stereo mini-jack (remote control input)

    1 x 3.5mm 4-pole mini-jack: A/V terminal (composite video, audio)
    1 x USB 2.0: mini-B (output only)
    1 x HDMI mini
    1 x built-in speaker
    Audio Linear PCM (2 Channel): when recording in AVCHD 28 Mb/s @ 23.98
    Dolby Digital
    Dolby Digital 5.1 when using Optional SM-V1
    Power Requirements Battery: 7.4V DC
    Power Supply: 8.4V DC
    Operating Temperature Operation: 23 to 113°F (-5 to 45°C)
    Performance: 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
    Dimensions (WxHxD) 4.3 x 3.3 7.2" (10.9 x 8.4 x 18.3 cm)
    Weight 1.7 lb (765 g)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 5.4 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 10.6 x 9.3 x 5.9"

    Canon 8453B015AA reviews

    XA20 Professional HD Camcorder is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 100.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good Camera I like this camera in the field. BUT a few things bother me. First, the lens shade clicks into place but with a few bumps the shade can come unlatched and rotate, a lock would have been better. The OLED screen is useless in bright sunlight and third, the rocker zoom on the body gets bumped when starting and stopping. Hence i get a little zoom when I stop recording. Battery drains quickly. Programmable buttons are great. Sound quality is very poor on camera. Quality of video is outstanding. Media hookups and charging is covered by rubber, which can get in the way. Zoom range is outstanding. Image stabilization is fantastic. Overall an outstanding buy minus a few small issues.
    Date published: 2015-07-26
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good improvement over XA10 This is a great improvement over the previous version, XA10, which I also own. The positives are obvious: Size, ergonomics, price, Sound, 60P, great stabilization. The downside is still the defringing you see from this size sensor, relatively poor low light (although slight improvement over XA10), and the over all image quality. Not a DSLR killer on image quality; but you have so many functions that it really is useful for someone trying to shoot on the run. The Powered Image Stabilization is pure awesome! And the 20X zoom combined with the stabilization opens great frontiers.
    Date published: 2013-07-15
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great camera This is a great compact camera, the pictures are extremely clear and you have a lot of options as far as frame rate and external settings. I would recommend an external shotgun mic, even though you can somewhat adjust the settings for the microphone it still picks up breathing and any hand movement. The lens has a fairly wide angle but I will probably get the wide angle lens for some applications. The battery life could be better, I would recommend getting a second battery. And make sure you charge them the night before the shoot. I do wish it came with an external battery charger ( only way to charge it is while it's in the camera ) Over all I'm very happy with it.
    Date published: 2014-09-15
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Canon's XA20 ... A Record Breaker There's not a camera on the market that can match Canon's new XA20 feature for feature and dollar for dollar. I like to read the manual cover to cover when I buy new electronic equipment. After a quick review it is easy to navigate through the menu to programs incorporated into this light weight beauty. And the list of features blows me away. From the great 20X variable speed Optical Zoom lens to performance in low light situations (1.5 Lux) this camera can't be beat. Since most of my work is outdoors, in deserts and on Safari, I would have liked the camera to be rain and dust proof. I would also like a battery that lasts longer than the BP-828 and a Canon dual battery charger.
    Date published: 2013-07-15
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great so far! I started video work with the Canon HFS100 and this is a huge improvement. As stated, the run and gun feature of this camera is perfect. It allows me to quickly be on location and get footage without having to spend valuable minutes setting up my focus or exposure. it does not do too well in low lighting situations, but that is when the IR sensor comes in handy! They have thought through this camera quite a bit and its obvious in how it performs. The steady cam is magnificent too, limiting the amount of times I would need to use a tripod. I am still learning my way around the camera, but overall I would say this is a very good professional camcorder (especially considering the price).
    Date published: 2013-07-05
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic R&G camera It was a tough decision between the XF100 or the XA20. Spent several days researching both online and testing video samples from both in FCPX. Yes the XF100 has a better codec and custom buttons, yet it needs custom profiles to produce great video. The XA20 is ready to shoot out of the box and only needs a few custom adjustments. I lowered the contrast, sharpness, and saturation a bit for better color grading in post. I set the auto gain limit for a max gain of +6, this keeps the noise levels very reasonable in low light.The XA20 is missing a histogram and false color for critical exposure. I fixed this issue by purchasing a 7 external HDMI monitor that has all these features for not much $$ at all. Now I have all the needed exposure features, a much bigger screen that can be profiled properly.The added bonus of a external monitor is that I can use it on my D600 as well. I also added a Rode VideoMic Pro and dead cat for much better audio.Even with all the extras I have a very solid run & gun setup that I use for documentary work and small business ads, for well under $.Remove the xlr handle and you have a great HD video camera for travel.
    Date published: 2013-08-09
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good so far - BUT BE WARNED - VIDEO OUTS Be Warned --Just received the camera - so have not given it an in-depth checkout - the picture looks amazing - but I did want to WARN users about a quirk I found - that you should be aware of. In my particular application ONE of the uses I got the camera for - was to provide the live video feed for streaming - which for me ONLY operates with a composite video input. While this camera does have an HMDI output AND an AV out (that provides for a composite cable) -- the camera ONLY allows ONE of these ports at a time to be active. SO - you can't output to an external HDMI monitor or exteranl recorder -- AND use the composite video cable -- you have to pick and choose. Which for me is NOT a choice - I have to have BOTH. I CALLED CANON and they confirmed this.I am looking at buying an Atlona HDMI to Composite box which will breakout the HDMI signal to another HDMI output and a composite and S-Video source -- but that is a $ fix -- that may or may not work.Just something you should be aware of.
    Date published: 2014-08-29
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from right on right out of the box Others have offered detailed product descriptions which helped with my selection. Read enough of the downloaded manual before receiving. When the camera arrived, charged battery and took it out for a shoot. Found it easy to navigate buttons and functions, set white balance, focus, sound. Dynamic stabilization is excellent. Dropped footage from sd card to hard disk into premiere pro cc timeline. Edits mp4's with ease. Colors, resolution and bokah, nice. Time to make a documentary.
    Date published: 2013-07-18
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