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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonXA10 HD Professional Camcorder
 
4.5

(based on 283 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (170)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (91)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (6)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great picture quality (224)
  • Easy to use (201)
  • Zoom range/performance (185)
  • Image stabilization (178)
  • Good in low light (171)

Cons

  • Limited zoom (46)
  • Complicated to operate (26)
  • Poor sound (17)
  • Poor still image (7)
  • Poor in low light (5)

Best Uses

  • HD shooting (178)
  • Documentaries (159)
  • Movies/short films (145)
  • Travel (141)
  • Weddings (138)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro (121), Pro videographer (83), Enthusiast (47), Casual user (10)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (249), 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 283 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Great for run and shooting.

By Matt Scallan

from St. Charles Parish, La.

Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

Great for getting quality video on the go. Lots of pro features, in fared mode, Between the two card slots and the on-board storage, you can shoot for hours.
Very light, yet sturdy.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent images

By Charls

from Undisclosed

Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

As a producer of documentaries I found this equipment very efficient small easy to handle specially if you want light travel. Working with these cameras everyday is just great and so.. confortable

 
5.0

XA10 marks the spot!

By Kenneth

from Tulsa, OK

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

It has been a few years since I've had to search the market for a new camera, and this one came in over-achieving and under-budget. It's not the best camera in the world, but it VERY nicely fills in our needs and leaves room to grow into it's full feature set.

(0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Little Big Camera

By Pete

from Cleveland Ohio

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

I was looking for a small light camera that could still use xlr inputs and this is it!
I was shooting video with it within 1 hour of taking it out of the box and it came out great.
It has full manual overrides for everything so that's great too. One of the many cool features is auto focus face recognition which really works! In today's fast paced world this is just the tool to use.

 
5.0

Great Camera

By Yonty

from New britain, CT

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

Beautiful and easy to use camera. Great quality with internal and external memory. Small and compact to travel with as a professional camera.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

XA-10

By Mark

from Mullica Hill NJ

About Me Semi-pro Videographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Documentaries
    • Movies/Short Films

    Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

    We use these in our Television Production classes in High School. The kids like them and they hold up well under constant and hard use. We have a few problems with the XLR jacks going out but that is to be expected with the type of use they get.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    5.0

    Awesome

    By brown4442

    from Stone Mountain, Ga.

    Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

    I'm amazed at the quailty of video this camera produce. Ibwould definitely recommend this!

     
    4.0

    Really Nice Compact Camera

    By Bradford

    from Tennessee

    About Me Pro Videographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use
    • Large Clear LCD

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Documentaries
      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Travel

      Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

      Bought this for travel purposes. Very compact but seems to have a lot of the attributes needed for high quality video.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      I'm happy

      By Osolazar

      from Los Angeles

      Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

      long wanted to buy this camera, I bought now and so far I really like and is very easy to use.

      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Big Bang for Your Buck

      By BikinBeth

      from Benton, TN

      About Me Semi-pro Videographer

      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

      • Lcd Screen Is Touchy

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

      I purchased this camera to interview war veterans. I did a great deal of research before buying this camera including contacting people I know who own one and asking for feedback. The audio was my biggest concern as I would have to use the internal mic on the camera for now. So far I like everything about the XA10: easy to setup, lots of storage options (internal storage plus 2 card slots), even takes stills, crystal clear image, auto function works very well and produces a nice image, camera is compact for use in tight spaces, LCD screen is not too small, can be controlled via remote, etc...

      My only complaints are that the "buttons" on the LCD screen are touchy and I end up having to back out of screens over and over trying to get to the screen I need. There are lots of bells and whistles I will never use like editing and adding audio directly on the camera. The battery does not last very long. 1.5 to just under 2 hours is all I'm squeezing out of it.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      good quality camera for the price

      By Bruce

      from Irvine, CA

      About Me Semi-pro Videographer

      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

        Best Uses

          Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

          good quality camera for the price. We purchased 2 of them to record experiment theatrical productions.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          The best camera I have ever used.

          By LeeRacca

          from Jacksonville, Alabama

          About Me Video Enthusiast

          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

            Best Uses

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

            Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

            We use this camera for our church events, services and praise and worship.

            This is the most professional camera we have used to day. It is perfect for tripod use for services and during outside events running around.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            I now have Three XA!)

            By MRLOTSABITS

            from Jackson, mi

            About Me Semi-pro Videographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

              This XA10 purchase was a bundled and included a large battery and two 64 gig high quality memory chips. I now have three XA10 and one of the many things I like about these cameras is that I can always trust the AWB or preset WB to be the same when I switch between camera angles in post processing.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Amazing Camera

              By CDavidS - Video Instructor

              from St Petersburg, FL

              About Me Semi-pro Videographer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

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

              Cons

                Best Uses

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

                Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

                It's amazing. I have had five of these cameras in daily use for the past three years. One broke when it was dropped on the hard floor--which is to be expected.
                The rest of the fleet is still producing great images.

                My five star rating is based on what the camera is -- its a super nice, high end consumer/semi pro camera. I don't use it for still images (that's not so great).

                I have shot footage with these cameras for HD broadcast use. They look great - but that's not the primary purpose.
                The XLR inputs are tough and work like you would expect.
                I bought my fleet when they were first introduced and paid $2K each for the camera and handle mount. Today's prices are even more compelling.

                My only issue with the camera is in battery charging.
                ALL of my cameras will NO LONGER charge their own battery. This is something that happened after approximately 2 years of use. Something happened to the internal charging on all the cameras.

                I now have to unscrew the tripod plate, and place the battery on an external charger. Luckily, the larger capacity batteries hold a charge for quite a long time.

                The LCD display is actually better than some 4K cameras I bought recently.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No
                 
                3.0

                Decent Amateur Camera

                By Sam

                from Vermont

                About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Fun
                • Good in Low Light
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Zoom
                • Zoom range/performance

                Cons

                • Complicated To Operate
                • Poor Sound
                • Poor Still Image

                Best Uses

                • HD Shooting
                • Home Movies
                • Movies/Short Films
                • Travel

                Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

                I think that this camera has great video quality and some really nice options. But it is poorly designed. The shoe mount for the audio xlr ports is shaky and the audio cuts occasionally. It is difficult to navigate the settings but you can learn how to use this camera. Good for higher level education.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                GREAT camera

                By Mike

                from Carbondale, IL

                About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Movies/Short Films

                  Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

                  I debated for a long time between going with the XA10 or a DSLR for narrative short films. After over a year of using the XA10 I can report it was definitely the right choice. Full manual control, real lens wheel and pro sounding XLR audio ins. And the weight and shape make it great for quick and easy handheld shots. It IS a bit of a struggle dealing w/ low light, but hey, simply be more creative with your lighting. Image quality is excellent, lens is excellent. I LOVE this little camera.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Not bad for those on a tight budget

                  By KE1922

                  from Phoenix, AZ

                  About Me Pro Videographer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Great Picture Quality

                  Cons

                  • Lack Of External Controls
                  • Poor In Low Light

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • HD Shooting
                  • Home Movies
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Canon XA10 HD Professional Camcorder:

                  We have been using this camera for a couple of years now to capture b-roll for how-to and product overview videos and have been happy with the results for the most part. Overall the picture quality is pretty good. If you are planning on run and gun use be aware that the lack of external controls for common functions will frustrate you when you are trying to make quick adjustments. The other issue I have found using this camera is it's lightweight can work against you. It is very difficult to hold the XA10 steady. If you plan to work under controlled conditions where you can take the time to set your exposure, white balance, etc. then this camera should serve you well without a big hit to your wallet.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  (12 of 12 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

                    (4 of 5 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

                    (3 of 3 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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