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News

January 2011

Canon has unveiled the latest addition to its growing range of file-based professional camcorders, the ultra-compact XA10 - the first model in Canon's new XA-series - that offers a leading combination of Full HD high quality imaging, exceptional mobility and professional levels of control.

Designed for users looking for outstanding performance from a mobile body, the XA10 combines an impressive selection of manual controls, professional audio features and signature Canon image quality. The new model is an ideal option for independent operators who shoot on location, or alternatively for owners of larger professional models looking for a compact addition to their existing set-up.

Exceptional image quality

Thanks to the use of the latest Canon imaging technologies the XA10 offers class-leading image quality. An advanced Canon HD Camera System, based on the engineering DNA of Canon's leading XF-series, uses unique Canon optics and an HD CMOS Pro image sensor to deliver outstanding imaging performance from a product that can be taken anywhere.

A Canon HD Video Lens produces supremely sharp High Definition images from a smaller body than ever before. With a 10x optical zoom, 30.4mm wide-angle and maximum f/1.8 aperture, the XA10's lens provides the quality and versatility to support all kinds of shooting situations. A 2x digital extender offers additional reach for situations when a real close-up is required, and an eight-blade iris provides an attractive near-circular background blur, or 'bokeh'. To offer even greater levels of wide-angle flexibility, the XA10 is compatible with the new WD-H58W wide adaptor, while existing 58mm adaptors and filters can also be used.

The XA10 features a 1/3-type, 2.07 Megapixel Canon HD CMOS Pro sensor, capturing video at 1920x1080 (Full HD) resolution. Also employed in Canon's professional XF100-series, and based on the 3CMOS array in the acclaimed XF300-series, the sensor features pixels that are much larger than those typically found in compact camcorders - providing greater light-gathering ability for a dramatic improvement in low light performance and dynamic range.

The left hand side of the XA10 with LCD opened out. Note the two SD card slots and Infrared mode controls that sit behind the LCD panel when it's closed.
 

The left hand side of the XA10 with LCD opened out. Note the two SD card slots and Infrared mode controls that sit behind the LCD panel when it's closed.

The camcorder's 1920x1080 pixel image capture means no resizing or interpolation is necessary for Full HD workflow and playback - enabling operators to shoot, process and display footage at native resolution to help ensure the very best quality is maintained. The camcorder records AVCHD video at up to 24Mbps - the maximum currently possible within the AVCHD standard.

Ultra-compact with professional audio

The XA10 is the lightest and most compact camcorder ever seen in Canon's professional range. It is just 67% of the weight and 52% of the size of the XF105 - currently the smallest pro model from Canon - so the XA10 is suitable for even the longest of shoots, offering professional HD performance from the palm of your hand.

Despite its small size, the XA10 also provides advanced audio control, allowing operators to capture high-quality sound fit for broadcast. Independent audio can be recorded by connecting external microphones to the camera via two XLR inputs integrated into the handle, while 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks provide additional flexibility. The high-grade integrated microphone identifies and filters out background noise at medium and low frequencies, boosting overall audio quality by producing greater clarity during quieter moments. Designed for professional use, the XA10's range of audio options offers an advanced level of control.

Precise control

The XA10 offers a combination of features rarely found in compact camcorders, including complete manual control of the image being captured. Aperture, shutter speed, exposure and gain can all be independently adjusted, affording operators the flexibility to react to all kinds of conditions.

A lens focus ring provides intuitive control during shooting, while functions including aperture, shutter speed and exposure can be assigned to a customisable control dial. Two assignable buttons can also be configured to provide direct access to a selection of additional functions, such as Face-Only AF or Powered IS.

The XA10 has a detachable handle for shooting in small apsces. The handle features a range of controls including a zoom lever, START/STOP control, and audio controls.
 

The XA10 has a detachable handle for shooting in small spaces. The handle features a range of controls including a zoom lever, START/STOP control, and audio controls.

An 8.8cm, 922,000-dot touch screen LCD and 0.61cm colour Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) provide the precise monitoring capability required for HD shooting. A range of assist functions, such as magnifying, peaking and Edge Focus, help users to correctly focus their shot, whilst Zebra patterns and a waveform display make control of exposure straightforward.

Flexibility and versatility

In addition to its ultra-compact dimensions an extensive selection of features and options make the XA10 a truly versatile camcorder suitable for all sorts of shooting situations. The top-mounted handle houses a range of controls, including an Infrared (IR) lamp for capturing dramatic night-time footage - ideal for documentaries and wildlife assignments. Green and white image options are supported in IR shooting mode, utilising unique Canon lens coatings to provide the clearest, sharpest image possible.

A zoom lever and a START/STOP button are also integrated into the handle, providing enhanced ergonomics and greater flexibility during shooting - particularly when filming from low angles. The handle can also be detached to make the camcorder more compact in situations where space is really at a premium.

The XA10 features 64GB of internal memory and two SDXC-compatible memory card slots, allowing operators to benefit from huge storage capacities and recording flexibility (one SDXC card is theoretically able to store up to two terabytes of data). The camcorder also supports Relay Recording and Double Slot Recording; the former allows users to record continuously across memory cards, automatically switching when the one in use becomes full, whilst the latter allows you to record footage on two memory cards at the same time. The Pre REC function also provides three seconds of cache recording for crucial moments to ensure that spontaneous action is never missed.

Canon XA10 - key features

  • Canon HD Video Lens (10x zoom, 30.4-304mm, f/1.8)
  • Canon HD CMOS Pro sensor
  • Professional audio
  • AVCHD video to 64GB memory or 2x SDXC slots
  • IR shooting mode
  • Full manual control
  • 8.8cm LCD; 0.6cm EVF
  • Dynamic OIS, Powered IS, Instant AF
  • Versatile and expandable