FORUMS: list search recent posts

Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder

COW Forums : Canon Cameras

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Adam Salgat
Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder
on Feb 16, 2015 at 8:46:10 pm

I film with a DSLR Canon T4i and a Canon XH-A1.

I'm thinking of petitioning my work into buying a Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder in order to get away from the DV Tape. The XH-A1 has been acting up. $2,000 might be out of their price range.

Any other camera suggestions or is this the bees knees?

We do a lot of event coverage. Use it for broll and film interviews. We already have a full wireless mic (XLR) set up.

I'm also looking to get my first camera slider. I've been reading a lot of reviews. Any quick recommendations?


Return to posts index

Roger Van Duyn
Re: Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder
on Feb 17, 2015 at 12:31:23 pm

Hi Adam.

As long as the firewire port is undamaged on your camera, you could get a recorder for it. For my Canon XH-A1 and Canon XH-A1S, I purchased a pair of DataVideo DN-60 units, along with several 32GB Sandisk CF cards, a boatload of high quality AA rechargeable batteries, and a commercial grade charger that lets me charge 8 batteries at a time. Total price to upgrade the two cameras to tapeless operation was about half the price of a single XA-20 at the time.

Plus, I still had all the spare batteries for the cameras, wide angle adapter etc. that would have been needed for two new cameras. Plus, I'm very used to my two cameras. Able to do everything by touch. Don't need to look for settings and buttons anymore. Becoming that proficient with another camera would take a while.

I've been using the DN-60s for nearly two years. No problems at all. Not a single lost frame.

Something to consider.

Roger


Return to posts index

Blaise Douros
Re: Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder
on Feb 20, 2015 at 10:47:36 pm

Adam,
I use this camcorder for corporate video and take it into the backcountry when I can't afford the weight of a higher-quality rig. For the most part, it is a great little camera: it's lightweight, has relatively good image quality (though it loses contrast a bit at full zoom), and for $2k, you can't beat it. For ENG and event work, it kicks the collective butts of DSLRs; the integrated audio is INCREDIBLY useful to have for that stuff (as you probably know).

I have trouble getting the colors and gamma to match the 5D MkIII that I use as my other camera--yes, I know how to white balance! You wouldn't think two Canons would have this problem, but the sensors and image processors are different enough that it can be a challenge in post. My advice is to bring a color reference card along, and spend some time getting your t4i and XA20's settings dialed in so you aren't screwing with a lot of color correction in post. The colors, contrast, and gamma aren't bad by any means, but it just sees them differently than the DSLR.

The disadvantage to getting such a compact camera is that a lot of the settings are buried in menus. The consolation prize is that it has a lot of customizable external buttons, so with some labeling and setup, you have pretty easy access to essential features like white balance, Rec Program (M/Av/Tv/P/Auto), and other settings.

So overall, I'm happy with it--its limitations as a small camera are outweighed for me by its portability, and with a few extra minutes of setup to get your menu settings dialed, it produces a perfectly acceptable image.

As far as sliders, I use the Rhino Carbon; I like the Rhino stuff, it's well built and it works really nicely.


Return to posts index


Joel Servetz
Re: Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder
on Feb 22, 2015 at 7:53:43 pm

I'll second what Blaise said. The Datavideo DN-60 has extended the useful life of my Canon XH-A1S. It's very cost effective and has improved my workflow. No more tapes.

Joel Servetz
RGB Media Services, LLC
Sarasota, Fl
videobyjoel@aol.com
http://www.rgbmediaservices.com


Return to posts index

Bill Bruner
Re: Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder
on Feb 22, 2015 at 1:04:09 am

If possible, you might want to consider stretching your budget by $88 for an Ultra High Def "4K" upgradeable $2088 Sony PXW-X70 camcorder with a 1" sensor - closer to the size of your T4i's sensor and eight times the size of the 1/3" sensor in the XA20. This camera also features HD-SDI out (in addition to HDMI), built-in ND filters, dual media slots and readiness for 4K with a paid upgrade that will be available early this year.

And the X70's amazing optical steady shot system makes for very stable handheld shots.

Walking shots in this travel piece are an example of what the X70 can do:



Here it is intercut with the Panasonic GH4 in an indoor single musician live performance:



It's also a good exterior B roll camera, as seen here:



In my view, if you can afford the extra $88, the X70's more modern and robust 10-bit codec, pro features and optical steady shot system make it a better choice in this price class.

Hope this is helpful!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


Return to posts index

Adam Salgat
Re: Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder
on Feb 23, 2015 at 5:22:40 pm

Thanks Bill!

I'm assuming that the wide shot in the music video is the X70. Correct?

Do you know if this camera can produce a shallow depth of field like the cut-away shots in the music video?

Do you know if it has a steady zoom option? Or is it sensitive to touch always?

Thanks,
Adam J.


Return to posts index


Bill Bruner
Re: Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder
on Feb 23, 2015 at 5:51:59 pm

You can get nice shallow depth of field with the right aperture and focal length, as seen here:





And, please forgive me, but I don't completely understand what you mean by "steady zoom". If you're asking whether optical steady shot can stabilize your shots while zooming, the answer is yes.

Again, hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


Return to posts index

Adam Salgat
Re: Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder
on Feb 23, 2015 at 6:13:06 pm

I guess what I mean is, is there a setting where I can push the rocker as hard as I'd like and have it zoom at a slower pace?


Return to posts index

Blaise Douros
Re: Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder
on Feb 25, 2015 at 11:54:27 pm

Nice! I hadn't heard of this camera. Looks very interesting. I'd love to have 4:2:2 again; I do hate grading 4:2:0 AVCHD footage...

Only thing I'd be wary about is the "planned" 4K upgrade. In the FS-700, didn't the upgrade entail buying an external recording unit?


Return to posts index


Bill Bruner
Re: Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:17:48 am
Last Edited By Bill Bruner on Feb 26, 2015 at 6:00:45 am

I'm more concerned that they will try to charge some ridiculous amount for the June upgrade (which has been announced in Europe, but not yet in the US).

If so, they will lose a lot of sales to the new 4K live-streaming JVC GY-HM200, which will start shipping next month at....

EDIT: I just found out that the upgrade will be 485€ in Europe (about $551USD at today's exchange rate). This turns the X70 into a $2850 4K camera in the US. For those who don't need to buy a camera right now, it might be a good idea to wait for the HM200.


Return to posts index

Troy Adams
Re: Canon XA20 Professional HD Camcorder
on Mar 25, 2015 at 9:14:26 am

Hi Adam

Im new to this Forum, but i shoot weddings on the east coast of australia. I use a Sony NEX EA50 (great camera and i have the adapter for the canon lenses) and i use the XA20 as a 2nd camera angle (set and forget during the ceremony). Great little camera

Its also fantastic as it shoots at Full HD (i use 50fps here) - so slowing the footage down is no problems. I also use a 5DMK3 for shallow depth and low light shots, but it wont shoot at full HD at 50fps - only 720

All in all the XA 20 is an awesome all round little camera and sits well on my slider (which is home made) and is great for walking shots or establishment footage where time is not on my side.

I say you should have the correct tools for the job and this is a great tool as a main or 2nd camera.

http://www.adamsphotography.com.au


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]