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Camcorders Reviews
15,512 Reviews

Canon XA10 review

£1,600

Manufacturer: Canon

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The Canon XA10 is a pro-level camcorder with a 10x optical zoom, which if you have the cash, is a device with few flaws.

Canon’s XA10 professional level camcorder combines full manual controls, 64GB of internal storage and the ability to accept XLR audio inputs from the likes of pro microphones. This impressive mix of small size and high end controls creates a camcorder capable of shooting some truly eye-catching video while not looking like, or weighing as much, as a professional model. See also Group test: what's the best digital camcorder?

The size of the camcorder really beggars belief, especially once the huge internal storage capacity is supplemented by the SDHC/SDXC card slots giving a theoretical maximum capacity of over 4TB. Very few buttons a present on the camcorder body, instead only a few of the most important are distributed in an intelligent manner with the less useful sat in the menu system, which can be found via the touchscreen. This means the likes of exposure and white balance control must be accessed via the screen, obscuring the preview somewhat. Visit Canon Legria HF R106.

Secondary controls can be found on the handle that, if you’re not intending on attaching an XLR-based microphone, can be detached. The secondary zoom control and record button are extremely helpful for low angle shooting, or just tracking a subject in a horizontal direction. The XA10 is comfortable to hold for prolonged periods, primarily due to the lack of weight, although the build of the camera doesn’t make it particularly simple to hold while using the small viewfinder.

The Canon XA10 uses a sensor 1/3inch in size, with pixels larger than those in a number of rival models. This should, theoretically at least, allow for a more balanced level of exposure and higher degree of sharpness as more light is absorbed. The end result is mightily impressive from the native 1080p resolution, which makes full use of the 24MB/s bitrate producing some eye catching colours and stunning levels of detail. The autofocus is especially accurate, and rapid, as well making the end product more than capable of being shown on giant HDTVs.

Canon XA10

Canon XA10 Expert Verdict »
Canon XA10 Scores 9.3 out of 10 based on 7 reviews
Sensor: 1/3 type HD CMOS Pro
Total pixels per sensor: 2.37 megapixels
Effective pixels per sensor: 2.07 megapixels
Minimum illumination: Auto: 1.3 lux (with Auto Slow Shutter)
Slow Shutter: 0.1 luxe
Horizontal Resolution: 900 TV lines or more (1920 x 1080i mode)
Zoom ratio: 10x
Focal length: 4.25 - 42.5mm (35mm equivalent: 30.4 - 304mm)
Minimum focus distance:60cm (throughout zoom range)
20mm (wide angle)
Focus control: MANUAL: Lens ring, Touchscreen LCD (touch Focus, Touch and Track), Focus Presets: Face Priority AF / Face Only AF / Instant AF / Medium AF / TV AF
Aperture range: f1.8 - f8
Filter diameter: 58mm
Lens elements/groups: 12/10
Aperture blades: 8
Image stabilization system: Optical lens shift system (angle & vector movement detection)
3 modes: Dynamic, Standard, Powered
Digital zoom: 2x
Image Processor: DIGIC DV III
Video storage media: 64GB built-in flash memory
130 x 177 x 205mm (including lens hood and microphone holder), 776g
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

If you’ve got the cash, and the desire, the Canon XA10 is acamcorder with few flaws. The zoom is impressively versatile and controls easy to access, with only the small viewfinder a significant negative, dwarfed by the likes of the huge storage capacity and XLR inputs.

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