13 September 2017
Canon announced yesterday a brace of new camcorders just ahead of their first appearance at IBC later this week. Let's start with the XA11 and XA15 HD camcorders first.
The XA10 camcorders have been incredible popular with our customers - great value and easy to use. Canon subsequently came out with higher end versions (in the form of the XA20, XA25, XA30 and XA35) but still our XA10's fly out the door.
So, as is more often the case with Canon, they offer two versions of effectively the same camera, the latter model merely featuring an SDI output. This is the only difference between the XA11 and XA15.
So what has changed with the new models? First there is now a 20x optical zoom lens in place of the old 10x one, giving a 35mm equivalent range of 26.8-575mm. It still contains Canon's HD CMOS Pro Sensor but this has now been mated to the DIGIC DV4 Image Processor allowing much improved low-light performance, capturing Full HD in 50P (previously 25p) at 35Mbps. The XA11/XA15 can now record in both MP4 and AVCHD formats and with two card slots, dual format recording is possible (along with simultaneous and continuous recording options).
Overall, small but useful improvements that will no doubt ensure the XA11 becomes a continued favourite.
The XF305's have been on our hire fleet for over 5 years now and rarely do they put a foot wrong - unbelievable work broadcast-spec workhorses. We expected an update at some point and at first glance we thought the XF400/XF405 were it. But we're not so sure. On the face of it they seem absolute power houses - just seems strange that they only shot in MP4 to dual SD cards in 4:2:0: 8-bit at 150Mbps in 4K and 35Mbs in HD. Perhaps Canon are aiming them at a different market?
So it's not really for the broadcast crowd but if you're delivering to the web, this could well be the perfect camera. Central the camera is a newly developed one inch CMOS sensor, supported by Canon's Digic DV 6 processor (same as in the C300), allowing 4k at up to 50p and Full HD at up to 100fps continous. Relay and simultaneous recording are provided via Dual SD card slots. Both camcorders comprise an ultra-wide 25.5mm, high magnification, 15x optical zoom in 4K. Moreover, 30x Advanced Zoom capability is offered in Full HD mode, without any image deterioration. An advanced 5-Axis Image Stabilizer (IS) ensures stable images are captured in any scenario which involves camera movement.
Dual Pixel CMOS AF is featured in both the XF405 and XF400 for fast and accurate autofocusing in approximately 80% of the image. A touch screen allows further focus control and intuitive camera operation. Various AF options are offered including Face Priority AF and Face Only AF, alongside the innovative Dual Pixel Focus Guide. This feature supports manual focus shooting by visually indicating the focus position.
Built-in WiFi capability enables FTP file transfer and allows the camcorders to be controlled with a mobile device via Browser Remote.
I think we'll find the XF400/405's very popular with both our corporate and professional customers.
All cameras should be available to hire at launch.