Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Canon's new XA10 prosumer camcorder

Canon has announced the XA10, a new prosumer camcorder priced at $1,999 (U.S.) that brings many of the features of the XF100 to an even smaller camcorder. The XA10 has the same 1920 x 1080 1/3" CMOS imager as the XF100, and it uses the same 10x zoom lens (30.4 to 304 mm focal range). The advantage of a 1920 x 1080 imager is that it should be able to operate in lower light, and it shouldn't have the rolling shutter and moire effects found when using sensors with higher resolution that have to be decimated in order to get HD video.

Perhaps the biggest difference from a performance standpoint is that the XA10 uses a 24Mbps 4:2:0 AVCHD codec instead of the XF100's 50Mbps 4:2:2 codec. That means that the XA10's output will have the same color space, grading, keying and editing limitations as other prosumer AVCHD camcorders. The XA10 has dual XLR audio inputs, built into a removable handlebar. It has 64GB of flash memory built in and two slots for additional memory, but unlike the XF100, which uses Compact Flash cards, the XA10 uses SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.

In short, the XA10 is essentially an under-$2,000 version of the XF100 that uses AVCHD. Canon expects to ship the XA10 in March 2011.
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