Canon XC10 Footage – First Impressions and Review

Canon XC10It’s the middle of 2015. Affordable ooparge sensor cameras are well established in the market and 4K resolution is the latest trend. To this ever evolving market, here comes Canon with its latest innovation. A 1-inch, fixed lens, compact, ultra high definition professional camcorder aimed at “everyone”, according to Canon: 

“from next-generation advanced amateurs to professional 4K and HD videographers, from digital filmmakers needing a cost-effective 4K/HD “B” or “C” camera to multimedia journalists and news agencies seeking a 4K video camera”.

As not everything is about “film look” and not everyone is keen on / capable of working with large sensor cameras, Canon chose wisely to cater a specific niche in the market with the new XC10, and what’s left for us to examine is: How well did they do it?

canon-xc10

Canon XC10Although this camera can produce at times gorgeous looking images, the way to get those are in my opinion very painful – but before I share my concerns, here is what I liked:

 

  • Canon XC10 footage looks sharp and nice
  • Newly developed codec (already supported by Adobe and other editing platforms)
  • Good image stabilization
  • Multiple recording modes and frame rates (4K up to 30FPS, HD up to 60 FPS, 720p 120 FPS, in the NTSC version – appropriate 25/50fps/100fps values in the PAL version of the camera)
  • Canon Log and Wide Dynamic Range Gamma
  • OK in lowlight especially concerning the fact that it has a 1 inch sensor
  • Built in ND filter (One stage only. At times too weak on a sunny day)
  • SanDisk 64 GB CFast card and card reader are included in the price

Here are the points which might limit your creativity when working with the camera:

  • Limiting lens. The non-constant aperture can drive one crazy while shooting at multiple focal lengths…The maximum aperture difference between wide (F2.8) and tele (5.6) is too large.
  • Not enough assignable buttons. There are only 3 of those and that’s very limiting. After assigning 1-Magnification, 2-Display and 3-Push auto focus, I had to dig into “FUNCTION” in order to change ISO values, engage the internal ND filter,  use the focus peeking or enable zebra.
  • After changing a value in “FUNC”, when starting to record, the menu screen will still be present, preventing the possibility of quick recording. You are forced to close the menu in order to have a clean view of your recording.
  • No viewfinder. The proposed original Canon solution (loupe over the LCD) is a good idea but badly implemented. The image is distorted and not evenly in focus when you enable the diopter, which can cause eye fatigue and headache at times.
  • Cheap stiff rubber on the loupe is extremely uncomfortable to use.
  • Not a worldwide camera. Region restricted.
  • Up to 120 FPS in 720p only.
  • Magnification will punch in only once. Not enough to judge critical focus in some shooting situations.
  • Build quality is questionable. The lens on the camera I had already made strange noises while using the zoom ring, when holding it down.
  • If you intend to shoot in HD (1080) or slow motion 120 FPS in 720p, prepare to have an extra SD card as those formats will not record onto the CFast card.
  • Canon is marketing this camcorder as professional. A better professional XLR audio solution from Canon is missing for that though.
  • Minimum ISO in video mode is ISO 500.
  • Please be aware: When changing the frame rate to 100 FPS the shutter speed will automatically change to “100”, which is great, but when going back to 4K 25p this value will stay and not change back to shutter 50.
  • Expensive for what it is and what it offers – also the CFast 2.0 media are still quite expensive for such an entry level camera.

Canon XC10

Shooting experience:

All in all I would expect a market leader like Canon to deliver a more solid product especially when the price tag is so high for what it is. I can sum up that working with the XC10 was simply tiring for me. Too much menu fiddling and “worries” about staying in focus but hey, who said that the way to produce nice looking images should be easy ….

Canon XC10

Camera settings/editing/colour correction for this shoot:

  • Picture profile: Canon LOG
  • ISO 500 for outdoor shots, 5000 for the “indoor working place”
  • 4K 25p, 305 Mbps, shutter 50
  • Adobe Premiere CC 2014, Colour corrected with FilmConvert
  • Music: themusicbed (Take me back-Instrumental)

About the story and ethic statement:

Adrian Mahovics is a good friend and a working colleague. His sliders are exceptionally fine products. If you are in the market for the lightest professional tracking systems around, you should check this out:

www.wood-compslider.com

Regarding Canon XC10. The camera was at our office for a few days on a loan bases and now is back with Canon. If you click on one of links and buy the camera from our sponsor B&H, you will be supporting us by generating affiliate income which helps to develop and produce more original content.

 

Johnnie Behiri is a freelance documentary cameraman/editor/producer working mostly for the BBC and other respected broadcasters. He is also co-owner of cinema5d.com

Watch it on Vimeo

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Bora Sao Reply
Bora Sao May 11, 2015

.the images is not so cleans .

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 11, 2015

I guess you are referring to the indoor footage. Don’t forget it is a 1 inch sensor camera. Being on 5000 ISO it’s not clean but manageable.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Reply
kashif N September 21, 2015

Hi,
what you suggest which Camera is now best one for best results, Which one easy to use for every one. Not very complecatetd operating.

KSF

Reply
Johnnie Behiri September 21, 2015

Hi KSF.

I presume you are the same person who was asking about buying a “very good camera for video and photo under $5000”.

I’ve answered your question down below.

Regarding your question above, I’m not sure this camera exists….Also, it is truly depended on the way you will use it, the purpose of using it, your expectations and level of professionalism.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Matteo Bertoli Reply
Matteo Bertoli May 11, 2015

Footage looks terrible… Price is insane for this camera… they shouldn’t even call it professional camera… 5d footage looks much better…

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 11, 2015

Hi Matteo.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying “Footage looks terrible” (unless I completely f__ked it up).
It best be compered to Sony RX10 (1080p only) or Sony FDR AX100 (4K camcorder).

5D is a different type of animal….

Thank you!

Johnnie

Reply
Eno Popescu May 11, 2015

Agree, the DR is low even in good light, the highlights are blown out in shots where they shouldn’t been (the scene with the flowers etc), the noise is high and the NR is strong. At low ISO the grass looks funny (it lacks detail). I expected so much more from a 2500$ camera.

Nino Leitner Reply
Nino Leitner May 11, 2015

Surprise, surprise … the 5D has a full frame sensor. The XC10 a 1-inch sensor. They are not comparable at all. Different tool for a totally different purpose.

Matteo Bertoli Reply
Matteo Bertoli May 11, 2015

I was speaking about the 5d mark ii… Pretty old camera… We re in 2015.,, how can you release a camera with those specs in 2015? 4k 30… 1080 60? Really? Same thing for the c300 mark ii… 16.000 for a camera already obsolete…

Shorty Himself Reply
Shorty Himself May 11, 2015

4k 30 and 1080 60 aint the biggest issues with this camera in my opinion. fixed lens with 2.8 – 5.6 ?! come on canon you can do it better. and the 1-inch sensor anit that great too. at least aps-c would be awsome.
all those points together just kill this product. hopefully canon will learn from this fail!!

Matteo Bertoli Reply
Matteo Bertoli May 11, 2015

Remember… Ursa mini 4k costs the same! 2995$.

Reply
Sten Rosendahl May 17, 2015

The viewfinder and a battery solution for the Ursa mini will cost you about the same amount as an XC10. And that’s with the old Ursa sensor, the new one is $4995.

Shorty Himself Reply
Shorty Himself May 11, 2015

worst step canon could make.. dont know what they were thinking..

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 11, 2015

Hi Shorty…

The step is in the right direction as there is a big market for a small sensor high quality 4K camcorder. My concern is the implementation. Canon should have tried harder!. Some things simply don’t make sense.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Reply
Eno Popescu May 11, 2015

Like the insane price/quality/functions ratio.

Shorty Himself Reply
Shorty Himself May 13, 2015

hi Johnnie.

yes you are right. the direction canon is going is the right one. but to mr it just looks like that they wanted to hit the marked with something “new” as soon as possible. and thats a wrong step! this product could be a nice addition tho canons lineup, but with this specs?!

but the xc10 isnt the only camera that dissappoints me.. still stiking to my5d mkII because canon wasnt able to come up with something really better (within that pricerange) that really made me want to upgrade!

Daniel Curtean Reply
Daniel Curtean May 29, 2015

I think its great! Its far too expensive, for what it is, in my honest opinion, but the footage is nice. I kind of like it. It has that Canon “thing” that the C line has – something about the compression + color science makes it appealing.

I don’t know why everyone is ripping this camera in image quality, I think its fine! Great job on the video BTW, I liked it.

Matteo Bertoli Reply
Matteo Bertoli May 11, 2015

After the c300 mark ii for 16.000… Lol

Reply
Eno Popescu May 11, 2015

At least c300 mark ii will make beautiful super 35mm motion images with great colors and DR. XC-10 is only an overpriced piece of joke with a small sensor, low DR and fixed dark lens.

Vlad Box Rojas Reply
Vlad Box Rojas May 11, 2015

As usual, the vignette is great. Maybe would be better to wait for version 2.0, i like the pic but nothing you could not achieve with a less expensive 4K cameras. Quality to price ratio maybe a bit off. Now, can you explain a bit more about the slider? Thanks

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 11, 2015

Hi VBR

So now you know “what’s in the box”…:)

The slider is truly AMAZING. The build quality, lightweight and functionality took me by surprise as I did not expect a single person to do such a great job from his modestly equipped basement.

If there is anything specific you would like to know, I’m happy to try and help although Adrian (the owner) is the person to contact (http://www.wood-compslider.com/)

Thank you!

Johnnie

James Thomas Reply
James Thomas May 11, 2015

doesn’t look good

Rafa Beni R Reply
Rafa Beni R May 11, 2015

The guy of the video used a GH4. He know about the money value

Reply
Patrick Zadrobilek May 11, 2015

I think the footage looks nice. However I would prefer to see ungraded material to judge. Nice film you did here, Johnnie ;-)

Canon cannot price the camera lower than the consumer camcorders. I’m sure the camera will have it’s users. For example on small Gimbals, as secondary 4K wide shot camera, etc.
And for the sensor size, it’s not so small – 1 inch is even bigger than the S16 sensor from the Blackmagic Pocket cam.
And the price is not so bad, it’s about €1,760 here in Europe.

Thanks for the quick review Johnnie!

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 11, 2015

Hi Patrick. As always, good to hear from you again!

Sensor size is larger then the 2/3 inch which is so popular in broadcast. We became spoiled..:)
I’m sure the camera will have its uses. Personally I was hoping it will be more flexible when it comes to documentary style shooting but was let down by the lens and “viewfinder”.

In Europe the camera will be sold “bare bones” or bundled with a 128GB CFast card (in oppose to the 64GB offered in the US),

Thank you!

Johnnie

Reply
Herman May 15, 2015

But not one sensor.Broadcast camcorders mostly have 3 ccd (sensors)

Alan Mash Reply
Alan Mash September 20, 2015

Yay, finally someone os paying attention about this, that this XC10 has just a bit larger than a super 16 sized sensor. Which everyone raves about in the Black Magic pocket cinema camera, but not good enough for this camera? Give me a break. An APS-C size or super 35 sensors are actually the standard in which to compare too since these are the same as 35mm cinema film cameras. This 1 inch sensor is not much smaller than these. A full frame is not the standard in which to compare video too as it is bigger than 35mm cinema film. So Canon chose the right size sensor in this camera, and also it will do good DOF footage, but not TOO DEEP as a full frame sensor is sometimes, but deep enough and is harder to focus a full frame sensor. So far, I’m liking this camera…

Reply
Johnnie Behiri September 21, 2015

Hi Alan.

Not sure where the statement regarding the 1 inch sensor not being good enough for this camera is coming from.

Anyway, you are absolutely right about that sensor size being a “jack-of-all-trades”. The only (significant) trade off in my opinion is the low light capability.

Thanks and good to know you are liking this camera!. (if you have a free moment, please tell us more about your experience filming with it).

Johnnie

Alan Mash Reply
Alan Mash September 24, 2015

Johnnie, I was referring to Patrick Zadrobilek’s comment about the sensor size and not the article. So far so good with the camera. I just wish Canon would have squeezed into the camera Cine 4k instead of UHD 4k, but it is still real nice image.

Alex Chaloff Reply
Alex Chaloff May 11, 2015

Thoughts about battery life? How far is the wifi range? How comfortable were you pushing ISO to?

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 11, 2015

Hi Alex.

Battery life was OK. Nothing wow like the GH4 or limiting at times like the A7s.
Wifi was not tested. ISO 5000 is the max I used and you can see the results at the footage taken at the basement. I think considering the sensor size, It’s OK!.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Joseph Robba Reply
Joseph Robba May 11, 2015

I’m just going to pretend this camera doesn’t exist.

Reply
Tulio Campregher May 11, 2015

Appart from all the weirdness with the camera, Canon insists in making a PAL and NTSC version?
This is so Kodak, Even the GH4 is a World camera.

Reply
Anonymous May 12, 2015

Are you sure the GH4 is a world-camera? As far as I know the GH4 cameras sold in US have no 30-minute video limit, the EU versions do have. GH4 is a still image camera with video functions. This Canon is a video camera hence the higher price range, I guess. Anyhow, you are totally right that selling two versions is weird.

Reply
Tulio Campregher May 12, 2015

World Camera in the sense it is 24/25/29.97 switchable. .
yes, it still has the 30 minute rul, but I can still buy one in Hong Konk that works around the world with no limits.

Clayton Moore Reply
Clayton Moore May 11, 2015

I would have to say that given what this is for what it cost, that Canon made a major mis-calculatiom here. It would be a much more serious offering for no more then $1,000.

Oh well …………

Reply
Eno Popescu May 14, 2015

Completely agree!

Reply
Sten Rosendahl May 12, 2015

I hear a lot of whining. The XC10 should really be compared to the run-n-gun Sony PXW-X70 (same price, same general feature set, same “real” target group). For some reasons, Canon chose not to use the XA10/20/25 form factor which should have been the natural choice but flirted with DSLR users instead. Wrong move, as this only will make people think the price is too high (compared to bridge cameras) or too inflexible (since it has a fixed lens). Sales will probably suffer.

The specs are not unreasonable compared to the X70, that too will require quite expensive cards with the 4k option and have a lens with a non-constant aperture But the Sony lens is both a little both longer and brighter (in the tele end) and it has an XLR option through the hotshoe instead of the wasted Speedlite support of the XC10. Build quality is another thing. The number of buttons I guess is never enough. XC10 does have both Wide DR and C-LOG, Sony does not offer S-Log with the X70 (yet) and it does only offer a 60Mbit Long-GOP recording format in 4k. No doubt Canon could have beaten Sony at it if they really had targeted that exact wedding-cam niche.

How’s the ISO values compare to the C100? What does ISO 5000 in the XC10 correspond to in dB terms? The X70 can be used with quite high gain even though it too only has a 1-inch sensor.

Reply
kashif N September 21, 2015

Brother,
which Camera is Best best one and easy to use for every one.

Rumi Geiger Reply
Rumi Geiger May 12, 2015

I don’t think price is the issue with this camera, nor the sensor size, but for its intended buying group I think cfast is overkill, lens is a limiting factor with its slow aperture and not being removable, I like the form factor however,guess canon will find out for them selves and improve.

Claire McHardy Reply
Claire McHardy May 12, 2015

Loving the slider, not loving the camera. But after all your suffering the video piece turned out well.

If i were you i would have had this guy use some of his fancy engineering skills to slice that lens off and see if you could adapt a meta bones adaptor to it.

Shame that this camera is such a cheap waste. ” quality wise “

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 18, 2015

Hi Claire, good to see you here again!

Indeed a bit of a shame this camera turned out to be the way it is. The picture quality and codec are good but the way to get there is not for the casual VJ.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Reply
Miklos Nemeth May 12, 2015

One of the coolest thing on this camera is the red padded eyepiece you, Johnnie, taped on the viewfinder. Actually what’s that? I’d like to use it on a couple of my cameras, too.
Thank you, Miklos

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 12, 2015

Hi Miklos!

Here we go…http://c5d.at/cushion

Thanks

Johnnie

Luke Holley Reply
Luke Holley May 12, 2015

Thanks for sharing as always Johnnie. I am pretty impressed for price, and would love to see what Sony can do with their Rx10MII in 4k.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 12, 2015

Hi Luke

Thank you for taking the time watching the video

Johnnie

Reply
Henry Hahn May 12, 2015

Hi Johnnie,

Thank you very much for your review and for approaching this camera with a fair and open mind, rather than just criticizing its lack of blowaway specs at its price point as many have been quick to do (utility is more important than facts and figures, after all.) I was sorry and disappointed to hear about the shortcomings of the camera in your opinion, but I also had a specific question that wasn’t covered: despite the lack of XLR audio connections, can you offer any other thoughts on the audio specs and performance of this camera? Usually, the pre-amps built in to DSLRs are too noisy to use, and require external accessories. Will that also be the case with this camera, or did it seem to perform well with minimal background noise? Was the audio in this video recorded externally or straight to the camera? I haven’t been able to find this sort of information anywhere yet, but it would be really great to know, as not having to use a beachtek or zoom would be a huge advantage of this camera over a DSLR, particularly for journalism and other run-and-gun uses.

Best,
Henry

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 13, 2015

Hi Henry.

-For my old hears audio sounded fine but a “pro audio guy” might find the quality insufficient (as with other DSLRs).

-Audio was recorder directly to the camera.

-I hope we can get the final version of the camera again when it’s in full production. Then we will run it through our “lab test” and also try and pay extra attention to audio. If you have a specific audio request or suggestion, please don’t hesitate writing me.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Reply
Henry Hahn May 13, 2015

Thanks for your reply, Johnnie! Obviously an audio snob would say that you need an external recorder and a four track field mixer at all times, so I’m not trying to compare it to that setup by any means! Just trying to investigate if plugging a stereo mic straight into the 3.5 mm jack will result in the loud hiss that I’m accustomed to with DSLRs. That’s great to know that audio was recorded directly to the camera on this clip…background noise was very low from what I could gather. I’ll let you know if I have any more questions regarding audio. I appreciate the speedy reply.
Best,
Henry

Vlad Box Rojas Reply
Vlad Box Rojas May 12, 2015

For the worldwide detractors of everything new here is a little fable from Aesop (who became an Austrian after not getting any work in Greece)
One hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. “Just the thing to quench my thirst,” quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour.”

Moral: “Why would you despise, what you are not going to get”

Terje Bergesen Reply
Terje Bergesen May 15, 2015

>> Why would you despise, what you are not going to get

Because so many of us Canon users have been waiting for so long for something in the GH4/A7S range that is a decent product that will take our existing EF (-S L) lenses and do decent video. We were even getting our hopes up when the rumors of this one started flying.

Now we’re pondering selling our Canon gear instead. Something I at least do not want.

Karoliina Salminen Reply
Karoliina Salminen May 13, 2015

This would be a proper camera to price point under 1000 euros. Maybe something like 800 euros would be exact point where this should have been priced instead to be competitive against similar products (like RX10).

Reply
Sten Rosendahl May 13, 2015

The XC10 is not comparable to the RX10 which is recording in AVCHD i e full UD, not 4k. The FZ1000 however does record in 4k and its codec is probably good enough for most people, but they do have cut out some useful features present in the GH4. I would love an updated RX10 (which features an XLR option) with 4k recording but that would hurt the sales of the A7 series.

I wouldn’t compare the XC10 to common bridge cameras even though it looks the same. The photo features are not up to the specs of bridge cameras and the more advanced video codec is not appreciated by the average video enthusiast. Despite its many flaws, the 200/300MBit codec in the XC10 is the same as in the C300 mk II, and a great feature if you need to edit together with shots from its bigger brother. But if you don’t need fly-by shots, professionals may prefer investing in a used C100 instead.

Karoliina Salminen Reply
Karoliina Salminen May 14, 2015

Why to fly used C100 on a drone if one also could fly a Blackmagic :D
200 Mbit codec vs the 1Gbit RAW…

Martin Berthiaume Reply
Martin Berthiaume May 14, 2015

I agree about the codec. If you want a sensor larger than most ENG cameras there are not many small run-and-gun cameras in that price range with internal 422 8bit broadcast codec. I will definitely use this camera for some quick setup on a reality show. Especially to cut with C300 (mkI). C100 is nice but we always need to add a Ninja to have broadcast approved footage.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 15, 2015

Sten.
-The RX10 can now record in the XAVC-S codec.
-Attache the XLR K1m or K2m and you have a full XLR audio system

Reply
Sten Rosendahl June 4, 2015

Johnny,

The RX10 is still only HD.

Yes, the lack of an XLR adapter interface is a disappointment, they really should fix that on a future version, and so I told the CPS representative today when I got a chance to hold the XC10 a bit.
I also pointed out what you discovered about the 2x magnification not being enough (on the demo camera, that button was changed to Peaking instead which made more sense in that context).
I was happy though fine-tuning the ISO with the thumbwheel during setup of a shot since I rarely change the aperture after the initial setup and never the shutter speed.

Reply
Kris Kohuth May 13, 2015

Any thoughts on how high-ISO performance compares next to, say, that GH4 on the slider? Particularly shooting, as you are, a documentary indoors and for usable DOF?

I sold my GH4, with some regret, because I felt usable noise maxed out >= 1600, and wasn’t comfortable buying into the system.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 15, 2015

Hi Kris.

All the indoor shots were done in ISO 5000. The results for a 1 inch sensor camera are not bad at all. This camera and the GH4 are not the type of cameras I would choose for high ISO/documentary style shooting. I would feel much more comfortable working with some of the full frame Canons or Sony A7s

Thank you!

Johnnie

Reply
Miklos Nemeth May 15, 2015

Completely agree; I can use my Nikon V1 cameras indoor shooting quite nicely, but since the A7S, life has become so much simpler for concert and indoor videographers/photographers. The real killer, though, is the FE PZ28-135 combined with the A7S + XLR adapter. I’be very much interested a review of this combo from You, Johnnie.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 18, 2015

Hi Miklos.

I intend testing this combo at some point. The FE PZ28-135 was high on my shopping list for a particular documentary I shot last month but Sony could not deliver.

Might give it a second try soon.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Reply
William Koehler May 13, 2015

As always, Johnnie, you’ve done a great job. I really can’t see much to complain about – your talent has compensated for the cameras flaws. And I bet your friend is very happy with this video. But given a Panasonic GH4 showed up in the film, I have to ask: Given the choice, which would you have preferred to use? The XC10 or GH4?

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 15, 2015

Hi William, thanks for the thumbs up!.
Adrian is a truly good guy and I wish him all the best with his wonderful products.

Regarding cameras. My preferred choice is the Sony A7s despite of it being a full HD camera only.
When the day comes and Sony decides to upgrade the A7 line to 4K, they will have a real winner!.

Thanks!

Johnnie

Reply
David Wilson May 15, 2015

I agree, I have the A7s and AX100. Can’t wait for the day the A7s II comes out with internal 4k and hopefully 60p. The AX100 is a real surprise, an amazing camera for the money and can’t think why anyone would the XC10 for more and get less. Useless viewfinder and what looks like very average video. I keep looking at my Canon lenses plus a 5D Mark 2 and think is Canon ever going to produce another “Winner” in the video market?

Reply
Johnnie Behiri June 11, 2015

My Sony AX100 review is now online
https://www.cinema5d.com/sony-ax100-review-4k-100-mbps-firmware/

Thanks! Johnnie

Justus Tyrone Gooden Reply
Justus Tyrone Gooden May 15, 2015

The link to the slider webpage goes nowhere

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 15, 2015

Hi Justus.

Works from my side! Anyway, hope this helps. http://www.wood-compslider.com/

Thanks!

Johnnie

Reply
David Wilson May 15, 2015

Sony AX100 makes this look poor quality and out of date on day one. Who on earth would buy this ?

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 18, 2015

The AX100 is on my desk.

Review will follow soon.

Thanks!

Johnnie

Reply
Kepano Kekuewa May 16, 2015

Video looked just fine to me – good story telling as usual, Johnnie. That said, this is an odd duck of a camera. I think Sten nailed it in his comments. If shopping for a camera in this price range, it’s hard to ignore the Sony X70. I also find it curious that Canon didn’t instead update their XF line with this new sensor. Maybe they were hoping we’d see the XC10 as a baby C100 or some such?

Anyhow, I think we’re all a little spoiled these days. Today’s cameras are capable of producing great images. Since I already picked up a Sony X70 for run-and-gun and event work, I’m not in the market for the XC10. But, I appreciate the time taken to put together this short review.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 18, 2015

Kepano, thank you for your warm kind words. Appreciated!.

The Sony AX100 is on my table. I guess shooting with it is tend to be a similar experience like working with the X70.

The XC10 can produce nice images and has a robust codec but the way to get there is a pain…

Thanks.

Johnnie

Reply
Joseph Carney May 16, 2015

Was hoping this would be a viable alternative to the X70 for 4K. There is a market for a quality prosumer 4K camera. Too many negatives for either model. Still waiting for some company to get it right.

Reply
Kepano Kekuewa May 16, 2015

Yah, the announced specs for the X70’s 4K upgrade were a bit underwhelming, but for my needs, it was still a good addition to my toolkit.

You can wait for “some company to get it right.” Or, you can select the best tools today for the given job.

Reply
Joseph Carney May 16, 2015

I’m very happy with my current 1080p solution (Canon 70D) so I can wait for the right camera to come along.

Jay Waterhouse Reply
Jay Waterhouse May 16, 2015

Appreciate the concise review. Disappointing camera. Shame, thought it was going to be like a little 16mm but Canon has a lot of disastrous design choices here. 5Ds/r same thing. They need to stick to lenses, they have no clue what they’re doing with the bodies.

Despite the camera I liked your video a lot.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri May 18, 2015

Hi Jay.

Thanks for the thumbs up!

Johnnie

Antonucci Mannheimer Reply
Antonucci Mannheimer May 16, 2015

Honestly, the footage looks good to me. Like mentioned in the review, Canon sadly thinks this cameras belongs at a $2500.00 price point. If the camera retailed for $1200.00 then maybe people will think differently about its place in the market.

With the Fz1000 selling below 1k you can literately get two for less than one XC10.

Sadly… Canon refuses to listen to its customers and with that said they lost me. I sold all my canon gear and its there fault.

Reply
Joseph Carney May 16, 2015

Canon is very slow moving company. Sometimes that’s good, in this case it’s not. I’ve shot movies with my 60D and 70D and they looked fine. So not selling my Canon gear. But, if the new BMD Usrsa mini is any good, I’ll spend more bucks and get the EF version. That’s if it’s any good.
If I were starting over, I’d get Sony gear (A6000, A7S, FS7). I recommend newbies just getting into aps-c + Video get the A6000, not Canon.

Antonucci Mannheimer Reply
Antonucci Mannheimer May 19, 2015

The only Canon I have is the 6D it’s a great still camera. As for hybrid cameras Panasonic hands down gives you the most for your money. The A7s is a incredible hybrid camera also.

If you ask me Canon has it’s nose up in the air being too proud of there products lately.

If your a newbie get the Panasonic FZ1000 there is nothing on the market that can come close to it for that price. I would love to compare it to the XC10 if Canon would let me.

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Kris May 19, 2015

FZ1000…thanks for that. (I keep forgetting about that camera…. Also a 1″, and I much prefer its image to any of the Sony 1″.) Currently selling for…oh, my…$799.

Tell me again, what’s wrong with the FZ1000?

Antonucci Mannheimer Reply
Antonucci Mannheimer May 19, 2015

For the price nothing really…. (4k @ 100mps) (37-592mm 4k) 28-448 HD

The lens does do some steeping while zooming (Servo zoom). CF card is in the same location as the battery no headphone jack but does offer manual audio recording. It will also do 120fps in 1080P and to keep it out of the camcorder tax it will only do 20 something min recording.

I picked it up because the quality and color is very very close to the GH4. The ISO performance gathers light slightly better at the same ISO then the GH4. The GH4 has slightly less noise @ 1600 ISO.

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Eno Popescu May 28, 2015

The price, it’s too cheep. ;)

Reply
John Connor May 16, 2015

Sorry, but what does “ooparge” mean?

Reply
William Koehler May 20, 2015

It means “Oops, I meant ‘large’.”

Zach Ashcraft Reply
Zach Ashcraft May 16, 2015

Nicely told story and to me the image looks quite nice and natural, not sure why people are complaining so much.

I understand the limitations this camera has, but I do think its a nice all-in-one solution, especially for documentary filmmakers less concerned about gear and more concerned with getting a story out there. I’m a fan of simplicity and that is this cameras strong point, I think. Maybe a Mark 2 will be a much better camera

Reply
Joseph Carney May 17, 2015

It’s a great camera for around 1K USD. If they had put a decent lens on it, I think all else would have been forgiven.

I’m a fan of the 1″ format. Gives you some of the look and feel of S16mm (1″ = aprox 24mm). I would prefer 1″ over APS-C for low budget movie making.
I understand many like the pictures it creates, but they don’t look much different than what I already get from my Canon DSLRs, with the signature crushed blacks.

Farhad Shams Reply
Farhad Shams May 19, 2015

a shame i have so much canon stuff i can’t get out easy lol
Every company is doing something and canon is mocking its customers. I recently saw a real life comparison of the canon 7d mark ii vs the cheap nikon d5300 and nikon entry lvele camera had much better image quality looool yeah not everything is image quality but it is a big deal nevertheless. I have spent so much money on canon stuff ( also use other brands but haven’t invested in them that much ) that i start hating them for taking us for granted and trying to get the last penny out of our pockets and give them as little as possibel ….boooo canon a crappy camcorder almost twice the price of a gh4 and the same price as sony a7s………are they on druggssss??????

Antonucci Mannheimer Reply
Antonucci Mannheimer May 19, 2015

They are just three years late and $1500 over budget.

Reply
David Wilson May 19, 2015

Agree

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Eno Popescu May 28, 2015

Agree!

Reply
Derek Olson July 7, 2015

Disagree!

Vlad Box Rojas Reply
Vlad Box Rojas May 19, 2015

Sometimes it seems these blogs are full of accomplished experts in Cinematography. I am always curious to see what new comment will bring some needed expertise to my side. Apparently am the only one not making TV movies or Films. Feel bad for Den Lennie, Rodney Charters or eve Nino Leitner (from this blog)
“What are these people doing?” “Is Canon Crazy” “Its a 300 dollar camera” Its all you hear from the comments.

I shoot, shoot every day, I have commercial ,corporate clients and National Broadcasting Companies (as well as Government) My cameras are as of now Panny AF100 (love it) Panny GH3 (love it too) BMCC (Not so much for its lack of practicality But….) My Budgets are from 0 to 15K I am a small company, very small, but I had worked for BIG companies, BIG. All my cameras are 43. All 1080. Not one of my clients, not one has asked me to shoot 4K. NOT ONE. Until recently a TON of my work was shot at 720P and even SD. Recently WE all decided to go 1080P. I repeat, I work everyday. These cameras are still churning effectively AND making me a living. BTW I just sold my TRUSTY Canon 7D, which paid more than my car.

I correspond with Den Lennie quite a bit, I wish I could attend one of the lighting seminars he offers, but I’ve very little time (i should make time) and he says something right “the best camera is the one you have and know how to use” I would add and the one that MAKES you money. I can imagine Rodney Charters or Bruce Logan saying – “you know what, am not shooting this POV with the BMPCC because helll noooo is not a proper 4K”

This is my take, this bull that Canon is missing the 8 ball is just that, CRAP. The company does well in the stills market, its the BIGGEST Chunk of their Business.
I can see RED and Panavision or ARRI moving to 4k subtlety, but NOT massively, because 4K is still a waay off. In the US five years had passed (maybe 4) since the full adoption of digital standards for TV, you really believe that companies are going to adopt 4K to make some fanboys happy? Keep dreaming. Some countries in the world are still broadcasting SD in 4/3.

Canon knows what they are doing, and so does Nikon, and Panasonic, fan boys do not move them, R&D, shareholders and money DO. BTW 4K on youtube looks like crap. So I realize that some are not happy that the Canon XC10, but I can tell you that Canon as of now is getting very useful data from people who believe this camera complies with their needs. Go shoot and make a difference with what you have, if an XC10 crosses my path, I will make sure the camera works for me, not the other way around. I still have to make a living, If the GH3 is going to make all that happen while I enjoy what I do, then the xc10 or the DRAGON can wait, until the people WHO pays move me in that direction, in my humble case.

Johnny, Nino, Sebastian and the guys from 5D Cinema do a great service, giving us the choice of selecting what we may need. The videos, more than technical are compelling to watch, the subject matter is always interesting, so much so, I always forget about the quality (which BTW is always in spot on in great taste) which is the reason I should watch them in the first place!!. But some of the comments really. My suggestion: If you can afford it BUY it, make sure works for you and move on. I paid almost 3000K for a 7D in 2009, the camera made 15 times that much, some of it with the Kit lens. If you spend your time shutting down every piece of equipment because does not comply with your wishes (like AF on pro cameras, “chuckling”) you are waisting your time and money (that you are not making)

If the XC10 cost $2500 but your client has a 25K budget and needs a drone for a 5K shot, then buy the camera, and make your client pay for it. But if your budget is a 200dlls Skateboarding video, by all means don’t be so …… well you know.

Reply
David Wilson May 19, 2015

I remember when Lotus 123 had 95% of the world Spreadsheet market and thought waiting a few years to create a Windows version of their DOS program would be fine – “it’s years off before people dump DOS 123 for some upstart like Excel which requires a massive expenditure on more powerful PCs”

I wonder if Canon will go the same way as Lotus 123.

This camera is not bad as much as it’s just massively over priced. IMO.

Reply
Joshua Jobst May 20, 2015

Does the xc10 have the 30 minute limit?

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William Koehler May 20, 2015

The USA info page for this camera is here: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/professional/professional_cameras/high_definition_camcorders/xc10#BrochuresAndManuals

For something that records a professional LPCM audio track and has an ND filter built in, and Canon themselves calls a Camcorder, it is not believable that this camera have the European tariff driven 30 minute limit.

Having said that, be aware that if you record 4K @ 305 Mbps, it will fill a 64 GB card in about 30 minutes, a 128 GB card in about an hour.

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Sten Rosendahl May 24, 2015

What is meant by “magnification will punch in only once”? Is it just one level of magnification? 2x? 5x? Or how does it work?

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Johnnie Behiri May 26, 2015

Hi Sten.

Yes, one level of magnification only. I guess it is 2x only. What ever it is, it’S not enough..

Thank you!

Johnnie

Евгений Туйцын Reply
Евгений Туйцын June 5, 2015

Видео выглядит ужасно!! Цвет лица УЖАС!! Всё засвеченное!!! (((( Это не камера, а фуфло какое-то! Мне кажется что S7 на много круче!

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Johnnie Behiri June 6, 2015

No, the video does not look awful and it is not all overexposed!.
There is no Sony S7. I guess you wanted to say that the FS7 is a much better camera.
Well it is a completely different kind of “animal”….

Thanks.

Johnnie

Tony Anastasi Reply
Tony Anastasi June 11, 2015

safe to say that the new SONY RX10m2 just put this to rest for good. kills it in every way no matter which way you hold it :)

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Johnnie Behiri June 11, 2015

Hi Tony.

I guess you are right…

Let’s wait for the review…:)

Johnnie

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Kris June 11, 2015

Some possible advantages of the XC10 that still make it appealing, for me at least:

-Dynamic range on the XC10 seems better.
-More pleasing highlight rolloff (RX10m2 has those signature Sony blowouts)
-No continuous runtime limit, assuming you pay for CFast
-Canon color, if you’re into that (sadly, I am)
-Massive bitrate in 4K (could be a burden)
-12 vs 20MP, so maybe better in low light?
-Canon badge on the front sure to make the children smile

All for only, um, $1200 MORE. Yikes.

Reply
kashif N September 21, 2015

which Camera i buy for indoor video’s and photos for very good results. my budget is around $5,000.

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Johnnie Behiri September 21, 2015

Hi Kashif.

As far as I’m concern, a good camera for videos and photos under $5000 is the Sony A7s.
I recommend not to rush and buy that camera as the A7sII will be available soon and might be more advanced in some of its features the the original A7s.

We will review the A7sII soon and share our thoughts with our followers.

Thank you!

Johnnie

 William Tuke Reply
William Tuke December 29, 2015

Many thanks Johnnie. This was exactly the kind of unbiased appraisal that I wanted to read about the Canon XC10. Much appreciated.

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Johnnie Behiri December 29, 2015

Always welcome and thank you for taking the time to see the video and read the review!

Johnnie

 宗緯 姜 Reply
宗緯 姜 January 17, 2016

Do you think it good enought to make a Documentary project?

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Johnnie Behiri January 18, 2016

Hi 宗緯 姜

Personally I would not choose that camera for a documentary project.

The non constant aperture through the entire zoom range is simply too large and will drive me crazy when reframing. Additionally, depending on the type of documentary you are about to do, the audio connectivity is limited. Last but not least, the Canon solution for a magnification glass on top of the LCD screen is poorly implemented and would not allow me to work for a long time with this solution. Simply makes me dizzy, but maybe it is because I’m getting older…!

Thanks

Johnnie

Reply
Miklos Nemeth January 18, 2016

Hi Johnnie,
This is very interesting, very important from a practicing professional video journalist.

(1) You wrote that “The non constant aperture through the entire zoom range is simply too large and will drive me crazy when reframing”.
If the camera had a decent Auto ISO implementation in M exposure mode, would it solve this problem for you? I mean, when reframing to a longer focal length, the camera would increase ISO automatically to compensate the smaller iris, and vice versa. Sony/Nikon cameras have quite decent Auto ISO implementation in Manual video exposure mode.

(2) “the audio connectivity is limited”
I guess, you are missing a no-clutter solution that the Sony XLR module gives for the A7 cameras, aren’t you?

(3) “The Canon solution for a magnification glass on top of the LCD screen … makes me dizzy”
I think, this is a generic problem. You might love a decent external EVF (Zacuto). Would that be a solution?
Are the built-in EVF in Sony A7S, A7Rii, A7Sii and RX10ii OK for your videography jobs?

Thank you so much. It’s a joy to read your reviews and comments. Miklos

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Johnnie Behiri January 18, 2016

Hi Miklos!

1 – No, that will not solve the problem. Will you rely a 100% on an “auto ISO solution” like this to give you the results you want/need? I guess the potential of ruining a shot because of an extensive amount of noise due to hi ISO is rather high.

2 – Yes I am.

3 – A proper internal (or attachable) EVF will do. The a7S, a7SII, a7RII are OK for my work. The RX10II is inferior and was not very easy to work with.

Thank you Miklos!!!

Johnnie

Reply
Miklos Nemeth January 18, 2016

Thank You, Johnnie
You wrote that
“1 – No, that will not solve the problem. Will you rely a 100% on an “auto ISO solution” like this to give you the results you want/need?”

I set a max ISO/gain value. When the max value is hit, the shot will be underexposed.

“I guess the potential of ruining a shot because of an extensive amount of noise due to hi ISO is rather high.”

When you are forced to f5.6 as max aperture by the lens of the XC10 at 120mm, for example, what options do you have? Are you underexposing, raising ISO beyond max ISO or lowering shutter?

Thank you, Miklos

Reply
Johnnie Behiri January 20, 2016

Hi Miklos, sorry for my delayed response.

Well, you just hit one of the main problems with this camera….The way I’ll choose is to raise ISO carefully without getting to the point of adding much noise to the picture. One needs to know the camera well enough and experiment before to realise what is the max ISO that can be used.

I would strongly recommend going with a camera/lens that has constant aperture.

Thanks!

Johnnie

Reply
Miklos Nemeth January 20, 2016

No need to sorry, Johnnie; thank you for the reply. The brilliant Adam Wilt wrote about the lens of the XC10 in his review that “Think of it as a constant-aperture f/5.6 zoom, with wider apertures at shorter focal lengths as a bonus.” If combine this notion with your suggestion of “One needs to know the camera well enough and experiment before to realise what is the max ISO that can be used.” The user of an XC10 should evaluate precisely what ISO at f5.6 is the acceptable limit of the camera. Hmm, the much more inexpensive RX10ii has constant f2.8 with excellent BSI sensor with astonishing HFR features. The XC10 must produce phenomenal video image quality to compete with RX10ii, I guess.

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John Beech January 23, 2016

Very nice review Johnnie. It is helpful for me. Without XLR input I determine this is not the camera for me even though the reduced price of USD$2000 seems quite good. Also, your comments regarding menus was very helpful. Finally, I enjoyed the footage of your friend’s wood/carbon sliders. I own a machine shop as pone of my business ventures and always enjoy watching how others accomplish products. Bottom line? Well done!

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Johnnie Behiri January 25, 2016

Thank you John.

Happy to hear this video was helpful in making a decision.

Take care

Johnnie

 Scott Waschlerner Reply
Scott Waschlerner March 23, 2016

Good

Reply
Miklos Nemeth July 5, 2016

Very nice work. I’d be very much interested how tedious was working with the 305Mbps 4K video files with Adobe Premiere? Did you convert the files to some other format, or was Premiere able to read the Canon MXF files directly? Thank you so much, Miki

Reply
Johnnie Behiri July 6, 2016

Hi Miki.

Thanks for your thumbs up. Appreciated!.

Premiere was handling the footage with no problem and without the need of an additional conversion.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Reply
Miklos Nemeth July 6, 2016

Thank you so much, Johnnie! This would mean that I could use the MXF files directly from the CFast2 cards connected via a USB3 drive (SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 Reader/Writer for example) without copying. Hopefully Apple iMovie/iPad can be used the same way.

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Johnnie Behiri July 6, 2016

Hi Miki.

I always copy my footage first to my main fast hard disk (and back it up). I rarely edit strait from the recorded card. I did it a few times when shooting news when there was a great time pressure to deliver but in projects like the above, there is simply not reason for it.

Thanks!

Johnnie