Announced at NAB last month, the Canon XC10 is the imaging giant’s ticket into the entry-level 4K video market. It is a true Digital Video camera, with the sensor and lens being designed specifically for this camera. You can capture 12 megapixel stills and although it has a DSLR style form factor, everything about it is geared towards video. Last week, we were lucky enough to have some hands on time with one of the only two currently in Australia.
The maximum resolution is 3840 x 2160 at 30p and you can also choose to record in 1080p or 720p at higher frame rates (50 & 100 fps respectively). More importantly, you can now record in 4K at 305 Mbps in camera! You must use CFast cards for 4K but still, I think that’s pretty amazing. Fast SD cards are suitable for all other resolutions as 50 Mpbs is the max bit rate for Full HD.
The lens is fixed which may seem a bit odd at first, but again it’s been made for this camera. It has a 10x optical zoom; the 35mm equivalent of 27.3-273mm in movie mode. It has the new STM motor for smooth, accurate focus and is relatively fast for such a wide range at F/2.8-5.6. Best of all, it’s parfocal. Pair this with a specially developed 1” CMOS sensor and the Digic DV 5 processor and the result is very impressive image quality.
The camera features a full size HDMI output capable of 4:2:2, 8 bit colour depth for use with an external recorder. You also get a 3.5mm audio input, 3.5mm headphone output, a USB connection and Wifi built-in. The 3” touch LCD tilts up and down and the touch focus works really well. Canon have also packed it with pro features like colour bars, focus peaking, zebra pattern and some great picture profiles including Canon Log to get up to 12 stops of dynamic range.
Overall, we have a very interesting little camera on our hands with a lot of potential. It will be a perfect ‘B’ or ‘C’ camera for many professionals and a realistic ‘A’ camera for those wanting to get into film making.