April 8, 2015

Canon Has Another New 4K Camera, the Compact Fixed-Lens XC10

Canon XC10 4K Fixed Lens Camera Side
The Canon XC10 4K fixed-lens camera introduced in China recently has been officially announced.

[Update]: This camera is now available for pre-order here.

The XC10 has Canon Log and a similar XF-AVC codec with MXF wrapper found in the new Canon C300 Mark II, and the company is calling it a companion to the Cinema EOS cameras. It's in a strange club at the moment, as one of only three Canon cameras with internal 4K (the others being the 1D C and, of course, the just-announced C300 Mark II). It originally seemed like a consumer camera, though the final product looks to be somewhere in-between, as the $2K price tag is closer to a professional model than a consumer one. 

And here's a first look from What Digital Camera:

Canon XC10 4K Fixed Lens Camera Back

Here are the specs (you can check out the full specs at least for the UK model):

  • 13.36MP 1" CMOS Sensor & DIGIC DV 5 Processor
  • Video Mode: 8.29MP (3840 x 2160), Stills mode: 12MP (4000 x 3000)
  • 10x Fixed Manual Zoom Lens with Image Stabilization: 8.9 - 89mm f/2.8 - f/5.6 (27.3-273mm 35mm equivalent)
  • Autofocus (but not Dual Pixel like the other Canon models)
  • XF-AVC H.264 Recording
  • 3840 x 2160 up to 30fps
  • 1080p to 60fps
  • 720p up to 120fps
  • 4K: 305 Mbps: 29.97p, 23.98p, 205 Mbps: 25p
  • 1080 / 720p: 50 Mbps: 59.94p, 50p // 35 Mbps: 59.94i, 50i, 29.97p 25p
  • 1/8 (3-step) ND Filter Built-in
  • Movie/Photo: ISO 160 to 20,000, Canon Log/Wide DR: ISO 500 to 20,000
  • 12 Stops of Dynamic Range
  • CFast 2.0 for UHD/HD and SD Card Slot for HD Only, Photos, and Camera Settings
  • 4K: CFast 2.0 card; Full HD/Photo: SD card (Class 10 recommended for 50Mbps)
  • 3" 1,030,000 Dot Touchscreen LCD, No EVF, but you can attach a loupe to the adjustable LCD
  • HDMI with 4K Output (This looks to be 10-bit 4:2:2 and can record to the Atomos Shogun)
  • Headphone jack, Built-in stereo microphone, 3.5mm stereo mini jack external microphone
  • Built-in WiFi
  • Takes LP-E6 Batteries
  • Audio: Linear PCM (2ch, 16 bit, 48 kHz)
  • Weight: Around 2lbs.
  • Availability: June 2015
  • Price: $2,500

At the moment we've just got this video for the XC10:

Canon XC10 4K Fixed Lens Camera Side

More from Canon on this model:

A selection of slow and fast motion recording modes – including up to 1200x fast motion in 4K/Full HD, and up to1/4x slow motion in HD – as well as interval shooting provide further creative opportunities.

The XC10 is also Wi-Fi compatible; enabling remote control of key features via a browser, smartphone or tablet – securing its position as an essential part of any Cinema EOS video shooter’s toolkit.

It will be interesting to see how demand on this one plays out. Without servo zoom, it seems like more people would just be better off with a DSLR (though this will likely be a bit easier to shoot video with due to the handgrip and loupe). It's likely that Canon will release 4K DSLRs sometime in the future, and a higher-end model should hopefully have most of the features that the XC10 does. A 4K DSLR with a larger sensor and similar lenses might actually match the cinema cameras better than this model.

The video above isn't a great example of the cinematic results you may or may not be able to get with the XC10, so we don't know yet how well this will match cameras like the C100 and C300. You're definitely going to have a lot more in focus as the 1" sensor is smaller than Super 35mm/APS-C (which could actually be helpful for documentary-style shoots). The other thing I've seen talked about elsewhere is the possibility of putting this on a drone/UAV, and it actually seems like it might be well-suited for something like that.

We'll update as more videos and information is released.

A look at the camera with the lens hood and loupe off:

Your Comment

43 Comments

Not quite sure what to make of this. I mean, it's nice that Canon are pushing into 4K a bit more, but can this really compete with the GH4, seeing that they're a similar price?

April 8, 2015 at 7:11AM

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I think that only some professionals would choose this over a GH4 with the rest of the pros along with consumers/prosumers still choosing the GH4 or Sony AX100 because they offer so much for the price.

April 8, 2015 at 7:22AM

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Samir
89

Smaller zoom range than FZ1000, smaller aperture (so maybe worse in low light, even if high ISOs happen to be cleaner), and a not insubstantial hidden cost too: the price of CFast vs SD.

I suppose some of the advantages of XC10 are: higher frame rates at 720 (120 vs 30... but they both do 60 at 1080), you can record longer than 30 minutes without missing anything, and presumably better image, at least in terms of dynamic range, but I guess we'll see...

April 8, 2015 at 5:51PM, Edited April 8, 5:51PM

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Adrian Tan
Videographer
877

No way this competes with the GH4. Look at the highlights in the sample footage, totally blown out. Only under completely controlled lighting can this be useful. If Magic Lantern can hack this thing it may actually become a real camera.

April 8, 2015 at 10:01PM

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Vidrazor
554

I've had YouTube do that to my videos too. I think it's more likely a marketing intern oversight than what Canon is presenting as the camera's capability. Still, unfortunate.

April 9, 2015 at 6:49PM, Edited April 9, 6:49PM

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Eric Cornwell
old dog learning new tricks
88

So it's basically Panasonic FZ1000, triple the cost though and a year later...

April 8, 2015 at 7:18AM

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Yep, the FZ1000 have been a bit overlook by professionnal because of the lack of some important stuff like audio monitoring but I work with a compagny that have buy a few as B cameras and I gotta say I was a pleasure to work with. Very easy to use and understand, great image quality in both HD and 4k. Now I seriously concider buying one.

April 8, 2015 at 9:29AM

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AvdS
1142

What a joke!

April 8, 2015 at 8:11AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1139

Will I buy this camera? Maybe depending on the image in a real life scenario. This camera would be a great to have in your bag if you are a documentary filmmaker. There are times when a full rigged up C300 or FS7 isnt going to work for you. Vice for instance has used C300 and C100's (Now FS7's) but they always have a small camcorder in their bag ready to go. With a camcorder with c-log it will back the higher end as well. If the battery life is good and the image is half decent this will be very successful.

April 8, 2015 at 8:51AM

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Caleb Rasak
Camera Operator / AC
259

Looks nice, good to see them doing something new, but a bit of a shame on the lens front. Personally, I'd have sacrificed some of the range for a fixed aperture and a lens that doesn't extend.

April 8, 2015 at 9:03AM

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Tom Hornblow
Camera operator, Steadicam
281

Whyyyyyyyyy?!

April 8, 2015 at 9:12AM, Edited April 8, 9:12AM

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theuerweirich@me.com
Director of Fotography
334

Tough to say if it's good or not. It offer some nice stuff but is it enough, and the price is a bit prohibitive knowing what's availlable out there. I gess the idea of selling it as a B camera for the C-300 owners is probably a good match, they can afford it and value the fact that the images will match easily.

April 8, 2015 at 9:21AM

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AvdS
1142

CANON! CHOP OFF THE LENS! CHOP IT OFF OR I WILL!

Seriously cant believe that they have not put an EOS M mount on this, something we could speed boost or add an EOS adapter too so that we can use fast glass in the hopes of getting any depth of field from the microscopic sensor...

The control of the image that you get with this camera does not make it worth anyones money considering the bulk of it. Its shocking how Canon again missed the mark so badly here.

Canon executives... when this thing doesn't move off the shelf like you had hoped, remember these simple words for next time.
Super 35 sensor, Changeable Lenses.
one more time
Super 35 sensor, Changeable Lenses
Im not getting paid a salary from the market research department but even I can figure out that tiny detail that could make this thing be a winner, so why cant you?

What a wasted opportunity.

April 8, 2015 at 9:21AM, Edited April 8, 9:21AM

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Claire McHardy
Cinematographer
404

soooo.... you're saying you want a c300?

April 15, 2015 at 10:29PM

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MASSIVE FACE PALM!

April 8, 2015 at 9:23AM

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Claire McHardy
Cinematographer
404

How dare Canon even do this after releasing the C100 mk2 without 4K. Its quite disrespectful actually.

April 8, 2015 at 9:26AM, Edited April 8, 9:26AM

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Claire McHardy
Cinematographer
404

I agree with you, what on Earth are they thinking!! They'll release a cheap camera like this with 4k but won't put 4k in one of their $5,000 Cinema cameras?? I think its fair to say Canon is finished with many of us not due to their cameras but due to their way of business.

April 10, 2015 at 10:44AM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
1101

yea no its not. this is crippled in comparison. a fixed lens 1" sensor to a c100 mark 2, even if 4K is in play, its apples to oranges.

April 15, 2015 at 10:30PM

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Again a nice product if we were in 2012. Good job Canon, feeling glad to abandoned you for panasonic...

April 8, 2015 at 10:08AM

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Panos Karachristos
Director - Filmmaker
271

Things that make me instantly reject this camera:
*Lens goes from f/2.8 to f/5.6 when zooming
*No servo zoom rocker

If it were a constant f/2.8 throughout the zoom range, and had a servo zoom rocker, I would be very interested.

April 8, 2015 at 12:07PM

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Jaime Valles
Filmmaker
391

yeah exactly. what is the point of the fixed lens if there's no servo zoom?

April 8, 2015 at 1:29PM

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matthew david wilder
Director/Cameraman/Editor/Colorist
280

That price though, for that?

April 8, 2015 at 12:23PM, Edited April 8, 12:23PM

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Keith Kim
Photographer
1632

The price shouldn't come as too much of a sticker shock to people. It's Canon, they generally price higher than their competition for similar specs.

I will be interested to see how this handles in the real world once it's released. The codec has my attention, the 4:2:2 internal is nice, and the ergonomic may prove to be better for run and gun Docu shooters.

But I have to parrot some of the other comments with my concerns. The integrated lens just doesn't seem like the best move. By making that a feature it's going to draw comparison to the considerably cheaper and very functional 4K Panasonic bridge cameras.

People who already work in a Canon workflow and enjoy the colorspace may gravitate towards this XC10, but those not already tied to Canon have other less expensive, and arguably better, options to consider. Hell, just in the internal 4k arena you could buy a slightly used GH4 and a decent lens for this price point. Or two FZ1000s and extra gear. Or even a Samsung NX1 kit, which will produce better stills and shoot super 35 sized video.

For Drone use I could see this having a purpose, but again, there are cheaper 4K options. The just announced Phantom 3 Professional shoots 4k, is almost half the price, and is a drone and camera combo. Ouch.

April 8, 2015 at 1:20PM

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Lame. The Sony RX10 has a constant f2.8 aperture 24-200 (equivalent) zoom with declicked and stepless aperture ring. For $1000. The only major thing it doesn't have is 4k, but I hope Sony will announce an RX20 to rectify that soon.

April 8, 2015 at 2:18PM

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Shen
416

As someone stuck with a C100 now trying to decide what to do, Canon sure seems to be working hard to drive me to another brand to bring 4K into my workflow. The C100 mk ii isn't good enough to justify trying to flip my current C100 and replace it. Flipping for a now much cheaper C300 seems tempting, but still doesn't cover 4K. C300 mk ii is outrageously overpriced so forget it. Fs7 is tempting but I really prefer Canon over Sony and it has a lot of hurdles that turn me off.

Been thinking about picking up a GH4 to cover my 4K/highspeed needs and sticking with the still reliable C100 for HD, then saw this and was hoping it might be a great option instead. But $1,000 more than a GH4..ugh. Three times higher bitrate is nice, and I'm not particularly turned off by the fixed lens, it seems to cover a solid range. 12 stops DR in CLOG is great. But limited to 60 fps in 1080 though? Only a 1" sensor? No Dual Pixel AF? Only 8 bit internally?

*sigh* I think my days as a Canon faithful are numbered.

April 8, 2015 at 2:57PM, Edited April 8, 2:57PM

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Jeremy Abbott
Video Producer/Independent Filmmaker
379

It's early days yet. Wait until NAB is over to see what else comes out.

April 8, 2015 at 3:55PM

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Shen
416

I feel you. All I can say is start thinking outside of the Canon box. I was really skeptical about ditching Canon, but just recently got my hands on the Samsung NX1...4k, 60fps/120fps @ 1080p, incredible AF...after just a day of shooting with it, all I could think was "What the hell was I was waiting for?". Not that the NX1 is perfect...but it's pointless to wait around for Canon to make THE camera we all want, while everyone has/is already doing it (or far closer)...for half the price. It's like a whole new world now.

April 13, 2015 at 11:16AM

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Micah Dudash
Director at Pilgrim Film co.
198

Ya for sure. I'm actually trying to decide between the NX1 and GH4 as my 4K stopover now. Have you used a GH4? Looks like the NX1 is better in a lot of ways and cheaper too, but I want it mainly for VFX work and that 10 bit footage is pretty enticing.

April 13, 2015 at 6:53PM

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Jeremy Abbott
Video Producer/Independent Filmmaker
379

Yet another codec to deal with?
Manually zoom only?

No thanks Canon.

April 8, 2015 at 6:56PM, Edited April 8, 6:56PM

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treykaiza@gmail.com
Cat Herder
227

Whatsa "XF-AVC H.264 Recording"? I'm reading http://www.canon.com/news/2015/apr08e.html and they are like: "The new Canon XF-AVC is a standard that defines each recording method for the visual and audio data components that make up individual video files. Because XF-AVC employs the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression format, which realizes a high data-compression rate without sacrificing image quality"

Or is the "new?" H.264 gonna be better than the regular H.264? Enlighten me please.

April 8, 2015 at 7:41PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
4013

H.264 comes in different flavors. Manufacturers can license it to tweak and play with it and make their own formats, it's sort of open-source in a way. We've actually met with one of the devs of H.264 (currently working on H.265) and you'd be amazed how much can be done with it that isn't out on the market.

Really though H.265 is going to crush 264 pretty soon.

April 8, 2015 at 10:51PM

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Jeremy Abbott
Video Producer/Independent Filmmaker
379

I can't think of a single person I would recommend this camera to. It's out of reach for your basic consumers (expensive, c-log requires significant grading knowledge, the codec is data-intensive so you need bigger hard drives, and C-Fast 2.0 is also expensive and not as ubiquitous as SD cards and readers), but you aren't going to find any prosumers interested in this either. Back in 2008, prosumers flocked to DLSRs because it finally gave us freedom from our fixed-lens, small sensor cameras. So I just don't see a place for this.

Manufacturers caught on that we loved the image from DSLRs, the option to change lenses and use larger sensors... but we missed the form-factor of our beloved DVX100. So they started developing cameras like the Sony FS100, the Canon C100 and so-on. I'm just trying to figure out where Canon though we might want the opposite of that; the image of a fixed-lens, small sensor camera inside the ergonomics of a DSLR. It just doesn't make sense to me.

April 9, 2015 at 12:03AM

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That lens makes me so damn sad.

I mean, other than that it's actually pretty decent, and has potential as a really solid documentary-style camera. A built-in ND filter and internal stabilization in this form factor and size is a big deal.

But that lens. Why does it have to be fixed? It puts it firmly in my "do not buy" list.

April 9, 2015 at 1:10PM

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27 comments later and the question still remains: WHY? Why Canon? Waist of time, money and resources to develop...this?

April 9, 2015 at 1:43PM

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I've been talking about this camera on another forum. Perhaps the main sort of person this might appeal to is someone who has a C100 or C300 and wants to add a combined 4K option/B-cam/possible drone cam to their toolkit. Obviously, no one quite likes the look, the price, or the f/5.6 at the tele end. But there's a few people who are still a little interested, including myself. Price will likely drop to $1500 or $1000 in a few months, and the ability, at least on paper, to seamlessly match a C100 or C300 without grading is maybe the main advantage over the better-value FZ1000 or GH4.

The way I see it, it's not a beautiful film camera, and it's not a consumer camera. It's for videographers, documentary people, ENG people; and it's a stop-gap solution for those rare times you need 4K -- until 2018, when every camera at the C100 price level will have 4K as standard.

April 9, 2015 at 11:27PM

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Adrian Tan
Videographer
877

Problem is that $1000 more is nowhere near worth it just to avoid a little extra colour grading. If you're shooting in C-Log, you're probably grading - period. So ya, you might have to tweak your settings more to match but a lot of word on the GH4 is that at low ISOs especially, it grades nicely and has a surprising DR, comparable to 12 steps. So it should be pretty easy to match with a C100/300.

I'm in that exact position now. When I first saw this, I got excited at the possibility to stick with Canon as my 4K stop-gap. But that price and those limitations have almost certainly killed it. Curious to see how the 305 Mbps codec outdoes the GH4's 100 Mbps but still, footage I've seen from the GH4 looks beautiful. And this camera with its tiny sensor and fixed lens means you get even less DOF than the GH4!

Ugh so sick of Canon's shit.

April 10, 2015 at 1:00AM

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Jeremy Abbott
Video Producer/Independent Filmmaker
379

I do not get why they did not release this without a fixed lens, and even less why they released it with a fixed "kit lens" type. It could have made a buzz with a better lens or lens mount, but it is clear that Canon does not want to cannibalize their other sales.
I do not see it as a bad camera, but to me, the alternatives seem more interesting due to better lens options and pricing. Canon often makes very limited and often overpriced cameras, but yet they are pretty good at what they do, and also quite durable.

April 10, 2015 at 6:23AM

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gandulf charpentier
director of pornography
649

Hold up.... I just saw the price!! $2,500 really??? LOL Canon is a freakin joke!!!!! Footage looks awesome but wow, smh...

April 10, 2015 at 10:55AM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
1101

That's one ugly camera. :/

April 13, 2015 at 9:54AM

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I am a OMB who shoots video and stills for a blog and while many people who have a higher level of experience than me are disappointed with this camera, to me it is almost perfect. The key word here is "ALMOST" and the few things that keep it from being perfect tick me off so much that it almost makes me want to give up on Canon all together.

I currently use a t2i (yes, that's how far behind I am) and have been racking my brain for months as to what I should get next. I want to really up the quality of my videos but I also need a capable stills shooter and I want to avoid having two bodies if at all possible.

I thought about the 70D but despite its cool autofocus, touch screen, and wifi, the no clean HDMI out, and similar low light performance as my t2i knocked it off the list. The 7D Mark II was next. It shoots great pictures and has awesome burst shot which is good for me since I shoot action stuff at least 3 times a year, and it has clean HDMI out. However, with 4k being more common now it seems ...like a missed opportunity to get something that can only shoot HD.

This brought me to Panasonic and Sony. I hesitate here since I am used to canon but the GH4 and A7 series cannot be denied. The GH4 has nearly everything I want (4k, burst shot, flip out screen, clean HDMI out, headphone jack, etc) but its low light performance is terrible. I need good low light performance since I shoot a lot at dim to dark environments (auto shows, conventions).

Then there is the Sony A7s. Small, full frame, amazing low light, but the camera is 2,500 for just the body and I'd need to put another 2,000 for 4k recording, and this is before the price of a lens or a metabones adapter.

So, now Canon announces this XC10 and really gets my hopes up. 4k, no need to buy a lens, no need to buy an external recorder, likely decent low light capability, workable stills shooting, but $2,500 and NO FLIP OUT SCREEN!

It annoyed me so much when the video kept referring to it as a great "journalist camera". How can they call it that when a lone journalist can't even see what they're filming until after they've filmed it?? It would be such a simple thing to make the screen flip out completely and articulate but they left it out. Why?? It just seems like a pattern with canon that they give you NEARLY everything you want but then leave out something simple yet extremely important. Its like they've turned into Apple!

I am crossing my fingers that Sony announces a price drop on the A7s or that Panasonic announces a new GH with better low light. Unless canon has some other surprise announcement in store, I think I may be finally fed up with them.

April 13, 2015 at 5:10PM

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It's important to look outside your own needs and understand the purpose of this camera, it exists for journalists. High bitrate, 4K ability, integrated lens - this is meant to shoot pieces in the field for broadcast, leaning towards the guerrilla journalism side of things. Protests, war-zones, anywhere where you'll want to be low-key, this will do the job well.

April 13, 2015 at 8:48PM, Edited April 13, 8:48PM

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David Doel
Director, Camera Operator, Editor
170

I am a journalist and while this camera has its merits I just don't see justifying this compared to what else I could have at a lower price point. I am actually ok with the built in lens but its hard to justify this as a "journalism" camera when the screen doesn't fold out for a one person filming set up.

This means I'd have to buy a monitor, that is not only added cost but its just another piece of gear I have to carry and power.

The other thing that is tentatively turning me off about this camera is that it appears that the 4k recording only works on CFast 2.0 cards and not CFast 1.0. This isn't confirmed but it hasn't been mentioned anywhere.

If its true and 4k recording only works with CFast 2.0 then that could considerably add to the cost as well. The cheapest CFast 2.0 card I found is $180 for a 32gb which isn't bad but it quickly goes up from there. The next cheapest is nearly $400.

So unless you're always going to be behind the camera and only planning to shoot in HD this $2,500 camera plus a decent HD monitor ($400) plus a CFast 2.0 card ($180) becomes a $3,000 plus camera.

Compare that to a GH4 with a built in flip out screen and no need for CFast 2.0 ($1,495), a basic lens ($165), and say $60 for a high speed 64gb SD card and you are at $1720. That's a $2,280 price difference.

Basically, you'd be paying $2,280 for a longer zoom and 205 mbps higher bit rate. Does it seem worth it at that point? I lean towards no. And I REALLY wanted to like this camera.

April 14, 2015 at 12:22AM

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The camera includes both a SanDisk 64GB CFast 2.0 Memory Card and a CFast Card Reader: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras...

I agree that the lack of a swivelling to front-face LCD is an oversight though.

April 14, 2015 at 2:56PM

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David Doel
Director, Camera Operator, Editor
170

That makes things MUCH better. Although I am still not sure its worth it over a GH4. I guess we will have to wait until sample footage comes out. If this thing can get decent low light footage then it might be enough to change my mind.

April 14, 2015 at 4:38PM

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