Canon's XC10 4K Camcorder: Some Lovely Footage & an Unsurprisingly Critical Review
In the weeks leading up to NAB 2015, Canon announced the XC10, a fixed-lens 4K camcorder that left many scratching their heads. But what can this odd little camera actually accomplish?
Johnnie Behiri over at Cinema5D recently posted some of the first professional footage and a brief review of the Canon XC10, and needless to say, the footage itself has many of the lovely characteristics that Canon is known for, but the design and ergonomics of the camera aren't up to par with what professionals have come to expect. But first things first. Here's a short profile piece shot on the XC10:
Over in Johnnie's review on Cinema5D, he outlined both what he liked and didn't like about the XC10. On the plus side, the camera can produce nice images for what it is, a fixed-lens camcorder with a one-inch sensor. With that said, the list of cons vastly outweighs the list of pros. Here are a few excerpts from the section where he details what he doesn't like:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 into the CFast card.
- Minimum ISO in video mode is ISO 500.
- Please be aware. When changing 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.
Despite the image quality -- which isn't bad at all considering the small sensor -- it seems like Canon truly missed the boat on this camera, at least if they're still insisting that the XC10 is designed for professionals. The biggest disappointment has to be that lens, which is not only permanently fixed to the camera, but which has a non-constant aperture. Even for video journalists and other potential professional markets for this camera, maintaining exposure throughout the zoom range is critical, and the XC10 doesn't offer that ability unless stopped down to f/5.6 or higher. Even a slower constant-aperture zoom, maybe a constant f/4.0, would have been greatly preferable to the lens that is included with this camera.
The biggest revelation from this video, however, is that absolutely beautiful slider with wooden accents made by Adrian Mahovics. You can learn more about those custom sliders here.