January 20, 2016

Price of Canon's XC10 4K Camera Has Dropped to $2,000

Canon XC10 4K Fixed Lens Camera Side
Canon's interesting XC10 camera is now $2,000.

While the camera has a few interesting quirks, including a smaller-than-APS-C 1" sensor, it is one of the few from Canon that can actually shoot 4K internally — and at a high bitrate with Canon Log built-in. The XC10 has sort of fallen into the trap of not being a well-defined model, as it's not really a cinema camera and not really a fully-featured documentary camera, it's somewhere in the middle. It's better than a DSLR for shooting video but has a smaller sensor than the cinema cameras — though the company has mentioned a number of times that they see it as a possible B-cam to their C100/C300/C500 camera line (and as a possible drone camera, but it doesn't seem like it's particularly well-suited for that).

Having a smaller sensor does make focusing a little easier for documentary work and allows for a fixed lens with a wide focal range to fit into a small package, but that lens is not a constant aperture and limited to just f/2.8 wide open. 

Canon XC10 Price Drop 2000

As for what the camera is capable of, Johnnie at cinema5D took the XC10 for a spin when it first came out:

CFast 2.0 cards are coming down in price all the time, but it's just another part of the package that has turned some people away (you need those for recording 4K). Either way, if you've been interested in a camera that can give you nice images with high bitrates, and has better quality than a DSLR in a similar package, this one just got a little bit cheaper. 

Just for fun, Redrock attached a 35mm adapter to this camera a few months back, and the results are interesting. With a little more tuning, it's not impossible to get what I think is a completely unique look, due to the variation of the rotating ground glass of the adapter:

Your Comment

37 Comments

At half that price I still wouldn't buy it.

January 20, 2016 at 3:20PM

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Alex Everingham
Video Editor
605

I won this camera as a "grand prize" in a festival, used it on 2 shoots, hated it... and I still can't even sell it for half the price.

January 20, 2016 at 6:03PM

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Kirill
Filmmaker
142

Maybe if it dropped down to under 1000 and I might consider getting it..

January 20, 2016 at 3:40PM

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Nicholas Ortiz
Director/Writer/Stuntman
227

It even dropped to 2000 CAD (1375USD ish) at one of my local shop here during the holidays.
I had high expectation in this product at first, I have no doubt it can produce nice images but it's surely a full auto kind of camera. I was turn off by the electronic focus ring...

January 20, 2016 at 4:24PM

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Danny T
Photographer
435

I feel like Canon does this a lot, makes cameras that don't make practical sense, and that no-one was asking for. The 1DC is like this. Why would anyone buy a sports-photographer's camera to shoot 4k video? The C series cinema cameras have a lot going for them, but it seems like Sony actually listens to film-makers lists of wants. All of it is really good for what it is, but there isn't much of it that I actually want. A camera with a 1" sensor could basically have been marketed as a digital Super 16 4k camera. Instead it has a variable aperture zoom and the sensor isn't even really super 16. Who made these decisions??

January 20, 2016 at 4:41PM, Edited January 20, 4:41PM

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I'd say this camera might have a successful market at around the $800 mark.

January 20, 2016 at 6:23PM, Edited January 20, 6:23PM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
871

Yep, you're probably right.

January 21, 2016 at 5:23AM

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AvdS
1157

Red, pink, an orange stand out. But the flesh tones are bad, well, distasteful even. I am wondering if the price drops on this camera are because the color gamut/science isn't top notch and worth a higher price.

I was a little surprised to see a GH4 on the slider in this Canon camera test video. I came across an EXCELLENT video from a GH4 together with an Atomos Ninja Assassin. 1 minute video: https://vimeo.com/150594344

January 20, 2016 at 7:08PM, Edited January 20, 7:25PM

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That video isn't a great example to compare the GH4 to the XC10. It's 90% VFX work. You can't really see the benefits of a GH4 & Atomos from that video.

January 21, 2016 at 1:26PM

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Alex Everingham
Video Editor
605

Atomos featured it on their facebook page. They like it.

January 21, 2016 at 9:42PM

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These days, practically every time NFS posts an article about a canon release, announcement, or price drop... I type up a reply that is riddled with so much sarcasm that I simply cannot post it for fear of doing irreparable damage to my karma. So I delete. Just thought I'd share that. Also, whenever someone tells me they bought a 1DC for filmmaking, I die a little inside.

January 20, 2016 at 11:46PM, Edited January 20, 11:48PM

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J.M. Anderson
Director of Photography
514

I am not sure why you die inside. I know its not a proper film camera in many respects, but I personally think the image off the sensor is as good as it gets for an 8-bit image. As a hybrid shooter (stills/video) and a C100 Mark II owner I still often debate picking up a 1DC after the price drops a little more.

January 21, 2016 at 1:25PM

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Shane Rickard
Producer
115

The 1D C does have a pedestrian video image.

January 21, 2016 at 11:26PM, Edited January 21, 11:27PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1646

it could be better

January 22, 2016 at 10:18AM

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Oh, Canon *smh*
Shamefur Dispray -__-

January 21, 2016 at 1:23AM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1582

This could be a fantastic camera for documentaries. Sadly, there are no XLR or mini XLR inputs. Still not a bad option, though.

January 21, 2016 at 11:48AM

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another 2,000 off and it would be the perfect price against its competitors

January 21, 2016 at 12:11PM, Edited January 21, 12:11PM

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It's a love it or hate it camera. If you just read the online criticisms you'd be surprised by the number of happy customers on the B&H site.

My feeling is that a lot of the critics don't understand it. It's an easy-to-use broadcast standard camera for non-experts, e.g. multimedia and print journalists. The fixed lens and one-inch sensor means it can be small enough to look like an SLR. Combine this with excellent image stabilisation and you have a really useful stealth camera.

I tested it recently, and reviewed it at learnaboutfilm.com/xc10. There's also a very detailed, and largely positive, review at dvinfo.net

January 21, 2016 at 3:12PM

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Tom Barrance
Film educator
197

Drop it to $500.....throw in a free C-fast card, give me a cool one and maaaaaaaybe I'll think about ordering one.
Oh yeah........free shipping too!

January 21, 2016 at 4:51PM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
993

I appreciate all of your experience. Your comments are guideposts for me.

January 21, 2016 at 9:47PM, Edited January 21, 9:47PM

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I think it would be a good alternative to dsrl shooters and for young filmmakers who wants to buy proper equipment but doesn't have 6-7k$ or more to spend into camera+lenses (and maybe and adaptor)+external recorder and cards.

It would be... if it would have costant aperture. Even a costant T2.8 would be great for a camera like that! But a T5.6 at the maximal focal lengh is something impossible to use when shooting interiors or low light situation like concerts or events.

For concerts, events, street shooting, or other kind of production where low profile shooting is the key I think this camera would be even better than C100 or C300. 305mbts @4k is good and 50mbits@HD is good either.

I think that the variable aperture now a days is one of the key fault in this camera.

January 21, 2016 at 6:31PM

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Andrea Cassina
Filmmaker
161

Do you think a Sony a7S2 would be a better choice?

January 21, 2016 at 9:46PM

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It depends on you. Do you already has lenses? what kind of mount? do you need an adaptor? What kind of shoot will you do: ng style, documentaries, videoclips?

The sony a7S2 is a very good camera, but it has a lot of cons too you have to evaluate when you decide to buy. On the side of the sensor I can say "yes the a7S2 beat the xc10", on the side of the codec I would say no.

I think a lot of cameras are good for some jobs, it depends on the needs of the shooters.

I'm not defending the xc10, I'm only saying that with some better choices (costant aperture for example) the camera would be a lot better!

January 22, 2016 at 6:08AM

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You voted '-1'.
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Andrea Cassina
Filmmaker
161

There's people defending this yuk image camera? If it was a great camera the price would not continually be going down. Not even Canon is defending it.

And a 1D C as a cinema camera? Why??? The body alone is $7000.00. And the picture is not eye catching---it's pedestrian.

Go get a Sony a7S, an Atomos Shogun, an expensive lens, a tripod, and a few nice memory cards. You still won't have spent $7000.00, and will literally get a high end looking image.

January 21, 2016 at 11:18PM, Edited January 21, 11:29PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1646

I agree Gene,
but what I'm looking for in a videocamera is costant recording (not 29.59 time limit), good ergonomic, professional audio. The image quality is not a huge problem, I saw great pictures achived with non so great cameras and bad pictures achived with top notch cameras.

The xc10 give me the ability to use my sd cards until I don't need the 4K recording, give me a good lens, give me unlimited recording time, give me quite good ergonomics (similar to the Cx00 cameras puls the rotable handgrip). The audio imput is not professional but I can close one eye for the cost of a dsrl. BUT the variable aperture is something in 2015-16 that is not acceptable.

With that choice, Canon are giving the camera to the very low end users. Like my father who wants to film his ngrandchildrens playing in the garden.

In this terms even the a7S cameras are not for professional use. Just as crash cams or for drones.

January 22, 2016 at 6:18AM

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Andrea Cassina
Filmmaker
161

In this range the setup to get is GH4 $1300 with 4/2/2 10bit out to a $295 Ninja2 with a Metabones adapter $600 that makes it APS-C with canon lenses. Takes standard spinning 1TB hard drives or SSD. No better bang for buck. $2200 total.

January 22, 2016 at 10:04AM, Edited January 22, 10:06AM

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Jonathan Gentry
DP Potomac Media
241

Do you know if Panasonic is working on 6K for the next GH?

January 22, 2016 at 10:20AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1646

I hope not. Would prefer 10bit 422 internal and less noise over 6k.

January 22, 2016 at 2:23PM

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Jonathan Gentry
DP Potomac Media
241

I'm hoping for 12 bit, 442.

But 6K in a GH will be coming. They may leapfrog 6K and go to 8K. Panasonic keeps up with things. Red is at 8K. Others will be following suit.

Still looking forward to some frame grabs and video samples from the Red 8K. They should be out very soon.

January 23, 2016 at 12:22AM, Edited January 23, 12:25AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1646

For a relatively high price you get
1. Small high noise sensor
2. Slow non-constant aperture lens
3. Expensive record media (CFast 2.0)
4. Mammoth file sizes
5. No XLR audio inputs
6. The crummiest fake viewfinder Canon could give you.

...and that's just off the top of my head.

I still don't understand what would make me prefer this over my GH4.

January 23, 2016 at 5:15AM, Edited January 23, 5:16AM

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Ditched my canons 2 yrs ago never gawn back

January 23, 2016 at 5:38AM

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Paul Abrahams
phoneyogragher
177

Hi Guys:

Please check my latest XC10 test Ripley's Aquarium of Canada--Canon XC10 4k
https://youtu.be/oxfY30u4acg

First time posting here, I got this camera during holiday for $1999 CAD, which I think is a good deal. Like most of you, I was not really into this fixed lense and small sensor when I first see the specs, but since it was on sale , so I thought this might be what I need.

After a few weeks of trying it out, I gotta say Im attached to it. Its definitely not a camera for your film if you are serious about cinematography. But its really perfect for travel, doc, event things like that, with c-log and proper post adjustment, I say you can get somewhat cinematic look too, its always the person behind the camera, not the camera itself.

And the body design is perfect, nothing more and nothing less, I do have a BMCC, which does give much better cinematic images, but I just can not use it unless its on a rig, so this little camera is the perfect choice for me/

Please enjoy my video

Thank you

January 23, 2016 at 11:06AM

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Ding Wang
Director, VFX supervisor, cinematographer, 3d motiongrapher
74

Worst video camera of 2015? It is according to The Camera Store https://youtu.be/Mexs7HvHR2I?t=21m56s

January 23, 2016 at 11:57AM

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Dan Horne
234

OK, suggest an alternative; I'm not interested in being ripped off by Canon, but I can't seem to find a better option.

I shoot outdoors, in natural, uncontrolled light, and the camera is frequently left unattended...I'm not there to tweak settings. This is what you might call "drop and run" video, so I need to set-up, hit record, and be gone. (It's wildlife, you see.)

I previously owned the GH4, but the DR was limited compared with what I'm seeing in the XC10, and noise at even 800 started creeping in in shadowed foliage. m43's a bigger sensor, but performance at moderately high ISO looked worse to me than the XC10.

The Sony X70, and all Sony 1" cameras, seems to have MUCH worse dynamic range, and bluntly clips highlights. The workaround seems to be to run manual and underexpose to protect the highlights, making the already limited DR look even worse.

The A7s and an external recorder is a little too cumbersome for drop and run, but the real issue is that I'd actually prefer a smaller chip to maximize DOF. That's also why the lens limitation of the XC10 isn't really a problem for me, as I'm usually stopped down pretty far.

So, FF's out (sensor size), m43's out (noise), Sony's out (DR). The BM pocket cam is great (also noise, but better DR than GH4), but lacks the semi-automation that I absolutely must have.

What are my options?

January 23, 2016 at 12:19PM, Edited January 23, 12:19PM

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Kris K
154

If I were you, I'd grab a C100. Seems to be the only camera with the noise performance you want with decent DR. Set it to auto ISO and autofocus and enjoy. Also has things the DSLR bodies don't like built in ND filters.

Actually if I were shooting wildlife, I might opt for a used C300 over the C100 because of the weather sealing alone. FS5/FS7 are also worth a look.

I love BMD, but would stay away from them for your application because, as you mention about the pocket, they don't automate anything because their designed for a different purpose.

January 24, 2016 at 3:17PM, Edited January 24, 3:21PM

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Fahnon Bennett
Director/DP
165

Guess what, filming outside a car, trees in the wind, cars racing, running with the camera, not moving "arte facts"! If You know what I do mean. A full blown Blackmagic Ursa mini can do this, or $xxxxx can do this. A full blown Ursa with a B4 lens, mowing around is no fun job.......A dream camera not $$$$$ will never come....My five cents : no kidding, low light, no fast movement, my FDR AX 33 dead cheap, very good stabilization, glass not bad at all,(consumer 4K) with my (here, elsewhere)well hated Canon is a dream team.....My dream team. Film is art, not to break your bank or your arm.....sorry

January 27, 2016 at 6:30AM

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Sarah Uma Rose Weinberg
Potography & Film
81

Thanks. Every time I look at footage from the C100 I'm impressed. No 4K, but in reality maybe that's a blessing in disguise. My real issue is the lack of 60p: I shoot a lot of birds, and slowing them a bit on playback opens up a new world. The Mark II (with 60p)? Hm....

January 28, 2016 at 2:42PM

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Kris K
154