Canon Releases Trifecta of Portable Camcorders—But for Whom?
In an age of 4K iPhones, what is the role of a prosumer camera?
Some low-budget filmmakers interested in buying cameras from Canon may have considered this a disappointing year. The company seems to have been distancing its DSLRs from those interested in using them to shoot movies, perhaps in an effort to drive purchase towards its far more expensive C-series of cameras.
With that in mind, today the company released a new series of pro and prosumer camcorders that may be attractive to those who don't require 4K. There's the pro-level Canon XA11, XA15, and the prosumer-oriented Vixia HF G21. All three models feature a 20x optical zoom lens, record full HD 1080p video, and range in price from $999-$1,899.
Vixia HF G21
The Canon Vixia HF G21 records full HD video at 1920 x 1080 resolution with a new HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor that brings improved low-light performance with a wide DR Gamma of 600%. It also has the ability to record slow and fast motion with interval recording from 2-1200x.
The camera has a highlight priority mode to reduce highlight clipping, and the auto display feature includes high-definition focus peaking. It has dual SD slots, a 3-inch touchscreen LCD, and a tiltable electronic viewfinder. It's selling for $999.99.
XA11 and XA15
The Canon XA11 and XA15 are the more professional of the three options. They record AVCHD and MPEG-2 formats via a 1/2.84-inch CMOS RGB sensor. Frame rates are 60p, 60i, 30p and 24p. It is fronted by a 26.8-576mm (35mm equivalent) optical zoom lens which has 16 levels of variable zoom speeds at a fast wide aperture of f/1.8-2.8.
The cameras have a built-in stereo condenser microphone along with a stereo mini-jack, and their viewing screens are 3-inch touchscreen monitors with 460k dot resolution.
- Canon 20x HD optical zoom lens
- Full HD 1920×1080 recording
- Advanced HD-CMOS Pro Imaging Sensor
- 3-inch Touchscreen LCD
- Dual SD card slots
- Highlight Priority Mode
- Intelligent Optical Stabilization
- Full Manual control
- 2 Phantom-Powered XLR Audio Inputs with Manual Gain Control
The XA11 and XA15 are pretty much the same camera, except for the fact that the XA15 has a BNC HD/SD-SDI terminal jack for output only, and the XA11 doesn’t. That will cost you an extra $500. The Canon XA11 is selling at $1,399 while the Canon XA15 is selling for $1,899.
Would any of these cameras be good for your work? Or is the lack of 4K a deal-breaker? Let us know in the comments.