One of our NAB highlights is always getting to speak with Canon’s Chuck Westfall. Ever the gracious host, Chuck showed us two of Canon’s new ultra compact professional camcorders, the XA20 and XA25. It might seem out of place for us to cover a traditional video camera on a website dedicated to HDSLR Cinematography. However, the inherent limitations of shooting HDSLR, (such as a lack of multi-track recording and auto focus) make having a traditional video camera riding shotgun a huge plus.
By traditional video camera, I’m speaking of a fixed lens camera that has pro, XLR inputs and an auto focus that offer high quality video with some ability to control frame rate and image style. This is key if you plan on intercutting the footage from an EOS or other video enabled DSLR.
Specifically, during ENG production, like covering NAB, I use the XF100, because it has all the features I just mentioned and allows you to flatten the image so when you grade along with your HDSLR footage, it becomes difficult for the audience to notice you’re shooting on two different cameras.
The XA20/XA25 also posses a “…new high-sensitivity 2.91-megapixel 1/2.84-inch HD CMOS image sensor and the new Canon DIGIC DV 4 image processor”, ensuring a rich, high quality image. Canon’s real-time optical image stabilization and vibration correction has also been refined from the XA10, helping to eliminate shaking that may be due to movement during “run-and-gun” shooting, or even the occasional cameraman shift.
An interesting feature of the XA20 and XA25 is wireless connectivity, something almost a norm for cameras these days. You can actually transfer up to 3 Mbps through dual-band wireless support, making the streaming of live video almost too easy. The wireless features also include a wireless remote feature that lets you control the XA20 and XA25 from your web browser on your PC or mobile device.
Then, by plugging your said PC or mobile device into the camera, you can transfer video files onto them. If said mobile device happens to be an iPhone, you can even use the free Movie Uploader app to quickly upload your videos to the web quickly.
Beyond the price, the only difference between the two models is the XA25’s HDSDI port which was currently unavailable in the previous XA series.
The price of the XA25 will retail for $2,999, and the XA20 at $2,499.
With some awesome features, great hardware improvements, and sweet price point, the XA25 and XA20, we recommend you consider them when looking to for a compadre for your HDSLR.
CANON U.S.A. INTRODUCES TWO ULTRA-COMPACT PROFESSIONAL CAMCORDERS ENABLING WIRELESS DIGITAL CONTENT TRANSFER AND REMOTE OPERATION
New Canon XA25 and XA20 Camcorders Include a 20x HD Zoom Lens, Simultaneous MP4 and AVCHD
Recording, a 3.5-Inch Organic LED Touch Panel Display, and Wireless Connectivity for Digital Content
Uploading or Remote Operation Via Tablet or Smartphone
MELVILLE, N.Y., April 3, 2013 – Strategically integrating some of Canon’s sophisticated next-generation
imaging and wireless technologies, the new XA25 HD and XA20 HD professional camcorders from Canon
U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, provide an impressive combination of professional features
and optics in a compact design. Ideal for run-and-gun style videography, or electronic newsgathering (ENG),
both models weigh only 2.6 pounds, allowing for extreme mobility and portability. Both camcorders feature
multiple shooting-assist functions and enhanced key components such as a newly developed Genuine Canon
wide-angle 20x HD zoom lens with an ENG-style “rocker” zoom control and built-in real-time optical image
stabilization. Delivering outstanding low-light performance and image quality, the Canon XA25 and XA20 HD
camcorders are equipped with a new high-sensitivity 2.91-megapixel 1/2.84-inch HD CMOS image sensor and
the new Canon DIGIC DV 4 image processor.
Additional features include simultaneous recording of multiple bit rates and Full 1080p HD formats – including
60p and native cinematic at 24p – on two separate SD cards. Users can simultaneously record Full 1080p HD
video at 60p in either AVCHD Progressive (28Mbps) or MP4 (35Mbps) format for crisp moving images, or
record at a lower bit rate and transmit MP4 (3Mbps) format video to cover and quickly upload breaking news
via wireless FTP file transfer. The cameras’ dual SD slots allow for relay recording for long periods without
“The nearly instantaneous rate by which video news is consumed and shared via TV, tablets and smartphones
has fueled the immediacy by which journalists need to capture and deliver their content. The introduction of the
XA25 and XA20 professional camcorder models are designed to provide these professionals with a compact,
portable, and wireless system for content acquisition and uploading,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice
president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “In addition,
the tremendous growth of independent and documentary filmmaking as well as innovative, creative online content may also benefit from the compact design, high-quality formats and long-range optics found in both models.”
Advanced Canon Optics
Drawing from the many innovations developed by Canon for its EF-series lenses, the wide-angle 20x HD zoom
lens in the new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders features a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 26.8mm –
576mm. The MOD (minimum object distance) of this lens is only 60cm, enabling users to capture up-close
shots, particularly useful when filming in narrow, tight quarters. Canon’s real-time optical image stabilization
and vibration correction in five axes of 3D movement helps reduce picture shake, even when shooting while
walking, particularly useful for run-and-gun handheld videography. An eight-blade circular aperture can help
create a natural, smooth look for out-of-focus areas such as a blurred nighttime skyline, and is equipped with
Canon’s unique EMD (Electro Magnetic Diaphragm) technology for high-precision control.
Ultra-compact and designed with professional operability and multiple shooting-assist functions, the new Canon
XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders feature a handgrip with accessible joystick and other controls, allowing for
easily adjustable settings including a broadcast-style zoom rocker. Each camcorder’s wide-angle 20x HD zoom
lens can also be adjusted using a multipurpose ring on the lens that can switch between zoom or focus control. A
convenient custom key dial provides quick access to frequently used set functions.
The XA25 and XA20 professional camcorders are the first Canon video cameras featuring an Organic LED
(OLED) electrostatic touch panel. This 3.5-inch, 1.23 million-dot touch panel displays vivid, clear video images
allowing for simple, intuitive operation and menu access. Five custom buttons on the panel allow operators to
assign settings according to their unique shooting preferences. The camcorders also feature a 1.56 million-dot
high-resolution adjustable-angle compact viewfinder, allowing users to see clearly even when filming in bright
sunny conditions. The design also allows operators to use the viewfinder and check critical focus while
Essential for broadcast and professional use, the Canon XA25 HD camcorder provides an HD/SD-SDI
connector (BNC) to feed video directly to a microwave van, satellite uplink, or other TV transmission system.
The positioning of the connector allows for handheld shooting while the SDI cable is attached. A recorder (sold
separately) can also be attached to the SDI connector to make uncompressed recordings. The convenient
ergonomics of the Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders also includes XLR terminals with phantom power, a
microphone holder, independent audio level controls, multipurpose accessory shoe, and an infrared emitter, all
combined in a detachable handle. For extreme low-light shooting, the cameras’ infrared shooting mode makes
possible the capture of HD video in conditions with little to zero ambient light. A green or white color option
can provide pleasing HD infrared imagery even in darkness for documentary, undercover news, law
enforcement surveillance and wildlife operation.
On-Board Intelligence and Wireless Features
In addition to the professional manual operation of the new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders, automatic
features provide a variety of shooting-assist functions. Controlled by the new Canon DIGIC DV 4 onboard
image processor, these sophisticated capabilities include the Canon Intelligent IS feature that automatically
switches among four types of image-stabilization control based on shooting conditions (walking, macro,
telephoto, and tripod). With real-time optical image stabilization, unnecessary shakiness is greatly reduced or
eliminated during shooting. Canon Auto Focus (AF) features include natural-looking medium-speed, instant,
and Face Detection AF, which can significantly reduce the effort required when shooters need to keep a
particular face in focus in a jostling crowd or similar situation.
FTP file transfer of MP4 (3Mbps) format video to cover breaking news is enabled by dual-band wireless support
(5GHz and 2.4GHz), which also allows for data sharing. A wireless remote feature also enables users to control
the XA25 and XA20 camcorders via a web browser of the user’s PC or mobile device. Camera videos can be
played back or downloaded to a device using the web browser* of a PC or mobile device connected to the camcorder. In playback mode, video files can be uploaded to social media websites via the free Movie Uploader app, currently available only for iOS-related mobile devices.
The new Canon XA25 and XA20 HD camcorders also support use of the optional Canon GP-E2 GPS receiver,
which can be connected via USB cable to provide location and time information recorded during shooting. This
capability supports editing workflow and can add valuable information for archiving purposes.
Pricing and Availability
The Canon XA25 HD ENG camcorder and XA20 HD professional camcorder are scheduled to be available at
the end of June 2013 for estimated list prices of $2,999.00 and $2,499.00, respectively.
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With approximately $40 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents registered in 2012† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2013. In 2012, Canon U.S.A. received the PCMag.com Readers’ Choice Award for Service and Reliability in the digital camera and printer categories for the ninth consecutive year, and for camcorders for the past two years. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss