Monday, 28 October 2013

Canon XA20 initial thoughts...

Last month I got a new camera, I was toying with a few options and all for different reasons.

The issue I had was shooting video on a Canon 5d3 is great, the images are stunning and its small and easy to use, but its erganomically not a video camera, has no servo zoom, and is hard to keep steady and hand hold, it also only shoots 60p at 720 which is an issue when you shoot a lot of bikes and sports.

I was looking at Sony FS700, or something more like an EX1 etc

Aspect already has an FS700 so having two seemed a bit silly, and the EX1 and other cameras like it dont shoot 1080/60 either... hmmm, thought I would sit tight and wait a few months and see what else came out, im glad I did.

Step in the Canon XA20!

Now on paper it seems pretty damn good, MP4 and AVCHD at 35/28 MBPS, small ( DSLR size ) but a real video camera, the right shape, buttons in the right place, it has the most insane image stabilization ever, servo zoom and shoots full 1920x1080 HD at 60P, add in the fact it also has XLR inputs for top quality audio, 20x zoom and you have a pretty capable run and gun, documentary style video camera. Perfect for race stuff, road trips, and pretty much everything else. Put it with the 5D3, and FS700 already in our kit bag and we have most stuff covered.

On the recent Dirt mag run to the hills trip the XA20 got a fair hammering ( to the point its had to go in for a repair after Brendog hit the thing head on at 30mph and made the screen loose ) but it was amazingly easy to use, gives amazing clarity and quality and you can hand hold at something obscene like 300mm and the IS makes it perfectly steady!? 

Like I said the camera is away right now getting some TLC, but once its back I'm going to set up some shots, try out the different data rates and codecs, shoot some slow mo with it, compare it to the 5d3, and show you even though it has a small sensor you can still stop it down to F1.2 and get pretty shallow DOF.

For now see a short test of some footage straight off the camera in both AVCHD and MP4 and also a shot from my 5D3 for comparison. The Dirt run to the hills teaser video was partly shot on the camera and as you can see the footage looks great, equal to that from an EX1 as far as I can see...

Run to the Hills - Team DMR Teaser a Mountain Biking video by dirt


1 comment:

  1. Hi Jacob,

    My name is Ellie and I work for Factory Media who own Dirt Magazine. I would love to get in contact with you about sharing content more regularly between our sites.

    If this sounds of interest please e-mail and I would be happy to discuss this in more detail.