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Gear Announcements

Canon Announces New XC10, A 4K Video & Stills Camcorder

By Anthony Thurston on April 8th 2015

We finally have an official announcement from Canon on that mysterious 4K camcorder that was released in China little while back. It’s called the XC10 and it may actually be something you are interested in after all.

canon-xc10

The headline feature for the new XC10 is, of course, the 4K video capture, but the XC-10 also features a brand new Canon Codec, called XF-AVC, which will allow for a nice boost in video quality. In addition to shooting 4K video, the XC-10 can shoot 12MP stills and has built in Wi-Fi.

Initially, it was rumored that this camera was expected to compete against the Panasonic GH4, but now we come to see it’s actually more of a direct competitor to the Sony RX10 and Panasonic FX1000. Compared to those two other offerings, Canon has clearly emphasized a video workflow in the body design, while the RX10 and FZ1000 clearly emphasize a stills workflow.

canon-xc10-top

Canon XC10 Highlights

  • Stunning 4K video and 12MP stills from one compact camera
  • High bit rate XF-AVC files, great for post production
  • Seamlessly integrates with professional workflow
  • Get creative with fast and slow motion recording
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for easy browser/smart device control

The XC10 is clearly more aimed more at video professionals than the RX10 or FZ1000, and it includes professional features not found in those two offerings. But those professional features come at a cost; while the RX10 and FZ1000 come in around $1000, the new XC10 will run you $2499 when it becomes available in June.

canon-xc10-side

I can see this being a popular documentary or journalistic camera. It will likely be seen in the hands of reporters, who need to be able to record the highest quality video possible, in the simplest and easiest to use package possible. This will also make a great companion to the EOS Cinema cameras for those needing a second or third camera angle on the cheap, without sacrificing quality.

If you want to get in early and have one of the first available once they start shipping in June, you can head on over to B&H now to pre-order the XC10 now for $2499.

What are your thoughts on this new XC10 from Canon? Do you see something like this coming into your studio? Leave a comment below, and let us know what you think. 

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dustin Baugh

    I think this would make a great bridge between people who do video on a GoPro Hero right now and want to setup up a notch. But the price doesn’t reflect that at all. If this were $700-800 I think it would be a pretty interesting device.

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  2. Paddy McDougall

    Thanks Dave, your comment made a lot of sense I was coming at it from someone who uses dslr rather than a camcorder.

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    • Dave Haynie

      I actually read about this on the B&S blog, where lots of people had the same complaints, so I came prepared. And honestly, having become a DSLR/mirrorless video convert, it doesn’t make sense to me anymore, either. Neither does the XF305. But once it did, as my Panasonic HMC-40 and Sony HVR-A1 will attest. In fact, this was right in the sweet spot of where I’d spend for a camcorder. Having done much more video on the Canons, and even a little on my shiny new OM-D E-M5 mk II, I don’t see any way back to the standard camcorder. But plenty of people still favor that style of camera, and for that market, this isn’t a bad option.

      It also doesn’t surprise me one bit that this showed up on the camcorder product list and not in a DSLR. Canon’s been really conservative about protecting their existing product line, and I can’t help but believe it’s going to hurt them in the long run. If I needed 4K today, I’d buy a GH4 in a heartbeat, no question about it… I have all these lenses that fit, quite a few of them as good as any Canon lens I own, and the GH4 doesn’t stop recording at 29’59”. Canon wants you buying an EOS C-series camcorder if you’re serious about 4K video. Even though you can get a Blackmagic Design Production 4K Camera for about $3K that shoots beautiful 4K video with a Super35mm sized sensor and 12-bit CinemaDNG raw recording… better than you get from an EOS C series anyway (ok, sure, it’s still much clumsier to use, but at the end of the day, DSLR shooting is all about the end result, not any degree of operating finesse).

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  3. Dave Haynie

    I knew this would freak some people out here. You guys are missing out on the entire world of traditional camcorders here.

    This is a Canon “X” model, the first XC, which clearly is meant to evoke the EOS C-series. And given that new C300 mk II costs more than my car did (full disclosure: bought it used), it’s understandable this was put into the traditional X-series line. They’re all fixed lens, classic camcorders, though like pretty much all classic camcorders, that means small sensor. Like 1/3″. So for that line of cameras, a 1″ sensor is kind of a big deal. And it’s a 13.3Mpixel sensor, which crops pretty nicely to QFHD (3840×2160), but actually not enough pixels for a DCI 4K crop (4096×2160), which is of course Canon being Canon again, and keeping their best toys for the rich boys. Compare the XA10 at $1500, the XF105 at $3000, or the XF305 at $5000. This takes EOS batteries and doesn’t include a proper XLR interface, but it’s otherwise meant to be seen alongside other traditional camcorders, not an EOS, an EOS C, or a Powershot.

    The actual sensor area used will be a bit smaller than the GH4, but they are doing on-camera AVC-Intra 4:2:2 at 305Mb/s, which isn’t going to suck. Panasonic’s doing AVC IPB 4:2:0 at 100Mb/s on the GH4 (for 4K, there is a 200Mb/s AVC Intra mode for HD). I’d go for the GH4 over this, but I’m a convert from classic camcorders to DSLRs. And I have seven m43 lenses already.

    This doesn’t really compare to the Panny FZ1000. The FZ1000 has a 20.1Mpixel sensor, so the 4K image is going to be pixel scaled or line-skipped on the FZ1000, while it’s a 1:1 crop on the Canon and the GH4. Same reason video folks want the Sony A7s versus the regular A7. The FZ1000 only does QFHD@30p, while you’d need 24p for most serious work today. It’s recording 4:2:0 color in long GOP MPEG-4 AVC at 100Mb/s, which is the same as the GH4 but falls short of the Canon. And it doesn’t have log color or anything else you’d likely want for color grading, particularly if you’re mixing different cameras — this one could mix and match with a C300, C300 mk II, or C500, in theory anyway, without much trouble (they’re pushing it as a “B” camera for Canon Cinema Camera users, as well as to the traditional camcorder user who might be looking at 4K camcorders from Sony or JVC right now).

    Of course, you’re going broke on those CFast cards, but for a pro video workflow that supports this kind of camera (hey, didn’t we go to DSLR video to get $15K-$20+ camera video for cheap, on lenses we already owned… I certainly did), this could be a popular option. Also, I think if you learn the workflow and options on this, you’ll be totally at home on an EOS C… and that’s likely to be increasingly true of cameras in the Canon X-series, particularly any new XC models.

    I’m not sold on CFast (they’re Compact Flash sized cards that use a SATA link pair rather than the old PATA interface… and only a handful of other cameras use them. And one is the Arri Amira… you could get a couple of EOS C300 mks II for the price of an Arri Amira). For one, this wasn’t a Compact Flash Association standard, despite their looking exactly like CF cards — the CF people backed the XQD card standard, based on PCI Express. It was a Sandisk thing, but apparently, the CFA got involved on CFast 2.0.

    And yes, all of this is making it even less likely that Canon will do a lower cost 4K DSLR anytime soon, IMHO.

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  4. Paddy McDougall

    Not a videographer, so looks weird, my gopro can do 4k for £360 with 12mp pix plus timelapse, stills etc. no interchangeable lenses fits in my pocket. £2k +! You can fool some of the people some of the time…, just saying

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  5. Kim Farrelly

    Once again Canon working of the ‘it’s great because it costs lots’ idiom. Never gets old Canon, never!

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  6. Edward Carrington

    A One inch sensor will be terrible in low light so I cannot use it, just like I could not use my GH4 indoors. The price is just outrageous. It should have been priced similar to the GH4. I assume they are trying to price comparable to the A7s but this camera is not comparable to the A7s. I guess this is suited for outdoors or studio shoots but why not just get the A7s instead.

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  7. Andrew Nease

    I’m mostly just puzzled why anyone would buy this over an FZ1000 from Panasonic, much less a GH4. The FZ1000 has very comparable specs, the same awesome 4K codek as the GH4, costs $800, a wider zoom range, a faster lens at the long end, and doesn’t require media that costs $180 for a 32 GB card. If my GH4 4K fits about an hour and a half on a 64GB card, that means this thing, in its lower quality 4K, will fit about 20-25 minutes on a card that costs $180. The higher quality 300mbps codec is 15 minutes per $180 card. Cfast makes sense for higher end applications, but is still way too expensive for the lower end market they’re ostensibly targeting this at. The only real benefit of this camera seems to be C-log. If this was $1200, or even $1500, I would probably buy one, but $2500 with CFast for 4K just doesn’t make sense.

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  8. adam sanford

    I appreciate that there is far far far more to a video rig than resolution & if it can change lenses, but am I wrong in thinking that’s a crazy steep price for what they are offering?

    As a stills-only guy, I’m also suspiciously eyeing how different the ergonomics are to my 5D3, for I fear my future 5D4 may take on some similar controls/button layout concessions to court more videoographers. Ugh.

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  9. Liam Murphy

    Can’t swap out the lens?? Boo.

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