Professional HD camcorder
Item #: 280XA20
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Item #: 280XA20
Your price: $1,799.00 Earn up to 1,799 Rewards points
Perhaps you're a videographer for a major corporation, set to document the next industry trade show. Or you're a local journalist cruising City Hall for the next blockbuster exclusive interview. You might even be a graduate film school student, storyboarding your first major short subject for the festival circuit. While all of these people face different challenges, it's a pretty sure bet the Canon XA20 high-definition camcorder can help each of them to deliver a final product that shines. Lightweight, compact, and remarkably easy to handle on the move, the XA20 even borrows some brilliant features from the consumer camcorder world, like the enhanced functionality that Wi-Fi® offers.
The Canon XA20 professional camcorder features a removable handle with audio inputs and controls.
The removable handle on this camcorder conceals a world of audio versatility. Two XLR-connectors provide phantom-powered connections for professional microphones, and on the other side of the handle's control block, dedicated switches and audio pots allow you to assign and regulate the signals coming from both external and internal audio sources. The handle also features a mount for a shotgun microphone (not included).
The zoom rocker switch has been upgraded to match the performance that's only been available on Canon's top-level camcorders in the past. That controls a versatile and light-thirsty 20X optical zoom lens that gives you all the reach you need for quick-changing assignments. If your light levels drop to near zero, there's a built-in infrared (IR) emitter that will allow you to still capture images under challenging conditions. And buttons on the side of the camcorder are assignable, so if, say, your white balance conditions — or your sensitivity settings — keep changing, you'll be able to adjust instantly.
The XA20 can capture video in two formats, high-quality AVCHD and web-friendly MP4, and it can even do so simultaneously to the camcorder's dual memory card slots. The maximum data rates for both formats (28 megabits per second for AVCHD; 35 Mbps for MP4) allow the XA20 to record at a full 1080/60p resolution, in addition to several other resolutions — a cinematic 24p-native frame rate among them. When those capture modes are played back at different speeds, you can achieve slow-motion playback as slow as 40% of normal speed, and fast-motion as fast as 250% of normal, with no degradation of picture quality.
Built-in Wi-Fi makes this already capable camera more convenient. Share files easily between devices. Control your XA20 from a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. And easily upload your videos for sharing with family, friends, or social networks — a process made much easier by the fact that the camcorder performs internal downconversion of your high-quality videos to make them small enough to post easily online. In fact, if you're under the gun for a tight filing deadline on-air or online, step down the data rate of your MP4 capture and upload your raw video directly to an FTP site for fast turnaround from remote locations.
The Canon XA20 sports an upgraded monitoring system. Its generous 3-1/2" organic LED (OLED) touchscreen display brings 1.23-million dots worth of high-contrast resolution to bear to reveal even the tiniest details in your image. Plus, the tiltable electronic viewfinder allows you a 1.56-million dot view of the world, for even finer control of your camera when handheld and zoomed-in. And to make those zoomed-in moments even more stable, Canon has added what it calls SuperRange optical image stabilization, which corrects for erratic motion almost instantly, ensuring that even long-lens shots of faraway subjects will be smooth and easy to follow.
The XA20 has even more pro tricks up its figurative sleeve. A zebra-stripe monitoring mode allows you to adjust exposure on the fly. A manual focus ring gives you fine control of zoom as well as focus. And the HDMI output can be routed to an external solid-state video recorder so you can capture colors in even more detail than you can with on-board memory cards.
Professional camcorders have features you won't find on units designed for the casual shooter. This family features high-quality lenses with long zoom reach and great light gathering capability. They use codecs and file formats that are supported throughout the pro editing world. And sometimes, they offer connections that make it easy for them to integrate into a multi-camera broadcast environment. If you're considering a career where you'll generate income with the video you shoot, these cameras are a perfect place to start your journey.
I love this camera. It is easy to use and we are even teaching some our church members to use this camera. I would recommend it to anyone who's looking for a very good cost effective camera.
You won't do any better than the Canon XA-20 (or it's consumer-oriented kid brother, the HF g30)! The features set and image quality outstrips many so-called "professional cameras". We bought our XA-20 from Crutchfield to join the Canon HF g30 we used to shoot 30 hours of a documentary last year. Both cameras are electronically and optically identical, though the pro-oriented XA-20's handle, which adds the XLR inputs, and its infrared night vision capability give it a clear edge for those in news-gathering and event video production. We say it's worth the extra investment to have those features;, but if you want to save a few hundred on your budget the HFg30 won't disappoint! There are many videos that compare features more eloquently than we have space for here.
Pros: Great in low light. Full manual control sets, with great options to create custom presets. Amazingly god auto-modes for those urgent 'run and gun situations' where you simply have no time to set focus, exposure and white balance.
Cons: Compact XA-20 form factor frets some clients! Many still think "size does matter" when it comes to production cameras. Absurd as it is in the digital age, they'd rather see a 'ginormous' shoulder-mount camera because it "looks real". Never mind that the image quality is 5x better on the XA-20! We put a large form factor camera on sticks to grab a master shot just to reassure them. Then get the best stuff with the smaller Canons!
This camera is beyong amazing. Broadcast quality without paying $10, 000+ for it. The crisp/detailed, hi-def image is superb. The auto focus and zoom are 2 of the most impressive features if this little camera. The size is deceving. It is very lightweight and mobile, but don't let that fool you. What is may lack in size and stature, it makes up for in quality. I upgraded from the Canon XL2 and do not reget it one bit.
Pros: Audio/Video quality, size, media format used, auto focus speed, etc.
Cons: The handle bar is a bit flimsy
|LCD Screen Size (inches)||3.5|
|Total Pixel Count||3.09 MP|
|Effective Pixel Count for Video||2.91 MP|
|Aspect Ratio||16:9, 4:3|
|Optical Zoom||20 x|
|Digital Zoom||4 or 20 x|
|Night Imaging||Low Light|
|Built-in Video Light||No|
|Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery||190 min|
|Digital Still Camera Features|
|Effective Pixel Count for Stills||2.91 MP|
|Built-in Photo Flash||O|
|Still Image Aspect Ratios||16:9|
|Inputs and Outputs|
USB 2.0 High Speed
|Mic Input||XLR (2), 3.5mm|
|Weight With Battery (ounces)||44.6|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
|Image Sensor Warranty||1 Year|
Image Sensor: The Canon XA20 professional HD camcorder features a 1/2.84", native 1920 x 1080 HD CMOS Pro image sensor. HD CMOS Pro uses fewer pixels (3,090,000) which are 61% larger and more sensitive than those found in most consumer camcorders. The result is outstanding video resolution, superb low-light performance, and wide dynamic range. The effective pixel count is 2,910,000 for video and photos.
3.5" Widescreen OLED Touch Panel Display: The XA20 features a 3.5" TFT color widescreen OLED touch screen (1,230,000 dots) to make it easy to compose and review your shots. Compared to LCD displays, OLED offers wider viewing angles, better color reproduction and contrast, and more touch responsiveness with less required pressure. You can rotate the display panel 270° allowing the subject to monitor the screen. The OLED screen also features adjustable brightness and color balance controls.
Viewfinder: In addition to the 3.5" OLED display panel, the camcorder also features a separate 0.24" TFT color viewfinder with 1,560,000 dots. You can switch from the OLED screen and the viewfinder by pulling the viewfinder out. The viewfinder can be tilted up to 45 degrees from its normal resting position to enable more shooting freedom. You can adjust the viewfinder to your eyesight using the dioptric adjustment. The viewfinder includes a large, comfortable eye cup, similar to those used on Canon's professional camcorders, for blocking out extra light to improve visibility.
Built-in Wi-Fi: The XA20 is equipped with built-in dual-band (5 GHz/2.4 GHz) Wi-Fi technology for wirelessly sharing your HD movies with your friends and family or sending to a PC. You can upload videos virtually anywhere on compatible networks, wireless hotspots, and to your iOS device with the free Canon Movie Uploader app. In addition, you can wirelessly control key camcorder functions, exposure functions, and focus settings through the Wi-Fi Remote application, available for iOS and Android devices.
Optional GPS: With the optional GP-E2 GPS Receiver, you can acquire GPS location data and attach it to your movies and photos. The GPS receiver can also set the camcorder's time automatically.
Recording Formats: The camcorder records movies in AVCHD (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264) video compression format with Dolby Digital 2-channel audio, using the built-in microphone. You can record in 5.1-channel surround when using the optional SM-V1 Surround Microphone. Movies can also be recorded in MPEG-4 (MP4) for internet-ready, easy-to-share videos. Still photos are recorded in JPEG compression.
Recording Modes: The camcorder offers the following video recording modes:
|Movie Format||Recording Mode||Resolution||Audio Format|
|AVCHD||28 Mbps LPCM (59.94P)||1920 x 1080||Linear PCM|
|28 Mbps (59.94P)||Dolby Digital|
|24 Mbps LPCM||Linear PCM|
|24 Mbps||Dolby Digital|
|5 Mbps||1440 x 1080|
|MP4||35 Mbps (59.94P)||1920 x 1080||AAC|
|4 Mbps||1280 x 720|
|3 Mbps||640 x 360|
Still Image Recording: The XA20 HD camcorder is also a high performance digital camera capable of capturing stunning photos. Photos are recorded at 1920 x 1080. You can also capture photos from recorded movies at 1920 x 1080 (AVCHD and MP4), 1280 x 720 (MP4 @ 4 Mbps) or 640 x 360 (MP4 @ 3 Mbps). The number of photos that can be saved on a 1 GB memory card are 660 (1920 x 1080), 1490 (1280 x 720), and 5800 (640 x 360).
Dual Memory Card Slots: The XA20 is equipped with two slots for inserting SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards. When the memory card in slot A becomes full while recording movies, the recording will continue uninterrupted on the card in slot B (Relay Recording). You can also record the same scene simultaneously to both cards (Dual Recording), either in the same movie format or different formats.
DIGIC DV IV: Canon's latest and most advanced HD image processor, DIGIC DV IV, helps enable impressive low-light shooting for brighter, noise-free images even in dark scenes.
Accessory Shoe: The top-mounted Accessory Shoe (cold) allows you to attach a range of optional accessories, such as optional video lights.
Handle/Microphone Holder Units: The XA20 comes with a detachable handle for added flexibility. The handle includes additional terminals and controls, an infrared light, tally lamp, accessory shoe (cold), and an external microphone holder. Two XLR audio input terminals are provided with the handle unit. You can switch between line, mic, or mic+48V (to add phantom power) for each of the XLR inputs. When attached, the handle adds approximately 2.3" to the overall height of the camcorder, while the external microphone holder adds another 1-1/2" (Total height with handle and mic holder is 7".)
Genuine Canon Video Lens: The XA20 comes with a Genuine Canon HD video lens with a 20x Optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 26.8 - 576 mm) and a selectable 4x or 20x digital zoom for an 80x or 400x total digital zoom. A lens hood is included to reduce the amount of stray light to enter the lens.
Zoom Speed: The zoom speed can be set to variable or one of three fixed speeds. In the variable position, the zoom speed depends on how far you push the lever. The purpose of the three fixed zoom speeds is a smoother zoom transition, at your choice of speeds.
Digital Tele-Converter: You can digitally increase the focal length of the camcorder by a factor of approximately 2x and record the enlarged image at full HD resolution.
Optional Converter Lenses: The XA20's lens has a 58mm filter thread, allowing you to attach optional converter lenses to increase or decrease the focal length. The optional TL-H58 Tele-Converter increases the focal length by a factor of 1.5 with a minimum focusing distance of 4.3'. The WD-H58W Wide-Converter decreases the focal length by a factor of 0.75, giving you a wide perspective for indoor shots or panoramic views. In addition to converter lenses, you can also attach 58mm protective or natural density filters to the lens.
8-Blade Circular Aperture: The lens has a newly developed 8-blade circular aperture. A circular aperture reduces the "starburst" effect found in camcorders with non-circular apertures, creating a more aesthetic background in the out-of-focus areas.
Dynamic Image Stabilizer: The XA20 has a Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer system to compensate for camera shake. The Image Stabilization system provides continuous adjustment throughout the entire zoom range, plus extra compensation at wide-angle focal lengths. The system controls rotational camera shake, including horizontal, vertical, and roll axis, for smooth, distortion-free video. The Powered IS function compensates for hand movement at the telephoto end of the zoom range. You can select the degree of compensation:
Operating Modes: Using the Mode Switch on the top of the camcorder, you can select one of the following Operating Modes:
Video Snapshot: The camcorder's Video Snapshot mode lets you shoot a series of short video clips, then combines them with a pre-recorded music track or your own favorite music track, to create an entertaining movie. You can select the length of the video snapshot scenes: 2 sec, 4 sec or 8 sec.
Instant Auto Focus (AF): The XA20 offers Instant Auto Focus, which uses an external sensor, in combination with Canon's auto focus system, to help significantly decrease the time it takes to focus, even in low light situations. The Focus Assistance feature provides a 2x magnification of your subject in the display screen before you start recording. When recording begins, the Focus Assist is canceled. Other Autofocus modes include Medium AF and Normal AF.
Manual Focus Ring: The XA20 has a manual focus ring that helps you achieve the focus you're looking for. The focus ring response can be set to fast, normal, or slow, plus the focus direction can be set in either direction.
Face Detection: The camcorder can automatically detect people's faces and use this information to adjust the focus and set the best exposure and color control settings for beautiful videos and photos. When there are a number of people in the picture, one person will be determined to be the main subject. You can also select the main subject manually.
Smart Auto: The Smart Auto setting automatically selects the best settings for the scene you want to shoot, including focus, exposure, color, image stabilization, and image quality. You get spectacular recordings every time without worrying about the settings.
Auto Exposure Modes: The XA20's automatic exposure (AE) recording programs help you obtain the optimal exposure by adjusting the shutter speed and/or the aperture value. The auto exposure modes include:
Manual Recording: In the Manual mode, you can enjoy full access to the menus and manually adjust the exposure, focus, white balance, and many more of the camcorder's settings to your preference.
Special Scene Recording Modes: The camcorder features the following Scene Recording Modes to match special conditions: Portrait, Sports, Night Scene, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Low Light, Spotlight, and Fireworks.
White Balance: The camcorder's white balance system helps you accurately reproduce colors under different lighting conditions so that white objects will always look truly white in your recordings. You can choose from the following modes: Automatic, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Tungsten, Color Temperature, and Custom WB.
Cinema-Look Filters: The XA20 allows you to record with the following cinema-look filters: Cinema Standard, Vivid, Dream, Cool, Nostalgic, Sepia, Old Movies, Memory, and Dramatic B&W.
Wireless Remote Control: The XA20 comes with the WL-D89 Wireless Controller. With this remote, you can control the following functions of the camcorder: Start/Stop, Play/Pause, Menu Navigation, Display, Photo button (for taking still images), and zoom in/out.
Pre-Recording: When Pre-Recording is activated, the camcorder starts recording video continuously into a temporary 3-second memory. When you press the Start/Stop button, the scene recorded will have started 3 seconds before you started shooting. This is especially useful when it is difficult to predict when to start recording.
Built-in Microphone: You can change the directionality of the built-in microphone to control how sound is recorded. The options include: Monaural, Normal (stereo), Wide, and Zoom.
Built-in Speaker: The camcorder has a built-in speaker so you can review the soundtrack as well as the picture when you're using the LCD screen to playback a recording. The built-in speaker is monaural.
Playback Functions: The camera uses the following special playback modes: Fast Playback (5x, 15x, or 60x) in either direction, Slow Playback (1/8x or 1/4x) in either direction, and Frame-by-Frame Playback. During these playback modes there is no sound.
Lithium-Ion Battery Pack: The Canon XA20 is powered by the supplied BP-820 rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery Pack. The optional BP-828 battery pack is a high capacity alternative. The battery recording and playback times are as follows:
|Battery Pack||Function||OLED and Viewfinder|
|Maximum Rec||140-175 minutes|
|Typical Rec||85-105 minutes|
|Playback||230-265 minutes (OLED)|
|Maximum Rec||215-270 minutes|
|Typical Rec||130-155 minutes|
|Playback||350-400 minutes (OLED)|
Charging Times: The BP-820 battery charges in 275 minutes when charging through the camcorder with the supplied CA-570 AC adapter. The optional BP-828 charges is 405 minutes. The optional CG-800 battery charger will charge the BP-820 in 190 minutes and the BP-828 in 260 minutes.
Auto Power Off: After 5 minutes without any operation when powered by the battery, the camcorder automatically powers off. Approximately 30 seconds before the camcorder automatically turns itself off, a warning message appears in the display.
HDMI Output: The XA20 features a mini-HDMI (Type C) terminal that offers a high-quality digital connection that combines audio and video in a single convenient cable. The HDMI port is compatible with HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), allowing you in many cases to control the camcorder with the remote control of the connected TV. The HDMI can be set to output 1080p signals. A 59" HDMI cable is included.
AV Output: The camcorder features an AV output to playback audio and video on your television using the supplied STV-250N composite video/stereo audio RCA cable. You can select between a 4:3 aspect ratio or a 16:9 aspect ratio for the video out based on your television's aspect ratio. The AV Output also doubles as a headphone output (selectable in the menu). The built-in speaker will be muted when headphones or the AV cable are plugged in.
USB 2.0 Connection: The camcorder features a USB 2.0 High Speed terminal for fast transfer of photos and videos. The USB terminal is also used to connect the optional GP-E2 GPS Receiver.
Microphone Inputs: In addition to the camcorder's built-in microphone, the XA20 features two XLR and one 3.5mm microphone inputs. The XLR inputs are located on the handle unit that attaches to the camcorder. Each input has a manual level control. On the side of the camcorder is a 3.5mm microphone input for connecting an external microphone, such as the WM-V1 Wireless Microphone. With the optional SM-V1 Surround Microphone, you can record in 5.1-channel surround audio.
Remote Control Input: The camcorder features a 2.5mm sub-minijack terminal for connecting an optional wired remote controller.
Included Software: The Canon XA20 camcorder includes the Data Import Utility CD-ROM application disc for saving AVCHD and MP4 movies, as well as still images. The software is compatible with the following Operating Systems: