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Canon XA50

Professional 4K Ultra HD camcorder

Item # 280XA50

This camera delivers detailed and natural pro-level 4K video in a portable package.

This camera delivers detailed and natural pro-level 4K video in a portable package.

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About the Canon XA50

A portable, professional 4K camera

Looking for a compact camcorder that delivers professional image quality? Canon's powerful XA50 features a 1-inch image sensor that supports full 4K Ultra HD video recording, offers a 15X optical zoom lens with five-axis image stabilization, and includes some useful accessories that every hard-working cameraperson needs. And you don't have to stop recording to swap out memory cards — dual slots let you keep recording when the first card is full.

A portable, professional 4K camera

Looking for a compact camcorder that delivers professional image quality? Canon's powerful XA50 features a 1-inch image sensor that supports full 4K Ultra HD video recording, offers a 15X optical zoom lens with five-axis image stabilization, and includes some useful accessories that every hard-working cameraperson needs. And you don't have to stop recording to swap out memory cards — dual slots let you keep recording when the first card is full.

Canon XA50 Camcorder

Detailed and natural imaging

The XA50's Wide Dynamic Range Gamma of 800% produces nearly seamless tone gradations for accurate color without overexposing the high-brightness areas. And if you want to be able to shoot at wider apertures without blowing out the shot, you'll appreciate the built-in circular neutral density filter. You can choose from three densities: 1/4, 1/16, or 1/64. It can also be turned off.

The XA50 also has an excellent signal-to-noise ratio which means it can capture more vivid and detailed low-light images. Shooting at night isn't a problem either, thanks to Infrared Mode, which produces evenly illuminated images in little to no ambient light. Plus, the camera's detachable handle includes an infrared emitter so you can record even in total darkness. 

Creative control

The XA50's dual card slots also enable you to record your videos at two different bit rates simultaneously — create smooth, high-bit-rate versions and convenient web-ready files you can share in a hurry. And with Interval Recording, you can record time-lapse videos ranging from .4x slow-motion to 1200x fast-motion.

Is there one feature or mode you use a lot? Five assignable buttons let you tailor the XA50 to your preferences.

Convenient connections

The body of the XA50 has a mini HDMI connector, a mini USB output, and a 3.5mm minijack output that lets you monitor your recordings with a pair of headphones.

The included handle accessory offers dual XLR inputs with individual volume controls for connecting pro-quality microphones. An included microphone holder helps you capture clear sound, even when you don't have a hand free.


Product highlights:

  • 1-inch 8.29-megapixel CMOS Pro image sensor for vivid, accurate imaging
  • 4K Ultra HD video recording (3840 x 2160)
  • frame rates:
    • 4K UHD: 30 fps, 24 fps
    • 1080p: 60 fps, 30 fps, 24 fps
    • 720p: 60fps
  • wide-angle 15X optical zoom lens
  • 35mm equivalent focal range of 25.5-382.5mm
  • Dual Pixel AF and Contrast AF
  • 3" LCD touchscreen (460,000 dots)
  • 0.24" tiltable LCD viewfinder (1.56 million dots)
  • compression: MPEG-4
  • file format: MP4 or XF-AVC
  • five-axis optical and electronic image stabilization
  • DIGIC DV 6 image processor is fast and powerful
  • built-in stereo microphone
  • dual SD memory card slots enable double-slot and relay recording
    • double-slot recording lets you instantly back up your videos
    • relay recording automatically continues recording on second card when first card is full
    • simultaneous dual recording can capture MP4 format at different bit rates
    • cards not included; sold separately
  • Interval Recording (.4x-1200x) creates fast- or slow-motion time-lapse video
  • infrared mode produces video images that are evenly illuminated in little to no ambient light
    • detachable handle has an infrared emitter for improved imaging even in complete darkness
  • Wide Dynamic Range Gamma of 800% helps prevent overexposure
  • five assignable buttons for custom shooting
  • seesaw-style zoom lever
  • manual focus/zoom ring
  • aperture: f/2.8 - f/4.5
  • internal circular neutral density filter with four options: off, ND 1/4, ND 1/16, ND 1/64
  • nine-blade circular aperture for smoothly defocused backgrounds
Connections and general info:
  • 3.5mm headphone jack for audio monitoring
  • 3.5mm composite video output
  • HDMI 2.0 terminal
    • supports 4K UHD 60p video output, which can be connected to a standard external SSD/HDD recorder, enabling conversion to ProRes and DNx formats for efficient editing and storage
  • high-speed mini-USB port
  • 2.5mm mini jack terminal for attaching Canon's optional RC-V100 remote controller (input only)
  • CA-570 power adapter, BP-820 lithium-ion battery pack, lens hood with lens barrier, and WL-D89 wireless controller included
  • included removable handle unit features:
    • dual XLR balanced audio inputs with separate volume controls
    • accessory shoe (cold) and external microphone holder
    • zoom control and record start/stop button
    • infrared light and tally lamp
  • 5-1/2"W x 8-1/2"H x 10-7/16"D (with lens hood, mic holder and handle)
  • weight: 3 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year parts and labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # 3669C002

What's in the box:

  • 4K camcorder
  • Lens cap (installed)
  • Lens Hood
  • Handle Unit
  • Microphone holder
  • 2 Phillips-head screws
  • BP-820 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.4V 1780mAh 13Wh)
  • CA-570 Compact Power Adapter with attached 64" DC output cord (DC output: 8.4V 1.5A)
  • 59" AC cord (polarized C7 plug)
  • Ferrite core noise filter (for power cord)
  • WL-D89 Wireless remote control
  • CR2025 Lithium battery (for remote)
  • Quick Guide
  • Dealer Record of Canon Purchase sheet
  • Register Now sheet
  • Canon Professional Services promo card

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More details on the Canon XA50

Mark G.

Product Research

Battery Information
Inputs And Outputs


Image Sensor: The Canon XA50 4K professional camcorder features a full 1.0" 4K CMOS image sensor, which is approximately 6.8 times larger than the image sensor found in the HF G21 consumer-grade camcorder. The sensor has 13.4 total megapixels (4268 x 3148), and 8.29 effective pixels (3840 x 2160). The 1.0-inch sensor provides improved images with less noise, especially in low-light situations. It also gives you greater depth of field control. The video is processed by the on-board DIG!C DV 6 image processor. The XA50 is ideal for electronic news gathering, professional video productions, and more

3.0" LCD Touch Screen: The XA50 features a 3.0" widescreen, capacitive touch-sensitive LCD screen with approximately 460,000 dots and 100% field of view. The flip-out LCD panel can be rotated 270° (180° forward, 90° backward), allowing you to shoot videos from high and low angles. Onscreen buttons allow you to maneuver through the menus and change settings. You can also review your images by swiping your finger up/down or left/right across the screen.

Viewfinder: In addition to the 3.0" LCD screen, the camcorder also features a separate 0.24" TFT color viewfinder with 1.56 million dots. The viewfinder is activated when it is pulled out, and you can tilt it up to 45° for easier viewing. A dioptric adjustment lever lets you adjust the viewfinder to your eyesight. The viewfinder includes a large, comfortable eye cup for blocking out light to improve visibility.

Recording Formats: The camcorder records movies in two different formats: MP4 and XF-AVC. Both formats use the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 video compression codec, but XF-AVC clips are recorded as MXF (Material eXchange Format), which is compatible with all major non-linear editing (NLE) software. In MP4, you can choose 2-channel, 16-bit/48kHz Linear PCM or AAC audio, while XF-AVC audio is recorded in 4-channel, 24-bit/48kHz Linear PCM format. Still photos are recorded in JPEG compression in three sizes: 3840 x 2160, 1920 x 1080, or 1280 x 720.

Recording Modes: When recording video, you can choose from the following clip sizes, bit rates, and frame rates:

Format Resolution Bit Rate Frame Rates
MP4 3840 x 2160 150 Mbps 30p, 24p
1920 x 1080 35 Mbps 60p, 30p, 24p
17 Mbps
1280 x 720 8 Mbps 60p
XF-AVC 3840 x 2160 160 Mbps 30p, 24p
1920 x 1080 45 Mbps 60p, 60i, 30p, 24p

Note: 60p=59.94p, 30p=29.97p, 24p=23.98p

Recording Media: The Canon XA50 camcorder captures video and still-images SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards (sold separately). Cards rated as SD Speed Class 6 or 10 are recommended for HD video recording. For 4K or slow/fast motion recording, SD cards rated UHS Speed Class U3 should be used. The camcorder is equipped with two memory card slots, giving you added recording capability. Recording simultaneously on both memory cards (Dual Recording) provides an instant backup for your recordings. Another option is Relay Recording, allowing the camcorder to automatically switch from one memory card to the other when the first card becomes full.

Slow and Fast Motion: You can record videos with a slow motion or fast motion effect during playback. By recording individual frames at specific intervals the camcorder can provide smooth time-lapse recordings up to 1200x and slow motion down to 0.4x original speed. No audio is recorded for these scenes. You can choose from the following recording rates:

Recording Mode Frame Rate Slow/Fast Motion Rates
3840 x 2160 30p x2, x4, x10, x20, x60, x120, x600, x1200
24p x0.8
1920 x 1080 60p x2, x4, x10, x20, x60, x120, x600, x1200
30p x0.5
24p x0.4, x0.8
1280 x 720 60p x2, x4, x10, x20, x60, x120, x600, x1200

Accessory Shoe: The camcorder features an Accessory Shoe (cold), which allows you to attach a range of optional accessories, such as an optional video light. The included Handle Unit uses the camcorder's Accessory Shoe for mounting, but has another shoe on top of the handle.

Handle/Microphone Holder Units: The XA50 comes with a Handle Unit for added flexibility and connectivity. 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 included on the handle unit for connecting professional microphones or other audio sources. You can switch between line, mic, or mic+48V (to add phantom power) for each of the XLR inputs. When mounted, the Handle Unit adds approximately 3-3/4" to the overall height of the camcorder, while the Handle Unit and Microphone Holder together add almost 5".

Genuine Canon Video Lens: The XA50 comes with a Genuine Canon 4K video lens with a 15x Optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 25.5 - 382.5mm at 4K) and a 20x digital zoom for a 300x total digital zoom. The minimum focusing distance is a mere 0.39" at wide angle and 23.6" at telephoto. It includes 18 elements in 14 groups, including two aspheric elements. The lens has a 58mm filter thread, allowing you to add screw-on filters, the TL-U58 tele-converter, or the WA-U58 wide attachment. The lens has a 9-blade aperture to give you pleasing bokeh (out-of-focus elements) in your recordings. An odd number of aperture blades doubles the number of light beams, providing circular and beautifully natural bokeh. A lens hood is included to reduce the amount of stray light to enter the lens.

ND Filter: The camcorder has an internal built-in ND filter, which uses a rotating mechanism that allows you to select from three densities, or turn off the filter, if desired. The ND Filter buttons near the lens turn the actuator, which rotates the turret mechanism to the desired position: ND 1/4, ND 1/16, ND 1/64, or Off.

Assignable Controls: The XA50 features five assignable buttons for quick access. Often-used functions, such as AutoFocus/Manual Focus, White Balance, Pre-recording, Magnification, Backlight Correction, and Powered IS can be assigned to certain physical buttons. In addition, there is an assignable button on the LCD screen that can be used for another often-used function.

Camera Looks: The camcorder lets you choose from four "looks" that use a combination of settings affecting the characteristics of the image. The Looks options include:

  • Standard: A standard setting for general shooting with strong contrast.
  • Neutral: Produces a professional camera-quality image with a more natural resolution
  • Wide DR: Applies a gamma curve with a wide dynamic range (800%) and colors appropriate for this gamma curve.
  • Monochrome: Produces a black-and-white version of the standard look.

Zoom Controls: The camcorder offers several different methods for zooming in and out:

  • Focus/Zoom Ring: When the focus/zoom ring is set to zoom, the zoom speed is controlled by how quickly you turn the ring.
  • Zoom Rocker (on camcorder): The zoom rocker on the camcorder, by default, operates at a variable speed--gentle press for a slow zoom, harder press for faster zooms. Overall zoom speeds can be set to Slow, Normal, or Fast. You can also change the zoom speed to one of 16 constant speeds. See below for zoom speeds.
  • Zoom Rocker (on handle unit): The zoom rocker on the handle unit zooms at a constant speed. You can choose one of the 16 zoom speeds.
  • Touch Screen Control: Using the Touch Screen, you can zoom in and out by pressing the W (wide) or T (tele) areas. Soft Zoom Control allows you to start and/or stop the zoom gradually.
  • Supplied or Optional Remote Controller: The supplied WL-D89 wireless controller, you can choose the slowest (1) or fastest (16) constant zoom speed. With the optional RC-V100 Remote Controller plugged into the camcorder's 2.5mm remote input, you can vary the zoom speed by turning the zoom dial on the remote. Third-party plug-in remotes that do not support variable zoom speeds will zoom at a constant speed. Otherwise the camcorder will zoom at a variable speed as set by the remote control.

Zoom Speed: The camcorder has several ways to control the zoom speed. Soft Zoom Control allows you to start and/or stop the zoom gradually. The Zoom Ring is variable, and the zoom in/out speed increases the more you turn the ring. The zoom rocker on the camcorder can be set to Variable (Slow, Medium, or Fast) or Constant (16 speeds). The zoom rocker on the handle unit operates at one of 16 constant speeds. The following speeds are available:

Zoom Rocker Constant Speed
Zoom Speed Setting
Slow Normal Fast
Variable --- 4.2 sec to 4 min 38 sec 2.6 sec to 2 min 1.5 sec to 1 min
Constant 1 (slowest) 4 min 38 sec 2 min 1 min
16 (fastest) 4.2 sec 2.6 sec 1.5 sec

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 resolution.

Advanced Image Stabilization: The XA50 has a 5-axis Optical Image Stabilization system to reduce image blur caused by camera shake. You can choose from Standard IS (lowest degree of camcorder shake), Dynamic IS (higher degree), or Powered IS (while zooming or at high zoom situations).

Camera Modes: Using the Mode Switch on the top of the camcorder, you can select one of the following Camera Modes:

  • Auto: The camcorder takes care of all of the settings while you concentrate on recording.
  • Manual: The manual setting gives you full access to menus, settings, and advanced functions.

Dual Pixel CMOS AF: The XA50 features Canon's highly accurate and high-speed Dual Pixel CMOS AutoFocus system. Each pixel in the CMOS sensor has two photodiodes, which can independently detect image signals from each photosite. Utilizing phase-difference autofocusing, the camera brings the subject rapidly and accurately into focus. In addition, by tapping your finger on the desired area of the scene on the touchscreen, the lens will focus on that specific part of the scene. Dual Pixel CMOS AF gives you continuous autofocusing within a frame that covers approximately 80% of the scene. The camcorder also uses Face Detection AF, framing faces in the scene for focusing priority.

Manual Focus Ring: The XA50 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.

Shooting Modes: The XA50 features a number of shooting modes, each depending upon how much control you have over recording-related settings:

  • Programmed AE: The camcorder automatically adjusts the aperture and shutter speed to obtain the optimal exposure for the subject.
  • Shutter Priority AE: You choose the shutter speed to freeze or blur the shot while the camcorder selects the appropriate aperture for the scene. You can select shutter speeds of 1/8 to 1/2000, or 1/6 to 1/2000 when the frame rate is set to 23.98p.
  • Aperture Priority: You choose the aperture to affect the depth of field and the camcorder selects the appropriate shutter speed for the scene. You can choose aperture settings between f/2.8 and f/11 at full wide angle, or f/4.5 to f/11 at full telephoto.
  • Manual Exposure: You can adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and gain to achieve the desired exposure. You can use the available Zebra Pattern to identify overexposed areas, if needed. In addition, Exposure Compensation and the Touch AE function can help you make fine adjustments to the set exposure.
  • Special Scene Modes: The camcorder features the following Special Scene recording modes to match special conditions: Portrait, Sports, Night Scene, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Low Light, Spotlight, and Fireworks.

Touch Exposure: Touching the LCD screen on a specific area or subject will automatically adjust the exposure for the selected point and lock the exposure settings. You can also touch a bright area of the image to avoid overexposure (Highlight AE).

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, Tungsten, Color Temperature, and Set 1/Set 2 (Custom WB).

Pre-Recording: When Pre-Recording is activated, the camcorder starts recording video continuously into a temporary 3-second memory buffer. 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.

Recording Audio: The XA50 can record 2-channel or 4-channel 16-bit/48kHz Linear PCM or 2-channel 16-bit/48kHz AAC audio using the built-in stereo microphone, external microphones, or through the line input. For external microphones, you can use the stereo 3.5mm MIC terminal on the camcorder, or the Input 1/Input 2 XLR terminals on the included Handle Unit. Level controls, attenutators, and low-cut filters are available for the built-in or external mic inputs.

Note: 4-channel LPCM is not available when the resolution is 1280 x 720.

Special 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.

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.

Battery Information

Lithium-Ion Battery Pack: The Canon XA50 comes supplied with the BP-820 rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery Pack . The optional BP-828 battery pack also works with the camcorder. An AC power adapter (CA-570) is included for charging the battery or powering the camcorder. The battery recording and playback times are as follows:

Battery Pack Resolution Max. Recording Time Typical Recording Time Playback Time Charging Time
BP-820 3840 x 2160 140 min 75 min 190 min 210 min (in camcorder);
190 min (CG-800 charger)
1920 x 1080 165 min 90 min 230 min
1280 x 720 140 min 75 min 215 min
BP-828 3840 x 2160 215 min 120 min 290 min 300 min (in camcorder);
260 min (CG-800 charger)
1920 x 1080 250 min 140 min 350 min
1280 x 720 215 min 120 min 325 min

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.

Inputs And Outputs

HDMI Output: The XA50 features a mini-HDMI (Type C) terminal that offers a high-quality digital video and audio connection. This HDMI 2.0 terminal supports 4K UHD 60p output, and can be connected to a standard external SSD/HDD recorder. No HDMI cable is included with the camcorder.

USB 2.0 Connection: The camcorder features a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed terminal for fast transfer of photos and videos, or for connecting the optional GP-E2 GPS receiver. The port has a Mini-B 2.0 terminal.

Microphone Input: In addition to the camcorder's built-in microphone, the XA50 features a 3.5mm stereo microphone input for connecting an external microphone (sold separately).

Handle Unit: The Handle Unit features two female XLR inputs (labeled Input 1 and Input 2) for connecting professional microphones or audio devices. Each input has its own level control, input selection switch (Line/Mic/Mic+48V), and a switch to turn the Input terminals on or off.

Headphone Jack: The camcorder has a 3.5mm stereo headphone output that allows you to monitor the audio during recording or playback.

Remote Control Input: The camcorder features a 2.5mm sub-mini jack terminal for connecting an optional remote control unit.

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