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Canon XA30

Professional HD camcorder

4 Reviews

Item # 280XA30

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Our take on the Canon XA30

The compact Canon XA30 is ideal for anyone who needs a light, portable pro camcorder. For quick-turnaround electronic news gathering and event coverage, corporate videos, independent filmmaking, documentaries, weddings, music videos, and more, you need a camera that can keep up with the fast pace of real life.

Canon XA30 with detachable handle

The Canon XA30 features a detachable handle with audio inputs and controls.

A real pro on the go

The compact Canon XA30 is ideal for anyone who needs a light, portable pro camcorder. For quick-turnaround electronic news gathering and event coverage, corporate videos, independent filmmaking, documentaries, weddings, music videos, and more, you need a camera that can keep up with the fast pace of real life.

The XA30 offers full manual controls for precise adjustment of focus, exposure, shutter speed, and white balance. Assignable function buttons give you quick access to the features you use most. The detachable top handle provides dual XLR audio inputs with phantom power and manual audio level controls. The handle also has a built-in IR emitter for infrared recording. When you don't need the XLR connectivity or IR emitter, you can remove the top handle to make the camera even less obtrusive.

Improved performance in any light

The XA30 has a 1/2.84" HD CMOS Pro image sensor with a +3dB boost in signal-to-noise ratio for cleaner images and better low-light performance than its predecessors. Two new video recording modes help the XA30 maximize available light for the most realistic captures. Highlight Priority mode gives you faithful tonal gradations, colors and sharpness in the mid- to high-brightness range, and Wide Dynamic Range Gamma mode suppresses overexposure and expands dynamic range for smooth detail and accurate color.

Keep it steady with Intelligent Optical Image Stabilization

The XA30 has a powerful optical image stabilization system to reduce blur in different situations. Dynamic Image Stabilization works at the wide end of the zoom range for five-axis correction to reduce distortion even when you're in motion. Macro Image Stabilization corrects for angular and shift-type shake in wide-angle shots. Powered Image Stabilization corrects for low-frequency camera shake during telephoto shooting. You can select these options manually, or let Intelligent Image Stabilization automatically choose the proper stabilization mode for a given set of conditions.

The right format at the right time

The XA30 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 XA30 to record at a full 1080/60p resolution, in addition to several other resolutions — a cinematic 24p-native frame rate among them.

Built-in dual-band Wi-Fi®

The XA30 is even easy to use when it's out of your hands. Built-in Wi-Fi lets you control the camera with a mobile device or computer. Wi-Fi also enables FTP file transfer to cloud-based servers for convenient back-ups. The camera's Wi-Fi operates at both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. Dual bands help ensure that the XA30 can send signals even in areas with increased interference from other wireless devices. Connect to compatible networks, wireless hotspots and compatible iOS® mobile devices with the free Canon Movie Uploader app. You can also play back video from the XA30's memory cards to Wi-Fi enabled TVs and computers.

Product Highlights:

  • full HD video recording (1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720), 1440 x 1080 HDV mode available
  • wide-angle 20X optical zoom lens
  • 35mm equivalent focal range of 26.8-576mm
  • 3.5" 1.23-megapixel OLED touchscreen
  • 0.45" viewfinder offers 1.56-megapixel resolution for improved visual display
  • optical and electronic image stabilization helps reduce image distortion
  • DIGIC DV 4 image processor is fast and powerful
  • built-in dual-band Wi-Fi operates at both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz for easy remote control and monitoring via compatible smartphone or tablet
  • detachable handle for extra flexibility
  • compatible with free Canon Movie Uploader app for IOS® devices
  • dual SD card slots enable double-slot recording, and relay recording
    • double-slot recording lets you instantly back up your videos
    • relay recording automatically switches video recording from one SD memory card to the other when the first memory card becomes full
  • MP4 format supports 1080/60p at 35 Mbps for high definition capture of fast moving subjects
  • multiple autofocus modes, including face detection
  • infrared mode produces video images that are evenly illuminated in low light
  • Interval Recording mode shoots a specified number of video frames at pre-defined intervals for interesting time-lapse shoots
  • wide Dynamic Range Gamma of 600% helps prevent overexposure
  • Minimum Object Distance (MOD) is maintained at all zoom levels, enabling flexible framing control
  • eight-blade circular aperture for smoothly defocused backgrounds
Connections and Dimensions:
  • mini HDMI connector
  • composite video outputs
  • high-speed mini-USB port
  • dual XLR balanced audio inputs with +48V phantom power and separate volume controls
  • 3.5mm headphone jack for audio monitoring
  • 4-5/16"W x 3-5/16"H x 7-3/16"D
  • weight: 1.7 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year parts and labor
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • CA-570 power adapter
  • BP-820 lithium-ion battery pack
  • lens hood with lens barrier
  • HDU-1 handle unit
  • WL-D89 wireless controller
  • mini-to-full-size HDMI cable
  • USB cable
  • mini-to-stereo-RCA audio/video cable
  • PIXELA data import utility disk

What's in the Box:

  • HD camcorder (black)
  • Lens Cap (installed)
  • Lens Hood
  • BP-820 Lithium-Ion battery (7.4V/1780mAh)
  • CA-570 Power adapter with attached 5.5' DC output cord (DC output: 8.4V/1.5A)
  • 5' AC cord
  • Ferrite core
  • Microphone holder unit
  • Handle unit
  • 2 Phillips-head screws
  • WL-D89 Wireless Remote Control
  • CR2025 Lithium battery
  • 59" HTC-100/S HDMI cable (with mini-HDMI connector on one end and a full-size HDMI connector on the other end)
  • 59" STV-250N Stereo A/V cable with 3.5mm mini-jack plug on one end and RCA composite and stereo audio plugs on the other end
  • 2' IFC-300PCU/S USB cable with Mini USB Ver.2.0 connector on one end and Type-A USB connector on other end
  • Data Import Utility Ver.2.3.1 CD-ROM
  • Instruction Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
  • Register Now card
  • Limited Warranty card
  • Canon Professional Services promo card

Thrilled with this camera. We are using it to live stream our church services on a weekly basis. Zoom and video quality are excellent.

Anonymous, Littleton, CO


Canon XA30 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(4 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Features and Specs

LCD Screen Size (inches) 3.5
Viewfinder 0.24" Electronic
Total Pixel Count 3.09 MP
Effective Pixel Count for Video 2.91 MP
4K Video ---
High-Definition Yes
Aspect Ratio 16:9, 4:3
Manual Focusing Yes
Filter Diameter 58mm
Optical Zoom 20 x
Digital Zoom 20 x
Night Imaging Low Light
Image Stabilization Optical + Digital
Built-in Video Light No
Built-in Memory None
Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery 2h 55m
Digital Still Camera Features
Effective Pixel Count for Stills 2.91 MP
Built-in Photo Flash No
Still Image Aspect Ratios 16:9, 4:3
Inputs and Outputs
USB Port Mini-B 2.0 USB
HDMI Output Mini
Mic Input 3.5mm, XLR (x2)
Weight With Battery (ounces) 40
Width (inches) 4-3/8
Height (inches) 3-3/8
Depth (inches) 7-3/16
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
Image Sensor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Battery Information
Inputs And Outputs


Image Sensor: The Canon XA30 professional HD camcorder features a 1/2.84" Advanced HD CMOS Pro image sensor. This new HD CMOS Pro image sensor has a native resolution of 2136 x 1362 pixels, or 3,090,000 total pixels. The effective pixel count is 2,910,000 for video and photos. The sensor's enhanced sensitivity helps to provide sharp and detailed video, with superb low-light performance.

3.5" Widescreen OLED Touch Panel Display: The XA30 features a 3.5" TFT color widescreen OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) 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 for blocking out extra light to improve visibility.

Built-in Wi-Fi: The XA30 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 Browser Remote application, available for iOS and Android devices.

Optional GPS: With the GP-E2 GPS Receiver (sold separately), 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 Linear PCM or Dolby Digital audio. Movies can also be recorded in MPEG-4 (MP4) with AAC audio 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
17 Mbps
5 Mbps 1440 x 1080
MP4 35 Mbps (59.94P) 1920 x 1080 AAC
24 Mbps
17 Mbps
4 Mbps 1280 x 720
3 Mbps 640 x 360

Still Image Recording: The XA30 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).

Dual Memory Card Slots: The XA30 is equipped with two slots for inserting SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards. The memory cards used in the camcorder should have a Speed Class rating of Class 4, Class 6, or Class 10. When recording movies with a video quality of 28 Mbps or 35 Mbps, or if recording movies using Slow & Fast Motion, cards with Class 6 or Class 10 are recommended.

Relay and Dual Recording: 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.

Slow and Fast Motion Recording: The camcorder allows you to change the shooting frame rate to achieve a slow motion or fast motion effect during playback. Sound is not recorded in this special recording mode. You can choose from the following Slow or Fast Motion recording rates:

Recording Mode Frame Rate Slow/Fast Motion Rates
35 Mbps (59.94P) --- x2, x2.5
24 Mbps
17 Mbps
29.97P x0.5, x1.25, x2, x4, x10, x20, x60, x120, x1200
23.98P x0.4, x0.8

DIGIC DV 4: Canon's latest and most advanced HD image processor, DIGIC DV 4, 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 XA30 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 XA30 comes with a Genuine Canon HD video lens with a 20x Optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 26.8 - 576 mm) and a 20x digital zoom for a 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 your choice of 16 constant speeds, plus three zoom speed levels. In the variable position, the zoom speed depends on how far you push the zoom rocker on the camera or the zoom buttons on the included wireless controller. The fixed zoom speeds give you a smoother zoom transition. The available zoom speeds, measured from full wide-angle to full telephoto, are as follows:

Zoom Rocker Speed Setting Selected Constant Speed Zoom Speed Level Setting
Slow Normal Fast
Variable --- 0:04 to 4:45 0:02.5 to 3:00 0:01.9* to 1:00
Constant 1 (slowest) 4:45 3:00 1:00
16 (fastest) 0:04 0:02.5 0:01.9*
*Note: When zoom speed is too fast (1.9 seconds end-to-end), the camcorder may have trouble maintaining automatic focus while zooming.

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 XA30'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 WA-H58 Wide Attachment 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.

Image Stabilizer: The XA30 has an Intelligent Optical Image Stabilizer system to reduce image blur by compensating for camera shake. Different image stabilization options are available, or the Intelligent IS System can automatically select and apply the proper stabilization mode depending upon the situation. You can select the following types of compensation:

  • Dynamic: Dynamic IS adds stabilization provides 5-axis correction: up-down, left-right, roll axis, horizontal roll, and vertical roll compensation.
  • Macro: Corrects angular and shift-type shake when shooting at wide angle.
  • Powered: Corrects for low-frequency shake during telephoto shooting.
  • Tripod Mode: No compensation applied. Recommended when camera is on a tripod.

Operating Modes: Using the Mode Switch on the top of the camcorder, you can select one of the following Operating 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.
  • Cinema: The Cinema mode gives your recordings a cinematic look. The Cinema-Look filters help you create unique movies.

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 XA30 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 XA30 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 XA30'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:

  • Programmed AE: The camcorder automatically adjusts both the aperture and shutter speed to obtain the optimal exposure for the subject.
  • Shutter Priority: You choose the shutter speed to freeze or blur the shot while the camcorder selects the appropriate aperture for the scene. You can select 9 shutter speeds between 1/8 and 1/2000 (or 10 speeds between 1/6 and 1/2000 with a 23.98P frame rate).
  • 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 select aperture settings of F1.8 to F8.0 (wide angle) or F2.8 to F8.0 (telephoto).

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 XA30 allows you to record with the following cinema-look filters: Cinema Standard, Vivid, Dream, Cool, Sepia, Old Movies, and Memory.

Wireless Remote Control: The XA30 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.

Battery Information

Lithium-Ion Battery Pack: The Canon XA30 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
1780 mAh
Maximum Rec 145-175 minutes
Typical Rec 85-105 minutes
Playback 230-265 minutes (OLED)
2670 mAh
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.

Inputs And Outputs

HDMI Output: The XA30 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 output resolution can be set up to 1080p. 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 XA30 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.

Remote Control Input: The camcorder features a 2.5mm sub-minijack terminal for connecting an optional wired remote controller.


Included Software: The Canon XA30 camcorder includes the Data Import Utility Ver.2.3.1 CD-ROM application disc for saving AVCHD and MP4 movies, as well as still images. The software is compatible with the following Operating Systems:

  • Windows (32-bit / 64-bit): Windows 10, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7 (SP1)
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X v10.8, v10.9, v10.10, v10.11

Our Product Research Team

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

HDMI output, XLR audio input [ Scott  Mar 23, 2017 ]