It’s been a while since we’ve been truly excited about a compact professional camcorder from Canon. Over the past couple years, the company has pushed focus towards its Cinema EOS cameras, while effectively ignoring its line of fixed-lens prosumer camcorders. If you’ve only got a couple grand to spend on a new camcorder, then you’re not going to be able to afford a pricey EOS Cinema model. But your wallet may be able to handle the XA25 or XA20, Canon’s newest—and most compact—camcorders geared towards pros.
The XA25 has the same basic form factor as the XA10, but it has huge upgrades under the hood.
The XA25 features a robust set of upgrades over its predecessor (the Canon XA10 from 2011), which is what makes this product worth a significant look. Even though the MSRP for the XA25 is set at $2,999, Canon representatives have told us they expect the camcorder to sell for roughly $300 less when it hits stores in June. Launching at the XA25′s side is its cheaper sibling, the XA20, which has no HD-SDI terminal but keeps the rest of the XA25′s specs. The XA20 has an MSRP of $2,499.
The Canon XA25 is a compact, “run-n-gun” professional camcorder that offers outstanding image quality, dual simultaneous recording formats, infrared night shooting, an HD/SD-SDI port for uncompressed output, with dual XLR ports and full manual controls for use with professional microphones.
The XA25 dual-recording format, high definition camcorder from Canon was conceived with the action-hungry professional in mind. Light on heft, but not on features, the XA25 is built to run-n-gun with the best of them. Whether packing in to the remotest of locations or army crawling through hordes of paparazzi standing between you and your next news story, the diminutive size and excellent recording capabilities of the XA25 make it the perfect shooting companion.
Two built-in SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slots allow you to record video to available media cards in both slots at the same time. This allows you to create an instant back up copy for archiving and data protection or you can capture high resolution AVCHD or MP4 video files on one card while creating a lower data rate MP4 more suitable for the web on the other card. (Full HD 1080/60p recording, simultaneous AVCHD and MP4 recording, bitrate options up to 35Mbps—the XA25 does everything the XA10 couldn’t. )
Over the past two years, we’ve hammered Canon for being late to the 1080/60p party. Until now, none of the company’s pro camcorders could record 60p at full HD, and its entry-level Vixia models only got around to introducing this feature in early 2013 (on the HF R400, R40, and R42). With the XA25 and XA20 (as well as the new HF G30), we can’t complain anymore. The new camcorders have the ability to shoot 28Mbps 60p AVCHD video or 35Mbps 60p MP4 video, as well as offering the classic 24p, 30p, and 60i frame rates—all at full-HD resolution. In MP4 mode, you can also switch over to 1280 x 720 recording, or shoot standard-definition video with 30p or 24p frame rate options.
When using two media cards and the camera is in Relay mode, there is no need to stop shooting to swap out a full media card. When one card becomes full, recording seamlessly switches to the other card. Built-in dual-band Wi-Fi allows you FTP video files directly from the camera, or playback footage from the memory cards to Wi-Fi enabled TVs and Computers. You can also remotely control select camera functions from a smart phone or tablet over Wi-Fi, freeing you from remote cables.
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