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CANON AX10 opinions? Is the natural replacement for SONY HVR-A1?

Pablo's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 07/02/2009 - 6:28am

Hi all. In the last months I been wondering whether is about time to
quit HDV in favour of more modern technology. I am very pleased with
HDV results it is the ideal format for what I do (mainly so-called
"industrial video" and live events), but it is cleat that HDV is a fading away format and in a couple of years I believe HDV
equiptment will significantly lost its value, and now I can make the
swich with much less investment.

I have the crossover "little pro" SONY A1 (which is a very good consumer
camcorder HC1 with professional upgrades like XLR), and seeing the AX10
it is just the same (the very good consumer Canon Vixia HF G10 with pro
upgrade) I thought it may the the natural replacement.
SONY has launch its HXR-MC50 as an equivalent for the A1, but it lacks XLR inputs, which are a must for me (and for any prosumer camcorder I believe).

Reviews of the AX10 are all very good.

Note: in the past I always thought that if Canon should have done a pro
based on HV-30 what Sony did with the A1 it would have been a real hit.
Now it seems it has done it but in AVCHD world instead of HDV.

I love the A1 quality with good light (cannot differenciate from its
major sister SONY Z1). The size many times is more an advantage rather
than a disadvantage. Despite not being the best for tripod, for eg., it
allow me to shoot with prosumer quality in places where I should raise
questionning with something with "real pro look" like the Z1. I hate the
lack of manual gain and iris control with the A1, and I don't like too
much the lot of noise the A1 has in low light. The lack of phisicall
buttons for other manual adjustements is something I can live with.

Do you believe AVCHD at 24 Mps equals HDV quality? Do you believe AVCHD is the natural replacement for HDV? Some people
says that probable a future low cost XDCAM EX format will be the
substitute for HDV, and AVCHD will be just a consumer format.

Seeing that Canon has create a pro version of the Vixia HF G10, it is
reasonable to believe that a new model is not going to be launched in
the near future (pro stuff usually has much longer product lifetime that
consumer's). Is this right?


Leif Christiansen's picture
Last seen: 6 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 08/22/2009 - 9:17pm
Plus Member

Based on the many good reviews I recently got my own Canon XA10 PAL.

The good impression is still growing. I find it has many features and up to now it has all I wanted:
- great i lowlight/IR for total darkness
- Lanc colntrol for tripod work
- Top quality XLR-sound with phantom power and full manual control,
just to mention a few of the details I felt important to me.

It is very lightweight, so with the external microphone mounted it takes some care to keep on level when shooting handheld carried by the handle.

I'm very satisfied so far.

I'm a experienceed amateur videographer and can't say, what a true pro would think.


Pablo's picture
Last seen: 1 year 7 months ago
Joined: 07/02/2009 - 6:28am

Well, after a lot of thinking and tough time I have the Canon Vixia G10, which as you know is the same camera as the XA10 without the handle and pro sound. I really couldn't afford and justify the $600 price tag between the two.

I must admit that the camera performance is outstanding, much better than expected. Although I have not performed an objective test I clear see that its quality in low light is excellent and totally surpasses my previous experiences with HDV video, including the well-known Sony Z1 and clearly destroys the small pro Sony HVR-A1.

My first impression with the G10 was that it was lighter and smaller than
expected. Of course, not in comparison with a prosumer model (which is
obvious) but for a consumer one. My last consumer model was a Hi8 Digital Handycam so I guess I was expecting something of that size.

The unit is also very light, even the long lasting batteries (sold separately) are very small. So it is a great all around camera but for casual working probably it does not seem that professional. The touch panel looks great and the image is very good, but the touch is not that sensitive. Don't expect IPhone style.

The lens ring is great and it is a sin that it cannot be used for manual zooming. Probably it is a feature for the future model. The built quality is good but being used with prosumer models, even low end like the Sony A1, it does not feel so sturdy. I also miss the XLR inputs and so on, but low budget is like that!

In summary, I am very happy with my purchased. If the camera would had manual zoom it would be a dream.


Ian Kirkpatrick's picture
Last seen: 1 month 7 hours ago
Joined: 07/06/2008 - 1:38am

I am real happy with my Canon XA10.

It is light weight and a little less easy to hold still when using hand held than the bigger professional cameras.

Have a look at this video which I took a couple of weeks ago. It was all hand held in a light aircraft with the door taken off so I got caught a few times in the wind buffet. There was also some light turbulenceon the day, so the pictures are not as steady as I hoped for but considerably better than I expected.

The commentary sound was live and connected into one of the XLR inputs on the camera from a headset jack in the aircraft. It was recorded in 1920p AVCHD at 24Mb/s but I only uploaded a 720p version to Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyOdlpagCy0

You can watch at a larger screen size on Youtube at IANKVIDEO

Enjoy.