Canon XA25 Professional Camcorder Review

Canon XA25 Professional Camcorder

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XA25 with FCP

We have just received our Canon XA25 today and one of the first problems we encountered was how we bring the MP4 (35Mb) footage into a FCP sequence. With the AVCHD there is a plug-in but not for the MP4 files! Next we took a quick look at the FTP upload capability. There does not seem to be a method of selecting individual clips to upload, instead it appears that you have to upload the entire contents of your drive. Well Mr Canon, thats not going to be very practical in a ENG situation when you only want to FTP one grab and a few set ups ! mmm I am starting to think the WiFi / FTP tools on this little camera are just a gimmic and not really intentended for Pro/Broadcast use. Any thoughts on this would be most welcome.

Interesting complaint (not

Interesting complaint (not ready for broadcast use), Martin, but I don't think this camera is targeted for that market. I understand the confusion about an included feature that isn't ready for primetime, that usually annoys me as well. Either include a full feature or leave it out but a crippled feature is more of a nusance. However this could be a case where a firmware upgrade will upgrade that feature. You might want to write to Canon to voice your opinion. 

I am very interested to see if you can get 4.2.2 color  from the HDMI output as well as the HD-SDI output.

Canon XA25

Dave514's picture

For the "run and gun" crowd, when actually running, the stabilization on this camera is pathetic. Buy the Sony HXR-NX30U.

Odd Sound Quality Using Headphones

I purchased a Canon XA20 a few weeks ago and have been testing it out.

Everything is performing as expected, except there is an odd "hollow" quality to the sound when I am monitoring on my headphones. It sounds like a slight reverb or echo. Sort of like being in a large, very live room.

I've tried the on-camera mikes and a couple of mounted shotguns using the xlr connection. The echo is still there.

When I transfer the captured video to my computer and listen, the sound is fine -- no "echo."

I am using Sennheiser HD 25 headphones, which I've used for years on other camcorders, so no changes there.

Anyone else hearing this unusual sound quality?

Low-Light Footage?

Has anyone any experience of this camera in a low-light situation?  Apart from the IR night scene, which is a different scenario, the VideoMaker video seems to have only covered a nice bright day, where most camera chips work well. It would be good to have say a late evening/night city scene or regularly lit sitting room to evaluate low-light capability. Also, would like to see if it is possible to get any kind of shallow depth-of-field shots as alluded to in Canon's own blurb - quote "Out of focus areas are smoother, more natural and more appealing" (usa canon - xa25 features). The 'jello' test was quite 'gentle' by comparrison to other such tests that I've seen with other cameras and on other review sites. VM's might be more realistic which was good, but you need to do both. I would like to see VM's review videos being a bit more thorough for the sake of its readers. 

Update on Odd Sound Quality Using Headphones

I contacted Canon Tech Support and explained that, when monitoring a recording with headphones, there is a slight delay in the sound. It is a little "behind" the video.

 

I explained this slight delay was present in both mono and stereo mode, using either the built-in mics or external shotguns. So, regardless of the source, it's still there.

 

On playback, the slight delay is gone. The video and audio match and are in sync.

 

I told her I'm using Sennheiser HD 25 headphones, which I have had for years, and never heard this slight delay on other videocams when recording.

 

The tech suggested I try another pair of headphones, which I did, but that didn't change the outcome. There was still that slight delay.

 

The XA20 has only been available for a few weeks and Canon probably doesn't have a whole lot of feedback from other owners at this point.

 

It will be interesting to see if others notice this unusual sound quality in their headphones and contact Canon.

 

In the meantime, if anyone has some suggestions or solutions, please let me know.

Vimeo Video

cinemapete's picture

As some readers have pointed out, VM could have included a bit more comprehensive tests.  The example video posted to Vimeo has lots of issues with it image quality-wise; don't know if it's a problem with the orignal video or the transcoding on Vimeo, but it really does nothing for this cam. The OIS was especially effective to see in the video.  But other than that,  the quaility I'm seeing indicates that the video could have been shot by a much less expensive cam (not my setup, I have a 2K monitor and pro video card).   It would be nice if VM could post for download the source video direct from the cam and let readers decide if they way to download and view it on their own, in their NLE.   Also, while 5.1 sound may not be crucial to everyone, it is interesting that this cam supports 5.1 surround sound when using the SM-V1  surround sound mike.  It would be nice to explore this capability more and mention it in the copy.

Auto Exposure / Manual Exposure settings

Bern Rexer's picture

This camera works great for my use of corporate video recording and webcasting. However it doesn't meet it's potential. I'd hope that firmware, Magic Lantern or SDK would solve some issues. 

1) It is great to have a camera control unit via WiFi - but as soon as this camera begins recording you no longer have control of iris and other settings. Having control of the iris is one of the best uses of remote camera control. 

2) The user interface / menu takes a while to know - and to quickly get to the most used settings. The custom buttons do not offer all of the setting options.

3) My biggest complaint is not being able to quickly switch from auto exposure to manual exposure. I usually rough set exposure using the camera's automatic aperture - then with a single button or lens slider switch to manual exposure to increase or decrease F stop. This camera doesn't allow for a one step process to do so. It is great that, in manual setting, the custom button on bottom next to rotation knob allows you to toggle between aperture, shutter, and gain - then control those settings with the rotation knob - but there isn't a quick auto aperture to get out of the manual setting. If you set one of the other custom buttons to exposure - it doesn't work in manual setting.

Pros - gain does a fine job with low noise.

I hope these issues can be fixed with firmware updates.

 

This review applies to XA20 and HF G30 as they are essentially the same camera - same cmos and same menus.

Extra-large Eyecup?

Zarafia's picture

Does anyone know where to get an extra-large eyecup that will fit on (or can be installed on) the XA-25?

Any help much appreciated!

focus assist on/off?

Leepfrog's picture

Does anyone know if you can switch the focus assist off in manual mode? I want to pull focus from one to another, but the focus assist prevents me seeing both subjects at the same time to see what I'm doing. Thanks for any help.