Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Professional Camcorders › Canon XA-20 vs. XF100 low light › The big difference I would
The big difference I would like to point out here is the codec. The xf100 uses an mpeg codec with a 4:2:2 color space as opposed to the 4:2:0 color space of the XA20.
The XA100 footage will give you a lot more leeway in post production. Granted, you'll need an editing program and computer that can handle the 50 mbs stream. You may be surprised what a little grading in post can do for otherwise dark and muddy video.
There was a day when I was all aboard the AVCHD bandwagon… but now that I've radically upgraded my edit station and software, I yearn for a better codec than my current cameras provide.
I should also mention it may have been all the ACVHD processing that totalled my laptop… so… word to the wise – airflow. AVCHD takes a goodly amount of processor power due to it's highly compressed nature. High processor use equals heat.
Here's what Philip Bloom had to say about the XF100 and the XA10…
For things to consider not related to image quality:
XA20 has most functions buried in menus. XF100 has more external controls. Verdict – XA100 is easier to use.
XF100 looks more impressive to a client than the XA20. I know, this is lame, but it's a fact of life when people who know nothing about cameras are paying you. Verdict – XF100 will get you more business.
XA20 has 1080 at 60p. XF100 has 60p at 720. Verdict – Slight edge to the XA20 in slow motion IF you're viewing in a theater or on a particularly large TV. Either way, slo-mo needs several times as much light as 24p to make it look the consistent with the rest of your footage.
XA20 has a 20x zoom vs the XF100's 10x zoom. Verdict – XA20 -especially for event video.