Canon has listened to its users and upgraded the XC10 4K Professional Camcorder to add pro features to both the audio and video workflows. Dubbed the XC15, this new 4K Professional Camcorder builds on the proven abilities of the XC10 and aims to provide the perfect second unit camera. The XC15 provides 4K ultra high definition recording capability in a DSLR-derived compact, ergonomic design that is both portable and optimized for handheld operation. It employs a mechanical shutter for photo capabilities, and can now output output 4K video via HDMI. Plus, the XC15 supports for both CFast cards for 4K video recording and 1080p video recording to SD cards. A large foot at the bottom of the camera enables it to stand when set down.
Made with an eye towards fast use, the record button is located on the grip along with other controls. The VGA+ 3-inch LCD screen, centered as well as tiltable, can be attached to the included viewfinder — especially of value to those users preferring to use their left eye with a viewfinder.
Employing a 1-inch CMOS Sensor and DIGIC DV 5 Processor, the camcorder features an f/2.8 – 5.6, 8.9mm to 89mm zoom lens (35mm equivalent focal length=27.3 to 273mm in video mode). Both auto and manual focus are offered, with separate focus and zoom rings placed for ease of access and use. Additionally, face detection has been added to aid in framing the shot.
The UI is now based on 1/24 second shutter speeds to make it simpler to find a standard shutter speed. The scale display is now also based on 1/24 second shutter speeds so as to improve usability for cinema productions in following with the 23.98 sequence. There is also the addition of three speeds matching that of the C300 Mk II that have been added for flicker reduction. In addition to the XC10's 23.98p mode, there is a new 24p mode for both 4K and 1080p vi0deo for film productions, with 24p now able to be recorded at up to 305 Mbps in 4K.
The XC15 shares profiles with Cinema EOS line: Canon Log Gamma, Wide DR Gamma, EOS standard. Through the ability to record with Canon Log, it can deliver the same 12 stops (800%) of dynamic range as that of Canon’s EOS C500. Appealing to cinematographers is the ability to select a Look setting for more easily integrating footage from other cinema cameras.
Another new feature is the Highlight Priority: this gamma mode allows for similar effects to that of HDR (high dynamic range) to offer color reproduction and sharpness of mid- to high-brightness with greater realism.
There’s now a built-in Waveform Monitor Display for more detailed exposure assessments, as well as helping with checking video signal levels. Its use allows for more accurately monitoring video signal characteristics during shooting in lighting conditions where it becomes difficult to view the display.
The XC15 comes equipped with a microphone adapter for the MA-400, originally created for the C300 Mark II. This enables professional grade audio recordings and works in concert with a XLR audio input supporting the adapter. Menu options targeting audio have now been added to take the XLR input into consideration as well as revise existing ones: For example, internal mic trimming, mic low-cut and internal mic sensitivity have now been added.