Canon have announced replacements for their XA20 and 25 camcorders, the aptly named XA30 and XA35. Designed to be functional enough for pro users but lightweight and simple enough for hobbyists to handle, these new additions to the X range (so named for its X-over appeal, maybe?) boast new wide dynamic range and highlight priority shooting modes, “making them suitable for shooting everything from news and documentaries to weddings and corporate films.”
The typically ebullient press release tells us that “in Wide DR mode, the cameras are able to achieve 600% dynamic range, resulting in bright images with high contrast that retain detail in both highlight and shadow areas, without the need for post-production. When using the Highlight Priority setting, users are able to produce footage with more natural tones and richer colours, particularly in areas of high brightness, perfect for scenes with bright skies and reflective surfaces.
“Both models also feature slow and fast recording modes, supporting a range of shooting scenarios with interval recording options up to a maximum of 1200x normal speed.”
Connectivity and media
The XA30 and XA35 retain the popular form factor of the XA20 and XA25, including their removable handle featuring XLR inputs, so professional quality audio is still within your grasp. The XA35 has HD/SD-SDI connectivity so that you can record hi res video with embedded audio and timecode, and both cameras support dual SD cards for relay recording at events or simultaneous recording in case you need instant backup.
Like a growing number of cameras aimed at ENG shooters, the XA35 and XA30 have dual-band WiFi, enabling remote control of camera functions, web browser previews of your clips, and wireless file transfer/upload. All of this can be done via your smartphone, tablet or computer. The particularly gadget-hungry/location-dependent among you may want to invest in Canon’s GP-E2 GPS receiver, which will let you embed GPS data in your footage’s metadata.
– Both cameras include a newly designed 1/2.84-type 2.91 Megapixel HD CMOS Pro sensor and have enhanced sensitivity with improved signal to noise ratio.
– Low light shooting opportunities are further boosted by improved infrared performance.
– The 20x wide angle lens offers a 26.8-576 focal range and employs the intelligent five axis optical image stabilisation.
– Includes two new feature settings: Wide DR and Highlight Priority.
– In Wide DR model the cameras are able to achieve 600% dynamic range.
– When using Highlight Priority settings, users are able to produce footage with more natural tones and richer colours, especially in areas of brightness.
– Both support high quality AVCHD (up to 28Mbps) and MP4 (up to 35Mbps) file formats.