Canon XC10 Review: A Great Entry Level CameraMarc Ehrenbold
- 4K 25p shooting – up to 305Mbits/sec
- 1-inch CMOS with 13.36 megapixels
- Full HD shooting – up to 100 frames/sec
- 24-240mm f/2.8-f/5.6 built-in lens
- Built-in stereo microphone – 48 kHz
About the Canon XC10
The Canon XC10 is a camera that serves its purpose very well. It’s high quality recording capabilities make up for the few functional weaknesses that may be apparent to some, though when it comes to delivering quality videography all in one package, the XC10 offers a truly satisfying recording experience.
4K ready filming is slowly becoming a thing of the norm now, and if you’re after a camera that shoots in 4K, also offering 12 megapixel photography, then this might just be the right camera for you. With the ability to also record in slow or fast motion depending on the format, the XC10 offers some great features. The camera is suitable for user’s who intend to make short films as well as those who want to shoot professionally at the current industry standards.
With a very distinctive and quality design, the XC10 will definitely interest many with its appealing form factor, and of course something we all love about this camera is it’s ability to shoot 4K right out of the box. It has a rather compact and lightweight build, with a flexible handgrip making it much easier to control for freehand recording.
The positioning of the buttons and controls are placed within reach of your fingers, and shouldn’t be an issue regardless of the size of your hands, though for those who would prefer to have the choice to hold the entire handgrip may struggle wrapping their whole hand around it. The shortage of external buttons may also rise as a small issue for some, but this can be overlooked if you are okay accessing these functions through the on-screen menu.
After an extensive field test exploring all of the XC10’s various zooming and focusing options, as well as analysing picture quality, image stabilisation and audio, we thoroughly enjoyed getting to grips with everything this little powerhouse has to offer.
One of the best defining features of this camera is the rather impressive lens. With a 10x optical zoom wide angle lens, we were able to attain a great range of viewing angles from focal shots between 8.9 to 89mm as the camera offers impressive precision and quality.
The zoom function on the Canon XC10 offers a satisfying experience, operating smoothly with a very firm and sturdy feel to it. At approximately 72 degrees, the rotation angle for the zoom can be handled quite rapidly while using it manually.
There are a few areas where the XC10 falls short. Even though it may possess a great lens with excellent image quality, we stumbled across a few hiccups which affected our experience. Although the touch screen on the LCD works very well, changing the focus on it can be a bit troublesome, due to the slightly jittery feel you get from the screen response.
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Feature-wise, one of the most impressive features we found on the XC10 was the image stabilisation. The XC10 contains both electronic and optical systems used for image stabilisation, both working very efficiently. There are a total of three modes of image stabilisation to select from; standard, dynamic and powered, giving true flexibility that is not normally seen on entry-level cameras.
Audio on the XC10 is noticeably better than mirrorless and DSLR cameras, but is quite weak compared to other camcorders in the same price bracket. The camera also comes with a somewhat decent built-in stereo microphone at 48 kHz, which is a nice to have, but is overshadowed by our disappointment in the absence of XLR inputs.
Performance & Picture Quality
When it comes to investing in a camcorder, the most important element we tend to look out for is of course its image quality. The Canon XC10 is 4K ready with a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor, which is great for taking stills as well as videos. The new and improved sensor has a Digic DV 5 image processor which enables 4K video capture at different bit rate settings. The XC10 is one very capable camera, able to produce stunning visuals and shoot videos in 4K that are rich with vivid detail and accurate colour reproduction.
Despite its few functional flaws, the Canon XC10 delivers in every department and is able to create some great quality 4K video. Those looking for a top tier device in this department may not be entirely satisfied, but those looking for a great value entry-level professional solution will be more than happy with the performance of the XC10.
The Canon XC10 may not be the best DSLR camcorder on the market, but it’s great value and 4K quality footage makes this a camcorder worth investing in.