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Canon XC10 4K camcorder


Andrew Reid
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I was actually considering the G7, instead of the gh4, but don't think it really makes senses to buy it for video instead of its bigger brother...

Why not?  If you're going to be shooting 1080p, then I don't think there's a big difference, if any at all.  In fact, the GX7 has the same sensor in it as the GH4.  It's just that the Gx7 doesn't shoot 4k.  You can get the same IQ for 2/3rds less cost.

Anyway, I don't know what you're up to as far as shooting goes, I mean you're decisions should reflect the direct needs of the production. Still, I'd worry more about getting useful lenses for whatever you want to do rather than camera bodies.

Really, cameras these days...they're all good.  How you use 'em, what glass you decide to use --that has a bigger factor in the cinematic quality of your project.

That's my camera agnostic viewpoint anyway.  

On the other hand, if you're going for something specific, like shooting a doc at night time, then an a7s would be a decent choice.  Think of buying a camera body like deciding what film stock to use. 

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I agree with Fuzzy. It's important to know your needs. For 1080p there are many cheap cameras that offer great quality. 

But if you plan for 4k anytime soon then I would go for a 4k camera. 

For normal daytime shooting a GH4 at $900 is almost a no-brainer for professional use. I am not sure why the interchangeable mount bothers you since you can just mount a zoom lens and not worry about carrying anything else with you. The pancake 20 1.7 is literally the size of a filterbox and can save you in case you need some low light shoot. 

If low light is a big part of your shoots then a used A7s is not far off your budget.

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Thank you for all the great advice. 

Finally, I think I've made up my mind. The canon xc10 does not stand up to the gh4. And the gh4 is a great camera, but for my needs (I'm gonna be traveling over 6 different countries in six months and shooting, no need for 4k but a solid full hd in a compact and durable body), the GH3 it's perfectly capable, it has a few flaws over the GH4 (no for 4k, less resolution display and viewfinder, no focus peaking), but it can be picked up for 500€ on ebay and I can's spend more money in getting the right lenses (which, in time, would be useful to shoot with a gh4 or even gh5??) and the right gear. It's not the greatest camera in low light, but I think a speedbooster and something like a 20mm 1.7 would help with that... Thanks so much! And I will definately be more active in here!

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Thank you for all the great advice. 

Finally, I think I've made up my mind. The canon xc10 does not stand up to the gh4. And the gh4 is a great camera, but for my needs (I'm gonna be traveling over 6 different countries in six months and shooting, no need for 4k but a solid full hd in a compact and durable body), the GH3 it's perfectly capable, it has a few flaws over the GH4 (no for 4k, less resolution display and viewfinder, no focus peaking), but it can be picked up for 500€ on ebay and I can's spend more money in getting the right lenses (which, in time, would be useful to shoot with a gh4 or even gh5??) and the right gear. It's not the greatest camera in low light, but I think a speedbooster and something like a 20mm 1.7 would help with that... Thanks so much! And I will definately be more active in here!

I would really suggest you get a 4K camera, even more so if you're going to travel a lot. Difference in image clarity between GH3 and GH4 is astonishing.

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I'm curious why you think the xc10 doesn't stand up to the gh4?  I've used the gh4 and gh3 and I think the xc10 is way ahead of either in image quality.  It does have a few issues, but you also have some real positives that many seem to over look.  The image stabilization is very good, I can shoot handheld at the end of the zoom and have useable footage along with shallow depth of field, there are no micro jitters like you get with DSLR's or mirrorless cameras. It has a professional HD codec with a low bit rate that will let you shoot hours of footage to cheap SD cards. I think it's way ahead of the gh4 in this regard, the hd from he camera looks like down sampled gh4 4k footage, but with much smaller file sizes and a much more robust codec. I'm finding with this camera I'm simply able to shoot a lot more better looking footage than I have with any dslr i've used, including gh4, nx1 and d810. Also don't forget sound quality, no reason to use an external recorder. For me and the style of shooting I do the XC10 is a far superior camera if I was shooting a documentary through six different countries. I watched the camera store video and to me they sound like they are trying to sell sony cameras. I can see how if you took the camera out side and walked around shooting for about twenty minutes and only tried a couple settings how you might be disappointed in the xc10. They don't mention any of the positives, which there are many.  It's like they didn't know how to use the camera. I think if they had filmed the video with the xc10 it would have looked much nicer.  On my monitor it had a green or yellow cast over everything. The more I work with cameras the more I realize resolution isn't very important, color is much more important. I personally feel it has much better color than any of the dslr offerings. Don't believe all the hype you read or watch. Having actually used the XC10 the camera store review looks silly and amateurish, or maybe they just have an agenda.  If I have some time i'll try and up load some shallow depth of field shots. 

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It's one of these polarizing cameras where you either hate or love it. But since it has really specific qualities, it's really only going to speak to a select audience just in need of something like it. The majority will keep away from it. It's always a good thing to have choices though, so let there be diversity. This one definately is not for me, but I can how it could work for some, which is great!

I would really suggest you get a 4K camera, even more so if you're going to travel a lot. Difference in image clarity between GH3 and GH4 is astonishing.

This! And it's not just about delivering 4K projects... it's mostly about recording them in 4K that will benefit any project, especially when the final product will be in 1080p. Re-frame, punch-in, zoom, pan, stabilize & crop, high quality downsampling, miniturize noise... lots of 4K benefits and flexibility even if you don't need 4K for futureproofing or quality.

Although what I'd like to see more is 1440p/2.5K/2.7K modes as well so you can get more meaningful bitdata and higher framerates, still having added flexibility over 1080p, but less data wasted on resolution and more on quality and especially those framerates again. 1080p at 96fps, then 4K at 30p, but how about e.g. 2.5/2.7K at 48fps and 1440p at 60fps?

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These are just some quick random samples with a variety of settings. I wouldn't pixel peep to much as most are canon log and not sharpened. Like I said just random shots. 

Cinegain- I'm not sure why you say it has specific qualities. I feel it's a more well rounded video camera than the gh4. There is a lot of mis information on the internet about this camera.    

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Thanks mercer.

Here's a few more. What i've found, and this applies to still images as well, but if you pixel peep canon cameras you'll be disappointed. But if viewed in motion it looks great, the little color blotches disappear. I've found this to be true with their still cameras as well. Nikon and sony have a large dynamic range advantage but when you actually view a print or final web photo, canon more than holds it's own, it usually has better color. Anyway this is just what i've experienced. People tend to put to much stock into spec sheets, and you see reviews like the camera store one which looks to me like it was based on specs rather than actually using the camera. 

canon_1.3.1.jpg

canon_1.46.1.jpg

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canon_1.24.1.jpg

canon_1.30.1.jpg

canon_1.42.1.jpg

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I think everything I have seen from the camera looks great. The only downside is not having a constant aperture 2.8 throughout its zoom range. I think that was the biggest blunder by Canon. 

By the way, the fence line shot looks great. There's a lot going on in that shot and the detail looks good... Maybe even too sharp. And the last shot with the dogs is awesome too. I really like the way it handles the highlights. 

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I'm curious why you think the xc10 doesn't stand up to the gh4?  

l was actually wrong. As many others, I think, I had based my opinion on reviews... but after holding the camera in hand and playing a bit with it (couldn't do much more, since I only borrowed for a few hours) I really liked the feeling. Then I've gone on and search extensibly the footage that has been coming from it, and I think it's great. That it is, is great for what is it. It is the same as GH4? No, but it is not worst, simple different, I think. And, more than this, I think it has swayed back to it. For what I've experienced and seen, I believe it will really work with my next project. 

This! And it's not just about delivering 4K projects... it's mostly about recording them in 4K that will benefit any project, especially when the final product will be in 1080p. Re-frame, punch-in, zoom, pan, stabilize & crop, high quality downsampling, miniturize noise... lots of 4K benefits and flexibility even if you don't need 4K for futureproofing or quality.

I know what you mean! But I'm gonna be traveling very light and I have to edit most of the stuff that I'll be shooting on the go, on a macbook pro (it has decent specs, but is not the lates model) and I'm not sure that it's going to be able to handle 4k in quick way (It might be able to handle it, but it will slow the process a lot...). That is why I was looking for a good HD, how is the HD straight out of this camera?

These are just some quick random samples with a variety of settings. I wouldn't pixel peep to much as most are canon log and not sharpened. Like I said just random shots. 

This all look quite lovely! Perhaps some of them not super sharp (as you said is not sharpened...) but also the still capabilities is not the strong point of this camera, but a bonus IMO.

All and all, I think I'm back to the XC10. Monday I'm in to get it (sorry GH4, I don't doubt you capabilities... but for my needs, I think this will be better suited).

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I find the best way to process the 4K with a Mac is to get EditReady and downsampled it to 1080p prores. 4K to 1080 looks great. And EditReady is a lightning fast program that gives you a lot of control over metadata and you can even process some input LUTS during conversion. 

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I find the best way to process the 4K with a Mac is to get EditReady and downsampled it to 1080p prores. 4K to 1080 looks great. And EditReady is a lightning fast program that gives you a lot of control over metadata and you can even process some input LUTS during conversion. 

I had never worked with 4K. The last two cameras that I have shoot extensively with have been a Canon xf300 and a 5DII. Therefore I have no experience. But Thank you very much for the advise, once I get my hand on the camera I will definitely try this... and I hope it works for me! Because that would be good improvement over my previous footage...

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The XC10 is a much maligned and misunderstood camera.  First, on the 4K.  MrNieto if you don't understand how bayer sensors work I'd look it up.  The simple fact is BEFORE you can look at any image from these cameras, the pixel readouts must be de-bayered (colors combined) to create a full color pixel.  So a 1080 image is actually only using 25% blue, 25% red and 50% green to build an image.  Then it adds video compression, which further reduces color information, usually 4:2:0 in consumer cameras.  With a 4K downsampled to 1080 you're getting full-color information for each pixel.  That's why 1080 derived from a 4K readout looks a lot better than 1080 from 1080 sensor pixels.  To put it simply, you must either sample a 4K image per every 2k image to get really good 1080.  That can either be done in camera (like the PXW-X70) I have, or can be done in post with the GH4.  I would also recommend the LX100 to you.  It has 4K that creates super nice 1080 (I just run in through ffmpeg before dealing with, would suggest same to you).  However, as Fuzzynormal said, the GX7 is a fantastic deal and if you're new to this, a safer choice.  However, if you want to shoot for broadcast TV you probably want to get the XC10 because it is made as a professional's travel video camera. As others have said, the specs say one thing, but when you look at images from professional equipment there IS a difference.  The difference is Canon made the XC10 to do one thing only, provide small-camera b-roll on TV shoots.  It's not made to shoot family portraits, or soccer games.  I won't be surprised if the camera goes on to developer cult-status. 

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Thanks mercer.

Here's a few more. What i've found, and this applies to still images as well, but if you pixel peep canon cameras you'll be disappointed. But if viewed in motion it looks great, the little color blotches disappear. I've found this to be true with their still cameras as well. Nikon and sony have a large dynamic range advantage but when you actually view a print or final web photo, canon more than holds it's own, it usually has better color. Anyway this is just what i've experienced. People tend to put to much stock into spec sheets, and you see reviews like the camera store one which looks to me like it was based on specs rather than actually using the camera. 

canon_1.3.1.jpg

canon_1.46.1.jpg

canon_1.23.1.jpg

canon_1.24.1.jpg

canon_1.30.1.jpg

canon_1.42.1.jpg

canon_1.11.1.jpg

Not sure if you noticed, but some of those images have a curious grid pattern overlaid on the image.

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tugela, which ones have the grid pattern? I see some images have weird black specs. I've also been able to produce color banding similar to canon still cameras. The problems i've found have been trying to push c-log and wide dynamic range past 800iso. The standard color profile works much better for higher iso shots. 

I'm not trying to convince anyone to buy this camera, it's not for everyone. I just see a lot of bashing of it and think it's a lot better than people think. Cameras are tools and in this price range they all have compromises.  I've been close a couple of times to selling the xc10, especially after pixel peeping between the nx1 and xc10. But when I look at the images in motion I prefer the color and dynamic range of the canon. It's also very easy to shoot with which for me is the most important factor right now. If I was shooting in a controlled environment that might be different. In the end content is king.

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These are just some quick random samples with a variety of settings. I wouldn't pixel peep to much as most are canon log and not sharpened. Like I said just random shots. 

Cinegain- I'm not sure why you say it has specific qualities. I feel it's a more well rounded video camera than the gh4. There is a lot of mis information on the internet about this camera.    

canon_1.34.1.jpg

canon_1.22.1.jpg

canon_1.16.1.jpg

canon_1.12.1.jpg

canon_1.45.1.jpg

canon_1.48.1.jpg

canon_1.19.1.jpg

canon_1.46.1.jpg

canon_1.9.1.jpg

canon_1.20.1.jpg

canon_1.21.1.jpg

canon_1.37.1.jpg

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canon_1.13.1.jpg

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Finally some decent XC10 shots from somebody, I was beginning to lose hope!

The codec and colour is clearly better than the RX10 II.

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