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Canon XC10 4K camcorder


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They have been using it for quite some time with great results. Definetelly shows a segment where the camera is great. This is mainly a "film maker" forum. But we sometimes seem to forget that no

I am slowly getting round to finishing my mammoth XC10 review.... expect it this week!

Still haven't had time to shoot anything for more than 30 min. Hopefully next week. So I took it for a quick run when I went to the store. Wanted to see how the XC10 worked under really bright condit

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The XC10's ISO performance - especially in HD mode - is very good for a 1" sensor. Compared to a GH4 in 4K (not too big a size difference: 2.9x vs 2.4x crop) it is noticeably better.

The thing is that it's pointless making such comparisons as the XC10 has a fixed lens with an aperture that gets slow at standard and long focal lengths. So although you can do noise comparisons at equal ISO's, the interchangeable lens cameras are always going to do better with half-fast glass (let alone a speed booster). As I said before I find myself ramping the ISO right up in only moderately dim situations unless it's a wide shot. Although noise performance is good at high ISO's, the situations in which you have to ramp it up are way more frequent.

It's a fantastic camera - I really love it for it's ergonomics, ease of use (with a few niggles that I've found perfectly good workarounds for), unsurpassed shot-grabbing ability, incredible stabilization and beautiful image quality. But there's no doubt it's put to best use in decent light. However it's basically an evolution of a classic camcorder and compared to most of those it does superbly in low light. 

Again it's a fantastic companion for the C100. The compliment each other very well. The C100's strengths are low light and shallow depth of field (where 4K is less important). The XC10 is great for deep, detailed DoF (4K), timelapse and as a small, inconspicuous all-in-one shot grabber (incredible IS and well implemented automatic modes). If you want both in one camera you pay a hefty price (money, size and weight) for a C300MkII.

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1 hour ago, Lintelfilm said:

The XC10's ISO performance - especially in HD mode - is very good for a 1" sensor. Compared to a GH4 in 4K (not too big a size difference: 2.9x vs 2.4x crop) it is noticeably better.

The thing is that it's pointless making such comparisons as the XC10 has a fixed lens with an aperture that gets slow at standard and long focal lengths. So although you can do noise comparisons at equal ISO's, the interchangeable lens cameras are always going to do better with half-fast glass (let alone a speed booster). As I said before I find myself ramping the ISO right up in only moderately dim situations unless it's a wide shot. Although noise performance is good at high ISO's, the situations in which you have to ramp it up are way more frequent.

It's a fantastic camera - I really love it for it's ergonomics, ease of use (with a few niggles that I've found perfectly good workarounds for), unsurpassed shot-grabbing ability, incredible stabilization and beautiful image quality. But there's no doubt it's put to best use in decent light. However it's basically an evolution of a classic camcorder and compared to most of those it does superbly in low light. 

Again it's a fantastic companion for the C100. The compliment each other very well. The C100's strengths are low light and shallow depth of field (where 4K is less important). The XC10 is great for deep, detailed DoF (4K), timelapse and as a small, inconspicuous all-in-one shot grabber (incredible IS and well implemented automatic modes). If you want both in one camera you pay a hefty price (money, size and weight) for a C300MkII.

Very true. The only issue I have with the camera is for narratives, I really need a complimentary camera for that shallow depth... I just cannot afford a C100 for the spec shorts I work on. If only Canon would release a C1... A one inch sensor camera with interchangeable lenses. The BMPCC has proven you can obtain a shallow depth with a small sensor and fast lens combo. 1080 (and maybe the 220mbps 4K) and Canon LOG with the eos-m mount for around 2 grand and I'd hand over my money. 

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41 minutes ago, mercer said:

Very true. The only issue I have with the camera is for narratives, I really need a complimentary camera for that shallow depth... I just cannot afford a C100 for the spec shorts I work on. If only Canon would release a C1... A one inch sensor camera with interchangeable lenses. The BMPCC has proven you can obtain a shallow depth with a small sensor and fast lens combo. 1080 (and maybe the 220mbps 4K) and Canon LOG with the eos-m mount for around 2 grand and I'd hand over my money. 

This is where Canon could find a real winner. A simple but ergonomic form factor like the XC10 but with interchangeable lenses, built in NDs, IBIS and the Canon look and ease of use.

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2 hours ago, Thpriest said:

This is where Canon could find a real winner. A simple but ergonomic form factor like the XC10 but with interchangeable lenses, built in NDs, IBIS and the Canon look and ease of use.

Yup, I'd go in debt for that camera. They won't do it though. I mean, I have to assume that we aren't the first people to think about this, someone at Canon must've mentioned it... Hell... Renaissance mentioned something similar right when the XC10 was released. I would think a quarter of micro budget/indie filmmakers would own this combo. 

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5 hours ago, mercer said:

Yup, I'd go in debt for that camera. They won't do it though. I mean, I have to assume that we aren't the first people to think about this, someone at Canon must've mentioned it... Hell... Renaissance mentioned something similar right when the XC10 was released. I would think a quarter of micro budget/indie filmmakers would own this combo. 

 

7 hours ago, Thpriest said:

This is where Canon could find a real winner. A simple but ergonomic form factor like the XC10 but with interchangeable lenses, built in NDs, IBIS and the Canon look and ease of use.

Hah, that's a C100mkii... 

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23 hours ago, mercer said:

Very true. The only issue I have with the camera is for narratives, I really need a complimentary camera for that shallow depth... I just cannot afford a C100 for the spec shorts I work on. If only Canon would release a C1... A one inch sensor camera with interchangeable lenses. The BMPCC has proven you can obtain a shallow depth with a small sensor and fast lens combo. 1080 (and maybe the 220mbps 4K) and Canon LOG with the eos-m mount for around 2 grand and I'd hand over my money. 

Don't you have an 80D? Using Andrew's Log profile, fast lenses (e.g. Canon 50mm 1.8; Sigma 18-35) and sticking to shallow DOF (i.e. what you want it for) by ensuring subjects are within a few meters of the camera, you'll get results very comparable to a C100. The benefits of clean, high res cameras only really come into their own for deep DoF shots with loads of detail. The old Rebel cameras, 60D, 7D, 5DII, etc were always fine when shooting portraits etc because A) out of focus areas negate moire and B) the codec & processing that caused those cameras to be soft struggles much less when large parts of the image are out of focus - allowing bitrate and processing etc to do more in the in-focus parts of the image. Also the contrast between OOF background and in focus foreground makes the subject appear sharper than it actually is. Besides, if you're shooting people you don't want them to be too sharp. As the 80D is significantly better than any of those cameras you should be getting shallow DoF results that cut perfectly well with the XC10's wider shots. 

Something that doesn't get talked about much is that 4K actually makes far more sense on small sensor cameras, because you're always going to have deeper DOF and therefore far more detail to deal with. So for Panasonic it makes sense for them to have led the 4K move because (apart from the fact they want to sell 4K TV's) they have the smallest ILC sensors. Even their HD cams were much higher res than APSC counterparts - and really they had to be, because the MFT sensor always meant more detailed scenes (less OOF areas).

 

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50 minutes ago, Lintelfilm said:

Don't you have an 80D? Using Andrew's Log profile, fast lenses (e.g. Canon 50mm 1.8; Sigma 18-35) and sticking to shallow DOF (i.e. what you want it for) by ensuring subjects are within a few meters of the camera, you'll get results very comparable to a C100. The benefits of clean, high res cameras only really come into their own for deep DoF shots with loads of detail.

 

I see what you're saying but I still feel like I could pick out an 80D versus a C100 in a blind comparison test 100% of the time. Canon 1080p DSLRs have a softness that is unmistakable at this point. 

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45 minutes ago, Kubrickian said:

I see what you're saying but I still feel like I could pick out an 80D versus a C100 in a blind comparison test 100% of the time. Canon 1080p DSLRs have a softness that is unmistakable at this point. 

No doubt. The C100 image is beautiful. But the extra sharpness, cleanness and higher bit rate of the 80D - combined with shallow DOF, a log-like profile and some nice glass - is going to look a great deal closer to a pro image than a Rebel ever could. Personally I still like the 5DIII's native H264 image quite a bit (esp for shooting people). The 80D is arguably better in some regards. I'd be interested to know what kind of DR can be coaxed from video on an 80D with the EOSHD c-log profile, as the sensor is rated at over 13 stops for RAW stills (much better than the 5D3).

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3 hours ago, Lintelfilm said:

Don't you have an 80D? Using Andrew's Log profile, fast lenses (e.g. Canon 50mm 1.8; Sigma 18-35) and sticking to shallow DOF (i.e. what you want it for) by ensuring subjects are within a few meters of the camera, you'll get results very comparable to a C100. The benefits of clean, high res cameras only really come into their own for deep DoF shots with loads of detail. The old Rebel cameras, 60D, 7D, 5DII, etc were always fine when shooting portraits etc because A) out of focus areas negate moire and B) the codec & processing that caused those cameras to be soft struggles much less when large parts of the image are out of focus - allowing bitrate and processing etc to do more in the in-focus parts of the image. Also the contrast between OOF background and in focus foreground makes the subject appear sharper than it actually is. Besides, if you're shooting people you don't want them to be too sharp. As the 80D is significantly better than any of those cameras you should be getting shallow DoF results that cut perfectly well with the XC10's wider shots. 

Something that doesn't get talked about much is that 4K actually makes far more sense on small sensor cameras, because you're always going to have deeper DOF and therefore far more detail to deal with. So for Panasonic it makes sense for them to have led the 4K move because (apart from the fact they want to sell 4K TV's) they have the smallest ILC sensors. Even their HD cams were much higher res than APSC counterparts - and really they had to be, because the MFT sensor always meant more detailed scenes (less OOF areas).

 

I don't have the 80D yet. I was waiting to see how the M5 matches up to it. Since it was sharing a sensor, I thought they were going to include the higher bitrate video as well...

They didn't.

Plus I wanted to do some tests on a cheaper camera to see if I can match Canon LOG and Reid-LOG. So, I just picked up a dirt cheap M10 to run some tests with.

Plus plus I will probably wait for a Black Friday sale and try to get the 80D a little cheaper.

But your points about close ups are very valid. This is why Canon DSLRs became so popular in the first place... Shallow depth hides the inherent budgetary and time restraints common in no budget filmmaking.

Good point about M4/3rds as well. The problem I had found with every other brand of camera I have owned, other than Canon, is that the colors require more tweaking to look "good," and I am not that great with color. I think Panasonic is getting closer with their newer lines, but it still takes some time in post to acquire that "organic, cinematic" look and texture that comes naturally out of the box with Canon's color science.

A couple months ago when I bought the XC10 and shot some footage with the 1080p C-Log, I realized in the first moment I looked at that first clip I don't even need 4K or actually want it in a lot of situations. I think 4K takes a naturally gifted colorist (which I'm not) or a good dose of FilmConvert to get footage to look "organically cinematic."

2 hours ago, Kubrickian said:

I see what you're saying but I still feel like I could pick out an 80D versus a C100 in a blind comparison test 100% of the time. Canon 1080p DSLRs have a softness that is unmistakable at this point. 

And this is my fear... Even with the 100mbps from the 80D. So let me ask... how close is the 1080p C-Log from the XC10 compare to the C-Log from the C100? Are they indistinguishable? Can you intercut the two, without any noticeable difference, as long as the correction/grade matched?

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

 

And this is my fear... Even with the 100mbps from the 80D. So let me ask... how close is the 1080p C-Log from the XC10 compare to the C-Log from the C100? Are they indistinguishable? Can you intercut the two, without any noticeable difference, as long as the correction/grade matched?

You can definitely match them as long as the XC10 has enough light. Go above 1000 ISO and really discerning clients may notice. Even in great light though, if you pixel peep you can see the XC10 is pulling from a smaller sensor. 

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14 minutes ago, Kubrickian said:

You can definitely match them as long as the XC10 has enough light. Go above 1000 ISO and really discerning clients may notice. Even in great light though, if you pixel peep you can see the XC10 is pulling from a smaller sensor. 

Exactly. They cut very nicely, but only at lower ISO's. The HD image from the C100 (mkII in my case) is superior to the XC10's image even in good light, but not that noticeably. But the C100 has the best 1080p 4:2:0 image below 50mbps by a very long margin. The XC10 has the characteristics of a smaller sensor - more noise, a hair less dynamic range, more depth of field. Having said all that, if you shoot 4K 305mbps 4:2:2 on the XC10, it outperforms the crap out of the C100 for colour and detail in good light. 

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1 hour ago, Kubrickian said:

You can definitely match them as long as the XC10 has enough light. Go above 1000 ISO and really discerning clients may notice. Even in great light though, if you pixel peep you can see the XC10 is pulling from a smaller sensor. 

Thanks, that's good to know. I have been trying to keep my ISO as close to 500 as possible in C-Log, so hopefully there would be no issue  

1 hour ago, Lintelfilm said:

Exactly. They cut very nicely, but only at lower ISO's. The HD image from the C100 (mkII in my case) is superior to the XC10's image even in good light, but not that noticeably. But the C100 has the best 1080p 4:2:0 image below 50mbps by a very long margin. The XC10 has the characteristics of a smaller sensor - more noise, a hair less dynamic range, more depth of field. Having said all that, if you shoot 4K 305mbps 4:2:2 on the XC10, it outperforms the crap out of the C100 for colour and detail in good light. 

What lenses do you guys use with your C100s? I assume mostly Canon lenses to utilize the DPAF? I remember from my time with t2i, many moons ago, that you really could nail different looks by using different vintage lenses. You'd still have that Canon color but the color tone may be slightly different depending on the brand... for example Nikkor aI-s lenses were slightly cooler than Takumars. Does the C100 handle vintage lenses in the same way?

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26 minutes ago, Kubrickian said:

I've never tried vintage lenses on my C100 MII but would like to. Right now I use the tokina 11-16, sigma 18-35, canon L zooms, canon 35 / 50 / 85 primes. Here's a piece I shot on the 18-35: 

 

 

 

Wow...

That's a pretty amazing piece of work you accomplished there. I barely even thought about gear while watching it. Perfect time of day to shoot it. Piano on the beach was a brilliant idea, though I can only imagine the logistics involved getting a Steinway baby grand on to the sand (crane or forklift?) 

Damn really nice piece. You did have a lot to work with... Beautiful and talented woman, perfect sunlight (great idea to use the setting sun as backlight) but still the concept was so simple and masterfully executed  

And the C100 really is an amazing camera. The way it handled the sun infused highlights in her hair and the reflection of the sun and her hands on the piano above the keys. So soft yet sharp with great DR.

One of my favorite pieces I've seen posted on here.

How does the Tokina handle the DPAF? Also, do you have the Canon 35mm f2 with IS? I recently bought a refurbished one on sale in preparation for DPAF. I'm hoping it works well with it, but I haven't found many samples online and the sale was ending that day, so I took a gamble. 

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Thanks man. Yeah we had to go through official channels with the palm beach county film commission and the city of delray beach to get a permit to bring the piano onto the beach. I had suggested the idea to Shuree as a joke and she made it happen. I only shot this with a video monopod but looking back I wish I had used a tripod. The different setups would have taken too long though as the sun was already shifting in the sky significantly. 

The DPAF works perfectly with the tokina; it is just noisier than some canon lenses. I have the 35 F2 IS yes. Just a fantastic handheld shot-grabber lens. I'm pretty sure I could take only the 35 to a location and do anything I needed with it. 

edit: it was carried out by two guys that were moving wooden planks 5 feet at a time :-O

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