Back in November 2011 (17 months ago) I published an Open Letter to pro AVCHD camera manufacturers. With their introduction of their new XA20 and XA25 cameras at NAB 2013, Canon has fulfilled some of the key wishes I had expressed in that Open Letter, in addition to making other improvements over the XA10, which is being replaced by these two new models. Ahead we’ll review that Open Letter and take a first look at these two new camera models.
Link to 2011 Open Letter
Here is a link to the complete 2011 Open Letter, which was directed to professional AVCHD camera manufacturers, which at that time were Canon, Panasonic, and Sony. [At that time, JVC Professional was not offering pro AVCHD cameras, or any other type of H.264-recording cameras. At that time, JVC offered cameras that recorded MPEG2, similar to Sony’s XDCAM-EX, either wrapped either with QuickTime (.mov) or .mp4. Despite the mp4 wrapper, the video that was inside was encoded with MPEG2. I am pointing that out to clarify why my 2011 Open Letter was only directed to Canon, Panasonic, and Sony. Since then, JVC Professional has released cameras that can/do record H.264/AVCHD, but that was later.]
The original 2011 Open Letter was actually part 6 of my PsF’s missing workflow series. The letter is divided into the following sections: the introductory paragraph, What I understand from the consumer camera divisions about why they invented the AVCHD format (one paragraph), What I understand (and what I like) about the pro video cameras in the AVCHD price range (one paragraph), and What I don’t get —and really disturbs me— from this pro video camera segment (three numbered points), and Suggestions to the professional AVCHD camera manufacturers (seven numbered points). Since many of our readers probably read the 2011 Open Letter, I won’t repeat it all here. If you haven’t read it, here’s the link again. The rest of this article will still be here when you finish reading it 🙂
Which points of the suggestions did Canon incorporate?
I have sent 14 questions to Canon to clarify 14 details about the XA20 and XA25 (the HD-SDI model), so it is very likely that in a few days I’ll be publishing another article called: Canon answers Tépper’s 14 questions on XA10 and XA20. In the meantime, here are a few definite improvements (without the details):
- Canon’s XA20 and XA25 now allow for at least one modern storage format that allows the user to leave the archaic FAT32 in the past.
- Canon’s XA20 and XA25 now offer the operator an excellent file/format system that eliminates the confusing AVCHD file/format mess in favor of H.264-encoded in a .mp4 file with its native progressive framerate (without PsF). It is not yet clear whether these can be single files over 4GB each when used with a modern formatting system.
- Unlike the XA10 (which rounded non-integer framerates in its published specs and menus), at least the Canon website specs now indicate framerates of the XA20 and XA25 as non-integers. I hope that this is an indication of how they appear in the camera menus.
As you can tell, there is much more to tell and explain, thus the upcoming Canon answers Tépper’s 14 questions on XA10 and XA20 (or similar, if they only answer some of the questions).
Other improvements of the XA20 and XA25 compared with the XA10?
Here are some improvements I see at first glance. However, I do hope to do a full review of at least one of these cameras if Canon permits it.
- Larger 1/2.84“ sensor (as opposed to 1/3” with the XA10)
- Better lens 26.8mm–576mm (35mm equivalent), and a minimum object distance of 60cm (23.6 inches), as opposed to 30.4–305mm (35mm equivalent) with the XA10
- Better onboard monitor: OLED 3.5″ with a published contrast ratio of 10,000:1
- Dual-band WiFi and FTP capabilities
- WiFi remote control of key camera controls, such as recording start/stop and zoom (in three different speeds), exposure functions (white balance, color temperature, iris, shutter speed, gain, exposure and more) and focus settings via a tablet or smartphone
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My most recent ebook is available in two languages. The format is Kindle, but even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can read Kindle books on many other devices using a free Kindle app. That includes iPad, iPhone, Android phones, Android tablets, Mac computers, Windows computers, some Blackberry phones and Windows 7 phones.
In English, it is currently available in the following Amazon stores, depending upon your region:
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En castellano, está disponible actualmente en las siguientes tiendas Amazon, según tu región:
- Amazon.com (todas las Américas y la República de la India)
- Amazon.co.jp (Japón)
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- Amazon.de (Alemania)
- Amazon.es (España)
- Amazon.fr (Francia)
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Si vas a comprar un libro Kindle como regalo, debes hacerlo vía la tienda panamericana de Amazon (la primera de la lista) sin importar donde vivas tú o donde viva la persona que recibirá el regalo.
Allan Tépper’s books, consulting, articles, seminars & audio programs
Contact Allan Tépper for consulting, or find a full listing of his books, articles and upcoming seminars and webinars at AllanTepper.com. Listen to his TecnoTur program, which is now available both in Castilian (aka “Spanish”) and in English, free of charge. Search for TecnoTur in iTunes or visit TecnoTur.us for more information.
Disclosure, to comply with the FTC’s rules
No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs.
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