For those of you looking for a new video camera for next season the Canon XA10 from Campbell Camera's is one of the most advanced compact video cameras on the market today. Small in size, but very big on features. This compact camera has all the bells and whistles. But it is still very user friendly, for guys like myself who aren’t video experts. Some of the advanced features actually make it easier for the novice videographer. I have used mine the whole 2011 hunting season and will now give you my personal review. I just know a lot of you have that Christmas bonus burning a hole in your pocket. This would be money well spent.
A few controls are located under the flip out viewfinder.
There is not much this little camera can't do.
My camera complete with the 3rd Arm Tree Arm.
There are many things I like about the XA10, but the number one reason I decided on this camera is its size. Since I do all of my own filming and hunt in very hilly terrain, I need a small lightweight camera, one that fits in a small pack or carrying bag and doesn’t weigh a ton. The XA10 is just that, not that much bigger than a point and shoot digital camera. I carry all my camera gear in the Campbell Camera’s small carry bag.
Not that much bigger than my Android.
Two other really neat features on this camera are the Infrared Mode and the Touch Focus feature. The IR mode allows for filming in complete darkness. Much like the IR trail cameras, this produces a black and white video with very good picture quality. I find this most useful when doing interviews in the stand. I can do an interview either before the hunt or after while still in the stand. Sometimes I don’t want to be talking after sunrise or need to wait till after sunset if there are deer near my stand. The Touch Focus mode is great for those of us that self film our hunts. Once you have your deer in your view finder you simply touch the deer on the viewfinder screen and the touch focus locks in on the deer. Even if the deer moves or you move the camera, the camera stays focused on the subject. This prevents the deer from becoming blurry if it walks behind a tree or a branch gets between the camera and the deer. I totally love this feature when self filming.
Just touch the deer on the screen and the touch focus keeps it in focus.
The XA10 has a 64GB internal flash drive which can hold 6 hours of video when set on the highest quality setting and also comes with 2 SD card slots for additional recording time or for simultaneous backup recording. This means no fumbling with changing tapes or worries about running out of tape in the middle of your hunt. The SD cards really make it simple to download the video to a computer for viewing or editing. Just pop the card in the reader slot and away you go.
Another great feature is the lowlight capabilities of the XA10. This camera can film right up to the end of legal shooting light as long as you don’t have to zoom in too much. I was completely surprised at how little light is actually needed to get usable video with this camera.
I don’t have enough time or space to tell you about everything this compact camera can do. The truth is I’m still learning myself. What I have learned is this camera is very easy to use, with most of the controls on the touch screen.You can be as basic as you want be or explore all of the features and make some amazing video with this outfit. I plan on doing more research myself and adding more to my videos next season.
Most of the options are controlled right on the viewfinder screen.
The handle houses the sound level controls.
Even though the XA10 only has a 10 optical zoom, I have been able to use the digital zoom with very good results. As long as I have a steady rest I have no problem zooming in to 60-80x.
If you would like to see some of the video I’ve shot using the XA10, click on this link.
You can also get more info on the XA10 and ordering info from Campbell Camera’s here.