New Canon camcorder adds upgrades to shooting 4K UHD, audio options and resolution


Canon has just added to its camcorder line-up with the announcement of the XC15 model, which is an upgrade on its current XC10 camera. But how does the XC15 differ from the XC10 and what are the key new features of the newest Canon camcorder?

Additional 24p for 4K UHD shooting
Like the XC10 the palm-sized XC15 is capable of shooting UHD (3840×2160) 4K 4:2:2 footage at 25p but it now also offers 24p shooting – this will appeal to filmmakers who want to match footage from other cinema cameras for a smooth and consistent workflow. This benefit is also strengthened by the ability to add a ‘Look’ to your footage via the XC15’s settings.

Audio inputs
Other key improvements include the addition of the MA-400 microphone adapter with dual XLR inputs that accept balanced and unbalanced mics and fine level audio inputs for quality audio capture. In-camera audio capture is also possible via a built-in stereo mic that records 48Khz, 16-bit, two-channel audio.

XC15 rear
Resolution & handling

There’s also a slight improvement in resolution over the XC10 with 1700 lines of horizontal 4K resolution versus 1600 on the XC10 and 900 lines of Full HD resolution against the XC10’s 800 lines. Aside from that there is a minimal difference in size and weight with the XC15 being very slightly bigger and weighing 35 grams more at 955g. Overall, it’s fair to say the upgrades will mainly cater for a pro filmmaking audience.

Recording & frame rates
The XC15 is capable of recording up to 25 minutes of UHD 4K footage at 305Mbps to an internal 64gigabyte CFast 2.0 card or 170 minutes of Full HD footage at 50Mbps to 64gigabyte SD cards. The camera’s Full HD 1920×1080 recording choices are 50p at 50Mbps and 50i, 25p or 24p at 35Mbps, whilst 720p recording is possible at 50p or 100p frame rates at 35Mbps.

XC15 top

Wide dynamic range options
It also features the Canon Log capability first seen in Canon’s digital cinema cameras and, like the EOS C500, it provides 12 stops (800%) of dynamic range for greater flexibility in post-production. A Wide DR Gamma option can achieve a wide dynamic range of 800% but does not require post-production processing – ideal for when a simple and quick workflow is required.

ISO flexibility
The ISO range extends from 100 up to 20,000 to deliver the potential for low-light shooting but it’s worth noting that if Log or Wide DR settings are selected the minimum speed is ISO 500. A built-in ND filter can be selected for shooting in bright situations.

Creative choices
For multimedia productions or simply to source stills there is also the option to extract 8.29 megapixel stills directly from 4K UHD footage, via the camera’s Still Mode. Slow or Fast motion shooting is also available from 1/4x to 1200x normal speed at 25p.

XC15 side

Sensor & 10x zoom lens
As with the XC10 the XC15 includes a 1.0 Type CMOS sensor and a Canon DIGIC DV5 image processor, which are said to provide “high quality, low noise 4K video with a shallow depth-of-field”. Also, like the XC10, the XC15 has a built-in 10x 8.9-89mm (27.3-273mm, 35mm equiv.) optical zoom lens which includes a choice of image stabilisation modes for shooting video – Dynamic, Standard and Powered.

Touch screen LCD & Wi-Fi
The XC15 features a built-in 3″/7.66cm vari-angle touch screen LCD panel that’s hinged for viewing from different angles when shooting. The panel displays a Waveform Monitor, a View Assist function, Focus Assist, Peaking, Zebra and grid markers. The camcorder also has built-in dual band Wi-Fi for Live View and can be remotely controlled through a browser or a smart device.

Find out more…
News of the XC15 comes just one week after the announcement of the long-waited EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR – to find out more about the 5D Mark IV just click here.