Want to make a movie? Want to do it on the cheap? Want it to look great? Then you might be in the market for Canon’s new 4K video camera.
The Canon XC10 is a compact (roughly DSLR-sized) and, by professional standards, affordable (US$2000) camcorder capable of capturing 12MP stills and 3840 x 2160 resolution, high bit-rate 4K video footage. It’s also able to record 1080p full HD content, extract 8MP stills from 4K footage and record footage in a variety of slow and fast motion frame rates. Images and video are captured by a 1in CMOS sensor.
There’s no interchangeable lens, which might sound surprising, but Canon has instead fitted it with a versatile, specially developed 10x optical zoom lens offering a 35mm equivalent range of 27.3mm to 273mm. There’s optical image stabilisation, naturally. Images can be framed via the vari-angle LCD touchscreen or the included optical loupe viewfinder. The handgrip on the right side is particularly noteworthy, as it rotates forward and back to allow the user to comfortably hold the XC10 at a variety of otherwise awkward angles.
On paper, it looks a lot like a consumer camera dressed up for professional work – there’s even Wi-Fi allowing remote control of its functions from your phone, tablet or web browser – and we do wonder if it’ll deliver markedly better 4K performance than, say, the Panasonic Lumix GH4, which is cheaper and supports a wide number of different lenses.
We won’t have to wait too long to find out, it seems: Canon says the XC10 will go on sale from June 2015.