Canon XA15 (XA 15, XA/15, XA-15) Compact Full HD Camcorder
A compact, professional Full HD camcorder with a powerful 20x optical zoom and wide dynamic range
This compact, lightweight camcorder is small enough to stow away yet agile and powerful to record news events with versatility thanks to a high quality HD CMOS Pro sensor, a superb 20x optical zoom with high zoom ratio and professional interfaces for connectivity into existing workflows.
The XA15 Professional Camcorder features a Genuine Canon 20x HD Zoom Lens that provides a highly versatile zoom range with 35mm equivalent of 26.8–576mm, and a minimum object distance of just 23.6 inches (60cm) to help capture newsworthy recordings near and far. The impressive image quality is enhanced by an 8-blade Circular Aperture design, which helps to avoid the “starburst” effect of point light sources in non-circular aperture designs. Out-of-focus areas are smooth, natural and appealing. An endless-type focus and zoom control includes user-programmable direction and sensitivity modes. Zoom speed can be set to either a variable or constant (with 16 levels) speed setting, with Fast, Normal or Slow zoom speed levels.
Advanced HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor with Impressive Low-light Performance
For incredibly sharp and detailed high-definition video recording, the XA15 Professional Camcorder features a 1/2.84-inch, 2.91 Megapixel HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor that captures approximately 2136x1362 pixels. Thanks to the sensor's high sensitivity, the XA15 helps provide vivid, accurate recording through an excellent signal-to-noise ratio.
Superb Low-light Performance
Featuring a low-luminance noise rating of +3 dB, the XA15 Professional Camcorder is able to capture clear, sharp images with incredible detail even in low light.
Full HD 1920x1080 Recording Capabilities
Multiple recording modes, resolutions and frame rates make the XA15 Professional Camcorder creatively flexible and adaptable to virtually any news-gathering environment. It can record in Full HD resolution in both AVCHD and MP4 recording codecs, at multiple bit rates, and even simultaneously
Simultaneous HD- and Web-version Dual Recording
Dual Recording offers format choices that are useful for various post-capture options. The DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor and dual SD card slots enable simultaneous recording in AVCHD format and web-ready MP4 format, as well as MP4 at different bit rates.
Native 24p Recording
A must for serious documentary work, Native 24p matches the frame rate of a traditional film camera, giving the same cadence and temporal motion for "film-like" quality.
The XA15 Professional Camcorder amplifies convenience with an HD/SD-SDI terminal, whether streaming directly to a broadcast van or connecting to a recorder to make high-quality video recordings for archiving purposes. Designed for professional broadcast use, HD/SD-SDI output provides an uncompressed signal at a 1920x1080 resolution with 4:2:2 color sampling and embedded audio and time code.
Video Standard: SMPTE 292M (1080i/720p)
Embedded Audio Standard: SMPTE 299M
Time Code Standard: SMPTE 12M
Video Standard: SMPTE 259M (480i)
Embedded Audio Standard: SMPTE 272M
Time Code Standard: SMPTE 12M
Outstanding Image Reproduction
The XA15 Professional Camcorder represents Canon's Full HD System, delivering truly excellent image quality and reproduction for most any news-gathering application. With its 20x Optical Zoom HD Video lens, its HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor and the powerful DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor working together to capture and process the images at hand, the XA15 is positioned to deliver HD video that is nothing short of stunning.
3.0-inch LCD Capacitive Touchscreen with Tiltable Electronic Viewfinder
The 3.0-inch 460,000 dot LCD display provides vivid colors and high contrast. A wide-view angle (over 80° at all angles) aids in composition versatility, and regular chromaticity adjustments, which are prompted by the camcorder, help ensure correct brightness and faithful color reproduction.
The 0.24-inch tilt-type color electronic viewfinder on the XA15 Professional Camcorder has 100% field of view, and 1.56 million dots of resolution help ensure critical focus adjustment, with peaking applied if necessary. A joystick located to the right of the viewfinder, where the thumb rests, enables control of camera settings on the viewscreen without having to use touch panel controls.
Dual SD Card Slots
The XA15 Professional Camcorder is compatible with universal SDHC and SDXC memory cards, which provide super-high capacity and ultra-fast data transfer.
When AVCHD/MP4 recording has continued for 12 hours, it will automatically stop.
A variable bit rate is applicable in each case.
Double-slot SD Card Recording for Instant Backup
For safety and convenience, double-slot recording allows you to record simultaneously to each of the two SD memory card slots, providing an instant backup for your footage.
Relay Recording for Continuous, Long-run Recording
With Relay Recording, the XA15 Professional Camcorder automatically switches video recording from one SD memory card to the other when the first memory card becomes full.
Wide DR Gamma (600%)
For natural and realistic-looking image capture that faithfully represents the scene at hand, the XA15 Professional Camcorder features a Wide DR Gamma mode. By suppressing overexposure in high brightness areas of the composition, this mode helps achieve a wide dynamic range of 600% to produce seamless tone gradations, resulting in smooth detail, accurate color and virtually no blown-out highlights.
Highlight Priority Mode with View Assist Function
To capture highly saturated, realistic colors and to convey gradation characteristics as perceived by the eye, the XA15 Professional Camcorder has a Highlight Priority mode that achieves effects similar to HDR modes in other camcorders. By reducing the mid- to high-brightness compression of the standard gamma mode, the Highlight Priority mode helps to prevent loss of detail in high brightness areas. Designed for display on a bright LCD TV, videos captured in Highlight Priority mode should be shown at a high brightness setting to help ensure accurate portrayal of the effect.
When using the XA15 Professional Camcorder in Highlight Priority mode, the View Assist function increases brightness and medium tone gamma in the camera's viewfinder or LCD panel. This allows images to be displayed with the brightness and gradation with which they are being recorded or reviewed, helping to ensure the subjects look natural and realistic.
The XA15 Professional Camcorder offers a powerful optical image stabilization system suited to help reduce image blur in a wide variety of shooting situations. The different image stabilization options can be selected manually, or Intelligent IS can use an automatic detection system to identify the proper stabilization mode for the situation. Featured on the XA15 is Dynamic Mode, which provides electronic correction of roll and tilt.
Used for image stabilization at the wide end, Dynamic IS builds on translational (up-down/left-right) stabilization, adding roll axis correction, horizontal roll correction and vertical roll correction for five-axis correction. Image distortion is substantially reduced, even when shooting while in motion.
Macro IS corrects angular and shift-type shake in wide-angle shots.
Used for image stabilization in telephoto shooting, Powered IS corrects for low-frequency camcorder shake.
* During Intelligent IS (AUTO mode), Powered IS can be set to ON or OFF.
Full Manual Control
Custom Key and Dial
A Custom Key and Dial feature allows you to assign functions to an easily accessible key and adjust the settings with a control dial. The functions include:
Tv/Av: Use the dial to adjust shutter speed (Tv mode) or aperture (Av mode), as needed. In this mode the key has no effect.
Manual exposure: When manual control is selected, the dial can adjust aperture, shutter speed or gain. Select items to adjust, such as aperture or other settings, with the key.
Exposure Lock can be set on or off as can the AGC Limit.
With the Level Marker feature, it's easy to keep the camcorder level for more accurate framing. The Grid Marker provides a reference grid in your viewfinder. Depending on the background color of your shot, you can choose between two different colors (white or gray) for better viewing contrast.
Gain may be manually set from 0 dB to 24 dB in 1 dB increments. Additionally, Auto Gain Control Limit allows you to set the maximum gain limit for the image sensor's sensitivity. With this function, brightness and noise can be balanced as required, and image quality can be maximized in low-light situations.
Power zoom is available in Variable and Constant settings in 3 modes: Fast (approx. 1.9–60 seconds), Normal (approx. 2.5–180 seconds) and Slow (approx. 4.0–285 seconds). To provide added control, there are 16 predefined steps in Constant mode.
Ergonomic, Portable Design
Weighing less than three pounds including the detachable handle, battery and lens hood – and less than two pounds without – the XA15 Professional Camcorder is ideal for high-action shoots when both speed and mobility are essential, and where keeping a low profile is an added benefit. Though small in size, this camcorder sacrifices nothing when it comes to professional functionality. It features a “seesaw” style zoom lever, manual focus/zoom ring and joystick for easy control and an electronic viewfinder that can tilt up to 45° for low-angle shooting. It also has five Assign Buttons to help it fit to your operational needs.
Two Phantom-powered XLR Audio Inputs with Manual Gain Control
A stereo microphone is incorporated into the XA15 Professional Camcorder, and two XLR audio inputs with +48 V phantom power are on the detachable handle unit. The built-in microphone provides outstanding audio in fast-paced situations while the XLR inputs provide connectivity to external microphones and other professional audio devices. If you choose, the built-in microphone and XLR input can be used simultaneously.
Audio is recorded in 16-bit PCM format at 48 kHz for amazing quality and fidelity. And both the built-in microphone and XLR inputs have the option for automatic or full manual gain control. To prevent variations in the recorded audio level, the dial can also be locked.
The XA15 also includes a 3.5mm headphone terminal with 16 volume settings for accurate audio monitoring.
Ultra-compact with Detachable Handle
A detachable handle provides the user with expanded audio performance and added flexibility. Removing the handle allows the camcorder to be made more compact for convenient storage when travelling. Included on the handle are the following terminals, controls and monitors:
Two built-in XLR audio input terminals with phantom power
Accessory shoe (cold)
External microphone holder
Manual audio level control
Zoom control and record start/stop button
High Definition Peaking for Focus Assist
To enhance focusing capability, the XA15 Professional Camcorder provides Focus Assist. It includes enlargement, which helps in capturing your subject in razor-sharp focus. It works by providing a 2x magnification of your subject, which is automatically cancelled when you start recording. Also included is color peaking, which shows the shooting object's focused areas in actual colors.
Assignable Buttons for Custom Shooting
The XA15 Professional Camcorder is equipped with five assignable buttons so that the camcorder can be tailored to the specific preferences or needs of the user.
Button 1 is preset as AF/MF.
Button 2 is preset as Pre REC.
Button 3 has no preset.
Button 4 has no preset.
Button 5 is preset as Rec Review.
Infrared Shooting Mode for Extreme Low-light Conditions
The XA15 Professional Camcorder features an Infrared Mode allowing the capture of video in conditions with little to no ambient light. Compared to the XA25 and XA20, the XA15 can shoot at brightness levels that are approximately 1.4 times more sensitive, and allows low-light capture by removing the infrared cutoff filter from the optical path. Its specially designed lens coating allows the infrared light to pass through to the image sensor. Additionally, the detachable handle of the XA15 features an infrared emitter with a diffuser to shoot appealing infrared imagery even in complete darkness. For evening camera crews or nature documentary makers, the benefits of a compact, high-performance camcorder for shooting in such conditions are obvious. Without the need to add lights, the shooter can save time on set-up, or blend into the background to reduce their chance of being seen by the subject. Also, the XA15 gives the option of recording in white or green mode.
Connectivity to Various Inputs and Outputs
Not only does the XA15 Professional Camcorder provide the user with incredible control over the image, it also provides immense creative freedom when it comes to inputs and outputs, including:
HD/SD-SDI Output (see dedicated section for more details)
HDMI Output (HDMI mini connector, time code can be superimposed)
Composite Video Output (3.5mm)
USB Hi-Speed Terminal
(2) XLR Audio Input (when handle is attached) (See audio section for more details)
Microphone Input (3.5mm) (See audio section for more details)
Headphone Jack (3.5mm) (See audio section for more details)
Accessory Shoe (when handle is attached)
Advanced Display Features: Zebra, Color Bars and Test Tone
Color bars and test tone can be selected and recorded. The color bars comply with the SMPTE standard. -12 dB, -18 dB or -20 dB can be selected as the test tone.
Enhanced zebra pattern (70% or 100%) indicates “blown out” or high brightness areas to help you set the proper exposure.
The white balance control has six available presets selectable through a variety of day and artificial light conditions (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H and Tungsten), as well as two manual white balance settings. Color temperature may also be manually set from 2,000K to 15,000K in 100K increments for more precise adjustment.
Impressive Slow and Fast Motion, including Interval Recording from 2x to 1200x
Slow and Fast Motion Modes allow the XA15 Professional Camcorder to record a different frame rate than the playback frame rate (only in MP4 recording modes), for a fast or slow motion effect during playback. Since the camera is recording real frames and modifying the playback rate, there is virtually no quality loss and maximum image quality is maintained. Additionally, interval recording allows the user to record frames at specified intervals, providing time-lapse recording of up to 1200x and slow motion down to 0.4x of the original speed.
IN THE BOX:
XA15Lens Hood (with Lens Barrier)
Battery Pack BP-820C
ompact Power Adapter CA-570
Handle Unit HDU-1
Main Unit Specs
Standard Definition or
High Definition High Definition
Power Supply (Rated) 7.4V DC (Battery Pack), 8.4V DC (DC IN)
Television System NTSC
Video Recording System Compression: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
File Format: AVCHD Ver 2.0 Compliant (AVCHD Progressive), MP4
Audio Recording System
AVCHD: Linear PCM (2ch)* / Dolby Digital (2ch)
MP4: MPEG-2 AAC-LC (2ch)
* 28 Mbps or 24 Mbps video recording modes only; 16-bit resolution.
Image Sensor 1/2.84-inch CMOS, RGB Primary Color Filter
Total Pixels Approx. 3.09 megapixels (2208 x 1398)
Effective Pixels Approx. 2.91 megapixels (2136 x 1362)
Zoom Ratio: 20x Optical / 400x Digital
Focal Length: 3.67–73.4mm (35mm equivalent: 26.8–576mm with Standard IS/IS Off, 28.8–576mm
with Dynamic IS)
Zoom Speed: Variable speed / Constant speed (16 levels); Fast, Normal or Slow
Max. F/Stop: f/1.8–2.8
Hybrid AF (TTL-video signal detection system and external phase difference metering system),
Normal AF (TTL-video signal selection system), Face Only AF, Manual Focus
Hybrid AF Controls: Instant AF, Medium AF
Manual Exposure Available
Auto Mode: Smart Auto
Manual Mode: P, Tv, Av, M (Manual Exposure), SCN (Portrait, Sports, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Night, Low Light,
Cinema Mode: P, Tv, Av, M
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/2000 sec.
Distance 20mm (at wide end), 60cm (from lens front) across zooming range
White Balance Auto, Preset (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent H, Fluorescent), Color Temperature Settings
(2,000–15,000K), Set (1/2)
Frame Rate AVCHD: 60p, 60i, PF29.97, 24p
MP4: 60p, 30p, 24p
Minimum Illumination P Mode: Approx. 1.2 lux (shutter speed 1/30 sec., with auto slow shutter on)
Low Light Mode: Approx. 0.1 lux (shutter speed 1/2 sec.)
Optical system (lens shift) + electronic stabilization
Control Modes: Dynamic IS, Powered IS*, Macro IS, Tripod Mode
IS Modes other than Intelligent IS: Standard IS, IS Off
* During Intelligent IS (Auto Mode), Powered IS can be set to On or Off.
Filter Diameter 58mm
Viewfinder 0.24-inch TFT wide color LCD screen, approx. 1.56 million dots, 100% field of view
LCD Touch Panel 3.0-inch LCD panel with AR surface treatment, approx. 460,000 dots, 100% field of view
Microphone Stereo (using electret condenser microphone)
Recording Media 2 SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slots
USB Terminal mini-B receptacle and Hi-Speed USB supported (output only)
Accessory Shoe Cold shoe
Video Terminal 3.5mm diameter 4-pole mini-jack (video/audio output only)
HDMI Terminal HDMI™ mini connector
Microphone Terminal 3.5mm diameter stereo mini-jack, MIC/LINE switching possible
AV Mini Terminal/
Headphone Terminal 3.5mm stereo mini-jack
Remote Control Terminal 2.5mm stereo mini jack (input only)
HD/SD-SDI Terminal BNC jack (output only)
Handle Unit Terminals Input Terminal: XLR 3 pin-jacks (2 systems), MIC/LINE switch possible (input only)
Shoe Terminal: Cold shoe
For Performance: Approx. 0–40°C, 85% (relative humidity)
For Operation: Approx. -5–45°C, 60% (relative humidity)
Approx. 4.3 x 3.3 x 7.2 in. / 109 x 84 x 182mm (excluding lens hood, mic holder unit and handle unit)
Approx. 4.5 x 3.3 x 9.1 in. / 115 x 84 x 231mm (including lens hood; excluding mic holder unit and handle unit)
Approx. 5.2 x 7.1 x 9.1 in. / 131 x 180 x 231mm (including lens hood, mic holder unit and handle unit)
All dimensions exclude the grip belt.
Approx. 1.7 lbs. / 750g (body only)
Approx. 2.5 lbs. / 1140g (includes lens hood, mic holder unit, handle unit, Battery Pack BP-820
and 1 memory card)
Grip belt included for all values