Now that Canon has released a few other video cameras, both marketed as B-cams for higher end cinema productions, and A-cams for everyday video shooters, we figured we would do a writeup on the XC10 and XC15, our experiences, and whether these cameras are still recommended today.
And in the process, we'll share a few thoughts on specs vs real-world experiences in the camera world, as well as our perspective on today's multimedia journalists and their gear needs.. The XC10 is neither a traditional camcorder (like the Canon XA30), nor is it a professional cinema camera like the Canon C100. If you're curious, here's Canon's page on the XC10 with their careful choice of words for the description.We have been giving multiple day trainings to radio and TV journalists and producers for a few years now, and we are always looking for a camera that doesn't get in the way of teaching.
Training yourself to use the touchscreen means you’re using the camera like a smartphone and not like a camera.
But if you’re a multimedia journalist, the visuals are not enough to tell your story.Audio is equally important, and this is one of the aspects of DSLRs that have always been frustrating (and why the C100 is a much preferred upgrade for many former DSLR shooters).But for radio reporters, multimedia journalists, marketing staff, or anyone who wants to get into video - because every digital staffer on the planet is being told “we need to do video” - the C100 is still a little intimidating. For many digital managers who are pushing their staff to do video, they want to buy one-size-fits-all kind of gear. We know, we know, that’s not practical, and you still need a lot of support equipment and accessories, but that’s not what bosses want to hear. But turns out, in reality the Sony RX10 II is far from being the simple tool to get the job done that we wanted.They want a hard budget, they want to press “buy,” and then bring in a couple trainers (like us) to come in for a day or two and whammo, their staff is making web videos. We first bought a Sony RX10 II for just this reason. Going through the infamous Sony menus alone was enough to lose our audience.We should be able to use professional shotgun microphones, and wired lavaliere microphones, with locking XLR inputs on the camera.
Knowing that our training audience would ask about XLR is why we initially went with the Sony RX10 as a training camera for multimedia producers.The XC10 recorded the audio in a stereo track, which allowed us to split it in post.But the reality is, many multimedia journalists look at one 3.5mm mic input on a camera and think, well, that’s not professional. We shouldn’t have to use workarounds for audio with a camera that is meant for multimedia video production.Being able to plug in both an on-camera shotgun, as well as a wireless or wired LAV, is not a tall order.Most shoots require a mix of B-roll audio and subject interview audio.(Later we found out the XLR-K2M had intermittent audio issues, however, so it’s not an easy solution after all).