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Thread: Canon XF100 or XA20? (or something else)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    Default Canon XF100 or XA20? (or something else)

    It's about time I bought an HD camera. I need a cemera that I can grab and shoot. Fiddling around adding and XLR pre-amp (Juiced Link/Beachtek) is fine when I have a planned shot, but it's so much handier to have the XLRs built in (not having to worry about yet another battery and finding the little 3.5mm jack cable).
    Similary, whilst I really like the results some people can get from DSLRs, the setting up, lack of on-board audio etc rather rules out anything like that. Also I'm occasionally called upon to shoot shows so something which needs rebooting every few minutes isn't really an option.
    I suppose it's fair to say my camerawork is a bit more ENG than DoP.
    Any creativity I have tends to happen in front of the camera or in the edit.

    So, I want a good all round camera - a jack of all trades master of none.

    I've always been a fan of Panasonic, but the only thing they have in my sort of price range is the AC90 which only has 1/4in sensors.

    So we're really down to the XF100 vs the XA20

    Advantages of the XA20:
    1. Remove the handle and look less conspicuous when needed
    2. More current technology
    3. 20x Zoom (this is very useful)
    4. Better LCD screen

    Advantage of XF100
    1. 50Mbps 4:2:2 recording format (I'm not kidding myself I'm going to be providing stuff for broadcast, but this gives me more latitude as far as grading goes, right?)
    2. It feels a bit more solidly built

    I can get either new for a very similar price (1700-1800 inc VAT)

    Any thoughts? Experiences. All advice appreciated.

  2. #2


    If it's really just between these two then the XF100 would be my choice. I haven't used either of these cameras but the spec. is so much better on the XF100. Better manual controls, better codec is worth the money in my opinion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    I've never held the XF100

    The XA20 is a nice camera -- for a professional video camera it is small, lightweight and easy to use

    Nonetheless, if the price is really that close, then the XF100 is probably a better buy

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