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Camera Review: Canon XC10 4K Camcorder

High-Quality Video and a Low Price Point Make a Compelling Option for New-to-4K Shooters

By Marc Franklin


The Canon XC10 4K camcorder was announced at NAB 2015 and was released the following September. It is a relatively low-cost camera that is more run-and-gun style than its big brother, the C300 Mk II. Canon also envisioned it as a “companion camcorder” for the C300 Mk II — for a second angle, or when you need to put a 4K camera in harms way but don’t want to risk your A camera or sell your car or get a second mortgage for another C300 Mk II.

The result is the XC10. At first glance, it looks like a consumer still camera, which can be beneficial if you want to blend in.

What you get in the box is a power supply, battery, strap, lens shade, 64 GB CFast card, CFast card reader, and a snap-on eyepiece for use on sunny days. There is no external charger. The power supply plugs into the camera to power it or charge the battery, but it can’t do both at the same time. The XC10 does use the same battery as Canon’s DSLRs, so a separate charger is inexpensive.

The XC10 shoots 4K and 1080p HD video and 12 MP stills. You choose the video mode in the extensive menu system, but you switch to still mode on a rotary switch that surrounds the record button. 4K video is recorded to the CFast cards and HD video and stills are recorded to SDHC/SDXC cards. You cannot record HD to the CFast or 4K to the SD card, and you can’t record to both at the same time. I’d like the option to record 4K and an HD backup to the SD at the same time, but you can’t. Your best option would be to hook up a third-party recorder to the HDMI 1.4 port and capture that output. Depending on how many stills you shoot on the same SD card, you will get 1 hr and 38 min of 1080/60p on a 32 GB card. A 64 GB CFast card will give you 28 minutes of 4K video.


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