The XA20 is a compact, “run-and-gun” HD camcorder with an impressive optical performance from a powerful new Genuine Canon 20x HD Video Lens with a new 8-Blade Circular Aperture, capable of focusing down to just 23.6 inches (60cm). Other features include a 3.5-inch OLED Touch Panel Display with the equivalent of 1.23 million dots of resolution, tiltable electronic viewfinder, multiple HD/SD recording rates – including 24p for a “cinematic” look – together with a choice of industry-standard MP4 (up to 35 Mbps) and AVCHD (up to 28 Mbps) codecs. The high image quality and recording versatility make the XA20 ideal for independent and documentary filmmaking, as well as event videography and educational institutions.
In addition to reducing horizontal and vertical shaking, five-axis SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization eliminates rolling and other artifacts, for sharper images no matter how the camcorder is moved. A new automatic correction circuit can substantially reduce image distortion, thereby producing better-looking videos.
A detachable handle offers increased control functionality, with a built-in microphone holder and XLR-format audio inputs. Infrared shooting with little to zero ambient light offers additional flexibility during, for example, surveillance and wildlife projects; the detachable handle also includes an IR light.
Dual-band, built-in Wi-Fi® technology allows easy FTP file transfer and upload to the internet. And intelligent lithium batteries report remaining power and battery-wear levels in one-minute increments to the camcorder, thereby taking the guesswork out of battery management.
Genuine Canon 20x High Definition Optical Zoom Lens
The XA20 features a Genuine Canon 20x HD Zoom Lens that provides a highly versatile zoom range with 35mm equivalent of 26.8mm–576mm, and a minimum object distance of just 23.6 inches (60cm). The impressive image quality is enhanced by a new 8-Blade Circular Aperture design, which avoids the “starburst” effect of point light sources in non-circular aperture designs. Out of focus areas are smoother, more natural and more appealing. An endless-type focus and zoom control includes user-programmable direction and sensitivity modes. Zoom speed can be set to variable, constant (with 16 levels), Fast, Normal or Slow.
Full HD 1920x1080 Recording Capabilities
Multiple recording modes, resolutions and frame rates make the XA20 Professional Camcorder creatively flexible and adaptable to virtually any production environment. It can record in Full HD resolution in both MP4 and AVCHD Progressive recording codecs, at multiple bit rates, and even simultaneously.
|Recording Format ||Bit Rate ||Resolution ||Frame Rate |
|AVCHD ||28 Mbps (59.94P) ||1920 x 1080 ||59.94P*1 |
|24 Mbps ||1920 x 1080 ||59.94i/PF29.97/ 23.98P*1 |
|17 Mbps ||1920 x 1080 ||59.94i/PF29.97/ 23.98P*1 |
|5 Mbps ||1440 x 1080 ||59.94i/PF29.97/ 23.98P*1 |
|MP4 ||35 Mbps (59.94P) ||1920 x 1080 ||59.94P |
|24 Mbps ||1920 x 1080 ||29.97P/23.98P*2 |
|17 Mbps ||1920 x 1080 ||29.97P/23.98P*2 |
|4 Mbps ||1280 x 720 ||29.97P/23.98P*2 |
|3 Mbps ||640 x 360 ||29.97P/23.98P*2 |
*1 In AUTO mode: 59.94i
*2 In AUTO mode: 29.97P only
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 and MP4 at different bit rates.
|Main Slot ||Secondary Slot (MP4 Recording) |
|Bit Rate (size) ||Frame Rate |
|AVCHD ||28 Mbps (59.94P) || ||NOT POSSIBLE |
|24 Mbps (59.94i/PF29.97/23.98P) ||» ||4 Mbps (1280x720) |
3 Mbps (640x360)
|29.97P / 23.98P *1 |
|17 Mbps (59.94i/PF29.97/23.98P) |
|5 Mbps (59.94i/PF29.97/23.98P) |
|MP4 ||35 Mbps (59.94P) || ||NOT POSSIBLE |
|24 Mbps (29.97P/23.98P) ||» ||4 Mbps (1280x720) |
3 Mbps (640x360)
|29.97P / 23.98P *1 |
|17 Mbps (29.97P/23.98P) |
|4 Mbps (29.97P/23.98P) |
|3 Mbps (29.97P/23.98P) || ||3 Mbps (29.97P/23.98P) |
*1 29.97P recording is performed when the format for the card in the main slot is 59.94i, PF29.97 or 29.97P; 23.98P recording is performed when it is 23.98P.
Native 24p Recording
A must for serious filmmaking work, Native 24p matches the frame rate of a traditional film camera, giving the same cadence and temporal motion for “film-like” quality.
Slow- and Fast-Motion Recording
Slow and Fast Motion Modes allow the XA20 to record a different frame rate than the playback frame rate (only in MP4 recording modes), resulting in either 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. Fast motion of up to 250% of the original speed and slow motion down to 40% of the original speed are possible.
|Main Slot ||Playback Frame Rate |
|1920 x 1080 |
|59.94P (35 Mbps) ||29.97P (24 Mbps/17 Mbps) ||23.98P (24 Mbps/17 Mbps) |
|Recorded Frame Rate ||23.98P ||250% ||125% ||100% |
|29.97P ||200% ||100% ||80% |
|59.94P ||100% ||50% ||40% |
Built-in Wi-Fi® Technology with FTP Transfer Capability
The XA20 features built-in dual-band (5 GHz/2.4 GHz) Wi-Fi® technology, enabling FTP file transfer to Cloud-based servers for convenient back ups, or for situations where a relay station, such as a news truck, is unavailable. The dual bands help ensure that data can be sent even in areas with increased signal interference. It is also possible to connect to compatible networks, wireless hotspots and iOS® mobile devices using the free Canon Movie Uploader app*, or play back video on the camcorders’ memory cards to Wi-Fi®-enabled TVs and computers.
Wi-Fi® technology also allows remote control of key camcorder controls, such as recording start/stop and zoom (in three different speeds), exposure functions (white balance, color temperature, iris, shutter speed, gain, exposure and more) and focus settings via a tablet or smartphone. The ability to control the camera remotely, such as when using a camera crane, improves mobility in various shooting environments.
* This software enables you to upload images to social network sites. Before uploading images, please be aware that image files may contain privacy related information such as people and places. If necessary, please delete such information. Canon does not obtain, collect or use such images or any information included in such images through this software. Compatible with iOS version 5/6 or later for select devices. MP4 60p and AVCHD recordings are not supported for this function.
Superb Image Reproduction
New Full HD 1920x1080 HD CMOS Imaging Sensor
The XA20 Professional Camcorder features a new 1/2.84-inch HD CMOS Image Sensor. The larger sensor area and 2.91 Megapixels answer the demands of the new, more powerful lens. Both wide-angle and zoom shots deliver wide dynamic range and impressive tonal reproduction. In addition, the large size of the individual pixels enable a minimum subject illumination of 1.2 lux, making the XA20 excellent for shooting in challenging low-light conditions.
DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor
The DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor featured on the XA20 is a high-speed engine that works in concert with the HD CMOS Image Sensor to provide images with low noise and great depth. It also powers the new Dynamic Mode of the image stabilization system, which is an electronic correction of rotational distortion added to Canon’s proven optical system. The increased processing power also enables Dual Recording to two separate SD cards, expanding output options and allowing convenient data transfer even when out in the field.
3.5-inch OLED Viewscreen with 10,000:1 Contrast Ratio and EVF
3.5-inch OLED Viewscreen with 10,000:1 contrast ratio
The new 3.5-inch, advanced 1,230,000-dot equivalent Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) display provides vivid colors, high contrast, and dramatically improved responsiveness compared to traditional LCD screens. A wide-view angle (over 80 degrees at all angles) aids in composition versatility, and regular chromaticity adjustments, prompted by the camcorder, ensure correct brightness and faithful color reproduction.
The 0.24-inch tilt-type color electronic viewfinder on the XA20 has approximately 100% field of view, and 1,560,000 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, Using Readily Available, Consumable Media
SDHC/SDXC Card compatible
The XA20 is compatible with ubiquitous SDHC and SDXC memory cards, which provide super-high capacity and ultra-fast data transfer.
|AVCHD ||Recording Mode |
|Memory Card ||28 Mbps ||24 Mbps ||17 Mbps ||5 Mbps |
|8GB ||35 min. ||40 min. ||1 hr. 00 min. ||3 hrs. 00 min. |
|16GB ||1 hr. 15 min. ||1 hr. 25 min. ||2 hrs. 05 min. ||6 hrs. 05 min. |
|32GB ||2 hrs. 30 min. ||2 hrs. 55 min. ||4 hrs. 10 min. ||12 hrs. 15 min. |
|64GB ||5 hrs. 05 min. ||5 hrs. 55 min. ||8 hrs. 20 min. ||24 hrs. 30 min. |
|128GB ||10 hrs. 10 min. ||11 hrs. 55 min. ||16 hrs. 45 min. ||49 hrs. 00 min. |
|MP4 ||Recording Mode |
|Memory Card ||35 Mbps ||24 Mbps ||17 Mbps ||4 Mbps ||3 Mbps |
|8GB ||30 min. ||40 min. ||1 hr. 00 min. ||4 hrs. 20 min. ||5 hrs. 40 min. |
|16GB ||1 hr. 00 min. ||1 hr. 25 min. ||2 hrs. 05 min. ||8 hrs. 40 min. ||11 hrs. 25 min. |
|32GB ||2 hrs. 00 min. ||2 hrs. 55 min. ||4 hrs. 10 min. ||17 hrs. 20 min. ||22 hrs. 55 min. |
|64GB ||4 hrs. 00 min. ||5 hrs. 55 min. ||8 hrs. 20 min. ||34 hrs. 45 min. ||45 hrs. 55 min. |
|128GB ||8 hrs. 00 min. ||11 hrs. 55 min. ||16 hrs. 45 min. ||69 hrs. 30 min. ||91 hrs. 55 min. |
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 XA20 automatically switches video recording from one SD memory card to the other when the first memory card becomes full.
Intelligent Optical Image Stabilization System with Powered and Dynamic Modes and Auto On/Off
The XA20 offers an advanced optical image stabilization system suited for reducing 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 XA20 and new to Canon Professional Camcorders is Dynamic Mode, which provides electronic correction of roll and tilt.
New Dynamic IS
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.
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. They 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 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 Constant and Variable 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 XA20 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 new “seesaw” style zoom lever, manual focus/zoom ring and joystick for easy control, and an electronic viewfinder that can tilt up to 45 degrees 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 XA20 Professional Camcorder, as are two XLR audio inputs with +48V phantom power. The built-in microphone provides exceptional 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 XA20 also includes a 3.5mm headphone terminal with 16 volume settings for accurate audio monitoring.
Ultra-compact Form Factor with Detachable Handle
A detachable handle provides the pro shooter 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
• Infrared light
• Tally lamp
High Definition Peaking for Focus Assist
Focus and Exposure Aids
To enhance focusing capability, the XA20 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 objectâ€™s focused areas in actual colors.
Assignable Buttons for Custom Shooting
The XA20 is endowed 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; it can be set to: Powered IS, BLC Always On, Face Only AF or Video Snapshot
Button 2 is preset as Pre REC; it can be set to: WB Priority, IR Light, Audio Output CH, AF/MF or Rec
Button 3 is preset as Rec Review; it can be set to: Review, Shooting Mode, BLC Always On, White Balance or AGC
Button 4 has no preset; it can be set to: Limit, Focus, Exposure, Audio Scene, Microphone Level or Zoom
Button 5 has no preset; it can be set to: Image Stabilizer, Image Effects or Wi-Fi® Remote
Infrared Shooting Mode for Extreme Low-light Conditions (with built-in IR emitter and diffuser)
The XA20 Professional Camcorder features an Infrared Mode allowing the capture of video in conditions with little to no ambient light. It does so 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 XA20 features an infrared emitter with a diffuser to shoot pleasing infrared imagery even in complete darkness. For nature videographers or law enforcement users, the benefits of a compact, high performance camcorder for shooting in such conditions are obvious. Without the need to add lights, the shooter may remain hidden from subjects. Also, the XA20 gives the option of recording in green or white light mode.
Not only does the XA20 Professional Camcorder provide the professional user with complete control over the image, it also provides complete creative freedom when it comes to inputs and outputs, including:
• 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)
• Remote Control Terminal (compatible with LANC protocol)
• Accessory Shoe (when handle is attached)
Optional Bluetooth Mic with Two-way Intercom-like Capability
The XA20 is compatible with the optional Canon WM-V1 Wireless Microphone. Bluetooth technology allows high-quality audio to be recorded from up to 164 feet away (50m), making it ideal for events, ceremonies, nature recording and other situations that call for unobtrusive sound recording. With earphones attached, the WM-V1 Wireless Microphone can also be used as a two-way intercom, enabling more creative control, such as when discreetly providing an on-camera subject with direction.
Advanced Display Features: Zebra, Color Bars and Test Tone
Either color bars or 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, Tungsten, Fluorescent H, and Fluorescent), 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.
For applications such as storyboarding, continuity and publicity shots, the XA20 offers the ability to capture 1920 x 1080 still images. Photos may be captured to an SD memory card during recording, as well as “frame grabbed” during playback.
Perfect for news crews and live event shooters, the XA20 continuously buffers approximately three seconds of video in memory. When the Record button is pressed, recording begins and the contents of buffer memory are added, so you never miss an important shot.
Intelligent Battery System
The XA20 Professional Camcorder is compatible with Canon’s Intelligent Lithium-ion batteries. These batteries communicate remaining running time (down to the minute) so the user is well informed at all times.
Support for 27 Languages
The XA20 supports the following languages: Czech, Danish, German, Greek, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Hungarian, Malay, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Finnish, Swedish, Turkish, Russian, Ukrainian, Arabic, Farsi, Thai, Chinese (simplified characters), Chinese (traditional characters), Korean and Japanese.