Canon XA40 Professional Video Camcorder, Black
|Model Name||Professional Camcorder|
|Video Capture Resolution||1080p, 4K|
|Screen Size||3 inches|
About this item
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- 4K UHD 30p recording
- 20X optical zoom lens
- 3 inch LCD Touchscreen
- Dual SD card slots
- 5 axis image stabilization
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From the manufacturer
Canon XA40 Professional Video Camcorder
For fast performance in both capture and transmission, excellent for the dynamic world of Electronic News Gathering (ENG) as well as journalistic, documentary, corporate and higher education video production, look no further than the XA40 Professional Camcorder.
Featuring an advanced 4K UHD CMOS Pro Image Sensor, a powerful DIG!C DV 6 Image Processor and a phenomenal 20x High Definition optical zoom lens, the XA40 camcorder captures expansive, high-quality 4K UHD video. Dual SD card slots that are compatible with universal SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards provide super-high capacity and ultra-fast data transfer.
The compact XA40 includes a detachable handle for low-angle shooting and portability. Functionality is further enhanced with the addition of XLR inputs and an external microphone holder when the handle is attached. Combining a lightweight design, a 1.56 million dot electronic viewfinder and a 3.0-inch capacitive touch panel LCD, the XA40 is comfortable to operate for extended periods of time and in numerous environments.
When there's no telling what or where the next story will be, the XA40 is ready to go. A remarkably versatile, powerful and compact camcorder, it delivers the quality, speed and connectivity to drive a 24-hour news workflow.
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.
For incredibly sharp and detailed high-definition video recording, the XA40 Professional Camcorder features a 1/2.3-inch, 8.9 Megapixel 4K UHD CMOS Pro Image Sensor that captures approximately 3840x2160 pixels. Thanks to the sensor's high sensitivity, the XA40 helps provide vivid, accurate recording through an excellent signal-to-noise ratio.
Multiple recording modes, resolutions and frame rates make the XA40 Professional Camcorder creatively flexible and adaptable to virtually any news-gathering environment. It can record to an SD card in 4K UHD and Full HD resolutions using the MP4 recording codec, at multiple bit rates- and even record simultaneously.
An HDMI terminal supports FHD 60p output, which can be connected to a standard external SSD/HDD recorder, enabling conversion to ProRes and DNx formats for efficient editing and storage.
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|Screen Size||3 inches||3 inches||3.0 inches||3 inches||3 inches||3 inches|
|Media Type||Flash||SD Card||SD Card, SDXC||—||Flash||Flash|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS||CMOS||CMOS||CMOS||CMOS||CMOS|
|Video Capture Resolution||4K, 1080p||1080p||480p||other||4K, 1080p||4K, 1080p|
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Top reviews from the United States
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Things work as they should. It's ready to go out of the box, as soon as you charge the battery. Operation is as simple as you want with full auto or manual control. Includes touch focus and exposure control, and zebra.
Autofocus is quick and secure in good conditions, good enough in poor conditions, even infrared. Face tracking keeps focus within reason.
Image stabilization is good to the long end of the 20x lens and smooths ordinary jostling.
Zoom goes from 29.3mm to 601mm. It's bright (f/1.8-2.8) and smooth, with a toggle that has a good range of speed and can be set to different speed ranges.
Image quality is clean with good color and fair dynamic range, fine bokeh (8-bladed iris). (Can't post meaningful samples at Amazon, but there's a review online that has some. Search canon xa40 hallett.)
Pretty decent detail in low light, more than enough for most purposes.
Very quiet, guests at an event won't hear anything.
Sound is fair with the built-in stereo mic, and you can have sound as good as you're likely to want with your own mic.
The LCD screen is bright and works surprisingly well for fat fingers. 460K dots. It rotates 270 degrees, so it can face forward.
The EVF is also bright and detailed, 1.5M dots. The eyepiece tilts up to 45 degrees.
Slow motion is 2-1200x.
Has a focus/zoom ring, responsive customizable buttons, and a little dial near the ring. No aperture ring, but you can adjust aperture or shutter speed with the dial.
Infrared mode is fine. The IR lamp in the handle is good for about 25 feet.
Manual control of the built-in ND filter is peculiar. At f/4 in aperture priority or M mode, you can access ND filters starting at f/4 with ND 1/2, 1/4, or 1/8, or keep ND 1/8 as you go down from f/4 to f/8.
Build is sturdy but light (2.5 pounds with handle, battery, hood etc).
Well balanced for handheld or tripod.
Other features include time codes, dual XLR ports, HDMI, mini-USB, 3.5mm ports, and dual SD card slots that can be used serially or simultaneously, at different bit rates if wanted. And a lot more. It's got the features you'd expect at this level.
But no SDI, which is why there's an XA45.
MP4 format, 8-bit color. Bit rate for 4K 30p is 150 Mbps, 35 or 17 Mbps for FHD, 8 Mbps for 1280x720.
Compared with older XA cams
The XA40 is part of an incremental update of the XA series. The older models are the XA10, 11, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35, and the updates are the XA40, 45, 50, and 55.
Besides adding 4K 30p, the XA40 has a larger sensor (1/2.3"-type, about 50% more area), oversampling for FHD, and some manual control over the built-in ND filter.
It has less wide end than the older XAs, 29.3mm vs 26.8mm. The difference on the long end, 601mm vs 576mm, is negligible. The older models also offered AVCHD format along with MP4, while this one only uses the latter, but that won't matter to most. The XA20, 25, 30 and 35 have wi-fi stream, and the XA15, 25, and 35 have SDI.
Compared with XA45, 50, 55
The XA45 is just like the XA40, only with 3G-SDI.
The XA50 has a few significant differences: a 1"-type sensor (about 5 times more area), which enhances dynamic range and low-light performance, among other things. It also has dual-pixel autofocus. It's only 15x but it has more wide end, from 25.5mm. The long end has about 2/3 the reach at 383mm. The XA55 is the same camera but with 3G-SDI.
If you want 4K 60p in a Canon pro you have to move up to the XF series.
As far as I know, there's nothing else quite equivalent to the XA40 in its price range, considering both 4K and lens, but there are some alternatives in the ball park.
You can sometimes get Panasonic's HC-1000 (from 2014), which has 4K at 60p and a 20x lens, for a couple hundred more than the XA40. Their AG-UX90 (from 2016) has 4K 30p and a 15x lens, plus a 1"-type sensor.
The other closest competitors I'm aware of have 12x lenses. The Sony PXW-X70 (2014) has an optional upgrade for 4K 30p, with a 1"-type sensor plus wi-fi streaming. JVC has a few, some cheaper than the XA40, with 4K 30p or 50p: GY-HM170U (2015), GY-HM180U (2018), and GY-HM250U (2018).
There are cheaper consumer models with 4K 60p etc. What you generally miss with those is some ruggedness and pro features like XLR ports and full manual control.
The menus are pretty easy to navigate, and I actually forgot it was a touch screen LCD display as well, so that was an added bonus. LOL Still learning some of the features, but overall I highly recommend it. I can't wait to use this more professionally for what I do.
It took Canon an eternity to release a 4k camcorder. This long after competitors Sony, JVC, and just about every one else in the marketplace did so. But the end result here is something really nice even if it looks and feels just like the previous iterations of their high-end consumer camcorders.
I love the compact size, it's much smaller than the comparably priced Sony camcorder I use on my remote shoots. The removable handle incorporates two balanced XLR inputs with phantom power. A simple switch will toggle between the handle inputs and the camera's built in stereo microphones.
It has a great stabilized optical zoom (20x) which I believe is the equivalent of almost 600mm. The optical stabilizer offers smooth shooting when fully zoomed even at the highest 4k resolution. The camera has a great natural bokeh when zoomed in - if the lighting is good you'll be surprised at the output quality. Canon has the fastest autofocus in the business and that continues with this model. Image quality is great - although some of the models above this one will look slightly better due to their larger 1 inch sensors. This one is a 1/2.3". It will oversample at 1080p with the 4k sensor to deliver better images and stabilization.
4k video is shot at a 150 Mbps bit rate but only at 30 fps. It supports other video modes including 1080p and 720p at lower bitrates. I was hoping this new camcorder could handle 60 fps especially given most popular smartphones hit that mark these days. All video is recorded in MP4 format, so be sure to use SDXC cards formatted with exFAT for long duration recordings. Battery life is great at about 3-4 hours at 4k in my testing. Really great for traveling light.
The XA40 has an HDMI output while the XA45 has an additional SDI output. Unfortunately neither output supports 4k video - its outputs max out at 1080p both through the HDMI and SDI connectors. I was happy to see that they do support progressive (vs. interlaced) output at 30fps - something prior editions did not support. Canon continues to opt for mini-HDMI connectors vs. full size HDMI connectors.
Canon has always produced solid gear and this one is no exception. I was worried they were going to exit the camcorder business given just how far behind their cameras were vs. competitors. It's nice to see them come back with something new and high quality with the XA40/45.
I'm happy to answer any questions you might have down below in the comments.