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Canon's XC15 Allows for 4K Video and Pro Audio in Small Form-Factor Camera

Clear Online Video's Stjepan Alaupovic and Canon Pro Market Rep Alex Sax discuss Canon's new XC15 4K camera, which combines 310Mbps 4K video with pro-quality audio in a compact design.

Stjepan: I'm here with Canon Pro Market Rep Alex Sax in the Canon booth, we're talking about Canon's 4K XC15. Alex, tell us about this camera.

Alex: If you think about a DSLR, it's a still camera that we put video into. We kind of went the other way on this one--the XC15 is a video camera that we added a mechanical shutter to. So it's really optimized for video, but also takes really great, 12 megapixel JPEGs.

But what's really nice is kind of the ergonomics of the camera. It's a fixed lens, but I have this really nice grip on the side that can kind of give me some low-angle shots, or if I wanted to do something directly above. It has this really nice loop in the back, so you have a monitor, but it's got this little eye piece that can go on the back that you can easily pull it off and just do touchscreen autofocus.

It’s like a little hot rod camera. It's got a really powerful engine on the inside of it. So fixed lens, one sensor, but it's doing 4K at 310 Megabits per second. If you put it in context, our original C300? 50 megabits per second. This thing packs a lot of power inside of a small package.

Stjepan: What was the distance on the lens?

Alex: It's 24-240. So it kind of gives you everything you need. And then we make a screw-on wide-angle if you need something a little bit wider.

Stjepan: That's a pretty wide range. I would imagine this is great in run-and-gun situations, documentaries, remote locations.

Alex: Absolutely. And we have Log inside of it, so it's meant to work in the ecosystem with the rest of our cameras. But it's also designed to be a very, very simple camera to use. So if you're someone who doesn't have a lot of shooting experience but you want a really high quality 4K, or if you have a director on set who doesn't have a lot of shooting experience, it's a great camera to kind of hand to them, to get that intimate feel where they're not walking around with a giant camera, they're the ones who sometimes can get access to like the stars backstage. It's a really nice thing to say, hey, just touch the screen, hit the record button and you're going to be flying.

Stjepan: Tell me a little bit more about the Audio Box and how that connects to the camera?

Alex: So the XC15 is unique over the XC10, it has this little Audio Box and plug that can go right on the top. And it gives you full XLR and audio controls on this. So if you're looking to do really high-end audio as well, we've now incorporated the box to go with it. And what's really amazing is, the same box works on our C300 Mark II.

Stjepan: And that's actually, that's another great point, is you were talking about earlier where you were talking about the Canon C700, but this also matches up well with the 300, the 100, other Canon cameras that are even higher grade, right?

Alex: Absolutely, yeah. It has our log, so you can match the color. Now the sensor's a lot smaller, and the lens is fixed on this, so it's not going to perform as well as some of our cinema cameras with the interchangeable lens, but it's a really nice tool to mount places. I like to think of it as, if I need a fixed camera somewhere, a lot of places where like a Go Pro could go, you could mount this, and then you have the flexibility of telephoto or wide angle, plus the log, plus the audio controls. So it's a really nice thing to have. It also takes our DSLR batteries, so if you are already are in that system, it's the same exact LPE6 battery that fits right in there. So if you're already kind of in that workflow, and you're like, man I don't want to go to the 5D4, it's a little too expensive, or I want something that's very simple to use, this is a great option.

Stjepan: Total weight-wise, with the Audio Box and everything, what are we looking at?

Alex: I don't know the exact weight. It feels like three or four pounds.

Stjepan: Very light. Definitely very light.

Alex: It's not bad. You know, the Audio Box takes some of the ergonomics out of it, so if you're going to be running and gunning with the audio, just keep that in mind, but the box comes off and it's very, very nice and really inconspicuous. That's what I like about it. So it really gets those candid moments that you really are searching for.

Stjepan: Absolutely. Alex, where can people go to learn more information about the XC15?

Alex: Go to or follow up on Twitter @canonusapro.

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