Just like the Canon XA40, the Canon XA45 offers a wealth of connections in a compact body. However, in addition to HDMI, USB and remote terminals, it also boasts a 3G-SDI output that enables it to integrate easily into broadcast-standard equipment. To ensure that the high-quality pictures are complemented by finely detailed sound, the Canon XA45 features two XLR inputs on its removable handle. That makes the XA45 a terrific option for documenting behind the scenes on a small film production. "The XLR connectors mean you can put radio mics on the camera. Often when you're working on film shoots, they'll have a radio signal on set that has a mix of the microphones. So, if you borrow a receiver from the sound person, you can shoot behind the scenes and capture all the audio that they're recording.
The Canon XA45 is an ultra-compact camcorder, yet it has a large 4K 20x optical zoom lens, making it suited to a wide range of professional disciplines and productions. "Lenses are the most important thing for me," says Peter. "You have to start with the lens and work backwards, and to have a lens that has the 35mm-equivalent of 29.3-601mm at f/1.8-f/2.8 on such a tiny camcorder is just incredible."
A 2x Digital Teleconverter adds to the lens's versatility, with 5-axis optical image stabilisation ensuring sharp results. "It's really useful to have IS on a camcorder like this, particularly as the current trend is for everything to be on the move rather than static," Peter explains. "If you were shooting a presenter doing a walking piece to camera with the Canon XA45, you could switch on the face detection autofocus and use the 5-axis stabilisation to get a really smooth shot as you work with them.
With its combination of a 1/2.3-type CMOS sensor and a DIGIC DV6 processor, the Canon XA45 delivers a sharp and detailed 4K UHD image. Canon's Over Sampling HD processing technology ensures superior Full HD footage as well.
In addition to recording in web-friendly MP4, the Canon XA45 supports 4K UHD XF-AVC with a bitrate of 160Mbps at 25p, and Full HD XF-AVC at 45Mbps. "I usually shoot in XF-AVC because it's a rock-solid codec, and to be able to get XF-AVC out of this tiny camera is superb,
One of the advantages of shooting with a professional camcorder is that the autofocus system is optimised for the built-in lens. The Canon XA45 offers a host of focusing setups, including Face Detection and Tracking, Face Only AF, and manual focusing via the lens ring and touchscreen. Although the XA45 doesn't have Dual Pixel CMOS AF, it has a Hybrid AF system that's very, very good. It takes some of the stress out of a shoot when you're working with people, particularly when you're producing, and having to think about the content as well as the framing,
Despite being palm-sized, the Canon XA45 makes no compromise in terms of controls, with a three-inch touchscreen, an array of assignable buttons, and a convenient customisable dial.
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