Canon XA11 vs XA15

For serious users who will be taking videos for professional purpose or looking for a better image quality, a video recorder will be necessary and depending on your application, not all of us will have the same options. For those who plan to spend less, Canon XA11 Vs XA15 will be an ideal choice to consider because they can offer various conveniences but also amazing in terms of performance. If you are also eyeing these cameras, go check what they can offer below.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • What to Look in a Professional Camcorder
  • What are Canon XA11 and XA15
  • What Canon XA11 and XA15 Look Like
  • How are the Image Specs of Canon XA11 and XA15
  • How are the Audio Convenient of Canon XA11 and XA15
  • How are the Storage Option of Canon XA11 and XA15
  • Canon XA11 Vs XA15

Professional Camcorder 

For the majority of people, we will choose to stay with smartphone camera for still images and video recording activity because they are convenient and most flagships today are already capable of recording 4K footages right from your compact camera and combined with AMOLED display, these smartphones have been killing the pocket camera market since years ago. For professionals and enthusiasts alike, things are a little bit different however because we are looking for the way to improve image quality and some convenience that is not available in the end-consumer category.

Professional Camcorder and Manual Control

The same as why we love DSLR and Mirrorless, the first reason why professional camcorders are simply better is because they have tons of manual control which is commonly automatic in end-consumer products such as Sony HDR CX405 Vs Panasonic HC V180K. On higher models, you will find autofocus, scene modes and various presets to help each situation thus, we can capture the best of what’s present in front of the lens. For common users, this quality is not necessary for it can make the products difficult to use.

Professional Camcorder and Large Sensor

For video production, you will not need lots of zoom such as those at cheaper price point and large sensor is what matters here. In general a large sensor will allow the camera to capture better image quality, with much more detail, and overall easier to the eyes or for post-production editing. In addition, a large sensor will receive more light hence it can work reliably under low-light condition. Some users, especially hybrid photographers who took video at times as well may choose DSLR or Mirrorless too since they carry similar quality.

Professional Camcorder and In-Camera Connections

Most cameras will have in-camera connections to allow users to connect some of their other tools together and integrate them into the camcorder but those in the end-user category is not what you will want here. Depending on what you will need later, some videographers may need to use an outboard monitor and additional microphone to improve their sound quality which makes connectivity such as serial digital interface or HDMI necessary. For the best audio result, you will want to have Gold standard XLR connections since they have low noise and corrosion resistance.

Professional Camcorder and Image Stabilization

Some of us may relate image stabilization with an action camera or compact camera in general but in fact any camera will benefit from image stabilization because they are able to aid your hand when shooting without mounting or tripod which can happen anytime. If your application will call for such feature, it is always best to match the camera capability with your need so then we can be more at ease later.

About Canon XA11 and XA15

Professional camcorders will take more from your pocket but similar to end-consumer products, they will be available in a wide range of choices starting from amateur to those cost above $5k. For beginner models those qualities are still necessary and if you have found the perfect model that match the budget as well, make sure to check any feature you will be needing in the application. Cheaper products will require some compromise but they are great to start your journey.

For those who don’t have much time to spare, it is easier to just stay with one brand so then we can eliminate the rest of the options especially if you have a favorite camera manufacturer already. Among those many brands, when it is about cameras, Canon is one of the first names that come to our mind because they are well-known for lots of reliable professional and enthusiast cameras. They also carry camcorders in addition to the more popular DSLR lines.

Depending on your budget, those who will be spending rather less, Canon XA11 and XA15 will be a very ideal choices to go with. Both of them are mainly aimed for those who are going to use the camera for news gathering, filming documentary or making corporate video. The reason why these models are often compared to each other is because they are actually very identical to each other or more like the same camera but will make a little bit of difference that may affect your buying decision or not.

When this article is written, Canon XA11 and XA15 are not a new model anymore as it was released back then in 2017 together with Vixia HF G21 in December. What’s interesting is all of these camcorders have the same capabilities for they have the same optics, sensors and resolution. For starters, none of them are going to give you the 4K mode yet. As opposed to the two professional models, Vixia is Canon’s end-consumer line of camcorder so it is more user friendly. 

Canon XA11 and XA15 Design

As you can see on the sample picture above, these camcorders are very similar to each other and they are indeed identical with the same form factor and weight around two and half pounds with the lens hood, mic holder, and battery pack. They are optimized for handheld application and for professional cameras this is still acceptable to carry around even with one hand. Build quality wise they are very robust and similar like most camcorders, they are not flimsy at all.

You will get what are available in most professional cameras out there such as a manual focus ring and a reliable display. They are also the same here and we do like the display quality which is already touch-sensitive making them more convenient. These displays are also crystal clear with AR surface treatment, 3-inch in measurement with 460000 dots and 100% field of view. They also have the same 0.24-inch TFT wide color LCD screen with 1.56 million dots viewfinder.

Canon XA11 and XA15 Image Specs

Moving further, let’s check what Canon XA11 and XA15 can offer here and as it has been mentioned earlier, both of them are identical on most parts including the video specification. None of them are going to capture at 4K and topping the quality at 1920 x 1080 only. They are planted with 1/2.84 Type HD CMOS Pro imaging sensors, the same with models like XA35 and XA30. For the processor they will use DIGIC DV 4 processing system to enable optimum picture quality.

For a more convenient and creativity, both of them also have a number of Picture Style Presets in the Cinema-Look Filter menu such as Vivid, Cool Sepia, and Old Movie while the wide DR Gamma mode will be a great option if you want to create natural-looking and detailed video in high-contrast lighting. This setting will enable wider dynamic range to be captured in-camera so you don’t need to grade the video later. This setting will show you more details in areas with lack of light while maintaining detail on areas with brighter lighting.

Canon XA11 and XA15 Audio

On the audio side, a professional camcorder will be able to use XLR inputs and there are two ports here to allow we using professional standard microphones including if you prefer to use the standard 3.5mm stereo jack. Power is not an issue here since the camera will be able to provide adequate phantom power in case you decide to use condenser microphone. In addition, the variety of processing presets can be selected to optimize the signal depending on your shooting condition including for speech and music.

Canon XA11 and XA15 Storage

The last quality we want to mention about Canon XA11 and XA15 is their portable power to make sure you will always be ready for what needs to be recorded. Both of them are featured with two built-in slots for memory card including SD, SDHC, and SDXC to fit whatever card you currently have. You may also go for dual recording to film the same scene but using different codecs and bitrates to save on each other cards. Additionally the other option is recording in one card then back it up on the other.

Our favorite mode is actually the third option because this function will let the user save the footage on the next memory after the first memory is full and this is great since you don’t have to swap it mid recording, making things more convenient.

Canon XA11 vs XA15

Canon XA11 and XA15 are an identical camcorder and this is prominent in this article because you will get what most available in one model on the other as well including the image quality. What’s different is actually on the additional feature because the more expensive XA15 is also featured with broadcast-friendly HD/SD-SDI terminal which is great if you will be broadcasting the footage such as in a news reporting application.

- Genuine Canon 20x High Definition Optical Zoom Lens
- New, Advanced HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor with Improved Low-light Performance
- Full HD 1920x1080 Recording Capabilities
- 3.0-inch LCD Capacitive Touchscreen with Tilt able Electronic Viewfinder
- Genuine Canon 20x High Definition Optical Zoom Lens
- Advanced HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor with Improved Low-light Performance
- Full HD 1920x1080 Recording Capabilities
- HD/SD-SDI Output


You can pick any of these camcorders and still be satisfied with the performance but it is also prominent that you will be better to go with a model that fits your preference and between the two, if you don’t need the broadcasting function, we will pick XA11 for its cheaper price.


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