PRODUCT ROUNDUP BY THEANO NIKITAS
Does delving into the
world of filmmaking
make you anxious? It
shouldn’t. From full-fledged camcorders
to tiny action cams,
we help you get
your feet wet with a
selection of ten video
cameras to suit your
needs, wallet and
It’s not as small as the Pocket Cinema Camera, but the Canon XA10 is
considered “ultra compact” in camcorder parlance, measuring 3.0 x 3.0
x 6. 3 inches and weighing about 1. 8 pounds fully loaded. Built around a
2.37-megapixel, 1/3-inch CMOS sensor, the XA10 can capture 1920 x 1080
full HD video as well as still images. Its image-stabilized 10x optical zoom
offers a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 30.4-305mm with a maximum f-stop
of f/1. 8-2. 8.
You may be happy with the standard full HD, but the XA10 has a special
Cinema Shooting Mode with nine different filters (Sepia, anyone?), each with
user-controllable brightness adjustments. Infrared Mode is great for low- or
no-light recording, and easy HD-to-SD conversion leaves your HD files intact.
Canon provides a nice bundle with the camcorder, including cables, a stylus
pen for the 3.5-inch monitor, software and a wireless controller.
Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera
Pocket Cinema Camera is an apt name for this 5-inch long, 12.5-ounce camera from Blackmagic Design.
This little guy features a Super 16-size sensor, which is a little smaller than a Micro Four Thirds sensor, and,
according to Blackmagic, delivers up to an impressive 13 stops of dynamic range. You actually get a choice
of two dynamic range settings: Film Log (to record the sensor’s full dynamic range) or REC709 (which
records a color space optimized for HDTV). The BMPCC can capture Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) and lossless
CinemaDNG RAW files, and save them directly to a fast SDXC/SDHC card for convenient offloading of
footage. Better yet, the camera is compatible with Micro Four Thirds lenses and can be used with PL mount
and other lenses via an adapter. Although it lacks a viewfinder, the camera sports a 3.5-inch high-resolution
LCD and integrated stereo microphones. You’ll also find a micro HDMI out, mini jack headphone socket for
audio monitoring and more, including a LANC control input for remote operation. Added flexibility comes
from a wide range of accessories, so you can build the system you need or go stealth with a low-profile
lens. A copy of DaVinci Resolve Lite (also available as a free download) is included with the camera.