Canon XA15 Review

Written by Mark Le. Last updated on September 20, 2020.
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Canon XA15 Review

Churches often harbor events and services that are worthy of being cherished for times to come. What's a better way to do so than to save these memories in a film? Moreover, with the pace of the world today, live streams are also gaining significance. Every church must have good quality and reliable camcorder in its arsenal. 

There are a variety of suitable options for you. I think that the Canon XA15 stands out amongst them.

The Canon XA15 is a well-performing device. I bought my own in haste since I needed a versatile camcorder with top-notch features to quickly cover a family event. I was concerned about the performance since I hadn't evaluated the camcorder or compared it before buying. To my pleasure, it is still functioning to its optimum level and has not disappointed me.

I am serving you with this review so that you can delve deep into the utility and specifications of the Canon XA15. This way, you will be equipped to make only the best choice with full awareness.

Things to consider before buying a camcorder

Nowadays, almost every digital device comes with a video-recording feature. Cell phones, DSLRs, iPods- you name it; all of them can record decent videos. If that's the case, why should you invest in a proper camcorder? It is because none of these devices offers the audio and video quality that camcorders do.

Camcorders usually include multiple video recording options and allow good editing. This is perfect if you intend to upload your videos on platforms such as YouTube or social media. They are also great for recording and storing footage of long events, which would otherwise take up all of the space in a phone or a camera.

If you intend to record the unfolding of events such as services or weddings, a camcorder is your best bet. However, if you are more focused on capturing particular moments and photography, then you should invest in a DSLR, which also sports video-recording facilities.

If you do not have a 4K TV or intend to use your camcorder for church-specific needs only, then buying a 4K camcorder is not practical or economical. You could go for more affordable options that will still suit your needs instead.

It is crucial to be aware of every angle when it comes to buying an important device such as a camcorder. It will dictate the quality of your recording. Here are some things to keep in mind when buying a camcorder:


Camcorders come in different types, all meant for different purposes and shooting styles. The camcorder types include mainstream, advanced, pocket, and mountable.

Mainstream recorders are all-purpose and meant for general usage. They have the most versatility and can be flexible in usage.

Advanced camcorders are more intent-centric and offer a wider range of professional features and widgets.

Pocket recorders are mini versions of camcorders, which are usually used by bloggers or journalists. They fit in pockets and can be carried around easily but offer low video quality.

Mountable or wearable camcorders are designed for point-of-view shooting. They can be mounted on objects or surfaces such as surfboards or drones.

Audio - Canon XA15 Review

Good sound quality is perhaps one of the most important features to consider. Most camcorders come either with a mono mic, a stereo mic, or both. The latter two are better options, though more expensive than the mono mic.

The positioning of the microphone also plays a big role, so make sure you scout that out at a store.


The resolution defines the number of pixels in an image. The greater the number of pixels, the higher the quality. When picking a camcorder, you’ll have to decide between a standard HD one or a 4K one. A 4K camcorder provides better quality by a huge margin as compared to HD, but videos from it can be viewed only on a 4K screen.

Sensor size and aperture

Digital videos rely upon a sensor inside the camcorder. This sensor also plays a role in the quality, with bigger sensors providing better resolution. The sensor also dictates the ability of the camcorder to shoot videos in different levels of light.

The aperture is the opening in the lens that allows light inside. It is measured in f-stops. An f1.8 aperture is great for low light, but an f3 or more is just average.

Bit rate and memory

A higher bit rate equates to better quality but also means that the memory will fill up faster. You can use SD cards or internal memory camcorders, or a hybrid.

Other factors to consider

  • Battery life
  • Wi-Fi
  • Size
  • Extra model features
  • Maximum record time

Presenting the Canon XA15 Camcorder

The Canon XA15 is a good-quality camcorder, adapting well to both amateurs and professionals.

Launched in 2017, it sports an HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor and a powerful DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor. In case you are not familiar with the terms, CMOS is a technology used to make low-power circuits, and DIGIC is one of Canon's signal processing and control unit families.

It also has a 20x High Definition optical zoom lens. Thanks to the great audio and video quality, this camcorder is a powerful choice for church video productions.

One of the leading camcorders in the market right now is the Canon XA11, which is quite similar to the XA15. It is meant for more professional usage and has a whole range of impressive features. It costs lower than XA15.

The Canon XA15 comes with a charging cord and a rechargeable battery pack. The device is at a camcorder-ready configuration, so you can begin filming as soon as you get it. You will also get a lens hood and mic holder.

This camcorder is better suited for general usage, so if you're looking for full-fledged professional equipment, then you should take a look at more advanced camcorders.

Here are some pros and cons of the Canon XA15:


  • Has a wide DR Gamma mode, which helps avoid overexposure
  • Multiple inputs and outputs allow you to connect it with various equipment.
  • Lightweight weighs under 3 pounds
  • Enhanced performance due to Hybrid autofocus and hybrid stabilization system
  • Highly user-friendly and customizable buttons to fit your specific requirements


  • Does not have 4K resolution
  • An additional output terminal jack may be unnecessary
  • A little expensive

Features & Benefits - Canon XA15 Review

In my opinion, the Canon XA15 delivers a performance with features that could rival professional videographers. Take a look at the features and characteristics of this device.


It has a compact structure with a detachable handle, a feature that I appreciate since it provides an alternate grip option when I need to take handheld shots. It also allows the device to become handier. The handle contains audio controls, a tally light, and the infrared emitter.

LCD Screen

The Canon XA15 boasts of a 3-inch capacitive touch panel LCD and a 1.56 million dot electronic viewfinder. I found the touchscreen to be quite exceptional, with its 100% field of view and impeccable focus and clarity. You can also use a joystick on the right side to control camera settings.

20x Optical Zoom Lens

The XA15 features a 20x Optical Zoom Lens with an impressive zoom range. This is further enhanced by an 8-blade circular aperture, which is a good characteristic since it reduces the star-burst effect that certain lighting may cause.

The zoom settings are flexible, which will help you shoot a ready-to-stream film and help in getting the best shots. You will have full control over how your final piece turns out!

The highly versatile zoom range is 35 mm equivalent to 26.8-576 mm. The minimum distance is 60 cm.

Dual SD Card Slots

The camcorder is compatible with SDHC and SDXC memory cards. This makes super-high capacity and super-fast data transfer possible. The XA15 has a dual SD card slot feature that enables simultaneous recording. You may greatly benefit from this as it allows instant backup!

HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor

A camcorder’s sensor plays a huge role in its quality. The XA15 sports a 1/2.84-inch and 2.91 Megapixel sensor. This is desirable since it provides a high sensitivity to the sensor, which produces precise and vivid recording. What I admire the most is that due to the Pro Image Sensor, the camcorder works flawlessly in low light.

Image Stabilization System

The Canon XA15 offers you a strong optical image stabilization system. This feature is one of the best because it reduces the likelihood of blurred images. I like this feature because it makes my job hassle-free when I am in a crowded place or a vehicle and need to ensure stability.

Other Features

Some other noteworthy features of the Canon XA15 are:

  • Wide DR Gamma mode which allows smooth detail and tone gradations
  • Five buttons which can be entirely customized according to your needs and convenience
  • HD/SD-SDI Output

Customer Reviews

I believe that the best way to gain confidence in a product is to check customer reviews. The honest opinions of people who have tried and tested the device are always fool-proof. This will also help you confirm the quality and performance of the product.

I went through some reviews for the Canon XA15 camcorder. It is not a surprise that most of them are positive. People who bought this camcorder are satisfied and happy with its performance. It is also a popular choice for Church requirements.

Check out some of these reviews:

2020 09 17 14 39 48
2020 09 17 14 39 29

Alternatives to the Canon XA15

Even though the Canon XA15 is an affordable, high-performing camcorder, you may not be able to go for it due to various reasons. If you are looking to buy more than one camcorder for your church, you may want to consider some less expensive options.

Here are some alternatives to the Canon XA15.

Canon XA11

The Canon XA11 is almost like the XA15’s twin. It offers almost all the same features as the latter. However, it lacks the additional output. This is not an inconvenience, though, and also reduces the price of the device.

Canon XF405

If you are looking for a more powerful camcorder that also packs the features of the XA15, then the Canon XF405 is a good choice. It has more features and is better suited to seasoned videographers.

It has a dual DIGIC DV 6 image processor feature and offers 4K resolution. It is easy to use with a friendly interface. The cost is higher than the XA15, but it'll be worth it given the additional features and incredible power.

Canon XA25

The Canon XA25 is an older and far less expensive camcorder launched in 2013. While this may make it seem obsolete, the case is not such. The camcorder is great for a low budget. It has a 3.5-inch screen, 400x digital zoom, and 3.09 MP maximum resolution.

The XA25 is an entry-level pro camcorder and is an improvement over models such as the XA10. It does not offer a 4K display.


If you regularly have events, services, or congregations that you wish to stream or immortalize, you must be equipped with a camcorder. A Church having its own digital media devices means that there will be no extra expenditure on hiring services. It will also spare you the hassle of coordination.

When it comes to recording a full-fledged event, you need to have a device that can comfortably and reliably cover it. A camcorder will meet all ends because it is specifically meant for this purpose.

While there are quite a few suitable camcorders for such purposes, the Canon XA15 is undeniably the best- customers and Churchgoers can vouch for this. It is easy to use and has great potential, offering wonderful features as per the price.

Click here to check out the Canon XA15 Professional Camcorder.

I hope this review helped you and adds value to your decision!

Article written by Mark Le
An enthusiastic and charismatic Christian – dedicated to living a life of full service to the ministry through helping churches in bridging the gap between the Gospel and Technology.

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