Canon A10 Instruction manual

UHM Media Lab
2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B
CANON XA10 Camcorder
Director’s Phone: 956-3358
FRONT DESK: 956-3355
This Study Guide was created to help students prepare for the Canon XA10 HD Camcorder
Certification Exam, which is necessary to reserve and use the Canon XA10 HD Camcorder,
specifically for classroom purposes. This Study Guide provides all essential information on the
proper handling and use of the Canon XA10 HD Camcorder, including an explanation of
contents, procedures to demonstrate, and required features and techniques to know.
Recite the “Safety Principles” (or “Golden Rules”) of the Media Lab.
Identify all items included in the Canon XA10 HD Camcorder package.
Demonstrate safe handling of the camera and tripod.
Demonstrate proper set up and “striking” of camcorder equipment.
THE “GOLDEN RULES” OF THE UHM MEDIA LAB (REQUIRED INFORMATION) 1. Never force anything! If something you are attempting to do requires any amount of
excessive force, STOP and review your methods.
2. Never over tighten! This may cause the stripping of threads. The use of excessive
force which can damage the equipment.
3. Never leave the camcorder equipment unattended! Camcorder and other video
equipment are prime targets for theft.
4. Never leave the camcorder equipment exposed to any heat source! (e.g., in the
trunk of a vehicle). Excessive heat will cause camcorder parts to melt.
5. Never take the Media Lab equipment to the beach or near shorelines!
(e.g., where sand and salt air/spray can contact the equipment. Sand and salt air/spray
can clog and damage the sensitive equipment.)
6. Never use equipment in “risky” situations/environments! (e.g., any type of airborne
devices or locations including airplanes, helicopters, skateboards, motorcycles,
rollerblades, etc., night time shoots in low lit and/or unsafe areas, and “remote” areas
which require transport of equipment over rough terrain.)
7. Never touch or attempt to clean the lens! There is a high probability of scratching and
permanently damaging the lens without the proper cleaning materials. Only use the
cleaning cloth provided.
8. Never aim the viewfinder or the LCD screen directly at a strong light source! This
will cause permanent damage to the viewfinder/LCD screen. (e.g., the sun, very bright
light, or its reflection from an object.)
CANON XA10 Camcorder
UHM Media Lab Study Guide 8/17/2011
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UHM Media Lab
2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B
CANON XA10 Camcorder
Director’s Phone: 956-3358
FRONT DESK: 956-3355
Identify and
explain all
the items
in the
Identify all Detachable parts of the
CANON XA10 Camcorder Unit
Shotgun Microphone (condenser type)
Camera Handle unit
Lens Cap
Lens protection filter
Lens Hood
Tripod Quick-Release Adapter
CANON XA10 Camcorder
UHM Media Lab Study Guide 8/17/2011
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UHM Media Lab
2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B
CANON XA10 Camcorder
Director’s Phone: 956-3358
FRONT DESK: 956-3355
1. List 3 safety rules for proper handling of the
tripod (to avoid costly damage):
a. Never lean a collapsed tripod against a wall;
always lay it down on the floor.
b. Always open tripod legs by pulling all 3 legs
outward at the same time.
c. Never attempt to pan or tilt the head with the
pan and tilt locks tightened down.
2. Memorize and identify the
following Tripod Parts:
1. Tripod head
2. Tilt lock
3. Pan lock
4. Pan handle
5. Release lever (for camcorder plate)
6. Camcorder Head Lock
7. Bubble level
8. Leg extensions
9. Leg extension lock
10. Spreaders
11. Spreader lock (for collapsed tripod)
12. Camcorder Wedge Plate (remains
attached to the camcorder)
Complete the following Camcorder related demonstrations: A. Demonstrate how to properly extend the tripod legs.
Unlock the spreader lock (11) holding the tripod legs together. Unlock the leg extension
locks (9). Extend legs and re-lock.
B. Demonstrate how spread the tripod legs and adjust the head so that the head is level.
Drop one leg to the ground and pull on the other 2 legs so that they open evenly. Adjust the
tripod head by loosening the head lock (6) and centering the bubble in the level indicator (7).
Retighten the head lock.
CANON XA10 Camcorder
UHM Media Lab Study Guide 8/17/2011
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UHM Media Lab
2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B
CANON XA10 Camcorder
Director’s Phone: 956-3358
FRONT DESK: 956-3355
C. Demonstrate how to mount the camcorder on the tripod.
Before mounting the camcorder to the tripod, make sure that the tilt lock (2) and pan lock (3)
are locked and all leg extensions are secured so that the tripod does not move or collapse
when mounting the camcorder. After mounting the camcorder to the tripod, be sure to loosen
the pan lock (3) in order to avoid accidentally knocking the tripod over.
D. Demonstrate this basic safety procedure.
Always double check tripod stability prior to mounting the camcorder.
IMPORTANT NOTE: To avoid potential accidents with tipping the tripod over, never leave the
camcorder unattended, especially when tripod head (tilt lock) is in an unlocked position.
ALWAYS BE AWARE OF THE STATUS OF THE TRIPOD! To avoid damage to the tripod
head, never force a pan or tilt when the tripod head is in a locked position. This will cause
permanent damage to the tripod head!
Demonstrate two ways to power the camcorder
1. Battery power: Push a battery into the battery slot under the
viewfinder. Slide the battery upward (the triangle arrow at the top of
the battery points in the correct direction) until it locks into place.
Turning the camcorder on.
Remove the camcorder lens cap and press the “POWER” button to
turn the camera on. A green light will illuminate next to the ON/OFF
text. Open the LCD screen to see the picture. The battery level
indicator is on the upper right. If it isn’t, push the “DISP. BATT
INFO” Button to bring it up. To remove the battery, turn the
camcorder off, slide the lever on the bottom of the camcorder
toward the front of the camcorder, and then slide the battery
downward and pull it out.
2. AC power: To avoid pulling over the camera, start by working from the wall
to the camera. Plug an extension cord into the wall. Plug a power strip into the
extension cord, making sure the power strip is turned off. Plug the AC power
adapter cord into the power strip. Plug the AC power adapter into the “DC IN”
plug on the camera. Turn on the power strip. The camera can now be turned on.
NOTE: The camera battery can be charged when the AC adapter is plugged
into the camera and the camera is turned off. The ON/OFF (CHG) light on the
camera blinks red to indicate that the battery is charging and it goes out when
the battery is fully charged.
Explain the situations in which a battery or AC power is used.
Batteries should be used for mobility such as when the camera is handheld or used for short
periods of time before setting up again. AC power should be used for extended setups when
camera is to be set up in one place for an extended period.
CANON XA10 Camcorder
UHM Media Lab Study Guide 8/17/2011
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UHM Media Lab
2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B
CANON XA10 Camcorder
Director’s Phone: 956-3358
FRONT DESK: 956-3355
You will be recording to SD memory cards rather than the
camcorder’s internal memory. Use a memory card with a class
rating of 4 or better for recording speed. Demonstrate how to
load memory cards to use them with this camcorder.
1) Turn the camcorder off. The ON/OFF (CHG) indicator
must be off with no green light.
2) Open the LCD panel.
3) Open the double memory card slot cover.
4) Insert an SD memory card straight in, with the label facing the front of the camcorder,
into slot “A” until you hear a click.
5) You can put another card in the slot “B” if you wish.
6) Close the slot cover.
CARD. Also, when the ACCESS indicator light is flashing, do not disconnect power, turn off camcorder,
or remove memory cards.
NOTE: The camera has internal memory that can be used for recording, but any recordings on this
memory must be deleted before returning the camera to the Media Lab. The lab will not be
responsible for any recordings left in the camera when it is checked in!
1. This camera comes with built-in microphones that are only good for ambient/background
sounds. For professional quality audio, we will plug in professional microphones.
2. If the camera isn’t already setup with an external on camera shotgun microphone, attach it
and plug it in to CH2 (audio channel 2). Connect the hand mic to an XLR cable and plug that
into CH1. Plug in the headphones.
3. Set the audio controls on the camera handle (see
illustration). The switch position for CH1 will be middle
(MIC) for the hand mic and right (MIC+48) for the lavalier
mic. Know the following terminology for our mics:
SHOTGUN MIC: A condenser mic which requires
electrical power to work and has a narrow pickup pattern
which picks up sound best from the front.
HAND MIC: A dynamic mic with a cone-shaped pickup pattern and picks up sound a bit better
from the front than from the sides.
LAVALIER MIC: A condenser mic with an omnidirectional pickup pattern (picks up sound
evenly from any direction).
LINE LEVEL: A setting on the camera to match the strong electrical audio signal from a device
such as audio amplifier or DVD player.
MIC LEVEL: A setting on the camera to match the weak electrical audio signal generated by a
DYNAMIC MIC: A microphone that generates its own weak electrical audio signal such as a
hand mic.
CONDENSER MIC: A microphone that needs electrical power to work. (The shotgun mic and
the lavalier mic are examples of condenser mics).
CANON XA10 Camcorder
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UHM Media Lab
2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B
CANON XA10 Camcorder
Director’s Phone: 956-3358
FRONT DESK: 956-3355
ATTENUATE: To reduce the signal strength or level by a large degree. The ATT switch
position reduces the audio signal strength when the sound is excessively loud and distorted.
However, it is not enough to compensate for a line level signal.
PHANTOM POWER: Electrical power (+48v) provided to the microphone from the camera
through the audio cable.
NOTE: Supplying phantom power to dynamic microphones may damage the microphone. Thus, it is
important to determine whether or not the mic needs phantom power. Before connecting a mic make sure
that the +48V switch is set to OFF. If your audio display and headset do not reveal audio signal, then turn
the +48V to ON. Don’t forget to turn the phantom power OFF when not in use.
4. After setting the switches, turn the camera on and use the
thumbwheels to adjust the recording levels for the audio. Have
someone speak into the microphones and set the recording levels to
peak around -10dB. Adjust the audio separately for Ch1 and Ch2.
On the opposite side of the camcorder is a switch that enables you
to choose AUTO, “M” (Manual), or CINEMA. You may choose to
use “AUTO” for your shooting, but you must also understand how
to manually set White Balance, Gain, and Exposure to have
complete control when necessary. (For information on using the
“CINEMA” mode, please consult the Canon Instruction Manual.) Set the switch to “M” for
manual control.
This is the on-screen display for the camcorder in the manual mode. If it isn’t showing, push the
DISP. Button on the side of the camera. Explain the function of each of the icons and settings
on the screen:
Button to touch to go to the FUNC menu
Aperture setting
Shutter speed setting
Gain setting
Focus setting
Face detection setting
White balance setting
Audio levels indicator
Button to take a digital snapshot
Camera mode and number of scenes recorded; Changes to time in the recording mode to
indicate how long the recording has been going.
Pause/Record indicator – Changes to a red dot when recording video
Image Stabilization setting
Estimated charge left on battery and approximate of amount of recording time left
Memory slot(s) selected and how much recording time remains
Video quality setting
CANON XA10 Camcorder
UHM Media Lab Study Guide 8/17/2011
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UHM Media Lab
2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B
CANON XA10 Camcorder
Director’s Phone: 956-3358
FRONT DESK: 956-3355
16. Microphone setting to reduce wind noise (cuts out low frequencies) and microphone
attenuation indicator; normally set to off and does not appear
17. Setting for audio monitoring or audio and video monitoring; The Headphones icon
indicates it is set for monitoring audio with headphones
18. Button to touch to display a screen with zoom control settings.
The camcorder features a touch-sensitive screen on the LCD panel for users to review, select
and change camcorder settings. Use your finger to navigate through the options by touching the
icons or images on the LCD screen. You can also scroll through the menus and settings by
swiping your finger up and down or across the screen. Touch the screen gently… sometimes
there is a lag or no response if you don’t touch the screen in the right place.
NOTE: Keep your fingers and hands clean for better response from the touch screen and
to avoid scratching the screen.
If you see a notation such as FUNC  MENU, etc., it means to touch the FUNC icon (top left of
screen), which will then take you to a MENU of options. From that menu, you can choose
settings such as White Balance or AGC Limit.
Whenever you want to return to the main screen on the LCD panel, touch the “X” icon in the
upper right corner. Touching a “go back” arrow returns you to
the previous screen.
Demonstrate how to initialize the memory card. (If you have already used the card in a
CANON XA10 camera you don’t have to redo it.)
NOTE: Initializing or formatting deletes all files on the memory card.
1) To initialize: Turn camera on and use the LCD
touchscreen to access the menu system:
Card A.
 Initialize  Mem.
2) If you are using two memory cards, initialize Mem.
Card A and Mem. Card B. See Instruction Manual
for additional options.
Navigate and check or set the following menu selections to operate the camera:
1. Recording mode (quality) normally set to FXP (30 mins. on a 4GB card)
 Recording Mode  (FXP)
2. Recording media (where your movie files will be recorded): “A” and/or “B”
 Rec Media for Movies  (“A”)
3. Frame rate: 60i
CANON XA10 Camcorder
UHM Media Lab Study Guide 8/17/2011
 Frame Rate  (60i)
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UHM Media Lab
2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B
CANON XA10 Camcorder
Director’s Phone: 956-3358
FRONT DESK: 956-3355
4. XLR Rec Channel: CH1 (keeps audio channels separate; CH1/CH2 setting combines
the 2 audio channels into one signal)
 XLR Rec Channel  (CH1)
5. AV/Headphones: Headphones
 AV/Headphones  (Headphones icon)
6. Volume: 8 is the midpoint for the loudness of the headphones
7. FUNC  MENU 
 Volume  (Headphone icon + 8)
8. FUNC  Rec. Programs  Manual Exposure 
Be sure to check these settings for manual operation of
the camera. These settings can be adjusted through the
menu in the Manual Exposure screen. In the “M”
(Manual Exposure) mode, you control all aspects of the
NOTE: There are 3 other options in the manual camera mode: P for Programmed AE (you can set
everything except aperture and shutter speed which the camera chooses); Tv for Shutter-Pri.AE (you can
set everything except aperture which the camera chooses); Av for Aperture-Pri AE (you can set
everything except shutter speed which the camera chooses).
Touch to select Aperture control; adjust with the slider at the bottom of the screen (d)
Shutter Speed control; adjust with slider (d)
Gain control; adjust with slider (d)
Touch arrows at either end to adjust settings on slider or touch the slider and swipe left or right to
e. Zebra level setting: allows you to chose between 70% or 100% video levels for the zebra pattern
f. Zebra on/off: A red bar on the side of the icon indicate that zebras are on
g. Wave Form Monitor: Indicates the relative luminance levels of the video across the screen
9. Aperture: This will be adjusted at the time you are ready to start recording
10. Shutter speed: 1/60 (Standard video shutter speed)
11. Gain: 0dB (0dB gain minimizes the amount of video noise or grain in the video)
12. White Balance: Manually set the white balance
by navigating to the white balance screen.
FUNC  White Balance  Set 1 (or Set 2)  13. Choose one of the 2 icons,
, and shoot a white card in the scene.
To set the white balance touch “Set WB”.
(Choosing “AWB” lets the camera automatically
guess the setting.) Other white balance options include selecting a preset white balance
to match the lighting conditions of the scene. (See Instruction Manual for matching white
balance to lighting conditions.)
CANON XA10 Camcorder
UHM Media Lab Study Guide 8/17/2011
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UHM Media Lab
2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B
CANON XA10 Camcorder
Director’s Phone: 956-3358
FRONT DESK: 956-3355
Demonstrate how to focus the viewfinder for your eye
Pull out the viewfinder and look at the picture.
Locate the lever under the viewfinder.
Move the lever back and forth until icons in the viewfinder are sharp and in focus.
Demonstrate 3 ways to “zoom” the lens (without the remote control)
There are three ways to zoom on the Canon XA10: 1) using the zoom lever on the camcorder
(back of camcorder toward the viewfinder, just in front of the handle); 2) using the zoom rocker
on the handle; 3) using the zoom control on the LCD touch screen.
Demonstrate 4 ways the focus the lens and explain what indicators are displayed in the
1. Auto Focus: Switch the camera to one of the 3 Auto Focus modes (I.AF / MF / AF),
and let the camera focus itself automatically. Touch a distinct object or shape on the
screen and the camera will focus on that object temporarily. NOTE: Auto focus modes
can be selected in the camera menu system.
2. Manual Focus: Switch to Manual Focus mode (MF), zoom all the way in on your
subject using the viewfinder. Turn the focus ring to focus on your subject then zoom out
to frame your scene.
3. Selected Focus: Select the MF icon in the FUNC menu. Touch a subject that appears
inside the rectangular focusing frame. The Touch AF mark (four triangles pointed
inward) will flash and the focusing distance will be adjusted automatically to that location.
4. Face Detection: Select Face Detection & Tracking in the camera menu. In AF mode,
the camera will focus on faces in the scene. If there are several faces in the scene, you
can choose the one on which you want to focus by touching it on the screen. Doublelined box corners shows where you are focused.
Navigate to the Manual Exposure menu screen.
Touch the aperture button (a) on the screen and use the slider (d) to adjust the exposure of the
Name and explain 4 things that affect the exposure of the image.
1. Aperture: Changes the size of the opening in the lens to admit more or less light.
2. Shutter Speed: Changes the amount of time the light is recorded for each frame. More
time allows more light and greater exposure.
3. Gain: Changes the sensitivity of the camera’s light sensor. The higher the sensitivity
the less light is needed to record an image. The big draw back to increasing gain is the
increase in video noise or grain. Avoid using gain whenever possible to maintain the
quality of the picture.
CANON XA10 Camcorder
UHM Media Lab Study Guide 8/17/2011
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UHM Media Lab
2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B
CANON XA10 Camcorder
Director’s Phone: 956-3358
FRONT DESK: 956-3355
4. Neutral Density: Changes the amount of light passing to the sensor by placing a dark
filter in the light path. A neutral density filter does not affect the color of the image. The
CANON XA10 does this electronically as you adjust the aperture.
Demonstrate and explain the "Zebra" feature.
• Use the zebra pattern as a guide for adjusting
your exposure. You can look for two Zebra levels:
70% and 100%. (The Zebra pattern will not
appear on your recording.)
• Touch the tool icon (e) to select the Zebra levels.
• Touch the 70% or 100% button and then touch
the “go back” icon.
• The Zebra pattern will appear on the areas exposed at 70% or overexposed areas at the
100% setting. The 70% level is useful for setting the proper exposure for faces… when
the zebras just start to appear on the face, the person is correctly exposed
• Touch (f) again to turn off the Zebra pattern.
You can also turn on the waveform monitor (g) to help you judge exposure if you know how to use it. Just
touch the WFM button (g) to bring up the wave form. Touch it again to remove it.
Other Settings:
Infrared Recording. Switch the INFRARED lever to ON and off. (You can choose between a
black & white or green cast in the menu system.) The infrared switch greatly increases the
camera’s sensitivity in low light situations but the video is monochrome (no colors).
Demonstrate how to record a series of scenes
Make sure your electrical power or battery is attached.
Turn on the camcorder.
Remove the lens cap.
Flip open your LCD screen or use the viewfinder.
You have three camera modes to choose from for recording. For our purposes, you will
first use the Manual mode.
6. First, set the white balance.
7. Second, focus and frame (compose) a scene.
8. Third, set the correct exposure.
9. Then, press START/STOP to begin recording. Record for 5 to 10 seconds. Press
START/STOP again to pause recording.
10. Focus, frame, expose, and record 2 more scenes each 5-10 seconds.
11. Switch the camera to AUTO and shoot another scene, letting the camera focus,
expose, and white balance automatically.
12. Demonstrate 3 ways to start and stop recording.
a. Button at the back of the camera
b. Button on top of the handle
c. “START” button on the touch screen when you select the “ZOOM” menu.
13. NOTE: If the LCD is difficult to see, turn on the LCD backlight to make it brighter by
holding the DISP button down for more than two seconds. Do it again to go back to
CANON XA10 Camcorder
UHM Media Lab Study Guide 8/17/2011
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UHM Media Lab
2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B
CANON XA10 Camcorder
Director’s Phone: 956-3358
FRONT DESK: 956-3355
Demonstrate how to playback and delete what you have recorded
1. Push the “CAMERA/PLAYBACK” button on the side of the camera.
This switches the camera from shooting mode to playback mode.
2. In the playback mode, you’ll see still images of the
scenes you just shot. This is the Date/Index screen
for playback. Touch a scene to play it back.
3. Touch the screen while a scene is playing to reveal
more playback controls.
4. Touch the pause button to pause the playback.
Touch the stop button to return to the Date/Index
5. If you have a lot of scenes, you can swipe your finger across the Index screen to reveal
other scenes. (Read the manual for other ways to view the scenes and see information
about each scene.)
6. Use the zoom control to switch between 6 scenes per page and 15.
7. To delete scenes, touch “Edit”  “Delete”  “Select”
8. Select a scene by touching it. A checkmark appears on the
still image. (You may touch more than one to delete. If you
touch one again, the checkmark disappears.)
9. Touch “OK” and a confirmation screen appears. Touch
“Yes” to delete (all) the scene(s) you have selected.
Identify 3 buttons that can be customized
There are 3 camera buttons that can be
customized according to your preference when
the camera is in the manual mode. They can be
shortcuts to the functions you use most often.
You can select the settings you want in the menu:
 [Custom
Key/Dial] or [Assign Button 1] or [Assign Button 2]
1. Suggested setting for Assign Button 1 is AF/MF to switch between auto focus and
manual focus controls.
2. Suggested setting for Assign Button 2 is WB Priority to switch between Auto White
Balance (AWB) and the white balance setting you manually set.
3. In Manual mode (M) set the Custom Button/Dial to Manual Exposure. This allows you to
toggle between the Aperture setting, Shutter Speed setting, and Gain setting. You can
then change the each setting by rotating the dial beneath the Custom Button.
4. In one of the manual program modes P, Tv, Av, you may want to set the Custom Dial to
Exposure to make it easy to adjust your exposure setting. Exposure allows you to dial
CANON XA10 Camcorder
UHM Media Lab Study Guide 8/17/2011
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UHM Media Lab
2350 DOLE ST. KHET Studio B
CANON XA10 Camcorder
Director’s Phone: 956-3358
FRONT DESK: 956-3355
in exposure compensation (if the automatic exposure is too dark, you can dial in addition
exposure compensation to brighten the scene or reduce the exposure compensation to
darken the scene.) See page 90 in the CANON XA10 Instruction Manual for other
Demonstrate how to “strike” the Camera equipment
Turn off the camera and remove the memory card(s). Return it to the Media Lab
Assistant (or put it away if it is yours.)
Disconnect the camera power cable.
Disconnect the headphones, hand mic, and XLR cable (DO NOT!!! stretch the
headphone cable coils)
Remove the camera from the tripod.
Pack all items neatly in their proper location in the camera bag.
All cables must be properly coiled (“over/under”).
Tripod legs should be retracted and locked.
Head lock should be locked.
Pan handle rotated down and tightened down into position along tripod legs.
Pan and tilt locks should be unlocked (this prevents possible damage to pan and tilt
locks while transporting).
For more information about the Canon XA10 HD Camcorder, consult the Instruction Manual
online at:
Or review the Instruction Manual included with the camcorder.
CANON XA10 Camcorder
UHM Media Lab Study Guide 8/17/2011
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