Canon XC15 Review, Unboxing, User Manual


  • 8.9 - 89mm Wide, 10X Zoom Lens with f/2.8 - f/5.6.
  • 8.29 MP resolution
  • 12 MP 1-Type Large Format CMOS Sensor.
  • DIGIC DV 5 Image Processor.
  • 4K UHD Video Recording up to 29.97 FPS.
  • XLR Audio Input & MA-400 Microphone Adapter.


Canon again added an upgraded camcorder model in their XC series in 2016, which is a follow-up model to the Canon XC10. The brand responded to many user requests by introducing Canon XC15 that is capable of recording sharp and bright 4K UHD video with different resolutions and frame rates.

Like the predecessor model it also can be a perfect option for those who want stunning results in both video and still images. The Canon XC15 is aimed for run-and-gun newsgathering with a lightweight compact body, waveform monitor display, HDR similar 4K content, improved audio recording functioning, and XLR input compatibility ships.

CANON XC15 review

Design & Features

  • Effective Design and Handling

The target audience of the XC15 are usually on field photographers (like wedding photographers, travel vloggers, sports videographers) because they find this camcorder compact and portable with only 955g weight. It also provides a 90-degree rotating well-contoured large handgrip to make the filming process comfortable at tricky angles.

  • Manual Controls

Along with the ergonomic physical design, it also adds several controls to do ample handheld editorial work during shootings. The thumb-control dial, record button, menu button, MF/AF toggle, and three customizable function buttons lessen up the hassle of shooting tasks.

  • Display Screen and Viewfinder

The 3” LCD screen with 1.03 Million dots resolution offers a bright and vivid colored display of the recording clips. The touch-friendly navigation menus, swiping gestures, and touchable tracking functionality are a big plus here. The display screen comes with a unique two-axis swivel mechanism that lets it tilt around 90 to 115 degrees. This tilting design is highly versatile and advantageous for shooting at odd angles.

  • Lens and Zooming Capacity

It comes with an f/2.8 – f/5.6 wide-angle zoom lens that provides 8.9 to 89mm focal length (equivalent full-frame focal length: 27.3 mm to 273 mm) and 10X optical zoom range. 

  • Image Sensor, Image Processor, and Low light Performance

The 12 megapixels 1” large format image processor and powerful DIGIC DV5 processor provide fine low light performance. The 1"-type sensor is more efficient in resolving fine details and generates a shallower depth of field than others. On the other hand, the variable ISO sensitivity ranging from 160-20,000 ISO and 0 dB – 42 dB gain strengthen the low-light shooting capability of Canon XC15.

  • Image Stabilization

The optical stabilization mechanism comes with three intensity levels – Standard, Dynamic and Powered. The standard IS combines efficiencies of image sensor and processor that capture stable shots across every situation and entire zooming range. The Dynamic IS stabilizes shots while walking or shooting in a handheld position. On the other hand, Powered IS works with camera movements; it stabilizes the frame while zooming, panning, or tilting.

  • Audio Input

Many users requested Canon to incorporate the XLR audio unit. With the XC15 model, Canon finally fulfills their demand and also adds some new useful options like in-microphone trimming, internal mic sensitivity, and mic low-cut.


  • Video Recording and Picture Quality

Canon XC15 records un-cropped 4K ultra HD video at up to 39 FPS and 1080P full HD video at up to 60FPS rate using oversampling techniques. You can record up to 305 Mbps in 24P mode. The advanced configurations of the large format image sensor and strong image sensor show their efficiency in low-contrast shooting scenarios. It offers excellent latitude with 12 stops dynamic range.

When it comes to photography, it lets you capture 12-MP JPEG images by using a mechanical shutter. Moreover, you can take still photos from 4K UHD video with 8.29 MP resolutions during post-production or in-camera.

  • Recording Format and Encoding

The Canon XC15 camcorder shoots video in XF-AVC 8-bit 4:2:2 codec, saves the files in MFX wrapper, and compresses them in Log-GOP encoding format to balance between superb image quality and storage demand. In the MXF wrapper with Long-GOP compression, the data rate varies from 205-305 Mbps for 4K UHD to 35-50 Mbps for 1080P full HD. Canon prevents data mix-up problems and eases the workflow by using separated resolutions.

  • Workflows

Canon XC15 can be an efficient part of the consistent workflow, where you can use two cameras simultaneously for video production.

  • Color Gradation

Canon XC15 features an effective ‘Movie Look Setting’ to ease the color grading process post-production. The Gamma Curves offers impeccable cross-compatibility and lets you easily match the color grade with another camera. The Canon Log and Wide DR Gamma curves enhance the 12-stop range; so, you don’t need to do extensive color corrections.

Like Gamma mode, it obtains another effective color grading mode to prevent the loss of details during highlighting. The ‘Highlight Priority Mode’ provides HDR similar efficiency that maintains high saturated natural-like color with better gradation.


  • Dual media slots

The CFast slot records 4K videos with a higher data rate. On the other hand, the SD card slot records in 1080P.

  • Battery Life

You can expect around 3 hours continuous HD recording and 90 min 4K UHD recording capability from a standard XC15 compatible LP-E6N series battery pack.

Connectivity and Compatibility

  • Wired Connection and Accessory Mount

Like others, it also has HDMI and micro-B USB ports. The DC-IN socket lets you charge the installed battery continuously. The MA-400 adapter supports many XLR audio recorders, and cold shoe attachment is also there to accept various external devices.

  • Dedicated Audio Input unit with MA-400 adapter

The MA-400 adapter features two XLR ports for capturing audio input and an interface that supports various professional audio devices like microphones or audio mixers. The adapter provides line-level inputs and manual controls over audio inputs.

  • Wired or Wireless Connection

This built-in 5 / 2.4 GHz bandwidth Wi-Fi enabled camcorder lets you share recorded files over the internet or browse files remotely.

If you want to save more money, also check about the Canon XC10 camcorder !!


The excellent physical design of the Canon XC15 video camera is perfect for shooting in tight spaces, while it's lightweight and well-contoured grip add extra comfort during fieldwork.

The dedicated audio unit, the super-fast high-resolution video shooting ability, consistent workflow compatibility, fast AF tracking, and several settings and modes for easy handheld editorial work truly help in newsgathering and other types of commercial photography.

Not only journalists or filmmakers, even people who like to self-film hunt videos, can opt for this pro camcorder. It is indeed one of the mostly used camcorders for hunting purposes, that's why.



Focal Length

8.9 to 89mm
(35mm Equivalent Focal Length: 27.3 to 273mm)

Optical Zoom


Maximum Aperture

f/2.8 to 5.6

Filter Size

58 mm

Control Rings



Focus Control


Manual Focus


Sensor Size


Sensor Type

CMOS Sensor

Effective Resolution

8.29 Megapixel


Image Stabilization

Tailored Optical Stabilisation Mechanism

Built-In ND Filter

2 Stop (1/4), 4 Stop (1/16), and 6 Stop (1/64) ND Filter

Shutter Speed

160 to 20,000 sec


0 to 42 dB

Minimum Illumination

0.05 Lux at 1/2 Shutter Speed

White Balance

2000 to 15,000K


Recording Formats

MXF or XF-AVC Codec

Video Resolution

MXF 4:2:2 8-Bit:

3840 x 2160P (305 Mb/s) at 23.98/24/29.97 FPS


Screen Size



1,030,000 Dot

Display Type

Tilting LCD Screen


Wired Connection

XLR Inputs, HDMI, Micro-B USB

Wireless Interfaces

2.4 / 5 GHz Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)

Mounting Feature

Accessory Mount

Cold Mount Shoe
1/4"-20 Female Tripod Mounting Thread


Battery Model

LP-E6N series

Battery Capacity





You will be receiving a detailed user manual while purchasing a Canon XC15. But, you can also view the user manual from the Company's official website. The user manual will have a complete guide on the different camera settings, firmware, and safety precautions you will need to follow while using this camcorder.

If you wish to check the official user manual of this Canon XC15 camcorder, click here.

CANON XC15 accessories

Battery and Memory Cards

If you want to purchase this camcorder for professional run-and-gun shooting purposes, don’t forget to carry extra batteries and memory cards.


If your job revolves around broadcasting, shooting interviews, vlogging or newsgathering, don’t go for shooting just relying on the built-in stereo microphone. It can indeed record decent reference audio, but you need clear and stable sound, Right? Well! So, purchase a standard shot-gun-microphone and install it at the integrated mic holder of the MA-400 adapter.


Canon XC15 is the perfect one-stop solution for run-and-gun filmmakers and journalists. This video-centric camera is a bit pricey; but, it packs with most professional features and functionalities that one may look for in a good-quality camcorder.

But, I would not suggest this expensive camcorder to amateur videographers as they may feel it is complicated to operate at starting.


Hey, this is Stefan. I love filmmaking gadgets because I have been working as a cinematographer for more than ten years. So I have good experience working with almost all filmmaking gadgets. I can help people who are looking forward to buying these gadgets with my review articles. From my articles, you can find amazing products in the market.

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