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Canon XH-A1 / A1E / A1S

alaTest has collected and analyzed 389 reviews of Canon XH-A1 / A1E / A1S. The average rating for this product is 4.4/5, compared to an average rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders for all reviews. Comments about the size and design are overall positive. The image quality and price also get good views. Many are less positive about the viewfinder and memory. There are some mixed reviews about the reliability and portability.

usability, price, image quality, design, size

memory, viewfinder

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Camcorders the Canon XH-A1 / A1E / A1S is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 85/100 = Very good quality.

See all Canon Camcorders

Review analysis

(Based on 389 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

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Consumer review by: ( review summary for Canon XH-A1 / A1E / A1S


alaTest has collected and analyzed 19 user reviews of Canon XH-A1 / A1E / A1S from The average user rating for this product is 4.6/5, compared to an average user rating of 4.0/5 for other Camcorders on Reviewers really like the price and color. The zoom and size are also appreciated, but there are some critical comments about the design and portability.

usability, size, zoom, color, price

portability, design

95% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Canon XH A1 Professional MiniDV Camcorder (20x Optical Zoom, ¿HDV1080i recording)Canon XH A1 Professional MiniDV Camcorder (20x Optical Zoom, ¿HDV1080i recording)

Oct, 2016

Consumer review by: ( review summary for Canon XH-A1 / A1E / A1S


alaTest has collected and analyzed 182 user reviews of Canon XH-A1 / A1E / A1S from The average user rating for this product is 4.5/5, compared to an average user rating of 3.9/5 for other Camcorders on People really like the size and design. The image quality and price are also appreciated. Comments are divided on the portability, while many are less positive about the reliability.

usability, price, image quality, design, size


92% of the reviews on give this product a positive rating.

This summary is based on the products: Canon XH A1 1.67MP 3CCD High-Definition Camcorder with 20x Optical ZoomCanon XH A1 1.67MP 3CCD High-Definition Camcorder with 20x Optical Zoom

Oct, 2016

Expert review by: (

Canon XH A1 Camcorder Review


Deigned for the digital filmmaker, the Canon XH A1 HDV camcorder delivers full manual control and a range of advanced functions into a compact design.

Complete image control is possible with adjustable visual parameters such as gain, matrix and colour correction.

May, 2012

Expert review by: James Morris (

Canon XH-A1


Last year, Canon's XH-A1 bowled us over with its keen price and exceptional capabilities in low light. But the market has moved forward - particularly Sony's offerings.

The Canon XH-A1's award-winning status has been usurped by Sony this year, but it's still a great performer. If your budget doesn't stretch to the Sony HVR-Z7E, and you don't need a removable lens or solid-state recording system, the Canon continues to...

Apr, 2008

Editor's Choice!

Expert review by: Steve Paris (

Canon XH-A1


There is a vast range of HDV camcorders available today. One of the newest from Canon, the XH-A1, has inherited a lot of features from its bigger brother the XL-H1, a very powerful professional camera.

Excellent image quality even in low light, 3 CCD, can record in 1080i or DV, fantastic manual controls, works with all Apple editing applications

Unintuitive screen menus and navigation, small LCD screen, uncomfortable eyepiece, heavy, not for the faint hearted

This camera is of such excellent value that most of the defects are quite minor in comparison. It isn’t for everyone, and definitely not for the novice user, but if you’re a professional filmmaker on a budget or a dedicated amateur you’ll absolutely...

Feb, 2005

Expert review by: (

Canon XH A1

Jun, 2008

Expert review by: Chris Jager (

Canon XH-A1


Ever since the advent of digital video, Canon has been the uncontested king of prosumer level camcorders. From the all-conquering XL-1, to its elite H...

Exceptional high-definition image quality, huge level of customisability, professional components and design

Represents good value for money -- but only to those who can afford it, tiny low resolution LCD screen

Falling somewhere between the professional and high-end consumer markets, the XH-A1 is an outstanding high-definition camera that should suit anyone who is career minded about video.

Nov, 2007

Expert review by: Review Crew (

Canon XH A1 Digital Camcorder Review


Giving independent videographers something to choose from besides its popular but long-in-the-tooth GL2, Canon offers up two HDV models designed to appeal to the prosumer and entry-level pro markets. Derived ...

Jun, 2010

Expert review by: Derek Fung (

Canon XH A1


Wedding videographers and indie film-makers should check out Canon's XH A1 if they require high-defintion output.

Outlook Though an impressive HD camera, its price (AU$6,499) and weight (2.33kg) means that this is not a camera for the average consumer, however its intended audience (independent film-makers, wedding videographers or serious and well-heeled...

Dec, 2006

Expert review by: Jeremy Stamas (

Canon XH A1S Camcorder Review


In the burgeoning market of hand-held pro camcorders, the tape-based Canon XH A1S isn't anything close to ground-breaking. Still, with a $4000 price tag, it is a reasonably-priced model that's loaded with features and did quite well in our performance...

We like the Canon XH A1S, but its tape-based recording system is a bit outdated in our increasingly non-linear world. Many pro camcorders are beginning to include the ability to record video to memory cards-just like the bulk of the consumer camcorder...

Sep, 2009

Expert review by: David Kender (

Canon XH A1 Camcorder Review


The Canon XH A1 is poised to win over a host of videographers looking to make the switch to HD. Billed by Canon as the XL H1 in miniature, we can tell you that the statement is hardly exaggeration. The manual control suite is simply outstanding and the...

Nov, 2006

Expert review by: Sandy Samra (

Canon XH A1 Review


The XH A1 by Canon is an extremely portable professional level camcorder powered with Super - Range Optical Image Stabilizer and Digic DV II processor. Read on to know more about the features and advantages of this high definition camcorder.

With so many features, Canon XH A1 is surprisingly easy to operate and an outstanding camcorder for independent filmmakers and entry level professionals. It is extremely customizable and produces excellent quality videos. $4999.95 is a hard to beat...

Jun, 2011

Product Specifications

The HDV1080i XH A1 is perfectly balanced for easy handheld shooting. Full control over image variables, with new ultra-fast Instant AF, makes the XH A1 an ideal digital filmmaker's tool. The 1/3" 1.67 Megapixel 3CCD XH A1 records HDV1080i onto MiniDV tape. The use of rectangular pixels delivers the superior quality of full widescreen resolution, as seen on a High Definition display. Selectable frame rates offer digital filmmakers 50i or 25F shooting. Benefiting from a 32.5-650mm (35mm range) Canon L-series 20x optical zoom lens with Super Range Optical Image Stabilizer, the XH A1 inherits the highest optical standards. Fluorite lens elements, Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) glass and multi-coating virtually eliminate ghosting, flare and chromatic aberration. Ultra-fast auto focusing with Canon's Instant AF system helps achieve the superb clarity and sharpness that defines HD images. The Focus Assist function aids manual focusing. The increased amount of data that must be stored when recording HDV means that more processing power is also needed. Canon's next generation DIGIC DV II processor has been developed to meet the demands of HDV, providing low-noise images with exceptional color reproduction. Split path processing handles movie and still image signals separately, according to their individual color requirements. With an internal battery system allowing the camcorder to operate in extreme environments, the compact XH A1 has been developed for balanced handheld shooting. Ideal for use on location, its controls are positioned for comfortable operation during long shoots. The XH A1 features separate rings on the lens body, allowing full, three-fingered manual control over focus, zoom and iris. A 2.8" widescreen LCD, discretely positioned on top of the XH A1's body, can be rotated for optimum shooting comfort. Footage can also be monitored in 16: 9 widescreen using the 0.57" EVF. A full range of image adjustments are available, including finely graded gain and matrix settings and color correction. Cine gamma settings are provided for digital filmmakers. With an additional 25F shooting mode the XH A1 is able to reproduce the look and feel of film. Presets are available for storing custom settings. An accessory shoe allows a range of peripherals to be attached to the camcorder, expanding shooting options. Two channel XLR audio inputs are also provided.


Audio Dubbing: No
Built-In Microphone: Yes
Wind filter: Yes

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Battery life (max):7
Battery technology:Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Type:BP-970G
Manufacturer Battery Name:Canon BP-950G

Camcorder Features

High Definition Video Support:1080i
Low Lux / Night Mode: Yes
Widescreen Video Capture:Widescreen Video Capture


3D: No
3D compatibility: No
Camcorder type:Shouldercam
Minimum illumination:0.3 / 0.4
On Screen Display (OSD): Yes

Camera Flash

Type: None

Carrying Case

Recommended Use:For digital photo camera
Type:Soft case


Colour of product:Black

Digital Camera

Supported Flash Memory:MultiMediaCard / SD Memory Card

Dimensions & Weight



Built-in Display: Yes
Display diagonal:7.11
Display Resolution:207000

Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.8in
Diagonal Size (metric):7.1cm
Display Form Factor:Rotating
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Low light / Spotlight/Night mode / Spotlight

Flash Memory

Form Factor:SD Memory Card
Storage Capacity:16MB


Model:DCC-650/XH A1/XH A1S
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Canon

Image sensor

Effective megapixels (movie):156000
Optical sensor size:25.4 / 3
Sensor Type:CCD
Total MegaPixels:1.67

Lens System

Filter Size:7.2
Focal length (35mm film equivalent):32.5 - 650
Focal length range (f-f):4.5 - 90
Image stabilizer:No / Yes
Lens Aperture:F/1.6/F/1.6-3.5
Max Focal Length:90mm
Min Focal Length:4.5mm
Optical Zoom:20
Optical Zoom:20
Type:Zoom lens

Optical Sensor

Camcorder Effective Still Resolution:2Megapixel
Camcorder Effective Video Resolution:1.56Mpix
Camcorder Sensor Resolution:1.67Mpix
Optical Sensor Size:1/3"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):8.5 mm ( 1/3" ) / 8.5 mm ( 1/3 )
Optical Sensor Type:3CCD
Sensor Qty:3CCD

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer:Built-in / Yes
Image Stabiliser:Optical/Optical (SuperRange)

Other features

Auto Focus: Yes
Focus:Auto: Instant AF; Manual: Independent
I/O ports:-Headphone\n-Microphone\n-DV(out/in)\n-Analogue-in\n-AV\n-LANC
Lens focal range:f/1.6 - 3.5
Lens system:N
Manual Focus: Yes
Night mode: Yes
Noise Reduction: Yes
Photo mode: Yes
Resolution:640 x 480
Spotlight: Yes

Ports & interfaces

DV port: Yes
Firewire (IEEE 1394) ports:1
Microphone in: Yes
PictBridge: No
S-Video In: No
S-Video Out: No


Camera shutter speed:1/16000 / 1/3 - 1/16000

Still image

Still image resolution(s):1920 x 1080


Camcorder tape type:HDV / Mini-DV
Compatible memory cards:MMC, SD, SDHC
Disc types supported: No

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None


Maximum frame rate:25
Maximum Video Resolution:1440 x 1080 / 1920 x 1080
Video Resolutions:1440 x 1080

Video Input

Faders:Black fader / White fader
Media Type:Mini DV (HDV)
Shooting Modes:Digital photo mode
Special Effects:Black & White / Skintone


Viewfinder Colour Support:Colour
Viewfinder screen size:0.57
Viewfinder Type:LCD monitor

Weight & Dimensions

Depth:25 / 35 / 39.4
Height :18.9 / 19.2
Weight:2.03 / 2.13 / 2.33