Canon XL H1A

Professional Camcorders

XL H1a

Canon XL H1A

HDV filmmaking at its best.

Developed using the feedback of professional cameramen, the XL H1A takes high quality HDV recording to new levels. Separate focus, zoom and iris rings – plus full audio options – give total control.


  • HDV 1080i (50i, 25F)
  • 1/3” 1.67MP 3CCD
  • 20x lens with separate focus, zoom and iris rings
  • High-speed HD processing
  • Cine Gamma controls
  • Custom preset options
  • 2-channel XLR audio
  • Optional NTSC upgrade
  • CPS Video Service Support

Detailed Features

Superb HDV quality

The XL H1A records High Definition Video (HDV) 1080i to tape media – providing the highest quality in its class. While 50i shooting delivers crisp and true-to-life video, the camcorder’s 25F shooting option is designed to give the look and feel of traditional film.

3CCD system

The XL H1A’s 1/3” 1.67 Megapixel 3CCD system delivers outstanding quality on your HD monitor.

HD Video Lens

With a 20x optical zoom, the camcorder’s L-series HD Video Lens has three control rings – providing separate manual focus, zoom and aperture control. Manual focus is possible while the zoom ring is being used. The sensitivity of the focus ring can even be customised. The lens has a Fluorite element to correct chromatic aberrations; a Vari-angle Prism Optical Image Stabilizer (VAP OIS) compensates for camera shake. The option to attach different lenses is also available with the XL interchangeable lens mount.

Fast processing of HD video

DIGIC DV II is an image processor designed to handle the large amount of image data that HD video contains. It features advanced noise reduction technology, providing images that are defined by true colours over a wide tonal range. Split path processing allows still image and video signals to be handled separately – for optimal quality.

Total image control

A full suite of image adjustment functions is available, including gain and matrix settings. In addition, a special CINE mode allows moviemakers to easily match the precise characteristics of film – perfect for direct transfer.


To help filmmakers return to their favourite camera setup, custom settings are easily saved to SD/MMC cards. Cards can be shared between camcorders and can even be transferred to Canon’s XH series models.

2-channel XLR audio

The XL H1A features 2-channel XLR audio recording: each channel has an independent limiter and full auto/manual options. The supplied stereo microphone can also be used as a mono microphone recording to one channel.

NTSC option

For international filmmakers, the XL H1A can be upgraded to NTSC and PAL shooting. This option brings a complete range of capture settings: 60i, 50i, 30F, 25F and 24F.

CPS Video Service Support

Every XL H1A user benefits from the support of Canon’s CPS Video Service. Offering numerous benefits, fast repair turnaround is guaranteed.

Product specification


Image sensing device
Image size 1/3-inch CCD
System 3CCD horizontal pixel shift
Total pixels 1.67 megapixels per CCD
Number of effective pixels (per CCD) HD: Approx. 1.56 megapixels
SD/4:3: Approx. 1.17 megapixels
SD/16:9: Approx. 1.56 megapixels
Optical zoom magnification 20x HD Video Lens supplied
Zoom, Iris and Focus rings
(Interchangeable lens system)
Focal length 5.4-108mm (35mm eqv: 38.9-778mm)
f-number f/1.6 - 3.5
Aperature leaves (Number of leaves) 6 leaves, iris diaphragm
Zoom speed Handle zoom: Fixed speed
(16 speed level settings available)
Grip zoom: Variable speed/Fixed speed
(16 speed level settings available)
Filter diameter 72mm
Minimum illumination
Auto mode Approx. 6 lux (shutter speed 1/50, Gain 18dB, i selected)
Manual mode Approx. 0.4 lux (shutter speed 1/3, Gain 18 dB, f1.6, i selected)
Image stabilizer
Image stabilization system Optical Image Stabilization (when HD 20x zoom XL5.4-108mm L IS III is installed, VAP compensation system is used)
Sensing method Angle detection and movement vector detection


AE mode 7 modes: Auto, Tv, Av, Manual, Spotlight, Night, Full Auto
Photometry system
Center weighted average Full Auto mode, Auto mode, Night mode, Tv mode, Av mode and Manual mode
Evaluative photometry (128-segments) Spotlight mode
Exposure adjustment
AE lock Included. EXP. LOCK button operation (Auto mode, TV mode, AV mode only)
AE shift Included. AE SHIFT dial operation (±2 levels) (Auto mode, TV mode, AV mode only)
Gain setting Auto/Gain select (–3, 0, +3, +6, +12, +18 dB) Set to Auto in Full Auto and Night mode, Spotlight mode is fixed at 0 dB.
Frame rate setting i - 50i recording
F1/F2 - 25F recording
Shutter speed (Tape recording)
Shutter speed setting (at Tv priority) 13 levels (1/3, 1/6, 1/12, 1/25, 1/50, 1/120, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000, 1/4000, 1/8000, 1/16000 sec)
In auto mode i selected: 1/50 to 1/500 sec
F1 selected: 1/25 to 1/500 sec
In night mode i selected: 1/3 to 1/500 sec
F1 selected: 1/3 to 1/500 sec
Aperature value (HD 20x zoom) f/1.6, 1.8, 2.0, 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, 2.8, 3.2, 3.4, 3.7, 4.0, 4.4, 4.8, 5.2, 5.6, 6.2, 6.7, 7.3, 8.0, 8.7, 9.5, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, CLOSE
Image quality adjustment
Skin setting The skin detail setting can be made after making the hue adjustment, chroma adjustment, area adjustment, and Y level adjustment.
Selective Noise Reduction 2 selectable levels
Custom preset Gamma adjustment, knee adjustment, black adjustment, master pedestal adjustment, setup level adjustment, sharpness adjustment, H detail adjustment, H/V balance adjustment, coring adjustment, NR (1/2) adjustment, color matrix adjustment, color gain adjustment, hue adjustment, RGB gain independent adjustment, matrix adjustment (6-axis adjustment)
White balance
Auto YES
Preset/Set Outdoor (5600 K), Indoor (3200 K), Set (2 available), Color temperature setting
System TTL, 128 segments
Mode AF, MF, One-push AF, Preset focus
(HD 20x zoom III installed)
MF operation Using Focus ring
Manual focus while zooming possible
Time code
Countup system Rec Run, free run, Recrun Preset, hold
Start value setting “00:00:00:00”, Set, Reset selectable
Digital fade YES (White, black fader)
Still image recording YES (1920 x 1080)
Zebra pattern YES (Level adjustment: selectable from 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, and 100%)
Color bar YES - 2 types (selectable)
Clear scan YES (SD / SDHC / MMC)
Memory card YES
REC review YES
Standby switch YES
Power safe YES
DV recording 16-bit 2ch (48 kHz), 12-bit 2ch (32 kHz)
HDV recording 2ch recording/MPEG1 Audio layer II
Control Independent limiters and auto/manual settings
Wind screen YES (ON/OFF)
LCD monitor
Size 2.4-inch (Wide type)
Pixels 215,000 pixels
Image quality adjustments YES (Brightness, Contrast, Color, Sharpness Adjustment, Black and White supported)
Movable YES (Front to Back and Left to Right)
Playback system
Frame playback DV recording: Forward/Reverse
HDV recording: Forward only
Slow playback DV recording: Forward/Reverse
HDV recording: Forward only
2x speed playback DV recording: Forward/Reverse
HDV recording: Forward/Reverse (1x speed)
1x speed playback DV/HDV recording: Forward/Reverse
Cue/Review DV recording: 11.5x speed
HDV recording: 8x speed
Date search YES
Index search YES
End search YES
Data code display Date and time display, Shooting data
Zero set memory YES
Interface (jacks)
Microphone inputs Front microphone jack (5V DC jack), 2 x rear microphone XLR inputs with phantom power supplies
Headphone output 3.5 mm mini jack
HDV/DV terminals Input/Output
Video jacks S jack (input/output), BNC jack (output), component jack (output)
AV terminal RCA pin (V: input/output, A: input/output 2 systems)
Editing jack YES:
LANC control jack
IEEE1394 - 6 pin
Time code jack NO
GENLOCK terminal NO
Memory card terminal YES
EVF jack 2 Jacks:
1 used with colour LCD/EVF (supplied)
1 can be used with external monitors
Analogue-signal - DV signal conversion YES
Microphone attenuation YES
Microphone level meter YES
World clock YES
Tally lamp YES
Remote control sensor YES
Accessory shoe YES. Supporting EOS flash
Custom key YES (2 available)
DV control YES
Backup power supply Lithium coin battery (built-in)
Battery pack power BP-930, BP-945, BP-950G, BP-970G lithium-ion battery
CPS Video service YES


W x H x D Approx 226 x 220 x 496 mm
Weight (camera only) Approx 2560g
Weight (fully equipped) Approx 3995g
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