Sharing video is a matter of necessity for many working professionals covering news, sports or live events. Doing this quickly can be the difference between a scoop and another day in the office. In the past, you may have been limited to microwave or satellite uplinks, or perhaps scrambling back to a facility or newsroom for footage distribution. Today, Wi-Fi® has quickly emerged as a solid alternative for nearly instant raw footage dissemination and the Canon XA20/25 with built-in Wi-Fi® capabilities have several options to get your footage posted in a flash.
While Wi-Fi® has previously been available in the Canon VIXIA line, the XA20/25 are the only camcorders that offer built-in connectivity in Canon’s Professional and Cinema EOS lines. The XA25 comes equipped with built-in dual band (5 GHz/2.4 GHz) Wi-Fi® technology, making it possible to connect and transfer footage using mobile hotspots, over local networks, or to social media sites via iOS mobile devices with the free Canon Movie Uploader app. If you want to backup to Cloud-based servers, there’s another Wi-Fi® option that makes it possible to upload footage using FTP protocol. If your producer wants to see your footage before you upload, you can even feed a wireless playback to a compatible monitor.
Additionally, you can also connect to the XA20/25’s camera controls using a Wi-Fi® connection. Similar to the interface Cinema EOS cameras have using the Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E6A, you can remotely control many of the XA20/25’s functions using a simple internet browser. By setting up a simple Ad Hoc connection between the XA20/25 and a smartphone, tablet or Wi-Fi® capable laptop, you can view a live image from the camcorder and control the XA20/25’s shooting mode, recording start/stop, select slots, adjust exposure (iris/gain), white balance, three speeds for the 20x zoom, shutter speed, and focus settings remotely.
Here’s another great feature: You don’t have to have anyone physically working the camera when you need to roll. For instance, you may want to leave the camera setup in position for a shot, unattended, or perhaps mount it out of reach on a crane or auto. Using a Live View from the remote connection, you could leave the camera setup alone, monitor the shot on your device and then you or another member of your team could control the camcorder functions remotely – from anywhere in the world – and retrieve the footage later from an iOS device, an FTP site or off the internet.
The XA20/25 are capable of recording a Full HD file in two compression formats simultaneously – AVCHD and MP4. These formats are selectable from among several different bitrates and resolutions. You can transfer and upload only the MP4 files wirelessly, but this makes it possible to get raw footage back to the editor immediately to begin working on the story before you return.
Here’s a few setup tips for connecting the XA20/25 via the secure, built-in Wi-Fi® to a smartphone:
The first thing you need to do is set a password for the connection. Navigate the Menu to [WiFi]>[Smartphone].
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a “Smartphone” – it could be a computer or a tablet – but here it’s called [Smartphone Connection]:
After selecting [Smartphone Connection], you’ll come to a page that gives you the camera’s SSID name that you’ll look for later when selecting a Wi-Fi® network on your device:
Select the box [Password-protected] and assign an eight-character password:
Next, navigate back to the [FUNC] screen and select [Wi-Fi Remote]:
Here, you’re given the Camcorder’s SSID name and the URL you’ll need to log into the Wi-Fi®. Press [ON] and make a note of the web address. Later on when you open a browser window, you’ll enter “192.168.0.80” (without the quotes) to access the remote control User Interface.:
Close the Menu. A yellow box with “Wi-Fi” confirms that the Wi-Fi® is set up and active:
Next, look for and join the network “XA-96BC_Canon0C” on your smartphone or remote device, just like you would any other wireless network. The network choices are located in “Settings”:
When it asks you for a password, enter the eight-character password you assigned the camcorder and connect. You’ll come to the Basic Control screen:
From here, you can operate basic functions, view a live image or switch to the Advanced Control screen where you can operate and change many of the camcorder’s settings:
For details on uploading files using the free Movie Uploader app by Pixela, visit the Canon, USA website.
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