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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old January 28th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #151
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I don't know how smart the AF is, but a lot wild life has some form of camouflage which could cause problems for a system that's set up for human beings rather than animals with counter shading etc.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 02:52 PM   #152
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If you had to design a camera as an upgrade to the excellent XL-H1 what would you do to it? Problems I see are these (not used one much but enough to see problems). Viewfinder is awful (related to the AF discussion going on here as it's needed becasue MF is nigh impossible - only sabing grace is massive depth of field because of 1/3" chips). No slomo, needs some way of getting at least 60fps. Tape rather than solid state - actually a mixed blessing! No true progressive mode, but Frame mode sort of is the same. No NDs on the body, so using 35mm stills lenses is problematic. HDV codec is hopeless, needs at the EX 35mb/sec codec. Lens controls - yuck, continually rotating focus rings etc. The EX lens controls are (for the price) excellent.
That's the list that springs to mind so far, and if all they do was rectify those things they'd get my vote.
Steve
The EX1 left a lot of room for improvement. It got most of the basics right. Great sensors, SDI port, awesome LCD. But the VF was weak, the codec needed a boost in bit rate, it really needed HDMI, some of the buttons were awful, the power switch was a joke, etc. The EX1r has addressed nearly every issue outside of the codec.

If Canon could offer something similar to the EX1r with a better codec, they'd give Sony a run. The NXCam is really going to sew up the $5k space I think. Once you get north of that, the EX1 is the heavyweight in the room. South of that, the HMC150 is the obvious target.

What baffles me is that these manufacturers seem to have all the stuff.. just not on one camera. It would take NOTHING for Sony to turn up the bitrate of the EX1r. It's offering HDV and 35Mbps XDCam. Just allow 50/100Mbps XDCam and the #1 knock against the camera just fades into oblivion.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:00 PM   #153
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...But it doesn't look like Sony need to feel too threatened re its EX range of cameras, and IMO, the most likely competition will come from Panasonic bringing out an AVC Intra version of the 171, a fixed lens hpx300, which i for one would be very tempted by, even with the 1/3 chips....Now P2 card prices are becoming a realistic alternative, any thoughts on the likelihood of a fixed lens hpx300 - along the lines of an hpx171 with AVC Intra- turning up in 2010?
It's not AVC-I that would make so much a difference, as putting in the full raster imaging chips. The HPX170 just doesn't use imaging chips that even come close to offering the resolution of the imaging chips in EX camcorders, and Panasonic's AVCCAM AVCHD H264 encoding is apparently as good or better (image fidelity wise), compared to XDCAM EX MPEG-2 encoding from the EX cams. I'd venture a guess that, with typical footage, AVCCAM AVCHD image quality might exceed image quality of the 50Mbps flavor of AVC-I even (certainly for very low motion footage).
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #154
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Could be that Sony don't want to step on the toes of their higher end cameras by putting the higher bit rate into the EX1r.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #155
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No doubt about that whatsoever Brian.
They are shamed by people like Convergent Designs who prove it to be true.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:09 PM   #156
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Um,

Based on what Sony put in the EX1(r) it doesn't appear they care about stepping on their more expensive cams at all. Moving 1/2" sensors down the range. Moving SDI down the range, etc. What's the next model in the Sony line that does over and under cranking? Replaceable lenses on the EX3. The image shaping on the EX line is right off the $50k level cams.

If anything, Sony seems to be more willing than anyone else to take features from the big boy cams and move them into the prosumer line.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:25 PM   #157
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It sure looks like the NX5U is going to be doing some stepping on the EX cams, with some of it's features (like very elegant and affordable redundant recording). Sony is competing with themselves more than any other camcorder manufacturer is.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:29 PM   #158
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Perrone, they are stopping short of the higher end cams by not putting 50 or 100 mb/s codecs in the EX - no reason at all other than marketing.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:36 PM   #159
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If Canon's new cam offers H264 encoding at 32Mbps (or higher), along with an imaging block that can resolve 1000 lines of detail cleanly, Sony may have some incentive to offer higher bitrates with the EX cams. Right now they don't.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:43 PM   #160
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Perrone, they are stopping short of the higher end cams by not putting 50 or 100 mb/s codecs in the EX - no reason at all other than marketing.
Steve
Not sure I agree. The primary reasoning is that they have had data rate limitations. The Expresscards can do the job, but their external recorder and the SDHC cards that have been available wouldn't hold up to the bit rates. The new class-10 SDHC cards should solve that problem, at least on the EX1r, but this may still not be possible on the EX1.

It's the same reason that overcranking failed on the SDHC cards in the original EX1/EX3 once you got to a certain rate.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #161
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I just wouldn't be surprised if Sony soon introduces a format that uses high-bitrate, long-GOP H264 encoding, to replace XDCAM for the future - would really make a lot of sense.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 04:01 PM   #162
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Not sure I agree. The primary reasoning is that they have had data rate limitations.
That's the point though, thanks to Convergent Designs it's not a question of agreeing or disagreeing, it's been proved that it can be done - and it doesn't need to cost very much, and can even go upto 220 mb/sec!
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Old January 28th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #163
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That's the point though, thanks to Convergent Designs it's not a question of agreeing or disagreeing, it's been proved that it can be done - and it doesn't need to cost very much, and can even go upto 220 mb/sec!
Steve
1. The Nanoflash records off the SDI port, not the internal bus
2. The Nanoflash is not using SDHC... it's using Compact Flash
3. Sony have several high bitrate codecs already... just not in the EX1(r)

So of course it can be done, but there are physical limitations in the EX1 that prevent it from happening on certain media.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 04:17 PM   #164
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But to get to the SDI it has to go through the internal bus.
SxS can go to very high bitrates, so you could use that for quality work (as you likely would anyway) and SDHC for low bitrate stuff.
It's just impossible to argue against it.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 04:21 PM   #165
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How much sense does it really make for Sony to stick with MPEG-2 much longer though? After a few more new CPU generations (think CPUs with a dozen or more cores that are at least twice as efficient as i7 per core), MPEG-2 just won't offer much comparative advantage for editing purposes, but does suck up significantly more bandwidth (and space). In a few short years things might flip things around a bit, since HDD speeds aren't getting faster nearly as quickly as CPU power - with the lower bandwidth of AVC (faster HDD reads and writes) providing for an overall performance advantage once CPUs can handle AVC as easy as melting butter on a hot griddle.
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