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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 April 24th, 2010, 10:06 PM   #16
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here is an interesting interview with vincent laforet, who has been a big user on the hd dslr side of things, but gives his views on the subject. PLUS i put this up because at 1:15 is a sweet reference to the XF camera =]. looks pretty big, which i really like. i am caught in this conversation too with my dad, and have been looking extensively into the topic. but i keep leaning to the one man versatility of a pure video camera to market myself more. plus, with the features of the XF, the codec and features are way above what you would spend on making a 5D work for video. Canon has made some outstanding images in the past, and this camera i do not think will disappoint.

dan
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Old April 25th, 2010, 10:10 AM   #17
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The only vdslr i would buy at this point is the 2Ti/550D. You will want one of the large cmos video specific cameras that will start coming out in less than a year. We are currently in bizarroland when an episode of the worlds most watched TV show is being shot exclusively with a mid level Canon DSLR. These kind of events force Sony and Panny off the incremental upgrade path.

The 1/3 cmos chip shows the current state of the art - impressive even if just a small IQ upgrade from earlier models. The electronics package is what we will likely see in future cameras from canon.

Nothing you can buy in this price range will feel current a year from now. This is the end of the 3 CCD better videocam cycle.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 09:41 PM   #18
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I'm loving the dialogue here! Thanks for all of the great info so far. It's interesting to see the various perspectives in the midst of this ever-changing art form.

Thanks for posting the video, Daniel. He makes some interesting points.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 04:20 AM   #19
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Great thread, and thanks for posting the video above.

Totally agree with Chris Hurd and Vincent Laforet. The 5dmkii is a superb second camera IMO, but no substitute for a "proper" video camera.

When i have the cash i'd like the new XF camera, and a nice super wide for my 5D + Zoomh4. This would be a formidable combination for what i need to do. The 5d - or any other DSLR - has serious shortcomings IMO, but since the XF isn't out yet, and i can't afford it anyway, i'm loving my 5d, and renting EX1's for jobs that require "real" video cameras.

I also think the EX1 codec is far superior regarding grading latitude, than the 5D, and the 50mbps 422 Canon should be even better.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 04:20 PM   #20
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Bare with me here but I think it has a lot to do with the term "Video Camera"

If you want a "Video Camera" you go with something like this XF Camera it has the items that Chris pointed out and it behaves like the Video Cameras that have been produced for years. Long run times, large zooms, audio input etc. If the Video Camera workflow is what you need/are used to this is the type of camera for you.*

However if you you're used to a more Film style work flow, primes, separate audio, 35mm sensor etc, then you go with something like a DSLR which is more similar to a "film camera" (or a red or one of the other new cameras coming out...) and if that's what you're looking for then that's the workflow you should be comfortable with.

End DSLR/video cam rant

All that being said there is no way I can invision myself owning this xf camera. Four years ago I was one of the first owners of an XL-H1 it was at the time groundbreaking and awesome, it was also 9000 bucks but it was bringing HD to the consumer level in a way no other cam had yet (the z1u was sub par and the hvx hadn't been released yet) So Canon could pretty much name their price. Now however we have a camera that seems like an incremental upgrade and because of the switch to card based technology (not new) the division believes it can get 6800 for the camera, and I'm sure it will, but the price for this technology is entirely too high for the amount of innovation that it provides. I think a better buy will be the xh-a1 or xl-h1(s) as they will be way cheaper and still provide about as much Video Camera as the average user needs. Of course if you hate working with tapes then maybe this camera is right for you, especially if you have some extra money to burn, though I think the ex-3 may have it beat.

(for the record I own both a 7d and an h1 they both get about the same amount of work and fulfill their jobs admirably)
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Old April 27th, 2010, 10:31 PM   #21
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This camera knocks the ball out of the park on lots of levels: LCD (large and very adjustable, waveform, vectorscope), lens (Canon glass, hard stops), codec (4:2:2), convenience (solid state recording, batteries show their life).

It's a very nice camera, arguably better than an EX-1 save the chip size and low light performance.

But that's the rub, a lot of people want shallower DoF and better low light performance than 1/3 size chips can provide. In which case, this camera becomes a difficult sell. If they don't sell, I have think Canon will drop the price.

I will make a bold and completely unsubstantiated claim that within a year the XF300 will be selling for $4,800.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 10:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
I will make a bold and completely unsubstantiated claim that within a year the XF300 will be selling for $4,800.
Which would be a great time for an XL version to come out at the XF's current price range.

I know that the Canon's shoulder mount/interchangeable lens line always shares the same chip as its hand held/fixed lens line but I can't help but think that the XL line will have a bigger chip this time around than the XF's since it's form factor is preferred by many for film making. Thus the XF line will be like their event videography line and the XL series will be their digital film camera.

I don't know, just a thought.
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Old April 28th, 2010, 01:58 AM   #23
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I have decided to go with the 5Dm2 because I work as a still photographer as well. I will be using the 5D to back up/augment my XH-A1 and HV-30 for video work and look forward to having the creative options. But i am also unsure about using the 5D in a run and gun situation... it will likely be more specialized (controlled situations! Low light!)
As to the limitations, is it possible that firmware can fix or minimize moire etc.(can it change how it reads the sensor and how fast?), make auto focus continually function (if you can focus by pushing a button, can't you lock that button on? or would it continually search and never find focus..???), and improvements to CF cards or file formats could increase recording time limits (Chris-did you mean 4 GB not minutes?)?
maybe stupid questions (i am certainly no technician), but wouldn't that be nice? of course they will likely address these issues in a new camera instead, but i do wish my upcoming substantial investment could have improvements that won't make me have to lu$t over yet another camera (for at least a few years)!
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Old April 28th, 2010, 02:54 AM   #24
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I will make a bold and completely unsubstantiated claim that within a year the XF300

Hey Peter, Park cameras - who i bought my 5d from - seem to be selling the xf300 for ...... sit down, take a deep breath...... 10,000

That's 16 grand US$

I'm assuming this is a typo. Here's the link:

Shopping Basket - Park Cameras Online
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Old April 28th, 2010, 03:42 AM   #25
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They must have read your post and just lowered the price...

to 9,999, LOL!

Crazy!

Thanks, that gave me a good laugh ;).
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Old April 28th, 2010, 07:39 AM   #26
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Peter

Park Cameras are a good retailer with competitive prices which is why i bought my 5d mkii from them. Not sure where this exorbitant price comes from. I could buy 2 EX1's for that.

Insane!
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Old April 29th, 2010, 07:23 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
.................

But that's the rub, a lot of people want shallower DoF and better low light performance than 1/3 size chips can provide. In which case, this camera becomes a difficult sell. If they don't sell, I have think Canon will drop the price.
..............
I wouldn't assume the low light performance is worse than the ex1/3. Considering the price it has to be fairly good.
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Old April 29th, 2010, 10:04 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom Stevenson View Post
Park Cameras are a good retailer with competitive prices which is why i bought my 5d mkii from them. Not sure where this exorbitant price comes from. I could buy 2 EX1's for that.
Looks to like they are trying it on for people wanting to pre-order, to be sure of getting one of the first batch off the boat. That price will drop significantly once they are in stock.

For comparison, the latest newsletter from UK retailer Top Teks says "At about 6K it will compete with the EX3". My guess is that UK prices will settle to a little under 6k by the end of the year, depending on the cam's popularity and that all-important comparison with the EX1r & EX3. I'm guessing that XH-A1s prices will drop a bit, too, maybe to 2.5k?
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Old April 30th, 2010, 01:15 AM   #29
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I struggle to understand why someone would pay more for a first batch camera when generally the first batches have the most issues. I would want to wait and see how it performs and then make a decision to invest.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 11:45 AM   #30
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Not sure I should admit this here, but I have a pre-production XF305 sitting here beside me on the desk...

The camera arrived yesterday for me to test and review (no NDAs in place) and I have not had the chance to shoot much with it, except some low light stuff of the kids Chinese musical toy (Vimeo)

I'm a stills guy and know the Canon DSLRs inside out (except the 550D) + I have XH G1s here too. This camera is radical and very impressive to use. It is a quantum leap forward in terms of usability and function.

To anyone trying to make the choice of DSLR or XF300/305, it s seriously a no-brainer. Unless you need shallow focus, the XF is the way forward (or grab an XF & 7D?)

For those not familiar with the camera, the screen is stunning and gives plenty of information for focus, even outdoors. There is a magnify button by each zoom toggle / shutter release and the LCD features an edge monitor focus scope.In AF, there is a face detect / track option.

The lens seems, from my limited testing, to be a huge leap from the XH lens and the semi-shoulder mount position with the LCD out gives great stability.

I'll be writing a detailed review of this over the next couple of weeks which I can share, with admin's permission, once complete.

To answer the original point "Convince me to buy one" - I am going to struggle to give this back when the call comes....
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