xf-300 vs sony EX1R sensor size? at DVinfo.net

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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 May 26th, 2010, 11:01 AM   #1
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xf-300 vs sony EX1R sensor size?

Hi
I currently own a canon xha1 and am ready to upgrade and go tapeless and at the price point of these cameras will also be shirtless ;) I was talking to some guys at the camera store. They recommended
going with the sony instead based on 1/2 inch vs 1/3 inch sensor size. They told me its like comparing apples and oranges the 1/3 sensor will never be able to match the 1/2 inch sensor.
Just wanted to get your opinions on this. However a turn off for the Sony is their memory cards cost a lot more?
The sales guy also said in the pro video world Sony still has a big lead on Canon?
This store carries both cameras and was very surprised at the cost of the canon.
Any recommendations would be appreciated thanks!!!
I also asked about tapeless cameras in the 3000 range and they talked about a $4000 sony but
uses much greater compression and needs converting to be imported into FCP
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Old May 26th, 2010, 11:22 AM   #2
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I think the store's got it pretty much right on both counts.
BUT, there is a lot more to the image than just the chip size, so it's not quite so straightforward as that. I suspect it wouldn't be apples and oranges, I bet it'd be real close - don't forget the canon has the edge in codec (50 mb/s vs 35 mb/s).
There are operational issues with 1/3" chips, namely that the ideal aperture range is quite small - go below about f5.6 and you get softening due to diffraction, open up too wide and you might have difficulty with too much light even with the NDs on.
I get the feeling they'd both produce images in the same ballpark, enough so that it'd be worth checking both out and seeing which one feels better and works best for you.
Steve
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Old May 26th, 2010, 11:23 AM   #3
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Hi Richard, you need to make your decision based on the *entire* camera, not just one aspect of it.

I wouldn't buy one car over another just because it had a bigger engine. So many other factors have equal if not greater importance.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 11:28 AM   #4
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Barry Green tested the new Panasonic HPX370 which has 1/3" chips and found that it compared very well vs the EX1/3, even in sensitivity it was within 1/4 of stop.
Steve
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Old May 26th, 2010, 03:57 PM   #5
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is the memory more expensive with Sony?
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:05 PM   #6
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Yes, SxS cards are pricey, the Canon is Compact Flash isn't it? If so there'll be a price difference of around 10x! But in the overall scheme of things I don't think media costs make that much difference, as they do, in effect, last forever!
Steve
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #7
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I think it is important to look at the bigger picture: Sony have market dominance in this price bracket and Canon (and others) want a piece of the action.

I have not managed to do the EX / XF comparison that I wanted to do, but I would be very surprised if Canon have not done their own detailed testing to ensure that the new camera equals and probably surpasses the current Sony products.

The XF 305/300 are clearly aimed at the ENG / independent TV production market and the results that I have seen from this camera to date suggest very good low light performance. As Chris says, sensor size is not everything and Canon have huge expertise in image processing and noise suppression.

The camera offers 50Mbs 4:2:2 without add-ons onto low cost CF cards. For anyone looking for a new camera, it would seem to make sense to see how the street price pans out a month or so after it goes on sale?

Nick.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:39 PM   #8
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I'm not sure if Canon are trying to get a piece of Sony's action. Others have commented that they have a big interest with Sony in that they supply the majority of the lenses for their cameras.

I think they've always been on the fringe of the broadcast market and been happy to be there as they get a whole load of niche buyers that are better served by the Canon offering than the others (right from EX1 Hi 8, through the XL-1 and XL-H1).

Also interesting to ask the question why did Canon not put 1/2" chips in the camera? If they did they'd be a big jump ahead of Panny or Sony, and would have a full EBU spec HD camera (ie 1/2" or bigger chips and 50 mb/s or more codec). Not wanting to tread on certain peoples' toes maybe?

Steve
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:46 PM   #9
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That makes a lot of sense Steve. Bigger chips would hardly be a problem for Canon, but as you say that really would tread on toes. Whatever the logic, this camera performs well and is a big leap from the previous generation.
I'm keen to see how retail prices pan out, particularly in the UK.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 08:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Kane View Post
is the memory more expensive with Sony?
If you go with SxS cards its very expensive however there are SD card adapters that work great with the EX1 and with the latest firmware and Class 10 SD cards you can take advantage of S&Q on cheap SDHC. Expensive memory is not a good enough reason not to buy the EX1R anymore with the SD work around.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 11:06 PM   #11
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is the sd adapter card not supposed to be used sparingly? i thought i read somehwere it was not to be used all of the time, but more of a last choice for media scenario. could be wrong though.

i am also waiting nick, i am just over half way for my camera fund be it XF or EX1, but as the retail world is, if you want it first and right now, your gonna have to pay. my saving will take me a month or two past the release, so im interested to see how the pricing will go. who knows, maybe they will be on backorder? would be surprising to me still if that happened.

dan
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Old May 26th, 2010, 11:25 PM   #12
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Also remember you could look at a nano flash unit which yes is expensive however you can record high bit rates and has a large amount of storage.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 06:56 AM   #13
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Daniel I'm not totally sure I could be wrong but my friend has an EX1 and he uses SD cards without any problems. Personally I shoot with the Canon XHA1 and I tend to like Canon's cameras I just feel they screwed us over with a 1/3 sensor & price. Even codec is not all that - if anyone can recall the HVX200A shoots at 4:2:2 & 100MB/s and the EX1 still took the market with better looking images.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 08:30 AM   #14
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yeah very true nicholas. i even cant help but wonder why panasonic hasnt updated the 200 model(170 was maybe an update? dont know panasonic well). we use them for school and it is such a bad feel. buttons, menu, even the flip out lcd is old news. i was an xha1 owner aswell, canon just builds great looking, strong cameras that function well. my only hope with the 1/3 chips is that because of the burst of video sales going to a cheaper dslr camera, the new chip should match or closely match the quality to get users buying video again. but then again, i will be using a 35mm adapter, so 1/2 chips would allow me better light loss.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 11:57 AM   #15
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I think after reading this discussion I am
leaning towards the Sony
The memory cost was one issue that seems not to be a factor anymore
if you caan use SD cards.
The 1/3 issue according to the folks at B and H is a big deal
they told me its not just light sensitivity but the overall image quality
is better on the 1/2 inch. The way they put it is to think of the chip as the engine in the
car. The car can do a lot with a small engine but the other car( sony) with a bigger engine can even do more.
Now if Canon had introduced this camera at $4000 it would be worth it. From the technolicical standpoint
it would seem it would cost less to make a camera without tape transport drives. IMO this camera should have been a bit more expensive than the xha1 not double the price
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