XF300 to be delivered tomorrow 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 June 28th, 2010, 05:17 PM   #1
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XF300 to be delivered tomorrow

Just got a phone call from ProVision in Vancouver BC and they got two XF300s today, one is mine on way to beautiful downtown Victoria tomorrow.

I'm not much a regular poster here, only by a computer every few days, but will report as I can. Have to assume there must be more out there in couriers right now.

I have a shoot July 1 that I'll test it at. If I have time to post something more here I will. Their other one is long gone and no news when more may show.

Price was bit more than others in Canada...but none of them could not assure me one so I went with these guys (my first buy here), as I've been needing a cam for a long time and want to get it 'working' asap. No complaints with them at all, great communication and gave me a smoking deal on a mic.

Larry Pfister
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Old June 28th, 2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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Larry please post a review once you had time to play with it. Would love to hear about your experience!
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Old June 28th, 2010, 10:06 PM   #3
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Congrats!!!

This camera looks promising under low lighting conditions...
I've seen some sample footage, and it cuts like a knife...

If i needed to purchase my next camera, this would be the one....
I'm mostly curious, as how it would run with the Adobe CS4 suit of products....

Take care..
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Old June 30th, 2010, 11:52 AM   #4
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Awesome, I'll swing by to check it out....ha ha. I grew up in Mission. Nice vids.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:19 PM   #5
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Arrived a day late due to my error, but as I have other work to do while the battery charges, I can say a couple of things.

Having only ever hand held (and hated) an EX1 once, and being a hand held, run n gun kinda guy, the 300 is far more balanced, though it's still pretty substantial. That's what my Manfrotto 561B is for as this cam will spend much of it's working life atop it.

It also came with a short note saying that "all purchases of the XF300 and XF305 from authorized Canadian dealers qualify for a 2-year Canadian warranty at no additional cost." A way cool bonus I wasnt expecting... and ya I know Pana is five, but I'll take what I can get.

Having tried a number of the online sample files, I expect Edius 5.5 will churn thru the clips like buttah.

I'll be out at Canada Day celebs on the Gorge tomorrow day and night where I will see just how well the supplied 955 and extra 975 batteries last. And also play with the low light for the fireworks. I'll post again soon as I can hopefully with some low light various gain test clips as they are soooo important to soooo many of ya.

I'll also try the BBC settings I got here this morning as well as simple outta the box default setting.

Cheers
LP
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Old June 30th, 2010, 04:23 PM   #6
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larry-

thank u from all of us who appreciate u doing the legwork.

enjoy

rob
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Old July 1st, 2010, 01:59 AM   #7
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very excited to hear what you think about it
thank you!
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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I will try to get some clips up later today if I can, but in the meantime a few thoughts after shooting yesterday.

Please note my style is not that of most pros, but it has always worked for me and my clients so if it comes across a little rough, so be it, that's how I do it. I don't have a broadcast background.

That being said, coming from cams like the GL1, Pana DVC30 and a JVC HD7 I have longed for a serious handheld HD cam. I believe I have found it in the XF300.

I shot for two hours twice yesterday totally hand held just to get a feel for it and see if I could do it. I played in full auto and manual modes with the default settings. I just ran out of time to do a lot of setting changes. Yesterday was more a touchy feely session.

I found the auto focus in instant mode to hunt and not lock on in anything in low light from twilight to darkness. In daylight it's as 'good' as the average consumer cam, but I found myself using the focus ring at least half the time. The biggest smile I got came from the stabilizer which in 'power' mode was so rock solid at full zoom I was amazed. I mean amazed!

Bottom line is that for those of you who have longed for a hand held piece, this is it. After two hours it was still easy to toss it up, shoot and shoot and shoot with no hand/wrist, arms issues at all. This thing is a joy to hold in two hands. It can be done with one quite well, but not for long.

The zoom toggle, with practice, is smooth from a crawl and full on. I did a long pull hand held that I thought was never gonna end, smooth and steady the entire way. The one atop the handle, not so good, but again, this was my first shoot and it'll get better.

Balance is amazing for a cam this size. I hung it off one finger at the very front notch of the top handle and it balanced almost even. It's a bit front heavy if you go back one finger notch, but trust me, the EX1R folks are gonna cry when they pick this up. For many, a 'rig' will not be needed for this cam.

Being a left eye shooter I often found myself bracing the viewfinder against my right ear (not on my shoulder) and using the 4inch screen a few inches in front of my eyes. Peaking made manual focus a breeze. I have not tried other methods yet. Both the screen and viewfinder can be used for focus...for me, though your mileage may vary.

And talk about sexy. The chunk of glass on the front is just plain wicked. It does ramp from 1.6 to 2.8 on the long end so be aware. The old style lens cap is a drag.

I cannot comment much on the image yet. I played with fireworks at 15db gain just to see, and while it looked good on the cam screen, an 32 inch flat screen it was too grainy to use. 9db is totally suitable for my use, 12db...maybe if I had to.

One more thing, button placement is awesome...except I do have a tiny issue sliding the power slider from 'cam' to off as it goes over to 'media', but it's not that bad. In the dark last night it was cool to flip that big bright screen down to light up the left side to read the buttons. The on screen menus are easy and clear, no problem there at all.

Sorry for the lack of image quality info, but I go into such purchases realizing there is no perfect cam and with few worries the picture this produces won't be good enough for my use. Ergonomics for me are so very important and I predict the Canon XF300 will quickly become the 'must have' cam of extreme sports types.

More when I can, but this is the first cam I have owned in 20 years that felt darn near perfect the first time I picked it up. The more I used it, the more I liked it.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 10:43 AM   #9
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Hi Larry,

Congrats on the new camera!

And thank you for the first impressions. I realize that image quality is very important, but other factors are important as well, like ergonomics, weight, controls, etc. (And for most small business, budget is a huge factor :)

Looking forward to your clips!

Best,
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 04:23 PM   #10
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Clips coming soon.

I have to admit I'm not the best at testing like this, but have a bunch of 50Mbps clips going to Chris Hurd as I write this. Will take a couple of hours at least to upload and includes some 15db low light clips in 30p, some fast whip pans at 60i and 60p for rolling shutter effects at 60th and 120th shutter speeds, a rough built-in teleconvert clip, one each ca and bokah clips. Just a bunch of rather mellow shots to attempt to test this kinda stuff. Not up to what most 'testers' do here, but best I could do with the time I had.

LP
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 06:57 PM   #11
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very appreciated ,cant wait to see them!
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 07:19 PM   #12
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Great writeup Larry, you have got me all excited about this camera!
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 08:46 PM   #13
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Hey Larry.

I'm in Guatemala but headed back to Cowtown in a month or so and was going to pick up a Sony EX1R along the way.

Am now thinking the Canon might be a better way to go (I do videojournalism work and lots of hand held shooting). Have only used the EX1R for 20 minutes so didn't get the chance to get to know the ergonomics - but have read plenty about it. Is the Canon really that much better?

And the OIS gives usable handheld shots at max zoom range?

What CF cards did you buy for the camera?

I see a $7000 CAN price for the Canon. That about right?

Many thanks!!

Dave
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 06:36 AM   #14
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Canon has always had the upper hand in ergonomics, buttons are always places right where they should be. Larry did they improve on the zoom rocker? I currently own the XHA1 and the zoom rocker is not very smooth compared to a Sony.

Also does the Canon have focus assist like the EX1?

Last edited by Nicholas de Kock; July 3rd, 2010 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Added question.
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Old July 3rd, 2010, 10:42 AM   #15
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Dave: I only ever held an EX1 once and never the R version that is supposed to be a bit better hand held. Ergonomics are very personal between shooters, but for me, the difference between the EX1 and my time with the XF300 is like night and day. I recall not being able at all to hold the Sony in one hand mainly because it would fall over to the heavy left side. Not so at all with this Canon. I did say it was slightly front heavy even with a 975 battery in the back door, but I love it, shades of my tiny (by comparison) GL1 of old.

The OIS is very good. Having only done a bit of testing on the three modes I currently prefer hand held with OIS on 'normal' to a monopod. 'Powered' mode is sick on long lens shots, just rock solid, but don't try to pan or move as it jerks when you do. 'Dynamic' is said to be for walking and in a very short test it appears to work quite well at wide.

I am using Lexar Pros 16GB both 300x and 233x work fine. I have an adata 16gb but found it is very slow on my 7D so wont even put it in the XF300.

Yes it is in the $7000 range in Canada.

Nicholas:
It has two Peaks to focus and a magnifier for either screen or eyepiece. Both screen and eyepiece can be used at once if required and turned to black and white. I find both the screen (awesome by the way with a great wide angle of viewing) and eyepiece good enough, for me, to focus with, but I stress, that's me.

I have not shot much more since and have tons and tons of learning to do, but am very happy I chose this cam after looking at the EX1R and Pana 151.

As for picture quality, Im not a pixel peeper by any stretch. I know my work and I know my clients and have little doubt this cam will not produce very suitable images for my uses.

I also finally got around to loading them up with Edius 5.5 on a dual quad core Xeon system, Windows 7, 4Gigs memory, multi TB RAID10 and ya, the clips go right onto the timeline and edit as easy as HDV. I use the included Canon XF software to load from cam to computer. You can transfer without it but each clip goes into a separate folder which makes bringing into Edius a one clip at a time worthless venture.

LP
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