XF305 Test Footage 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 July 26th, 2010, 12:38 PM   #1
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XF305 Test Footage

This is a sampling of the footage I shot last week to test various settings and features of the Canon XF305 and XF300 camcorders. Most of the footage is 1080/30P @ 50 Mbps. The slow-mo clips are 720/30P/60fps @ 35 Mbps.

The footage is presented exactly how it was shot. No filters, matte boxes, lens adapters, or other accessories were used. No color-grading or filters have been applied in post.
FYI, a lot of the color and picture quality is lost by the time it makes it to Vimeo. I think the camera looks much better than what you might judge by looking at these clips.

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Old July 26th, 2010, 03:11 PM   #2
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doug-

thank you for taking the time for such an extensive groupings of shots.

i particularly liked the dock workers (2:30-3:30), the ant crawling on the queen anne lace (9:55) and the fire walk shots along the river in providence.

(by the way, you have a lovely eye.)

and then there is the xf300 which seemed to acquaint itself very well to a myriad of lighting conditions.

thoughts on the speed of the autofocus? lens control? menu system? were you mostly at the long end of the lens?

i'm not looking for a comparison to the ex1/ex3.

just your thoughts after putting the xf300 to work.

again, thanks for the effort.

be well

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Old July 26th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #3
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Looks like a sweet camera!
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Old July 26th, 2010, 09:47 PM   #4
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Thank you very much for posting this footage.

I hope this is a leadup to a Vortex Media training video!
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Old July 27th, 2010, 08:32 AM   #5
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Doug, this footage is outstanding and clearly shows the potential of the XF300/305 series cameras. I believe that as people start to see more and more great footage from these cameras. The 1/3" CMOS sensor used, will become far less of an issue performance wise than many people thought it would be.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 09:35 AM   #6
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I agree the footage is very impressive and clearly shows what the camera is capable of - thanks Doug for taking the time to put this up. Images are razor sharp (even after Vimeo has "done it's stuff" etc.) and all in all it's a great real world example of just how good the lens and codec etc. are working together in this new Canon camcorder in different and sometimes difficult scenarios. I can already imagine just how lovely all the raw footage might look before web compression!

However, I was a little concerned/slightly disappointed seeing how it handled the low light stuff near the end. I kept thinking "would my 1/2 chipped EX3 make a better job of those shooting conditions or not???"...Of course, until someone does an in depth side-by-side comparison it's difficult to know - and probably not that important anyway - clearly Canon have produced a stunning camera here.

They are a bit late to this particular party.... but at least we all really noticed them when they arrived! ( 'cause they look so blummin good!!!!!)
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Old July 27th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #7
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Andy,

You're not wrong to be concerned about the low-light capbablities of the camera. I was quite surprised by how bad it is. I shot that same WaterFire event with a pre-production EX1 three years ago, and that camera looked GREAT even at -3db. People who have seen my EX1 or EX3 training DVDs or my footage at NAB know what I'm talking about. Same event, same conditions, but Canon has taken a step back from where Sony was three years ago.

Last week I took a lot of flak on another thread for saying the XF305 sucks in low light. Apparently, according to other posters, we are to assume that 0db Gain is set arbitrarily by the manufacturer, and it is perfectly acceptable to crank the gain up to +9, +12, or whatever to get the sensitivity you want. I don't buy that argument, nor do I have the time to test the camera at every gain setting to see how far you can push it. I take the manufacturer's settings at face value. If they should have called +9db 0db instead, that is their problem. The camera sucks in low light, and difference is at least 1.5 to 2 stops comapred to an EX1 at equal gain settings.

I'm not bashing the camera, because I really like the XF305, I'm just not going to make excuses for things I don't like.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 04:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Katz View Post
thoughts on the speed of the autofocus? lens control? menu system? were you mostly at the long end of the lens?
I don't like the menu system at all. Very counter-intuitive and organized poorly.

The lens is fantastic except for the aperture fall-off as you zoom in. Yes, the EX1 suffers from the same defect but it is more of any issue on the XF305.

The auto-focus and auto-iris are the best I've ever seen on any camcorder at any price. I'm not saying I'd use them, I'm just saying that they are very good for what they are.

The zoom control is much smoother than the EX series cameras. I can actually get nice smooth starts and finishes without using every ounce of concentration and deleting some false-starts. Very nice.

Better macro control on the XF305.

In general, I'd take the XF305 lens over the lens on the EX1/3 any day.

Overall, I can't say which camcorder I prefer. They both of their pros and cons. As I have said before, pick one and put it to work. You can't go wrong.

Oh, one more thing. Something I haven't heard anyone else mention. Canon has placed the zoom rocker switch at a location on the body where you can actually use it on a tripod. I know some people like to reach around and zoom with their right hand, but I don't think that is the proper way to handle a camera because it limits your range of motion on panning and tilting. The proper way to run a camera on a tripod is to have you're right hand on the pan-handle and the left hand for zooming, focusing, adjusting the iris, etc. On the EX1 I cannot reach my left hand under the handle to get to the rocker switch on the grip. This is one of the things I really hate about the EX1 and it forces me to use an external control on the pan-handle or not zoom at all. However, the Canon guys got it right. I can reach my left hand under the handle and reach the zoom control just like I'd do with any full-size broadcast lens.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 06:19 PM   #9
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doug-

again, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

be well

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Old July 27th, 2010, 06:55 PM   #10
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doug-

again, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

be well

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Old July 27th, 2010, 08:38 PM   #11
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training DVD for XF cams

Hi Doug,

Thanks for posting up the video! Wonderful images from the XF cam.

Like Laurence said, I too would be greatly interested in a training DVD for the XF cams from you :)

As a side note, I'll finally get a chance to actually play around with an EX1R this weekend; but sadly I won't be able to compare it with an XF probably until late August, so I won't be able to compare the two side by side. Should be fun shooting with EX though!

Best,
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Old August 1st, 2010, 04:28 PM   #12
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Regardless of some of the issues brought up, I'm extremely excited. I owned the XHA1 for 3+ years now, and when partnered with a 35mm Adaptor for film work, it worked wonders. I'm very excited about the XF300/305 because what it will give me is what my A1 did, but cleaner, 422, tapeless, better audio and LCD, etc. Some of the issues the camera has won't affect my intended usage of the camera, so it's a mute point for me...although I understand most aren't doing with it what I might.

I'm excited :)

These grabs are NOT corrected...(panalook preset in camera)
http://www.praisepictures.com/a1_grabs.jpg
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Old August 6th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #13
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Actually, I think the night firewalker footage looks pretty good, considering. I've shot in conditions not nearly as dark with older 1/3" CCD HDV cameras, and the video was horrible. No color, no details, the blacks crushed into an ugly black mud look. One thing I noticed: as dark as the footage was, it still had sharp details.

Doug, did you shoot the night footage at 0db? It'd be interesting to see how far this camera can be pushed with different gain settings.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 06:33 AM   #14
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Hi Glen,

The Waterfire footage was shot with several different gain settings because testing the camera was the only reason I was even there. So you can't really come to any conclusions without knowing what the settings were for each individual shot. The clips range from -3db to +6db, but the majority are +6db.
The footage looks okay, but not as good as other cameras I have tested previously at this same event.

With other cameras, such as the EX1 or F800, not only was I was able to shoot at -3db most of the time, there also seemed to be a lot more dynamic range between the fire and the people in the background. If I exposed to keep the flames from looking too blown out with the XF305, then the backgorund almost disappeard. With the EX1 I could have good background detail and have the flames looking good at the same time.

The good news is that the XF305 looks pretty good with the gain boosted, so maybe it's poor light sensitivity it's not a big deal. But I still stand by my contention that at 0db, the XF305 is at least 1 to 1.5 stops slower than an EX1.

On the other hand, in bright sun with harsh shadows, I'd give the edge to the XF305. In my opinion, that camera really looks great (better than any of the XDCAMS) in that type of environment.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 09:10 AM   #15
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Hi Doug,

Well, I don't expect the Canon to be too competitive in low light against 1/2" and 2/3" sized cameras. It does seem to be heads and tails above earlier design CCD 1/3", though. Must be the CMOS and lens. I'd like to see footage with the XF305 in a low light, not so high contrast setting, like a street scene or inside a restaurant, perhaps.

The video from this camera in daylight just blows me away! I now have an HPX500, and in low light the 2/3" chips will always excel. But honestly, in good lighting, this camera may produce sharper images. That's amazing, from a 1/3" chip cam. Plus, its 50mbps, 4:2:2 10-bit (I think) codec can't be ignored. Or the cheap media storage, 4" monitor, waveform monitor and vectorscope....

If business picks up in freelancing, I might just have to pick up a b-cam. Hmm...EX1/3, or XF305?
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