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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 September 29th, 2010, 11:39 AM   #16
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Tans, I think what you're finding is really mostly just a difference of opinion. The EX and XF cameras both perform exceptionally well, and what I've noticed is, by and large, people that come from a predominantly Sony background prefer Sony, and those that come from a Canon background prefer Canon.

As for sharpness & detail, you'll see even in Alister's tests that the Canon does hang on to more detail (and it's not false detail from noise) as you can see in this 200% crop from his footage. Look at the bricks and siding and you'll see how the Sony smooths over fine detail much more than the XF codec.

As far as the 3 modes of OIS in the Canon XF's - to me, it's the best IS I've ever used. But to avoid the issues that Doug experienced, you have use them in the shooting conditions they're meant to be used in. Dynamic works best when you're walking and shooting at the widest focal length. Powered works best when you're standing still and and you need to get a handheld shot at full zoom. Standard is a great general purpose IS, but you def can get a "float correction" if you jerk the camera around, even more-so in "powered" mode. With "dynamic," I've experienced a floating vignette if I try to walk with the lens zoomed in too much. I think the Canon's IS has more of a learning curve, but much greater potential than Sony's steadyshot. Also, Sony's steadyshot does a slight scale of the image (and results in resolution loss) whereas all 3 of Canon's image stabilization are completely optical.

Here's a video done with the XF300 handheld with dynamic IS (except for one shot on sticks) with no post stabilization and at +14dB using only available light:
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Old September 29th, 2010, 11:55 AM   #17
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As far as the sharpness of the XF300/305, check out Alan Roberts' test done on the camera. His test findings hold a lot of weight in the broadcast world. It was because of his testing that the BBC granted the XF cams full acquisition status- a first for a 1/3" camera. It wasn't just the codec, but the images created by the lens and CMOS chips.
His full report can be found here:

XF300/305 BBC test

Not even the EX line of cameras passed BBC's muster - but that had more to do with the codec, I think. Slap on a Nanoflash and it's a whole different story.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 01:57 PM   #18
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Brian, Glen:

Thank you!
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Old September 29th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #19
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Like Brian and Glen have already said, a lot of this comes down to personal opinion. You're never going to get a consensus of opinion about any product. All I know is that I stand by everything I've written about the XF305 because it is based on my pesonal experience, experimentation, and observations. Brian can quote from Canon's operation manual all he wants to about the purpose of the three IS modes, and imply that I'm not using IS correctly, but that doesn't change the fact that they produce poor results in real world situations. I know what I have seen first-hand with the camera. I am not inexpereinced at shooting, and I'm saying that theIS is inferior to Sony's.

If IS so great, then why do I see it's artifacts in other people's videos too? In my book, that is the sign of a problem.

Standard is supposed to be for wide shots? Well, thank you very much but I don't need any IS at all for a wide shot. I could be standing on a trampoline and get a steady wide shot without any IS. And Dynamic is supposed to be for static shots that have no movement? Well, I don't know about other people, but I'm shooting video, not stills. My shots move.

I'm just throwing out my opinion. It doesn't make any difference at all to me whether someone wants to believe me or not. I don't have an axe to grind against Canon or Sony, but I'm not going to gloss over their imperfections either.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #20
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Hey Brian, just wanted to jump in and say that the technicality of your music vid is absolutely first rate. It's better than most stuff getting rotation right now on network TV. Your shoot makes this cam appear to be flawless, LOL!
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Old October 8th, 2010, 11:58 AM   #21
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From the footage I've seen so far, it seems like the Sony is 'hyper' real, and the Canon is 'hyper HYPER' real. Still deciding which I prefer.
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