XF 300 vs. XH A1(s) comparison 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 October 1st, 2010, 05:21 PM   #1
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XF 300 vs. XH A1(s) comparison

I've been looking for a thread on this with no luck. I'm guessing there is one though.

I'm considering a second camcorder.

For those of you in the know, what are the advantages of the XF 300 over the XH A1 or A1s?

Tx all.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 06:35 PM   #2
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Hi Roger,

I owned a pair of XHA1's and an XLH1. Here are the main advantages (as I see them) of the XF300:

* more detailed image (records 1920x1080 and makes full use of it)
* much better codec
* better lens (tack sharp, minimal CA, more tactile with hard stops)
* CF recording (so much faster to ingest & you can review clips in the field, and record longer record time)
* much larger, more detailed LCD with waveform monitor (the LCD is a big weakness with the XH)
* timelapse & slow mo recording
* better IS (I know the quality of the XF IS is disputed in another thread but personally I love it - the powered IS is fantastic)
* Better battery life

Overall a much better camera than the XH, and it should be given the price point. It's the first Canon I've been really happy with. I also prefer the build quality of this camera and button layout (never a fan of the large rotary dial on the XH).

My only gripes with this camera are minor. To get the camera to overcrank takes too many fiddly menu selections - I would prefer a dedicated button. Also, you have to select between using the lens ring OR the rocker to zoom - that's really annoying... while doing quick shoots you have to remember what it is set to.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 03:26 AM   #3
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Roger I owned two XHA1s, you can't compare the two cameras that's why nobody is comparing them. The XHA1 & XF300 is worlds apart in terms of build, image quality & codec. A good comparison would be between the XF300 and EX1R.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 07:47 AM   #4
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Thanks.

Helpful info.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 07:49 AM   #5
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All the things that Josh said, but one omission - the XF300 is CMOS, the others are CCDs. That's why they have much higher spec for comparatively low cost.
Steve
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 08:00 AM   #6
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Just for comparison purposes, I think it would be fun (and informative) for those considering an upgrade from an XHA1 to XF300 to see a side by side comparison of picture quality from the two Canons. You know, just so it could be seen how much better the XF300 is.

Anyone out there with both, or who has access to both, able to shoot a minute or two of a few different scenes comparing an XHA1 to a XF300?

Just a thought.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 02:23 PM   #7
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One of the most interresting parameter for me to see a comparison of the two camcorders in low light. I know it's hard to do a fair test but how about full wide, no gain (0db), no noise reduction. I have read just about everything there is about the camcorder but to see how it handles low light compared to an XH-A1 would be very informative and helpful.

Regards,

/Bo
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 06:51 PM   #8
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Many references to a better lens. Can anyone put a dollar value on that? Is it a $1500 better lens, $1000 better, $2000 better (thinking in terms of huge differences in prices of low and and high ends lenses on DSLR's).
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Sundvall View Post
One of the most interresting parameter for me to see a comparison of the two camcorders in low light. I know it's hard to do a fair test but how about full wide, no gain (0db), no noise reduction. I have read just about everything there is about the camcorder but to see how it handles low light compared to an XH-A1 would be very informative and helpful.

Regards,

/Bo
A simple comparison, full wide, no gain, no noise reduction could be very misleading. The newer generation of cameras tend to have notably cleaner gain, which is quite significant for low light shooting. I was absolutely amazed when I first tried shooting with an HMC40 and realized that even at 12dB gain, images could still be quite clean. (I have no idea how high you can crank the gain on an XF300/305 and still get pretty clean images, but I do know that 12dB with an A1 looks downright radio-active.)

I'd be more interested to know how the A1 and XF300/305 compare, both full wide, with no noise reduction, and gain adjusted so that image noise levels were as close to each other as reasonably possible (realizing that the visual character of image noise would likely be somewhat different, since the imaging chips are notably different in nature).

Actually, to further complicate a comparison, using noise reduction with the XF300/305 images should likely also be considered, since the XF300/305 will assuredly produce noticeably higher (actual) resolution images, allowing for considerable application of spatial noise reduction filters without degrading actual image resolution below that of the A1.

I've never held an XF300, but from comparing an A1 to an HMC40 and an NX5U, and having a fairly good idea of the overall specs of the new Canons, I'm pretty confident the XF300/XF305 will be quite capable of yielding similar image quality (compared to the A1) in significantly dimmer lighting conditions. With presumably cleaner gain, and finer resolution of image detail (especially chroma rez) allowing more headroom for noise reduction, it seems a pretty safe bet.
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