Canon XF vs Sony EX 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 5th, 2010, 04:51 PM   #1
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Canon XF vs Sony EX

I am not sure if anyone has started a thread covering this topic, but I had a someone inquire which camcorder is better, the Canon XF305 or the Sony EX1R.
I am curious to hear the responses from DVinfo users!
Does anyone own both camcorders and if so, have you done a "Shoot Out" between the two.
I know all of the spec's variances between the two, but in real world use, which do all of you here on DVinfo think is better? Of course, it can come down to user preference and application, but if budget really did not matter Canon XF300/305 series of Sony EX1R/EX3 series?

Thank you for your responses.
Scott Cantrell
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Old October 6th, 2010, 12:59 AM   #2
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Scott, there has been no official shootout between the two. But there a lot of posts in this forum that compare both cameras. I'd suggest poking aorund a bit to see what people have already said. ;)
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Old October 6th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #3
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I found the thread covering this topic
Likes/Dislikes from EX owners that now have an XF

Thanks!
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Old October 7th, 2010, 09:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Cantrell View Post
but if budget really did not matter Canon XF300/305 series or Sony EX1R/EX3 series?
I looked at these two cameras extensively before buying. When budget isn't a factor, the cost of media (advantage XF) and cost of SDI out (advantage EX) melt away.

What's left are the physical differences that can't be changed. Distilling those that come to mind:
1) Size and weight (XF is larger than EX1R)
2) 4:2:2 50mbs format (built-in in XF, Nano add-on in EX)
3) Sensor Sensitivity/Performance
4) Rotatable grip
5) Semi-shoulder form factor (EX3)
6) Interchangeable Lens (EX3)
7) Lens reach
8) Ergonomics

But even these come down to which is "better for you". Sensor performance and ergonomics carried the day for me. YMMV

Other threads:
XF300 50mbs vs. 35mbs?
Raw samples of Canon XF300 & Sony EX1R
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Old October 7th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #5
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So...which did you end up buying, Les?
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Old October 12th, 2010, 11:41 AM   #6
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we went with the XF300...

Hi
we did a ton of thumb wrestling around this decision -
just had a hard time seeing a strong reason to pick one over the other.

in the end we chose the XF300 - not a perfect cam but the list of little plusses vs the list of little things for the EX1r left us in the Cannon camp

Doug Jenson's excellent training DVD helped us to make a choice that was in the end very clearly the right choice for us

thanks
Jamie
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Old October 12th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #7
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Hi Scott:

I know this doesn't directly address your "XF305 vs. EX1R" question, but if your customers are brand new to file-based shooting, I'd start them off with this presentation created by Doug Jensen (for Sony). It is not camera-specific but explains the overall Sony XDCAM EX workflow - which will be very similar to the Canon workflow. I think it would be helpful for anyone who is upgrading from shooting on tape. Running time: 1 hour 15 minutes
http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/video/chann...about_xdcamex/

As for me, I just upgraded to HD, and it came down to the EX1R vs. XF300.

Went with the EX1R. It came down to the track record of each camera, 1/2" imagers, the editing workflow, differences in the lens, and some features. I was upgrading from a JVC GY-DV5000 shoulder-mount DV camcorder. Use will be corporate/event/news/sports/web.

• The EX1R is a 2nd generation product. I prefer buying gear that isn't brand new to market.
• I can easily rent another EX1R or EX3
• Local TV station is upgrading to HD and going with Sony XDCAM EX PMW-350
• More local producers use EX1/EX3/EX1R
• Local Sony service centre. The Canon would have to be shipped cross country for service.
• Supposed better performance in low-light
• Supposed better ability with EX1R to use depth of field creatively
• The EX1R battery is not inside a closed compartment. I can use a SWIT battery with built-in Anton-Bauer D-Tap connector for powering an extra (low-power) device as well as the camera.
• Very favourable reviews of EX1R overall.
• The Sony editing workflow is more established and proven.
• Longer cache recording options on the EX1R
• The Canon LCD is a bit larger and people rave about it, but the Sony LCD looks great to me — and with the Hoodman HoodLoupe I can shoot outdoors in bright sunlight and still see the LCD. Actually even without the HoodLoupe I'm finding the Sony LCD is pretty good outdoors.
• "Last Clip" review button on EX1R gives both audio and video playback (not on XF300)
• The EX1R/EX1/EX3 footage looks better to me overall. Thanks to Kent Beeson of Seattle (DVinfo member) for posting his Seattle montage video. It really shows off what the EX1R can do (vimeo.com/10756294)
• EX1R lens seems to have better manual control. Also it's a minor thing, but the built-in "snap shut" lens cover on the EX1R is terrific.
• EX1R has an HD-SDI port vs. expensive upgrade from XF300 to the XF305. It will help "future proof" the camera for use with small field recorders such as NanoFlash or Ki Pro Mini. You can use an HDMI cable but it is awkward and doesn't lock in place. HD-SDI uses a standard BNC cable which locks in place, is smaller, and the cable is thin and flexible.
• SxS cards have very good reputation for reliability

Some DVInfo users have suggested that both are great cameras and there's no "wrong" decision. Good advice! That made sense to me and helped me just go ahead and pick one and put it to work. After two weeks and one important job completed, I'm very happy I made the switch.

One thing I'd really encourage people to do is do your research online, but get your hands on these cameras and try them out — and not just for 15 minutes in a store.

Keith

Last edited by Keith Dobie; October 12th, 2010 at 10:30 PM.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 06:22 PM   #8
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Keith,

Sounds like you really did your homework and put a lot of thought into it. Good for you.
Not surprisingly, I disagree with some of your conclusions and agree with others, but I'm sure you made the right decision for you.

As an owner of both camera I get a lot of questions from people wondering which camera they should buy and, depending on many factors, sometimes I recommend one and sometimes I recommend the other. There's no one right answer for everyone, and that is why you were smart to figure it out for yourself.

As I have said before, you can't go wrong with either. Just get one and put it to work. I hope you make a fortune with it.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 06:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Jewett View Post
Doug Jensen's excellent training DVD helped us to make a choice that was in the end very clearly the right choice for us
Hey Jaime,
I'm glad my XF305 training DVD helped you make your decision, and once again, I thank you for lending a hand with the production of the DVD. That day I brought both cameras over to your studio is still the only day I've had both cameras out at the same time. Just as Keith made the right decision for him by getting the EX1R, I am also certain that you guys made the right decision getting the Canons.
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Old October 13th, 2010, 10:21 AM   #10
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Hi Scott,

I recently bought the XF300 and I'm more than happy with it. I initially wanted to get the EX1R, and even had a chance to play with it for a weekend (borrowed from work). I even bought a used copy of Doug's EX1 training DVD.

But eventually I decided to go with Canon (almost on faith, not seeing or touching one beforehand). Part of it was the footage I saw, and the reviews I read regarding the larger LCD screen, the longer lens, and less expensive compact flash cards. I'm coming from an XL2, so any HD upgrade for me is a major leap forward!

Oh, and I just received Doug's XF300/305 training DVDs, and started watching it. I have alot of info to get through, but really glad that Doug is there to get me through it :)

Best,
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Old October 13th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Hey Jaime,
I'm glad my XF305 training DVD helped you make your decision, and once again, I thank you for lending a hand with the production of the DVD. That day I brought both cameras over to your studio is still the only day I've had both cameras out at the same time. Just as Keith made the right decision for him by getting the EX1R, I am also certain that you guys made the right decision getting the Canons.
The training DVDs arrived on Friday and 1/2 the order is already "out the door".....Doug, give me a call here if you get a chance.

Jim Martin
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