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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 February 15th, 2011, 12:47 PM   #1
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Mixing XF300 + DSLR

We've decided to sell our Panasonic HMC151 cameras because try as I may, the footage just doesn't mix well with the 5D2 & 7D cameras shooting multiple angles (or even the same angle but wider etc) of the same subject. When you are switching scenes (different subjects) it's doable, but not the same scene back to back.

So, I'm on a quest to find a good camcorder that mixes well with the DSLRs. Things of obvious concern are:

Sharpness
Color Balance (i.e. achieving the same look when set to the same white balance)
Noise is medium to low light (happy to use Neat Video as long as the footage looks good)
Long record time for unattended cameras (60-90 mins or so) in long church ceremonies

Other cameras I'm looking at include the new AF100/101, but I keep coming back to the XF300. I'm hoping that the color profiles used by Canon will compliment each other. Can any one confirm this?

How easily can you set up the XF300 and DSLRs to match each other when 'shooting' to reduce the amount of work in post?

Can anyone point me to posts or articles about shooting in mixed XF300 / DSLR environments?
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Old February 16th, 2011, 01:19 PM   #2
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Hello Dave,

I'll try to answer some of your questions, but besides owning a XF300 I only have a 550D at hand (which complements the 7D quite well).

Sharpness: The XF300 delivers razor sharp pictures throughout it's entire zoom range. Shooting both systems at full wide, the difference is most noticeable. For a better match you should turn down the XF300's sharpness either in custom picture profile (CP) or post.

Color Balance: In some situations I have difficulties in setting the proper white balance on the XF300. Overall color rendition matches quite well between both XF300 and 550D. I mostly use a modified CP (BBC cinema) on the XF and leave the 550D at Standard, but turn down Contrast to zero (for a flat picture) an Sharpness to zero (to reduce aliasing).

Noise: The XF is quite noisy above +6db, but it's mostly fine grain luma noise up till +16db (Nick Wilcox-Brown has done some extensive testings), whereas the 550D appears to be chroma noisy to my eyes.

Long record time: You get plenty on the XF. Two 32Gb cards will give you 164 minutes of 50Mbit FullHD video.

Reduce amount of work in post: It depends. I've only shot one project so far with both XF300 and 550D. For an almost perfect match only two filters were used: FCP's three way color correction and Red Giant's Mojo.

If you like, you can check out the result on my blog. Sorry, no HD.

Vertrauen ist gut, Kontrolle ist besser. Trust, but verify. | Work | MARTINIFILM | Martin Steimann

550D and XF300 combined: 0:00 - 0:27
0:27 end: XF300

Regards, Martin
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Old February 16th, 2011, 04:10 PM   #3
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Martin,

Thanks for the reply. I visited the BVE show in London today and stuck a CF card in Canon's demo camera. It's funny that you mention white balance, because this is one of my pet peeves using the older Panasonic equipment I have. I'm looking for something that I can set a K number and know it's going to be the same as the DSLR.

I took along a 5D2 to try to get the same shot for comparison. It turns out I didn't quite get the same shot, but the biggest concern was I couldn't find an XF300 Kelvin value for white balance that didn't leave me with an off pink color cast, both on the LCD and on the captured footage.

I set the 5D2 and XF300 to the same Kelvin value (2600 as I recall) and the 5D2's shot came out pretty much spot on, but the XF300 was definitely 'pink'. For sure I can match them in post using a color corrector, but that wasn't quite the plan!

The 5D2 and Panasonic AF101 matched color perfectly (again at 2600).

Is there anything on the XF300 that some one could have played with at the show to make thinks 'pink' when they would not normally have been so? It's got me a little worried now!
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Old February 17th, 2011, 09:36 AM   #4
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Dave,

I have both a XF300 and 5D MkII and have noticed the same pink color in the XF footage.

I've been trying for a while to dial them both in, but it's never quite right.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 10:33 AM   #5
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I shoot a show every month with the XF, 7D and 5D. I prefer dialing down the DSLR's back to reality since the XF looks fantastic color-wise. I believe a Mr. Bloom has put his "flat" setting to the 5D somewhere on this forum and that's basically what I use for both DSLR's.
The whole setup matches very well but does require a little touchup in FCP.
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