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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 March 16th, 2011, 12:40 PM   #1
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Canon XF100? - Help Me Decide!

I'm looking to buy a camcorder to record training videos and short films/documentaries. I've previous experience of the Canon XHA1 but am really a novice film maker.
I've been thinking about getting the new Canon XF100 and am primarily attracted by it's small size - I always found the XHA1 difficult to carry and film with discreetly.
The big downside is that the XF100 only has a 10x lens, and wondered if there is another camera from a different manufacturer that people could recommend - one of a similar size to the XF100 and price, but with a bigger zoom?

Last edited by Vince Hill; March 16th, 2011 at 02:50 PM.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #2
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Re: Canon XF100 - Help Me Decide!

Hi Vince,
I can't comment on the XF100 because I don't have one (yet, anyway), but my two cents on the 'zoom' capabilities of the XF100 lens: if you want to get a tighter shot of someone or something, move the camera closer (unless you're shooting wildlife; and yes there are other times you'll want to zoom. But 90% of the time I prefer to move closer myself, with my camera).
If I'm handheld, the shot is much steadier if I'm not zoomed-in. Even if I'm on a tripod, I feel I'm better off physically closer, and not zoomed; better camera mic pickup, more opportunity to get other shots.
The XF100 has some other drawbacks for me, anyway (I'm worried about its low-light capabilities), but I for one am not worried about the lens. Are there nicer lenses on other cameras? Yes, but sometimes a nice lens can cost five times as much as the XF100.
Regards,
Malcolm
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Old March 16th, 2011, 02:49 PM   #3
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Re: Canon XF100 - Help Me Decide!

vince,

if your focus is training videos then there are many options already available, but if you're looking for a small camera for broadcast doco's then the canon is hard to beat. With NAB around the corner new options may be announced, but there's no saying they will arrive for several months at best. I'd say the xf100 is a good bet if you can follow Malcom's advice and get a little closer to your subjects. I'm in the process of trading in my Canon 5D and 24-105 lens for an xf100, so even the 10x zooms looks like luxury.

Certainly the canon looks like the best bet for discreet broadcast doco making that i've come across.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 09:35 PM   #4
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Re: Canon XF100 - Help Me Decide!

Longer zoom range = bigger size. There are 1.5x Canon tele adapters available for a reasonable price.
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Old March 17th, 2011, 01:43 AM   #5
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Re: Canon XF100 - Help Me Decide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom Stevenson View Post
Certainly the canon looks like the best bet for discreet broadcast doco making that i've come across.
I tend to agree with you, but my mate in BBC DV Solutions wasn't at all confident that this camera would get as easy a selection as did the 300/305, due to it being a single-chip camera. That is, for a complete production; it might well be used for a certain percentage of the acquisition.
I hope that it does eventually pass the tests, if and when Alan gets his hands on it!
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Old March 17th, 2011, 03:21 AM   #6
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Re: Canon XF100? - Help Me Decide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Hill View Post
I'm looking to buy a camcorder to record training videos and short films/documentaries. I've previous experience of the Canon XHA1 but am really a novice film maker.
I've been thinking about getting the new Canon XF100 and am primarily attracted by it's small size - I always found the XHA1 difficult to carry and film with discreetly.
The big downside is that the XF100 only has a 10x lens, and wondered if there is another camera from a different manufacturer that people could recommend - one of a similar size to the XF100 and price, but with a bigger zoom?
Hi:

Of course, it always depends on what you're shooting. But unless you're shooting something that physically restrains you from getting closer to your subject such as wildlife or sports, then the 10x zoom of the XF100 is all you need.

Using the long end of the zoom range introduces more sensibility to camera shake and less light sensibility, and that goes for any camera. So, you'll always want to get as close as possible to your subject.

The only thing where the long end can produces a photographic effect is to produce the shallow DoF known from the DSLRs and cinema film, but for that I find that the XF100 zoom is sufficient.

BR, Erik
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Old March 17th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #7
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Re: Canon XF100 - Help Me Decide!

Thanks for the replies everyone.
I really think this would be a great camera for my needs but wil have to wait at least 2-3 months to raise the money. I have been quite tempted by the Canon HV30/40 as a camera to shoot shorts/documentaries as a hobby. I'd look at using a DOF adaptor and camera lens. How do you think this would compare to the XF100 - obviously not suitable for training videos but would give me something to use in the meantime.
Cheers
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Old March 17th, 2011, 04:05 PM   #8
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Re: Canon XF100 - Help Me Decide!

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Originally Posted by Robin Davies-Rollinson View Post
I tend to agree with you, but my mate in BBC DV Solutions wasn't at all confident that this camera would get as easy a selection as did the 300/305, due to it being a single-chip camera. That is, for a complete production; it might well be used for a certain percentage of the acquisition.
I hope that it does eventually pass the tests, if and when Alan gets his hands on it!
Alan Roberts has already tested the camera. No release of results. Several hints he likes it, but no speculation about the BBC response to his test results. Hoping for a NAB announcement.
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